I’ve had guests lying by the pool while a leopard walked just 15 metres away from them…
We’re about 65-kilometres from the Kruger’s nearest entrance point but Makalali Private Game Reserve is 26,000 hectares so we do all our game drives on the property itself.
One of our main advantages is that we’re allowed to off-road so you really experience the game up close. Five of our rangers started their careers as trackers and are now highly qualified. Some of our staff members have been working for Makalali private game lodge for over 20 years.
We’ve got all the Big Five here, wild dogs and we recently introduced two new male cheetahs to the reserve. I’ve had some guests saying that in all their years of going to the Kruger, they’d never been so close to a herd of buffalo or a herd of elephant. I’ve had guests lying by the pool while a leopard walked just 15 metres away from them. We can tell there’s a predator nearby because of certain noises the monkeys and baboons make. Around the camp, we also see hyenas, elephants, buffalo, giraffes and antelope. As I sit here I can see the nyalas outside.
Because the reserve is so large, every sundowner spot is different and we also do special gin stops and romantic champagne picnics. It’s always beautiful to see the sun set over the Drakensberg mountains. One flat area we go to, we frequently encounter jackal. I’ve been on safari with guests and a rhino has just appeared from the bush. We’ve also got a large natural dam where there’s a lot of hippos, which makes it a great spot to visit.
We often do evenings in the boma where we introduce more traditional dishes like pap and corn on the cob that we roast on the fire as well as various meat dishes. It’s an open area but beautiful with clear skies, great for stargazing.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.
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