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Makalali Private Game Reserve

N & NW Province & Mpumalanga, South Africa


  • Dining: All meals are included, plus tea/coffee and cake. Each camp has a resident chef, evening meals are 3 courses and there’s a well-stocked wine cellar. Private dining and romantic bush picnics can be arranged on request. Dietary requirements can be accommodated with notice
  • Communal areas: Each camp has its own boma, plus an enclosed lounge and dining area
  • Internet Access: There's internet access at the reception, and Camp 1 has wireless internet
  • Swimming Pool: Each camp has its own fresh water swimming pool
  • Spa Treatments: Massage and Shiatsu are available on request
  • Recreational: Two game drives in open vehicles provided daily (refreshments included). If required a private Land Rover can be arranged for an extra fee; see Rates
  • Weddings and Celebrations: Makalali can host weddings; the entertainment centre in the Tandane camp is a beautiful thatched building with an open kitchen and entertainment area
  • Meetings/Functions: Extensive and extravagant purpose built conference facilities are available. Suitable for large corporate firms, the main suite houses up to 60 delegates. Full catering and entertainment services can be provided. Either book the entire reserve (sleeps 36) or one of the 3 camps (each sleeps 12). Full details on application
  • Disabled Access: None
  • Pets: Not accepted
  • Languages Spoken: English, Afrikaans


  • Complimentary laundry service

  • Highly experienced rangers

  • There are no telephones or TVs in the rooms, but a television is available in the conference area

  • Armed security guards or rangers are on hand to escort you around the camp after dark for your protection against the wildlife

  • The is a gravel airstrip for private charters - prior permission is required

  • There’s an art gallery within the reserve, and a fabulous shop filled to bursting with exquisite African crafts

Environmental Policy

The reserve acts as a population rehabilitation and protection site, encouraging the growth of vulnerable species such as the African wildcat, while monitoring the predator/prey ratio of the reserve to ensure the balance of the eco-system is maintained.

Food is sourced from the organic garden or from local farmers.

Social Responsibility

Local craftesmen were employed to bring architect Silvio Rech's ideas to life.

When to go?

Makalali can be visited all year round. The best game viewing is during their winter (March-August), when it's drier and colder - nights and early mornings can drop to 5-10C; days are typically 20-25C. In summer it's hotter and wetter - 17C (63F) to 37C (99F) - but the foliage makes it harder to spot game, and they don't congregate around water holes.

Author's tips

This is a malaria region and precautions need to be adhered to in the summer months in particular. Consult your doctor well in advance about malaria tablets.

Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • All meals included
  • Room service
  • Bar
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Communal dining
  • Guest lounge
  • WIFI internet
  • Outdoor pool
  • In room treatments available
  • Wedding license
  • Meeting rooms
  • Function facilities
  • Airstrip / Helipad
  • Off street parking
  • Airport Transfers
Save to favouritesPrintMailMakalali Private Game ReserveSet in a 26,000-acre private reserve near the Kruger National Park and Drakensberg Mountains, Makalali offers a deliciously romantic bush retreat coupled with excellent game viewing. American owner Charles Smith and Italian architect Silvio Rech have created a striking juxtaposition of opulence and wilderness, while maintaining a strong commitment to protecting the local environment and wildlife. Moody [r:SA053:interiors] blend with indigenous and modern design to offer a sumptuous haven far away from the crowds. Drawing upon tribal influences from across Africa (soaring uncut thatch roofs meet magical mud turrets), Makalali has been described as the most innovatively designed hotel in the world. After being greeted with iced tea at the entrance, a tortuous jeep ride takes you through the bush to your camp. Once you arrive the cosseting and pampering begins...

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