- Small and characterful luxury lodge
- Big 5 safaris, guided walks, river cruises
- Near Elephant Park & Shamwari Reserve
- Mini observatory and telescope on site
Amakhala Safari Lodge is one of eleven lodges scattered throughout South Africa’s privately owned Amakhala Game Reserve. The reserve was set up in 2011 in order to reintroduce to the area a number of animal species that hadn’t roamed freely there for many years. The lodge has a somewhat intimate atmosphere and is set apart from the others in the reserve by its distinctive safari huts whose thatched rooftops are capped with stone. Though the lodge has a pleasant and serene character, its immediate surroundings are brimming with vibrant and diverse wildlife. Even just sitting in the lounge area, guests have a view of a watering hole and will often see zebra and antelope quenching their thirst - it’s not uncommon to see monkeys as well.
At the lodge there are a total of 11 luxury suites fashioned in the style of traditional safari huts, each one of which comfortably accommodates two people. All suites are air conditioned and have mosquito nets draped over the beds along with a private plunge pool, a spacious separate lounge area, a double bath and an outdoor shower. The entire lodge sports an authentic African tribal theme in keeping with its game reserve setting.
Exploring the reserve is without doubt a must-do while staying at the lodge. The morning and evening Big 5 game drives steal the show, revealing African elephants, Cape buffaloes, African lions, rhinoceroses, African leopards and many others. Trips to both the Addo Elephant National Park and the Shamwari Game Reserve are also possible, as well as cruises up the Bushman’s River and guided walks. Three meals a day are served and a traditional kudu horn is blown to summon guests to dinner. Meals can be enjoyed out in the open underneath the stars and the lodge has a mini observatory complete with a telescope for those interested in astronomy.
Children are welcome. While the lodge doesn’t offer too much in the way of child-friendly facilities, youngsters are sure to enjoy going out on game drives and getting to see the local wildlife. As the lodge is set in an open reserve, parents are reminded to keep an eye on their children at all times.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019