“An extraordinary oasis of ethnic-chic adorning the banks of the Makhutswi river with breathtaking views of the Drakensbergs”
Three camps, a few kilometres apart, are situated on the banks of the Makhutswi river, each offering 6 fantasy mud, stone and thatch huts. It's pure bliss wallowing in the privacy of Makalali’s huge bedrooms. The décor is womb-like in its darkness and envelops you in a blanket of comfort. Candles and incense create moods to entrance you.
Everything is handcrafted - even the taps. The deep claw-footed bath is separated from the bedroom by a large metal screen with cut-out shapes of animals. Tribal masks, Kente clothes and Bushman murals adorn the walls. Attention to detail and quality makes you look, then look again. Indigenous materials have been used everywhere.
Each suite, perched high on stilts to protect you from marauding wildlife, has a fireplace, a wooden veranda and an open-air sala for your siesta and game viewing. Hairdryers, luxury toiletries in exquisite glass bottles, ethnic robes, built-in electric blankets, piles of soft towels, and insect repellent are provided for guests’ convenience. And for nature lovers, each has a cool outdoor shower made of red mud and mosaic.
Makalali has frequently been included in food critics' top selections in South Africa. Each camp has its own resident chef overseen by internationally renowned chef Geoffrey Murray. Ingredients are grown in Makalali’s organic garden or provided by local farmers. The exquisitely presented food is “Pan-African” (from Moroccan lamb with lemon and coriander to grilled kingklip in chermoula).
Guests usually eat together in one of the outdoor salas, or around the open-air boma (a large fenced in camp fire) where the chef proudly announces the daily menu. Private drinks and meals can be arranged on request. If on holiday with your partner make sure you request the romantic bush picnic - the perfect way to while away an African afternoon. All special diets can be catered for with prior notice.
Families with children are welcome at Makalali. Children are welcomed with a special Makalali colouring book and games, and each child will receive a "Brat Pack" on their game drive.
Children under the age of 6 are not allowed on adult game drives. However there are babysitters available; alternatively you can hire a vehicle and have a ranger take you on a private game drive - allowing you to dictate the time and duration of the drive (there is an extra charge for this service).
Children's rates apply when sharing with 2 adults (includes all meals). Children over 12 are considered adults and will be required to have their own room and pay the full adult rate.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The 4 camps are seperated, ensuring that romantic couples and excitable children aren't placed side by side. When booking, staff will use their discretion to place you in the most suitable camp available.
Skilled babysitters from the local communities can be arranged for a fee, allowing parents to enjoy dinners and game viewing.
Special meals are also arranged for children, including burgers and pizzas.
Kiddies' walks and daytime game drives can be arranged specially.
The reserve runs a 2-day 'Mini Ranger Course' for children between 6-15 years old. A ranger will teach them about the wildlife and survival skills as they fill out a workbook. When they have completed the course they take part in a graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate. Enquire for availability and costs. There are also board games available.
Staff are trained in basic first aid and Makalali is linked to MRI (Medical Rescue International), who assist with emergency evacuations and airlifts. Having your medical insurance details on hand will increase the efficiency of the above-mentioned emergency services.