Royal Malewane

Avoca Road, Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa

Royal Malewane is a five-star lodge located on the 34,594-acre Thornybush Private Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park region. Already quite glamorous, it underwent a refurbishment in 2018 and, in addition to several structural upgrades, now features a kosher kitchen and a gin-and-whiskey bar dedicated to the late Wilson Masiya, one of the lodge’s original trackers. All of the guides at Royal Malewane are certified by the Field Guide Association of South Africa, and most have been working in the Greater Kruger National Park area since the early 1990s. Two are Master Trackers, a qualification currently held by only seven rangers in the world. Royal Malewane is so focused on quality guiding that it even started an apprenticeship program in 2008. Students work for two years under the tutelage of the lodge’s senior team, then graduate and move on to jobs at safari lodges in the region.

Amazing wildlife experiences aside, what makes Royal Malewane unique is its sense of style. Owners Liz and Phil Biden have seamlessly melded contemporary furniture with colonial-style accommodations, all at their family-home-turned-safari-lodge in the middle of the South African bush. In 2019, they plan to open a new lodge on the property called the Farmstead at Royal Malewane, giving guests even more reason to book a stay.

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This was the first stop of two safari’s and right off the plane it was incredible. The ride to the property AMAZING. I could not wait to explore more. Saw the Big 5 in one day and I could not believe it! Place is just breath taking! ROMANTIC for SURE! Loved everything about it. Was able to workout, go for a swim and just relax and loads of cocktails after the first AM drive! Oh and get a massage outside by the pool deck!

Luxury Safari Lodge

This is an amazing way to experience a safari (from a beautiful private lodge). There are great opportunities for animal sighting, but also for relazing, eating delicious meals, experiencing African Dancing and a meal in the bush. They provide and amazing experience (and spa and pool) -- could not be more beautiful. Elephants will walk past your backyard as you lounge in your dipping pool.

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