As you arrive at Makanyane Safari Lodge, you will find yourself surrendering to a lush forest setting with awe-inspiring views of the tranquil Marico River. Makanyane, an exclusive safari lodge on 1,800 hectares of private land within the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve, is home to Africa’s Big Five, a myriad of bird species, cheetahs, brown hyenas and of course the African Wild Dog or "Makanyane".
Designed by the team of architects behind Singita Boulders, the delightful main lodge houses a gracious dining room and lounge which spills out onto a wide wooden deck suspended over the ravine and waterhole below. The upstairs viewing deck offers panoramic views under a sweeping thatched roof, while traditional stone walls offset splashes of bright colour, soft creams and dark wood to give Makanyane its unique chic edge.
Shaded by a dense canopy of trees, Makanyane's eight stunning suites look out over the river through large glass-panel walls. The suites are of splendid proportion and feature spacious bedrooms leading into an equally generous bathroom equipped with a free-standing bathtub, under-floor heating and a shower. Outside, a private patio and alfresco shower complete the picture. Privacy and personalised service are paramount here. As a guest, you can be assured of individual attention.
Meals are imaginatively prepared by the chef and his team who create unique menus, blending European and African flavours, using only the freshest local produce. The cuisine is complemented by fine South African wines from the lodge's extensive wine cellar.
Your ranger will beguile you with interesting tales of the local legends – and in the evenings, dinners are often served in the bush next to a glowing fire, with lanterns hanging in the trees. Makanyane also has a gym and a bush spa – whilst the elevated hide, in a thicket of trees, offers the chance for a luxury sleep-out under a canopy of stars. A bed draped with a mosquito net will be set up on the upper deck of the hide, which overlooks a waterhole deep in the bush, and staff will make sure you are fully prepared with wine, nibbles, a torch and an all-important two-way radio!
After an exhilarating game drive, you can relax with a revitalising massage, either on your private deck or in the spa. You will enjoy game drives in open safari vehicles as well as bush walks with experienced game rangers, who will lead you along game paths in the footsteps of the animals.
This is one of our favourite safari lodges in South Africa and we are delighted that it has introduced a family programme during the school holiday periods in February, April, August, October and Christmas. Children over the age of five years are invited to join the Makanyane Pup Junior Ranger Course – a fun-filled exciting course during which children are taught an endless array of exciting facts about the African bush and its conservation, alongside important survival skills, tracking skills and orientation skills. This course is run for approximately two hours each morning, after breakfast or brunch (depending on the season), allowing parents a bit of time to relax around the swimming pool or enjoy the gym and bush spa. There is a children’s’ menu and special dietary requirements are taken into consideration. Above all else, Makanyane provides children with an unforgettable wildlife experience, designed to stimulate, educate and entertain young minds whilst promoting a deep respect for the environment. Adventurous families with older children can opt for the ultimate nocturnal bush experience – a sleep-out under Africa’s stars at Makanyane’s unique elevated bush hide which overlooks a waterhole.
Children’s bush skills include learning how to find water in the bush, how to start a fire using a flint and kindling and even how to make a toothbrush and toothpaste in the wild (children discover which bush makes excellent toothbrushes and the ash of which tree makes toothpaste).
Junior Ranger activities include closely supervised target practice with bow and arrows (made by the children themselves) and a mini game walk exploring the banks of the river and bush in search of the fascinating small wildlife and insect life around the camp.
Children will learn how to recognise common animal tracks such as those left by elephant, rhino, hippo and lion and they will follow the animals’ movements with the ranger (each child has the chance to cast an actual bush track using Plaster of Paris – a wonderful keepsake).
Children receive a certificate signed by the ranger, and each child is given a seedling of an indigenous tree to plant in an area where trees are needed.
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