Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge is listed in the highly impressive portfolio of Sanctuary Retreats. This company runs high-quality lodges operating under the motto, ‘Luxury, naturally’. Makanyane has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, game walks, game drives, one sleep-out (not available in June/July), transfers between the lodge and the local airstrip, Wi-Fi, and a laundry service. The lodge is open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Makanyane is accessed via road transfer from the local airstrip. It’s situated within a private concession in the eastern region of Madikwe. The setting is exquisite – the lodge nestles under a canopy of trees on the edge of a ravine, with breathtaking views down to a waterhole and over the sprawling plains!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of just eight air-conditioned suites, spaced well apart from each other. All occupy structures made out of local timber, stone, and thatch, merging seamlessly with the setting. Each boasts wrap-around glass walls too, providing amazing views from several vantage points within the bedroom area! Bedroom furnishings include a king-size bed, bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk and chair, two smart leather pouffes at the foot of the bed, and a cosy fireplace. The palette is neutral tones for the most part, harmonising with the colours of the trees around you. En-suite facilities comprise separate flush toilet, twin washbasins with large mirrors over, a freestanding roll-top bathtub with shower attachment, and an outside shower. Sliding doors lead out onto a spacious sundeck, where you’ll find a couple of sunloungers. There’s a sofa too, positioned under thatch. This is a great spot to relax and watch local wildlife coming to drink at the waterhole!
The main lodge at Makanyane is another timber, stone, and thatch build, also boasting spectacular vistas of the waterhole. Inside, there’s an open-plan lounge and dining space, featuring comfortable seating around coffee tables, a welcoming fireplace, and elegant individual tables-and-chairs readied for delicious Afro-European meals. Most of the furniture is neutral, although there are a few vibrant splashes of red and orange. As with the guest suites, you do feel close to nature here, not least because there’s an enormous leadwood tree supporting the lodge’s roof! Both spaces flow out onto a lovely viewing deck, which offers additional lounge and dining furniture as well as Makanyane’s bar. The latter is stocked with a good range of drinks, not least an array of wines from the property’s own cellar. There’s also a fully equipped gym for keep-fit fans, while anyone in need of a little pampering will love spending time at the spa, enjoying massages, facials, aromatherapy, and more. Finally, there’s a fabulous infinity pool, perfect for a refreshing dip in between activities! An inviting row of sunloungers and parasols is set up nearby.
- Makanyane’s private concession covers some 1,800 hectares of savanna, woodlands, and water sources east of the wildlife-rich Madikwe Game Reserve. Both areas can be explored on expertly guided game drives, which take place during early morning and late afternoon.
- By day, you can look out for all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. Smaller mammals in residence include cheetah, spotted and brown hyenas, rare wild dog, hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and a vast variety of antelopes.
- Madikwe is also a dream destination for birders, with a specials list featuring Gabar goshawk, Kori bustard, white stork, and violet-eared waxbill.
- Within the concession, vehicle safaris continue into the evening, providing opportunities to seek out a few nocturnal species, among them aardwolf, honey badger, lesser bushbaby, and the charming pangolin.
- Makanyane offers game walks too, which are fantastic for anyone interested in very close scrutiny of birds, insects, and plants, as well as tracking big game. This activity has a minimum age requirement of 16 years, and safarists aged over 60 are asked to provide a medical certificate as proof of their ability to walk sometimes long distances over tricky terrain.
- However, all guests can enjoy the sleep-out experience, in which a guide leads you out to a raised hide. Here, with just one other person, you’ll watch the sun set before falling asleep under the stars.
- NB: Please note, the hide isn’t available during June or July, due to chilly temperatures!