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The Farmstead at Royal Malewane

Avoca Road, Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa
| +27 15 793 0150
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Sun - Sat 6am - 12am

The Farmstead at Royal Malewane

Why we love it: Colonial meets contemporary in this South African lodge renowned for its wildlife and expert guides

- Animals roam freely in the adjacent fence-free Kruger National Park, including the much-sought-after Big Five
- Bush dinners with glowing lanterns, backed by the sound of wildlife and the local village choir
- Private casitas and indigenous ingredients at the Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa

The review: The Farmstead lies just a 12-minute drive from the recently refurbished Royal Malewane in Thornybush Private Nature Reserve on the western border of Greater Kruger National Park. The two properties belong to the Royal Portfolio, owned by Liz Biden, the designer and decorator of both interiors. She deftly weaves classic safari style with bold colors like emerald and ruby, and light oak, tin roofs and wrought iron. The result? A restful haven after a long day of game drives and sundowners!

Opened in May 2019, the new lodge has three free-standing farm suites, as well as a 3.5-bedroom villa. Deep verandas encourage outdoor living with fire pits and custom-crafted swinging day beds. Each guest chamber has a spacious bedroom and en-suite bath, plus decks and a private pool overlooking the bush. The suites welcome children over age 10. Traveling with younger companions? Book into the spectacular Farmhouse, which has a bijou kid’s room, as well as three main bedrooms. Not to mention an infinity pool, a chef, housekeeper and butler, along with a private ranger, tracker and safari vehicle.

Expect clever twists, like a vintage North African banking kiosk being repurposed as a serving hatch. And what Executive Chef Brandon Souris and his team produce through it is even more impressive! Dinners range from five-course tasting dinners to a braai (grill) and bush dinner with twinkling candles.

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