A WARM WELCOME TO MAKANYI

Here at Makanyi we are dedicated to creating the most memorable tailor-made guest experience possible whilst respecting our natural environment and its incredible inhabitants. As privileged custodians of this inspiring land, we are thrilled to share our knowledge and constant sense of wonder with you.

Located on the western edge of the Kruger National Park, an area that spans over 2.4 million hectares, the Timbavati Game Reserve is truly exceptional in that it is easily accessible from main air and road access routes and yet remains wild and unspoilt with fewer lodges and private homes than can be counted on one hand. It is this unique situation that allows our guests the luxury of exploring this arresting habitat uninhibited by other tourist vehicles in total privacy and flexibility. This intimate and exclusive setting offers a truly authentic safari experience. 

A stay at family owned Makanyi begins and ends with our guest’s happiness and, to this end, authenticity, attention to detail and total flexibility are paramount to every stay with us.

Makanyi is so much more than a safari lodge. We want you to love this place as much as we do, to take it to your heart and embrace a fuller understanding of nature and a deeper respect for animals – for this is their home.   We would love for you to leave with not just an amazing photo album of all the wonderful sightings you will have had, but especially with something in your heart that you will carry inside you forever.

ACCOMMODATION

RATES

ACTIVITIES

LODGE GALLERY

cary590l
cary590l
2021-08-30
THE BEST PLACE TO VISIT THE BUSH We have just returned from staying at the Villa at Makanyi Lodge. When booking - Carmen was extremley efficient and answered all my queries within the hour. She was the main reason we booked there. When we arrived we were attended to completely by Amos the Chef and Cecilia. They were incredible. Carl and Sakkie were our guide and tracker and were very knowledgeable and tracked Cheetah, Wild dogs, Leopard and Lion. Incredible sightings of all the game. Our every need was catered for and we could not have enjoyed it more. We were there for 6 nights so we had a real experience. Well done to you all - it was an experience of a life time and we will definitely be back
Josh B
Josh B
2021-07-13
If you're reading this... If you're reading this, you are curious about where to STAY, not about what animals you'll see so I wont list them all except to say this. We saw EVERYTHING including the extremely rate White Lions. This was actually a surprise considering they had not been seen in more than 2 years and were feared dead. Since Timbavati is an unfenced reserve they happened to reappear at just the right time for us. We knew it was special event when even our veteran Ranger and Tracker excitedly pulled out their own cameras! We spent 14 nights at 4 different luxury lodges, taking bush planes from the nearby airstrips to 4 different reserves (Timbavati, Sabi, Savannah and Madikwe). Makanyi being the first. There is a family feel to this place, probably because several staff members are couples. Everyone just seemed comfortably happy to be there. We were treated as valued guests, never felt like a burden and every request was instantly fulfilled but it also felt like we were part of the lodge as well, in the best sense. The villas (and it is truly a standalone villa, not even close to a "room") are gorgeous! Three separate comfortable living areas, king bed, fire place, couches, sitting area, large bathroom, storage, etc. We did not have our own pool here but being 45 degrees in the morning and evening that was not a problem. There was a deck area where we could sit outside and relax as well as an outdoor shower. We routinely saw animals wandering by. The main lodge is equally beautiful, with the same overall "decor" of the villas. Extremely stylish but effortlessly so. Everything, including the staff just fit... Food was 5 star, what else can be said. Delicious, varied, and beautiful presentation. My wife is a pescatarian which they already knew about before we arrived and they had a full menu choice for her at every meal. Extensive bar, self serve if you wanted but you'd miss a great bartender in Peter! Ranger Alfred and Tracker Themba were an incredible team. We had some great teams at our other stays but these guys were by our favorite to watch as they found and processed information to locate various animals that were always on the move. Extremely knowledgeable, low key but also entertaining. The spa experience at Makanyi was excellent. We both had massages, and the treatment was WAY above that of the other lodges. I think it was Catherine? sorry if I got that wrong... There is also a great little gym which was a requirement of ours when we were looking at lodges. The treadmill suffered a breakdown during our stay but Nico was on top of getting a repair person on the way almost immediately. Impressive considering were in the middle of nowhere.. Nico and Carmen are the GMs, they are very involved, take pride in the lodge and no details are overlooked. After i realized the inadequacy of my camera Nico even helped me arrange a rental SLR camera and huge lens to be flown in which I kept for the duration of our travel, (Email Natalie at info@Africaphotographicservices.co.za she's great!). Bottom line. You wont regret Makanyi. An all-around GREAT place. We've stayed at the high end Sabi lodges and this is everything they are but Timbavati reserve is far less touristy.. Check out Jamala Madikwe in the Jamala reserve if you're trip allows for time to see different terrains with an equally amazing lodge but dont miss Makanyi!
USCtraveller
USCtraveller
2021-06-05
An Amazing Luxury Camp! When we booked Makanyi we were hoping to have a once-in-a-lifetime luxury visit and they sure delivered. From the moment we arrived and were greeted by Rico, Carmen, and the rest of the team we were treated like family. Later we met Jessica, the lodge’s owner, and she was just as accommodating. Makanyi is truly a luxury camp. The suites are spectacular and include a luxurious king-sized bedroom, living room with fireplace, a bathroom with double sinks, tub, and shower and a separate dressing/closet area. Additionally, you have an outdoor deck and shower, both with views of the watering hole where lots of wildlife congregate. The main lodge is just as spectacular with a dining area, living room, bar, and an upstairs library. Additionally, there is lots of outdoor deck and barbeque space where many of the meals are served, weather permitting. All areas allow you to look out at the dam/watering hole to see the wildlife. The food is top-notch. Every meal is a treat and Tact, the chef, offered us several different entrees for each meal. Meals are frequent with a small buffet breakfast available before the morning game drive, then a full breakfast upon your return, followed by a lunch, afternoon tea and then dinner after the evening game drive. Additionally, during your game drives, there is a break where drinks and snacks are served. Thank goodness the lodge has a very well-equipped gym! Contrary to a previous reviewer, that visited during Covid with a deal for locals, we were international travelers with full access to their premium brand liquors and lodge’s extensive wine cellar. The drinks and wine offered at Makanyi were all complimentary and were the highest quality we received amongst the 3 camps we visited. The lodge also offers spa services. My wife had a facial and I received a massage, both provided by Catherine. She is spectacular. We would highly recommend taking advantage of her services. Our game drives were amazing, and we had several truly memorable experiences. Our guide/driver was Carl, and our tracker was Themba. They worked excellent as a team tracking wildlife. Carl was personable, knowledgeable, and well-informed. His voice was clear, and he spoke loud enough that we could hear him (which is sometimes difficult in a moving vehicle). Keeping with the luxury of the camp, the safari vehicle was the most comfortable and well-equipped of our trip. All guests were provided blankets, binoculars, and hot water bottles for the cold morning drives. As for game viewing, we were able to see all the big 5 and lots of other wildlife. Our spectacular, truly memorable experiences included a group of lions harassing some rhinos, a wild ride through the bush following a leopard, a couple of hippos fighting and finally our guides tracked/discovered a deceased rhino that was being feasted upon by a male lion. Since rhinos are rare and protected, the local authorities were called in to investigate the cause of the rhino’s death and remove the valuable horn. Our stay at Makanyi was truly memorable. We were Makanyi’s first foreign guests since the beginning of Covid and the staff treated us to an amazing experience. We truly hope we get another opportunity to visit Jessica, Rico, Carmen, and the rest of the fabulous Makanyi family again in the future.
Jody A
Jody A
2020-12-13
A “GAME” Changing Experience (excuse the pun) Makanyi Lodge - an absolute must see & must do - bucket list item! Situated in the Greater Kruger National Park on the Timbavati Game Reserve, Jessica Gold and her team at Makanyi has absolutely outdone themselves over the past few years. If you’re a local, I’d recommend you take advantage of the SADC specials they have at the moment, because it’s predominantly over the past few years welcomed guests from all over the world. If you’re from outside of the SADC region, I’d recommend you spend your Euros, Pounds, Dollars etc here as it’s simply world class. Besides the unbelievable sightings of the Big 5, the coolest bush tales I’ve heard from Rico, Warren & Carl (Game Rangers at Makanyi), and the epic facts one learns about the bush, the fauna & flora, the experience at this exquisite 5 star lodge is just out of this world! Oh, and thankfully, there’s air-con - because it gets 🥵!!! (40-degrees in the shade - as my dad would say) Can’t wait to be back (soon) - flights are booked 😂 Check @makanyilodge on Instagram & check out my insta for more too - @heyjody_
Borat4
Borat4
2020-11-07
Game and relaxing What an asome place to be a long weekend with friends and enjoy everything is given by nature. Companied by a tracker and ranger, sorry I need to say two more than formidable nature and game lovers. Looking, running and driving all extra miles to find bigs and smalls of this incredible nature. And coming back in the lodge there is all fresh ingredients waiting for you! Please can you explain to me why you didn't go to this lodge? Nothing can stop you, go! Wonderful job you have made to us! TXS!!
Carlos
Carlos
2020-03-23
Um pedaço do Paraíso. Desde a recepção no Aeroporto até a despedida, foram momentos mágicos para mim e minha Família. A agradável recepção no Lodge, cordialidade das pessoas, momentos de raro prazer e contato com a Natureza, foram inesquecíveis. E sou muito exigente. Guias gentis, orientação me relação aos cuidados impecável, alimentação variada e curiosa, oferecendo pratos típicos e variados.Cito nominalmente nosso guia nos 4 dias em que lá ficamos, Alfred, a hostess Cam. Tudo impecável, recomendo muito.
Shaun C
Shaun C
2020-03-17
The Best Vacation of Our Lives! This trip was beyond incredible. Makanyi helped me set up a surprise proposal for my girlfriend. They were so helpful via email before we arrived setting up the surprise (sunset drinks in the bush during our afternoon safari!). I read this in another review and I agree wholeheartedly: the staff is like a mix of the Four Seasons and the Waldorf Astoria. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help. You do feel like it is complete luxury. The food is outstanding, the amenities are first class and I really can't imagine how you would improve the safari experience. Thank you to everyone at Makanyi for making this a trip of a lifetime.
AbeLincoln115
AbeLincoln115
2020-01-28
Incredible, memorable, unique experience I knew I was in for something special for my four-night visit here when the Seasons in Africa company driver who provided private transfers to & from the airport told me the only "complaint" she had ever heard from visitors to Makanyi was the amount of great food to be had there. The driver, who provided year-round transfers for guests to many of the private game lodges found in this part of the Timbavati region, often visited the Makanyi lodge and said she was amazed at the intimate "family-feeling" it offered. She was absolutely right on both counts. On arrival, you will be warmly greeted by the three friendly and engaging ladies who staff the small reception area in the center of the complex: Lillian, Kim, and Elinda who will likely escort you to your room and explain all of its amenities. Like many of the luxury safari camps, Makanyi is on the small end with only seven cabins (two with private plunge pools) and a two bedroom "villa" set away from the others. The seven cabins (as well as an eighth, room 5, which is the resort spa) extend in a straight line north to south, and look out towards a watering hole about 150 meters away which attracts wildlife all day and night. Guests can sit and watch the wildlife gather near the watering hole either from the public deck and swimming pool areas (where meals are served) or from their cabin's private deck which is raised about three feet off the ground. Privacy is assured because guests and staff are not allowed to roam the grassy areas between the building/cabin decks and the electric fence that surrounds the entire property so you never actually see anyone when you enjoy the views from your cabin. I've been to some of the best safari lodges in Southern Africa but Makanyi's cabins were among the most spacious and well-furnished I have ever seen. Perhaps this is because Makanyi Lodge is only four years old and the beauty and luxury of everything is still pretty intact. My air-conditioned cabin had a large living room which extended outdoors if one opened the sliding glass door; a huge bathroom complex with separate toilet room, indoor shower, and raised bathtub in the middle of the room; and a king-sized bed with mosquito netting (and a ceiling fan). Your small refrigerator nearby will be stocked with complimentary drinks of your choice, alcoholic or otherwise. (Apparently only the speciality champagne served at the bar costs extra, so drink to your heart's content.) Slide your bedroom doors open (they even have separate screen doors to keep out the bugs on warm days) and you face your deck looking out towards the watering hole. And at the end of your deck there is an outdoor shower, absolutely perfect for hot summer days. I took one every day I was there and felt it was very refreshing and liberating -- not a soul to be seen anywhere because of the way the whole complex is designed! Game drives were wonderfully relaxing and satisfying -- Makanyi has everything you'd want to see (the Big Five) and many more, including wild dog. Because it was the height of the summer, many of the animals had given birth so we enjoyed seeing lion cubs, baby buffalo, baby elephants, impala "nurseries" and many others. And there is nothing cuter than seeing baby warthogs follow their parents in a straight line, their little tails all raised as if in salute. Too too cute!!! Carl, our ranger/driver was excellent, keeping us properly informed about everything we'd see (including birds, plants, animal tracks, even animal droppings!) without being boring or loquacious. He clearly loved his job and it showed. Rondy our tracker was also helpful and worked well with Carl as a team. And yes, the food was indeed plentiful and delicious throughout, chef Tact doing a really terrific job of serving a myriad of local dishes, including warthog steaks for dinner one night, that kept us coming back for more. His morning muffins baked right before before the game drives began (around 6 am) were absolutely scrumptious, breakfasts after the game drives ended left no one hungry, lunches followed anytime after 1 pm, and they even offered light sweet and savory refreshments before the afternoon game drives began (around 4). Dinner -- if you had any room left after the drive ended -- always offered a range of tasty dishes and desserts to choose from. Makanyi offered me a truly relaxing, pampered, five day experience that I will not forget anytime soon. (I still regard the hot stone massage I received there as one of the best I have ever experienced anywhere in the world.) And to say it exceeded my expectations is a total understatement. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Makanyi has to be experienced at least once in everyone's lifetime. I am already looking to book my return.
Shelly S
Shelly S
2020-01-14
An experience of a lifetime that you can’t miss! An African Safari had always been a dream bucket list trip of mine and I was finally able to make it happen. Finding the perfect safari lodge was overwhelming as there are so many factors but once I came across Makanyi I had a feeling that this place would be special, and special it was. When we arrived we were welcomed with sparkling wine by Kim and a rundown of important details for our next 3 days by Elinda. I’ll break my review down and start with the most important part! Safari Drives: The safari drives were educational, relaxing, comfortable and of course thrilling! This was all thanks to our amazingly talented guide Warren and tracker Solly. We saw the big five, we even got to witness a lion kill a baby impala and selfishly hide her kill from the rest of the pride. We watched a leopard jump from a tree, we heard the constant grunting of hippos in the distance, watched an elephant splash itself with water to cool off, a warthog bathing in mud and 360 views of buffalo eating grass surrounding the truck. We saw giraffes fighting, hyenas, zebras, tons of waterbuck, impala, kudu, and so much more. The great thing about being on a private reserve is that you’re able to go off the main roads to get very close to the animals and I can now say that I’ve made eye contact with multiple lions. Makanyi is very far from majority of the other lodges so you barely see any other vehicles and therefore the trackers and guides have to work hard to find the wildlife, like identifying fresh footprints in the sand. It offers a more authentic safari, which we truly appreciated. There were only max 4 of us who shared a safari vehicle the entire time, even in peak season, so it also made for a more private and personal experience. The accommodations: When we arrived were escorted to our room which was privately tucked away in the right corner of the resort. The room was absolutely massive with a sitting area, fire place, king size bed and a expansive luxurious bathroom. We also had a plunge pool and outdoor shower on the deck that covered the length of our room. The rest of Makanyi was gorgeous, the main pool overlooked a large watering hole where you can watch the wildlife wander. The food: We would soon learn how much food we would be offered throughout our time at Makanyi as we made our way to “high tea” which is a snack before the afternoon safari drive. Expect to be fed 7 times per day so you will never be hungry! Breakfast after the safari drives was probably my favorite (“3rd breakfast” is what we called it) but all the food was delicious, plentiful, fresh, and made to order. You can tell the chef truly takes pride in his food. The staff: The staff were warm, welcoming, and would do anything to make sure your stay at Makanyi was perfect. Thank you so much for your hospitality. Other: Makanyi’s water is filtered and safe to brush your teeth with and drink. It’s a nice feeling not having to worry about the water getting you sick. There are quite a few bugs (you are in the African bush) so just be prepared. Makanyi offers bug spray in your room as well as sunscreen, bug spray, and water while on the safari. Overall, you reallyyyyy need to go, this place will not disappoint, it might just be my favorite place in the world 🙂

Awards & Accreditation

Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
P.O. Box 883 – Hoedspruit 1380
South Africa

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