Greater Kruger National Park » Makalali Private Game Reserve » Makalali River Lodge


LOCATIONMakalali Private Game Reserve, HoedspruitPOOLYes
CHILD POLICYChildren of ages are welcomeMALARIA AREAYes

  • Each thatched suite offers a raised timber viewing deck allowing for spectacular views of the Makhutswi River where guests can observe the birdlife & game that the reserve has to offer
  • At Makalali River Lodge each meal takes you on a culinary adventure by focusing on regional African cuisine to represent the various cooking styles encountered through the exploration of this great continent
  • Whilst being known as the leading pioneers of ecotourism, the Makalali Private Game Reserve is not only home to the Big Five but also to over one thousand other wild animals withing the Greater Kruger National Park Region

rates & special offers
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01 May - 31 May 2019 Thatched Suite R 2,850 per person per night sharing May Special Offer for advance bookings!
01 June - 30 September 2019 Thatched Suite R 3,085 per person per night sharing last minute special offer for bookings within 30 days of travel OR minimum 3 nights stay special offer
Thatched Suite R 3,310 per person per night sharing special rate for advance bookings
*surcharges on all special rates and a minimum 3 night stay will apply of peak holiday periods and long weekends.

• Accommodation
• All meals daily
• Two game drives daily
• There will be a supplement of 50% on the per person sharing rate for single accommodation.
• Family Suite can sleep 2 adults and up to 3 children under the age of 12 years.
• Children under 6 years stay free of charge when sharing with 2 full paying adults. Meals charged on consumption.
• Children between the age of 6 - 11 years pay 50% of the adult sharing rate when sharing with 2 full paying adults.
• Children aged 12 years and over occupy their own room and are charged as adults.
• Children under 6 years of age are not permitted on game drives.
• Game drives
• Guided bush walks
• Children’s bush knowledge course
• Morning or afternoon hot air balloon rides (up to 10 guests per balloon)
• Golfing excursions at the Hans Merensky golf course
• Cheetah breeding
• Gin stops
• Lazer shooting
• Unless otherwise stated, all rates listed are based on a minimum 2 night stay. Surcharges may apply for a 1 night booking.
• Rates quoted are only applicable to South African Residents. Special discounted rates for International Residents are available on request.
• Rates exclude a Conservation Levy of R 240 per person per night (including children), to be paid at the lodge direct. (Subject to change).

5 hour drive from Johannesburg
3 hours from Kruger Mpumulanga International Airport (KMIA)
1 hour from Eastgate/Hoedspruit Airport
1 hour 15 minutes from Phalaborwa Airport

3 Camps consisting of 6 x Luxury suites each
(18 suites in total)
17 x Thatched suites - each sleep two adults
1 x Family suite - sleeps two adults and up to 3 children under the age of 12 years

Makalali River Lodge is perfectly situated along the banks of the Makhutswi River , providing stunning views and a great space for spotting birds & wildlife. 
The three camps that make up Makalali River Lodge are namely; Tandane, Mkhiwa & Emtomeni. Each camp comprises of 6 rooms accompanied by other facilities such as a plunge pool, private viewing deck, dinning area & boma. 
Even though all camps are private, they are all within easy access of one another. Elements such as thatched spires, earthy walls & ancient mystical ornaments Makalali gives guests the chance to experience something out of this world. 

Luxury Suites
Each suite at Makalali has a raised timber viewing deck (sala) set amongst the Jackalberry trees, which offer extraordinary views of the wildlife in the reserve & it is also the perfect spot for private luncheons or dinners. Makalali River Lodge has Thatched Suites as well as a Family Suite which boast wonderful features such as outdoor and indoor showers, a tea and coffee station, private plunge pool, a bath & other amenities. 
African design styles are featured in all rooms with sculpted metalwork lamp shades, taps & ceramic basins and each bed is surrounded by crisp white mosquito nets. 

Culinary Experiences at Makalali River Lodge
Apart from the perfect bush setting, Makalali offers a culinary adventure for all guests. With the combination of regional African cuisine which represent the ‘melting pot’ of cooking techniques left behind by centuries of exploration on this great continent. The talented chefs of Makalali provide these experiences through their special boma dinner under the African sky where guests can fully explore food in a unique and exciting way. 
The friendly waiting staff are called Muchindas which means “a servant to the king” & guests can expect to be treated with the utmost respect. 
If one is looking for a personalised & intimate dinner experience, the private sala dinner is a perfect option.
Among the various culinary experiences, other options include the indoor-outdoor area where guests can tuck into a plated dinner or enjoy family-style dinning alongside other guests. 
Healthy children’s meals are also available on request and can be arranged with the Camp Manager or Chef. 

Other Attractions & Offsite Activities 
Guests can choose from an array of activities to take part in during their stay which are subject to availability. However, some activities may clash with the game drive times such as the hot air balloon rides. 

• Game drives
• Guided bush walks
• Children’s bush knowledge course
• Morning or afternoon hot air balloon rides (up to 10 guests per balloon)
• Golfing excursions at the Hans Merensky golf course
• Cheetah breeding 
• Gin stops
• Lazer shooting


Thatched Suites 

• Air conditioning
• Bath
• Coffee & tea station
• Fireplace
• Indoor & outdoor shower
• Private plunge pool
• Sitting area

Family Suite

• Air conditioning
• Bath
• Ceiling fan
• Coffee & tea station
• Free toiletries
• Indoor & outdoor shower
• Private plunge pool


• Swimming pool
• Boma area
• Enclosed dining area
• Lounge area
• Conferencing facilities 

The Reserve which is just a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg was founded in 1994 & consists of 26 000 hectares of Lowveld Acacia bush and open savanna grass land which all surround the lush river. Makalali Private Game Reserve represents a conservation mission to expand South Africa's green frontier by re-establishing the ancient wildlife migration routes that linked the famous Kruger Park in the east to the lush Drakensberg Mountains in the west. In the process lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, and rhino have all been reintroduced to the wild, making Makalali home to over one thousand wild animals including all of Africa's "Big Five".
Unlike the reserves along Kruger National Park borders, Makalali's Bushland is undulating with elevated viewpoints giving panoramic views of the reserve. The expansive area is covered with Jackalberry, Knobthorn and Marula trees.


Directions from Johannesburg 

The distance from Johannesburg to Makalali is 506km
Take the N1 North towards Pretoria
Take the N4 East to eMalahleni (previously Witbank) and onwards to Belfast (Pretoria to Belfast ± 240km)
Turn left o¬ the highway to Belfast
In Belfast, turn right at Belfast Toyota onto the Dullstroom/Mashishing (previously Lydenberg) road (R540)
At the T-junction (R540 & R36) turn left to Mashishing (previously Lydenberg)
In Mashishing, at the Ohrigstad sign, turn left and follow the main road of Mashishing (De Clerq Street) on the Ohrigstad road (R36)
Follow the R36 through Ohrigstad and through the Strijdom Tunnel
Turn left towards Tzaneen (still R36)
There is a Total garage on your left - This is also your last petrol stop before the lodge
Follow the road over Olifants River, past the Oaks (local village) and past Phalaborwa / Mica turno¬(± 10 km) and follow Makalali signs
Turn right at Gravelotte turnoff¬, this road becomes a gravel road. Proceed through the boom gate
Travel ± 17 km on the gravel road to the Makalali Main Gate on your right hand side

Directions from Hazyview

At the 4-way stop in Hazyview take the turn o¬ff towards Sabie
Go through Sabie towards Graskop
Through Graskop towards God's Window
At the T-junction turn right towards the Abel Erasmus Pass
Go through the JG Strijdom tunnel
Take a left turn on the R36 towards Tzaneen
Turn right onto the Gravelotte Road
Continue for about 10km until you see the Makalali stone pillars

Directions from Hoedspruit

From Hoedspruit take the R527 towards Mashishing (prev. Lydenberg)
Follow the road till you reach the Tzaneen turn o¬ff and turn right here (R36)
Follow this road for +- 9km and turn right at the Makalali Game Reserve sign and onto a dirt road
You will come to a boom gate proceed through the boom
Follow this dirt road for another - 9km then turn right into the Makalali Game Reserve Gate

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