Royal Malewane, Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Did you know?
Royal Malewane is the world’s the 1st game lodge to be awarded a Chaine des Rotisseurs Blazon.
You sit back on your own private deck, an Eastern carpet under your bare feet, and watch a secretive Bambi-like bushbuck picking her way through the African thorn trees.
Next to you is the soothing water of the rim-flow pool.
A day of complete idleness awaits. A great book is lying face down beside you. You’ve just returned from the morning game drive and you still can’t believe how the tracker and ranger spotted that leopard lying in a tree 300m away.
Maybe you don’t feel like going for breakfast right now. No problem – you can just ask your chef to make your favourite meal a little later.
And later on, the masseuse is coming round for the daily complementary massage.
It’s another day in paradise.
Royal Malewane, in Thornybush Private Game Reserve adjoining the Kruger National Park, is perfect for those who love privacy, luxury and the Big Five.
Each of the six suites is decorated in neo-classical style, with canopied king-size beds, Victorian claw-foot baths with bushveld views, indoor and outdoor showers, and a fireplace.
And the two Royal Suites really live up to their name. These are ultra-luxurious villas, sleeping four people in two spacious en-suite rooms. Each Royal Suite has its own pool and deck as well as a private lounge and dining area.
In addition, your group will be assigned a chef, a butler and your own guides and game-drive vehicle.
And, of course, those four complementary massages per suite per day.
If you’d like to arrive at Royal Malewane incognito, that can be arranged. Helicopters and private jets can be chartered – and often are.
Royal Malewane specialises in the unexpected. Dinners, for example, are sometimes served under a Bedouin tent lit by Moroccan lanterns. Or under the stars. Or while watching wild animals at the nearby waterhole.
It’s all crystal, fine linen and fine food beside the wilderness and peace that the South African bushveld offers.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
By far the best option is to fly. There are daily flights from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit Airport via SA Express. Royal Malewane is 35 minutes from the airport and you’ll be picked up in a comfortable vehicle.
If you’re coming from Cape Town, fly Airlink to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. Royal Malewane can organise a charter flight to fetch you for the 25-minute flip.
Helicopters and private jets can be arranged.
Driving from Johannesburg will take you about seven hours. Contact the lodge for detailed directions.
Best time to visit
The temperatures are most pleasant from mid-March (autumn) through May to August (winter) and up to the end of October.
Summers can be very hot. The best game viewing is from August to October, with the grass still low before the rains. This is also when you’ll see wobbly little baby antelope.
From October to March you’ll see the summer avian migrants if you’re into birdwatching.
Tours to do
At Royal Malewane you’re well-placed to go on several fascinating tours. Not far away is one of the country’s most respected wildlife sanctuaries – the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Or you can head off to play a round of golf, go horse riding, do a tour of the local community or just waft over it all in a hot air balloon at dawn.
What will it cost
A suite will cost R11 250 per person per night sharing. A Royal Suite (there are only two) is R60 500 for four people per night. That includes accommodation, a private chef, butler and game-drive vehicle, laundry, all meals, local beverages and four massages per suite per day.
Length of stay
It would be a travesty to stay for fewer than 2 or 3 days.
What to pack
If you’re coming during winter months (May to August), bring warm clothing for the evenings and early mornings. And apart from the usual sunblock, hat, comfortable walking shoes, binoculars and cameras, bring along your swimming costume.