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A Weekend of Luxury and the Big 5

A Weekend of Luxury and the Big 5

My first stop was the wonderful Tintswalo Safari Lodge where I was warmly welcomed by the owners Ernest and Gaye and made to feel instantly at home.   This lodge is situated in the private Manyeleti Reserve concession which is between Timbavati to the north and Sabi Sand Reserve to the south.   It is open to the Greater Kruger National Park.  It really is an untouched Big 5 wilderness experience.  The fact that there are only a couple of lodges on the reserve ensures that only on the rare occasion will you see another game drive vehicle passing you which really does enhance your game viewing experience.

The lodge is situated along a riverbed which is often frequented by game especially Elephant.  All the rooms are linked to the main lodge by raised wooden walkways. There are a total of 6 suites and then there is a 2 bedroomed Presidential Suite which is excellent for families or friends travelling together. Each of the rooms are authentically decorated and have a theme from the 19th century African explorers.   All suites have private plunge pools and the bathrooms boast both indoor and outdoor showers.

For those clients wanting a bit more exclusivity or for bigger families travelling together there is also the Manor House which sleeps a total of 10 people.  The house has its own swimming pool, traditional boma and is very flexible as you will be allocated your own vehicle, guide and tracker during your stay.

During our stay the staff were always on hand and ready to assist and please.  Lovely touches like hot water bottles in the game drive vehicles and in bed once we had returned from dinner, lovely turndowns and baths run with petals everywhere.  There was a nice variety for meals and we enjoyed a spectacular bush breakfast on the morning of departure in the dry riverbed and some of the staff surprised us with some traditional singing just to finish off our meal and set the tone for the rest of the day. 

We then moved to our next lodge, Royal Malewane’s Africa House Villa which is the newest addition to the lodge, pure luxury!  This lodge is situated in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve which is adjacent to Kruger National Park and offers some fantastic game viewing opportunities. Nothing is too much trouble for any of the staff and they all go out of their way to please. Their ranger and trackers are very experienced with some of the highest qualifications and they have been working at the lodge for a number of years.  Big 5 sightings are fantastic and the chances of seeing both black and white rhino during your stay are very good.

We had the privilege of staying in the Africa House Villa and we were personally welcomed by the owners Phil and Liz.  This Villa is perfect option for a “family style” luxury lodge accommodation or for a small group and it is situated away from the main lodge and it totally self-contained.  It sleeps up to a maximum of 12 people and you will be allocated your own staff for your stay including a chef, ranger and tracker.  People staying at Africa House are also able to make use of the shop and award-winning spa at Royal Malewane main lodge. This is really a beautiful bush villa and perfect for those clients wanting privacy, personalized service with a home away from home feeling. The furnishings throughout the villa are quite eclectic with lots of bright colours, leathers, antiques and Persian Rugs.  Each of the 6 rooms have en-suite bathrooms with their own deck, private outdoor showers and four poster beds which are romantically draped with mosquito nets. Lovely turndowns each evening with a hot water bottle in bed as well as a Royal Malewane “newspaper” keeping you up to date with the happenings in the real world!

We ended our trip with a surprise bush dinner in true style and luxury surrounded by fires, lanterns, Persian carpets and even a flushing toilet under the stars. We were served an outstanding meal which was paired by various wines.  It was the perfect way to end our luxury safari retreat!

To enjoy your own tailormade luxury safari experience contact the Southern Africa Travel team to start planning your dream African vacation today.


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