Stay at Royal Malewane
Lions roam the savannah. Serenity reigns in the spa. Elephants walk past at sunset. Romance thrives in your enormous suite. Game drives deliver thrills and excitement, during the day and night. And the experience is only shared with animals, not people. Royal Malewane is like a honeymoon retreat in the bush. It feels old-school and old-world, whether you’re face to face with the big five or finding your own sanctuary in the wild. And while the price tag can initially be a shock, all activities are private as standard and this is a very small-scale lodge.
Royal Malewane is the most luxurious lodge in Thornybush Private Reserve, in an area known as the Timbavati. This is a distinctive part of the Greater Kruger ecosystem, quite different to the better known Sabi Sands. While you don’t see the same density of wildlife as in Sabi Sands, you do enjoy a very impressive diversity. There are daily domestic flights to Hoedspruit, a 40-minute drive from the lodge. Private air charters use Jackalberry airstrip, within the reserve.
Made in the old-school style of safari lodges, this eight-suite retreat has glamour and colonial charm. It’s very comfortable and reassuring, with the ultimate of luxuries - space. The entry-level suites measure a huge 165 sqm, the royal suite sleeps four and is over 500 sqm. Waterside is their newly opened lodge in an even more contemporary style, but we don’t yet have any personal experience to report on.
Who is it for
Royal Malewane has a very adult feel. The enormous suites and private activities favour couples who want their space and freedom, especially those on honeymoon.
Facilities & activities
Royal Malawene has the best guiding team in South Africa, a very important consideration in terms of your wildlife experience. In addition, all safari activities are private as standard, so there’s huge variety and flexibility in what you do. You can stick to twice-daily drives, or choose for a 12-hour game drive expedition if you so wish. It’s also great if you have a specific wildlife interest. Bush walks and nighttime drives supplement the game drives. Add to this a spa that’s won South Africa’s best spa on multiple occasions.