Makanyane Safari Lodge is a small, privately-owned luxury safari lodge in the malaria-free, ‘Big Five’ Madikwe Game Reserve, in the north-west of South Africa.

There is a lot of wow factor with the entire Makanyane experience, incredible suites, expert guides, gourmet food and its renowned for its friendly service and it’s very special sleep out hide where for a night of your stay if you want to you can sleep out under the stars on the second floor of the hide and have your very own “Out of Africa” experience. 

The lodge is made up of a beautiful main building and eight magnificent suites, which lie hidden in the lush forest, and provide stunning views over the Marico River.

It accommodates a maximum of sixteen guests, to ensure that each guest has privacy and individual attention. The lodge is set on a private land-holding of 1,800 hectares within the 76,000 hectares of the Madikwe Game Reserve.

The Marico River runs along the edge of the private concession, which is also bisected by a ravine, attracting the game to this area of the Madikwe, where there is permanent water – and no other visitors.

Game is prolific in Madikwe. Unlike other parts of Africa where long drives are necessary, here you can look forward to a 2 to 3 hour drive in the morning, leaving lots of time to relax by the pool, have a sumptuous breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and then head out for an afternoon drive from 4.30 – 7.30pm.

For downtime you may like to enjoy a relaxing or invigorating spa treatment on your suite’s terrace or if you’ve eaten too much you might try and work it off in the gym. The walking safaris are hugely rewarding and educational.

Safari’s at Makanyane are personal, relaxed and filled with lots of fun. A great team at the lodge give you a truly special stay and you will leave bowled over with the beauty and incredible game that you have seen in Madikwe. 


Each of the eight secluded suites have glass walls overlooking the river - so that you can watch the wildlife from your bed and this clever design really connects you with the wilderness. Or sleep out under the stars on your private elevated viewing deck. Suites are equipped with ceiling fans and air-conditioning, as well as fireplaces and heating, so that they can be enjoyed year-round. The impressive bathrooms have under-floor heating as well as indoor and outdoor showers. Their wide, folding doors can be opened to allow you to savour the scents and sounds of the bush from the luxurious freestanding bathtub.

Makanyane also has an incredible sleep out hide where, for a night of your stay, if you are able to forego the luxury of your suite, you can sleep outside under the stars and absorb the African wilderness all on your own. Select few places in Africa offer this experience and it is an incredible one, providing the adventurous with their very own “Out of Africa” experience, listening to the surrounding sounds of the bush and embracing the African wilderness under a huge canopy of stars. Surrounded by romantic lanterns and perched safely on a second-storey platform, your bed for the night is unforgettable, one of the most magical experiences ever!


Day and night drives on Makanyane’s private land and on the 75,00 hectares of Madikwe allow you to discover the sights of the African bush from the comfort and safety of an open safari vehicle. There are never more than 7 people in a vehicle, so the ranger can give personal attention to each guest, each of whom has an unobstructed view. There may also be an impromptu game drive in response to game activity near camp. Game walks, accompanied by armed and experienced rangers, allow you to experience the solitude of the bush and examine its less obvious aspects.

Makanyane has a number of hides where you can just relax and watch the birds and animals conduct their daily lives. The ‘Star-View Sleep Out’ enables you to have a direct experience of night in the African bush, without the barrier of even glass walls and roofs. Your bed will be made up on the upper deck of a hide deep in the bush, next to a waterhole. Fall asleep under the brilliant stars to the sounds of the wild.


Makanyane's main lodge is located on the edge of a ravine, and overlooks a stream-filled waterhole shaded by a dense canopy of trees. The thatched roof of the lounge and dining room are supported by enormous, ancient leadwood trees. The spacious lounge area has two rock fireplaces and opens out onto a wide wooden deck - where is the bar - hanging over the ravine and waterhole below. The dining room also opens onto the vast deck area. You can buy souvenirs and bush wear at the curio shop or visit the library area or extensive wine cellar.

Close to the main lodge is the boma, an open air dining area enclosed by bush and trees. Above the dining room, the elevated position of the air-conditioned den and viewing deck provides panoramic views of the grasslands. The heated swimming pool is an ideal place to take advantage of the African sun while enjoying the idyllic scenery. Its location, above a waterhole, makes it a good place for game viewing, too. The lodge is also well equipped with a gym and a bush spa. Not too far from the pool, an isolated viewing deck stands on the edge of the plains: this is the good spot to enjoy a drink while watching elephants, zebra and impala...


The quality of Makanyane's food and wines is exceptional.  It is the skilful blend of African and European 5-star experience with the flavours and fresh local produce of the area that combine to create a memorable dining experience. The cuisine is complimented by South African wines from Makanyane's extensive and imaginative cellar.

Breakfast and dinner may be served in the bush. Enjoying delicious food, its aromas commingling with the scents of wood fire and the African bush, is truly unforgettable. Makanyane’s kitchen can provide vegetarian, Kosher and Halaal meals.


Makanyane welcomes children over the age of 12, but extra beds cannot be provided in the suites.

Want to know more?

Call our Travel Specialists for a chat with our experts. They'll share their first-hand insights so you can find your perfect holiday.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
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