Located between the world-famous Kruger National Park to the east and the stunning Drakensberg mountain range to the west, the 60,000-acre Makalali Private Game Reserve is at the focus of conservation efforts to bridge the space of wildlife between the two. aha Makalali Private Game Lodge is found at the southern end of the game reserve, just an hour and a half from Hoedspruit airport. Here, you’ll find staple wildlife spotting; on twice-daily game drives, you can search for the Africa’s quintessential Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo) among other wildlife like the spiral-horned nyala and impala.

There are two lodges to choose from, both championing friendly, laid-back service and comfortable essentials. The food is hearty and home-made African cuisine – a treat for those who want an authentic taste while on safari – and each lodge have comfortable communal spaces and an outdoor boma for dinners under the stars. Stay at aha Makalali Main Lodge for new, modern design and watering hole views or get back to nature with treehouse-like suites at the riverside aha Makalali River Lodge.

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