Tintswalo Safari Lodge is owned and operated by Tintswalo Property Group. Established in 1975, the company launched its portfolio of 5-star properties in 2003. This lodge has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, two game drives daily, Wi-Fi, and a laundry service. Guests of the two-bedroom suites are allocated a private vehicle with guide and tracker, and children can enjoy a fab kids’ programme.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge can be accessed via road transfer from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, or Phalaborwa Airport. The airport at Hoedspruit is nearest and the drive to Tintswalo takes about 45 minutes. The property has a lovely location in woodlands, adjacent to a seasonal sand river. Manyeleti Game Reserve is bordered by Kruger National Park, and as the border is unfenced the reserve boasts a wealth of wildlife!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation at Tintswalo consists of eight suites, including two double suites that are suitable for a group or a family. All suites are named after explorers of the nineteenth century, such as Grant and Livingstone, and each room is individually themed. Every suite building is solidly built using timber, stone, and thatch for a classic safari style, but the interior décor is decidedly Victorian. The one-bedroom suites feature a four-poster bed with mosquito netting, bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk and chair, and a separate seating area with cosy fireplace. Additional amenities include a tea-and-coffee station, a mini-bar, an electronic safe, and Wi-Fi. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, walk-in shower, and freestanding bathtub. Doors from the bedroom lead out onto a private deck, complete with plunge pool! Both double suites benefit from all of these features, as well as a second bedroom and larger lounge area. The Baines Suite – also known as the Presidential Suite – has a dining area too, as well as a private boma! It’s serviced by a private chef and butler, and each of its two bedrooms has access to an en-suite bathroom.
The communal lodge at Tintswalo is linked to the suites along raised wooden walkways. It too is a timber, stone, and thatch structure, with wood-framed glass sliding doors and windows. The lounge contains leather and suede armchairs and sofas, some with brass studding. There’s a vast ornate coffee table too, and a number of occasional tables. Wildlife and abstract artwork adorns the walls, and the floors are almost covered with rugs, some of them Persian. The dining room features one long and very shiny table, leather-cushioned chairs, immense candelabra, and a grand fireplace. Both areas flow out onto a deck, with lounge and dining furniture and beautiful views over the river! Guests can also tuck in to delicious meals within Tintswalo’s boma, enjoying wine from the lodge’s own cellar. A range of relaxing and revitalising treatments is available from the property’s spa, while keep-fit fans will appreciate the well-equipped gym. And there’s a smashing little gift shop too, with plenty of curio items.
Tintswalo offers an exciting variety of activities. Expertly guided game drives usually take place during early morning and late afternoon into evening, with the additional option to head out with a picnic for a full day on safari! The sprawling savanna, woodlands, marshes, and rivers of Manyeleti are choc-full of wildlife. All Big Five live here – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. There are lots of smaller predators and herbivores too, not least cheetah, hyenas, jackals, serval, caracal, wild cat, wild dog, giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, an assortment of antelopes, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, Nile crocodile, and hippo.
The reserve also boasts over 500 bird species, from grey heron to lilac-breasted roller. Bush walks are available on request, offering opportunities to take a closer look at the birdlife, insect life, and plant life. The lodge’s guides have considerable knowledge of the night sky too, hearkening back to the local people’s tradition of consulting the stars when in need of insight. A lot of other day activities are also possible, such as trips to Hoedspruit Cheetah Research Project, a 2–3 hour excursion to the neighbouring community, and even hot air balloon rides! And there are all sorts of things for children to do, including tracking, baking, and making jewellery.