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Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge

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- Glass walled bedrooms with river views
- Morning and evening game drives
- Game walks, sleep-outs under the stars
- Heated infinity pool, spa, gym

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Nestled beside the serene Marico River amidst 1800 hectares of privately owned land, Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge offers an appealing combination of adventure and luxurious relaxation in the heart of the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. This charming and characterful retreat is constructed from local stone, wood, and thatch and set on the edge of a ravine with suberb views of the surrounding bush. There are eight elegant, secluded guest suites, along with a heated infinity pool, a spa, an on-site gym and an extensive wine cellar.

All suites house glass-walled bedrooms for unobstructed views of the river and the surrounding forest. Each suite also has an en-suite bathroom that opens out to the bush with both an indoor and outdoor shower, an open-front lounge, and a private sundeck. Open air sleep-outs at the lodge's hide are also possible.

The main lodge provides a perfect, elevated vantage point for spotting the local wildlife while perhaps enjoying a glass of fine wine from the award-winning wine list. Dinner is served here, and there’s also a library area, a curio shop, and an upstairs den for quiet and privacy.

The game drives at Makanyane are superb. Lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and black and white rhino are often seen and, although less common, sightings of cheetahs, giraffes, and brown hyenas are not unheard of. There are two game drives per day – one in the early morning and the other in the late afternoon which continues into the evening, revealing glimpses of the area’s nocturnal wildlife. Game walks are also recommended and one of the highlights is sleeping under the stars in the outdoor hide.

While children are welcome at Sanctuary Mankanyane, it must be said that the atmosphere is adult in feel and so it's not really suitable for families with young children. Note that children under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate in walking excursions and due to the rural nature of the lodge, parents are reminded that children of all ages should remain under adult supervision at all times.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    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!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan 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

    MissingCatherine 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!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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