Makanyane Safari Lodge

Image of elephant walking past Makanyane suite, copyright Makanyane Safari Lodge

Location of Makanyane Safari Lodge

Ideally situated on 1800ha of private concession within the Malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. The closest exit gate from inside Madikwe is through Derdepoort Gate on the far north eastern side of Madikwe. Makanyane has its own gate just 5km down the road from the Derdepoort Gate. 

Entrance gate to Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadikweEntrance gate to Makanyane Safari Lodge

About Makanyane Safari Lodge

Makanyane Safari Lodge is beautifully designed to effortlessly blend with the surrounding bush and the wooden bridge from the parking area gives you access to the main lodge.

Wooden Bridge leading to Makanyane Safari LodgeJenny looking over the bridge that leads to the lodge

We had a great welcome from Lynette and Maretha, who then introduced us to the rest of the Makanyane team; it was time for our nice cold welcome drink, then Maretha showed us round the lodge.

As you enter you are transported into the large but cosy lounge area that has two stone fireplaces.  

Lounge at Makanyane Safari LodgeView of the lounge

The relaxed interior enhances the atmosphere of comfort in this idyllic environment, with the glass doors folding back to open out onto the wooden deck and another outdoor seating area that overlooks the Marico River. 

Makanyanes lounge with fireplaceCosy Lounge with fires going

A staircase from the dining room leads to an upstairs conference room with TV and Video library.

Wide view of the lounge with stair case leading upstairs at Makanyane Safari LodgeWide view of the lounge with stair case leading upstairs

Wi-Fi is available throughout the main lodge. Another set of stairs leads down to their well-stocked wine cellar.

The downstairs wine cellar at Makanayane Safari Lodge MadikweThe downstairs wine cellar

From the wooden deck next to the outside bar is the lovely infinity swimming pool, which gives you a view of the riverine forest and river. This is where I saw an elephant that had popped down for a drink.

The pool deck by day at Makanyane Safari LodgeThe pool deck

Makanyane Safari lodge is unfenced and animals walk freely through the lodge grounds so guests need to be escorted to their rooms after dinner. Just before our boma dinner I needed to collect something from our room and on the way I pumped into a large elephant bull.

I did not have my camera on me and by the time I wanted to go back and get it, it was too dark to take any decent pictures of the elephant without a tripod so I just observed him as he went about his business. 

Food and Drinks

Makanyane menuThe Makanyane Menu

The rustic bar is just off the lounge on the wooden deck overlooking the Marico River, this is where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink and share your bush experiences.

Bar at Makanyane Safari LodgeThe cosy bar area
Jen having a glass of red wine on the deck before dinner at Makanyane Safari LodgeJen having a glass of red wine on the deck before dinner

Dinners are served in a number of places; dining room, on the wooden deck, In our suite, round the fire place in the lounge, next to the swimming pool or in the boma.

On our first night we had dinner by the pool - 

Makanyane swimming pool at night with floating candlesswimming pool at night with floating candle, ready for dinner guest

here is the roast duck-breast with citrus...

Roast duck and citrus salad

All our meals were really great.....

Prawn Bisque at Makanyane Safari Lodge MadikwePrawn Bisque starter

a mini breakfast is served just before the morning game drive .....

Makanyane Tea and Coffee stationEarly morning mini breakfast set up with tea and coffee station

and a full breakfast after the morning game drive.

Jen at breakfast at Makanyane Safari LodgeJen at the breakfast table

A light lunch is then served at 14h00 – we had chicken samosas, salad and a nectarine tart or Gemsbok kebabs, fish, salad, stuffed mushrooms.

Afternoon tea is served just before the game drive goes out, so there is more than enough food to keep you going during the day!

High tea at Makanyane Safari Lodgespring rolls, two salads and beef with onion jam
dinner in the lounge area near the fire-place at Makanyane Safari lodgeDinner round the fire place

A gravel pathway behind the main lodge leads down to the boma which sits on the bank of Groot Marico River, a thatched lapa is where the food is served.

Makanyane Safari Lodge Boma dinnerThe boma is all set up and ready for the guests to arrive

On our third and last night we had a very nice boma dinner under the canopy of trees.

Makanyane's boma dinnerOur boma dinner in winter

The food was delicious; we had roast beef, chicken, vegetable biryani (very hot) great salads, roast potatoes, vegetables and for desert we had the most delicious malva pudding and homemade ice cream.

Mario and I, enjoying our summer boma dinner

during our winter stay we had a romantic dinner in our fire warmed suite....

Mario and I at dinner in our suite at Makanyane Safari LodgeRomantic dinner in our suite


There are 8 luxurious thatched suites spread out from the main lodge, suite 1 is just next to the entrance of the main lodge while the other suites are on the opposite side of the boma. Shaded graveled pathways will bring you to your private suite.

Bedroom at Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadkiweBedroom with a view

Large teak doors lead into the suites which are designed with natural rock and dried tree trunks as the feature of each suite, floor to ceiling glass windows in the bedrooms blends effortlessly with the riverine forest and offers exquisite views of the Marico River.

Suite at Makanyane Safari LodgeFront view of the suite with its large glass windows

The large en-suite bathrooms have wooden folding doors that open, allowing nature in while you enjoy a luxurious bath in a freestanding bathtub. 

Bathroom en suite at Makanyane Safari Lodge in Madikwea bath with a view

There is also a large indoor shower and a true to nature outdoor shower.

outside view of our suite at Mankanyane Safari LodgeA view of our outdoor shower

The open lounge with loungers and seating area has a private viewing deck that is the perfect place to relax while enjoying the sights and sounds of the African bush.

The covered patio lounge of our suite at Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadikweThe large covered patio lounge with a stunning view of the river
Side view of our suite at Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadikweSide view of our suite

Each suite has a fireplace, overhead fan, air-conditioner and heating system,  a telephone, tea and coffee facility, mini safe, a bar fridge, bathrobes, hairdryers, insect repellent, body and sun lotion.

Jen drinking coffee next to the fire place in our suiteA cup of coffee next to a cosy fire

The suites are well-spaced giving each guest the privacy they need. We had suite 8 which is on the far left of the main lodge building with a great view of the river.

Inside suite at Makanyane Safari Lodgeour own private view of the river

Makanyane's Hidden Tresure

A few kilometers away from the main lodge on an open plain lies Makanyane’s hidden treasure; a private sleep-out hide where you are able to sleep under the African sky!

A front view of the sleepout hide at Makanyane Safari LodgeFront view of the sleepout hide

The hide has three levels; as you enter through the door of the bottom level you go into the bathroom; it has a chemical toilet, a bowl of water with towels and soap for washing up.

Then the second level is the covered lounge/seating area with a tea / coffee station plus an open seating area and the top or 3rd level is the bedroom which is open to the great African sky.

the sleepout hide lounge area, Jen looking our from the top level

Dinner is brought to the hide with a lovely bottle of wine of your choice.....

Our hide dinner at MakanyaneOur hide dinner, of meat balls, chicken wings, salad and mushroom skewers

Twin mattresses lay on top of a raised platform with mosquito net. This level gives you a view over the Madikwe plains and a dry waterhole which sometimes fills up in the summer months after good rain. 

The hide at Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadikweOur bedroom under the stars

We got some lovely sunrise and sunset photographs from the hide....

Sunset Image taken from the sleepout hide at Makanyane Safari LodgeSunset Image taken from the sleepout hide
Sunrise Image taken from the sleepout hide at Makanyane Safari LodgeSunrise image taken from the sleepout hide

We had a wonderful night under the stars as the night sounds lulled us to sleep.

The stars at night image taken at our sleepout hide at Makanyane Safari Lodgesleeping under the beautiful star studded sky

Activities at Makanyane Safari Lodge

Try one of the many wellness treatments at the health center or have a work out in the gym; you can also have a treatment on the deck of your suite. There is a lovely spot to relax and that is on the sun deck, with wide open space round you.....

The sun deck is a nice place to relax at Makanyane Safari LodgeThe sun deck is a nice place to relax

Or you can relax round the infinity pool with a good book. The river runs right next to the deck so you may get to see one of the big 5 coming down for a drink like we did.

The infinity pool at Makanyane Safari Lodgethe infinity pool with a view

Two guided game drives per day, one early morning and one late afternoon giving you a chance to experience what the African bush has to offer.

Getting ready for our morning game drive at Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadikweGetting ready for our morning game drive

There is a morning coffee stop....

Jen warming up with her coffee at the coffee stop with Makanyane Safari LodgeJen warming up with her coffee
Mario at our coffee stop with Mankanyane Safari LodgeMario warming up with his coffee

and an evening sundowner stop for drinks and some snacks....

Sundowner stop at Makanyane Safari Lodgethe perfect sundowner spot
our drink stop while on game drive at MakanyaneDylan pouring our sundowner drinks

There are also guided walks.....

Guided walks with Manakanyane Safari LodgeOur guided walk with Dylan

Game Sightings

Elephant - two came to the lodge one for a drink in front of the lodge and the other walked between suites 6 and 7 and came round to the back of the lodge near the sun deck.

We had 5 rhino sightings which were great, plus giraffe and the normal plains game; like zebra, gnus, impala and kudus.

two Rhinos chilling near the water edge while on game drive with Makanayane Safari LodgeTwo white rhinos chilling
Oxpeckers on giraffe leg image taken while on game drive with MakyanyaneOxpeckers getting blood from a wound on the giraffes leg
Lion Snarling image taken on game drive while at MakanyaneLion Snarling image taken on game drive

Lions - we heard them roaring in front of the lodge one night so the next day we went to find them - two young cubs playing in the long grass who then walked to a clump of trees where the adults and another cub lay.

That night the lions ended up under the sleep-out hide so the couple staying there had a bit of delay getting out the next morning!

Lion cubs playing image taken while on game drive at Makanyane Safari Lodge MadikweLion cubs playing image taken while on game drive
Lion cub playing image taken while on game drive with MankanyaneLion cub playing and jumping on the bigger cub
whitefaced Owl image taken on night drive at Makanyanewhitefaced Owl
Cheetah on tree image taken on game drive with Makanyane Safari Lodgecheetah climbing the tree stump for a better view
Jen sitting watching the cheetahs while on a walk with Dylan at Makanyane Safari Lodge in MadikweJen sitting watching the cheetahs while on a walk with Dylan
Mario photographing the cheetah while on a walk with Dylan at Makanyane Safari Lodge MadikweMario photographing the cheetah while on a walk with Dylan
The cheetah image taken at eye level while on a walk at Makanyane Safari LodgeMario took this cheetah image at eye level while on our walk with Dylan
Our game drive group sitting with the cheetahs at Makanyane Safari LodgeOur game walk group sitting with the cheetahs
this moon and tree picture was taken on a sunset drive at Makanyane Safari Lodgethis image of the moon setting behind the tree, was taken on game drive
cheetah walking towards us while on game drive at Makanyane Safari Lodgecheetah walking towards us in perfect light

We had Dylan Marriner as our field guide - one of the best guides we have had - you can read about our fantastic experience here

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