A firm favourite with Turquoise, Sanctuary Makanyane is one of those special places which never fails to tug at the heart strings of all those who visit! It certainly put the little known Madikwe Game Reserve on the map for Turquoise! Just an hour's flight by light aircraft from Johannesburg (or just under 4 hours by road), the malaria free Madikwe (on the border with Botswana) is one of South Africa's premier game viewing regions, despite being less recognised than its neighbours closer to the Kruger. You can see the Big Five here and what's more, you can also opt to sleep-out under the stars - the ultimate nocturnal African bush experience! Makanyane has wow factor in abundance - and add to that, eight incredible suites, exceptional staff and fabulous gourmet food - there's little wonder why we have sent numerous happy guests to Makanyane over the past 12 years and many plan to return! Named after the rare African wild dog which roams the surrounding landscape, this intimate safari lodge promises adventure and enchantment delivered with a quiet understated charm. Makanyane has an endearing respect for its unique location. Constructed from local stone, wood and thatch so as to have minimal environmental impact, the lodge oozes a true sense of place.
Designed by a team of award-winning architects, the lodge is tucked away on a private 4,500 acre concession within a lush forest by the Marico River (the only permanent water source in the reserve and a hot spot for game viewing). The main lodge is set on the edge of a ravine and overlooks a waterhole frequented by game. The spacious living and dining area opens out on to a wide wooden outdoor deck which takes full advantage of the dramatic outlook.
Your stylish bush refuge is one of just eight spacious secluded suites, hidden in the forest, each with a fabulous bathroom with free-standing bath, indoor and outdoor shower and wraparound glass walls which embrace the natural beauty of their surroundings. The entire front of the ensuite can be opened to the bush. Watch out for passing elephants!
Every guest should experience the “sleep out under the stars” - a bed draped with a mosquito net on a double-storey structure tucked away in a secluded part of Makanyane's private reserve, just a 15 minute drive from the lodge. Known as 'the hide', it overlooks a waterhole and enjoys spectacular views out over the Madikwe Game Reserve. The enclosed first level has a covered living area, a toilet and a balcony whilst the upper level is open to the sky and it is here that your romantic mosquito-net-draped bed is set up for a night beneath a canopy of stars! The'sleep-out' offers a truly magical and romantic “Out of Africa” moment and it's well worth foregoing a night of luxury in your suite for this unique once-in-a-lifetime under the stars opportunity! Drift off to sleep listening to the animal noises and watch the stars and sunrise from your open-air deck! Enjoy dinner at the sleep-out or head out after dinner. Drinks, snacks, torches and spotlights to watch the game are all provided, along with a two-way radio. Your suite at the lodge is always kept for you.
Throw away your diet - Makanyane's food is too good to resist! 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 exceptional dining experience is complemented by fine wines from the award-winning wine cellar. What's more - you can dine in a variety of locations - by candlelight on the deck of your suite, by the sparkling pool, on the main deck under a canopy of stars or in the open-air boma next to a blazing fire! You can even enjoy a 'bush braai' out in the reserve surrounded only by flickering lanterns!
The guides at Sanctuary Makanyane are some of the best, not only in the Madikwe, but arguably in South Africa! They know the area inside out! they are fun, passionate and they will not only show you a huge amount of wildlife, but will teach you about the surrounding environment and will beguile you with interesting bush tales and stories of local legends. Also, the head guide here is like the Crocodile Dundee of the bush!
Whilst you might not have heard a lot about Madikwe it is malaria free, and for those in the know it is in fact becoming THE reserve of choice in South Africa and for good reason. The reserve is one of the largest in South Africa, is responsibly managed and has an abundance of the Big 5, a myriad of bird species, cheetahs and brown hyenas. It is the best place in South Africa to see wild dog, also called “Makanyane” and isn’t commercial and busy with tourists. The landscape is vast, rugged and varied; it is truly beautiful and is the best example of a responsible tourism programme in Africa. In Madikwe you won’t have long uneventful game drives and you do a lot less driving in Madikwe compared to other African safari’s as there is so much game in the reserve which allows you lots of time for rest and relaxation in the wonderful lodge and enjoy its facilities.
PLAY & PAMPER
Sanctuary Makanyane also has a gym which you might make use of to work off all the wonderful food! After an exhilarating game drive, you can relax with a revitalising massage, either on your private deck or in the spa and the spa offers a range of other great treatments. 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 and the “Little 5”.
Above and beyond the above, a safari at Makanyane offers you an incredible safari that is a much cheaper option than going to other better known parks in South Africa – this lodge is an ideal option for honeymooners, romantic breaks and families.
Privacy and personalised service are paramount here. As a guest, you can be assured of individual attention.
All game drives, meals and drinks are included in the rates (non-house drinks are chargeable)