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“Out of This World Safari Wedding”

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Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 July 2014

I have not written my review for Makanyane in over a year, mostly because I want to keep it my own little secret! It was truly the best vacation experience of my entire life, made all the more incredible because i got married here in February 2012!

We landed into JNB at about 10am, hopped into a rental car, and drove almost 5 hours up to this remote lodge....and it was so so worth it! We arrived to essentially a red carpet welcome, with most of the staff greeting us personally by name. We were shown to our lodge after a welcome drink of champagne, hopped into a hot shower, then began preparing to get married! Makanyane offered a "wedding package", which is detailed on their website, and it literally included everything. Photographer, makeup and hair, cake, incredible flower arrangements [including my bouquet] all custom designed according to my earlier requests, and a wonderful service. The photos are out of this world, and the experience is something my husband and I will cherish for the rest of our lives. Even though it was just the two of us, we felt surrounded by warmth and love.

After our whirlwind wedding and photo session out in the bush, we took champagne and went on a night drive with Nico, who was excellent. OUr safari vehicle was even decorated with flowers and a "just married" sign. We were treated to a private 4 course meal in our beautiful private chalet, surrounded by candles and flowers. It was surreal how romantic everything was.

Aside from our wedding, this is honestly a world class experience. We only had 4 nights, but it was really enough. We saw so much on our drives, complete with sundowners in the evenings and coffee and cocoa at dawn. There is a spa and an infinity pool, which we certainly made use of in our free time. The food was outstanding...you are given a menu around mid-day with some choices for dinner, and they were always exciting [think springbok carpaccio and wild boar loin] and always delicious. The local wines were excellent...no need to spring for the fancy imported stuff! We were really devastated to leave this place, but it is certainly in our hearts forever.

Many thanks to Louise, Nico, and the entire staff for making our trip so magical. We hope to see you again!

Room Tip: All chalets are gorgeous, but try to request one with a great view of the watering hole!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank natashathefirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MakanyaneSafariLodge, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to post your review !
We were so honored to host your wedding at Makanyane and we are delighted that you enjoyed the experience!
Please let us know when your are planning that anniversary trip, it would be great to see you both again!

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168 - 174 of 286 reviews

Reviewed 5 June 2014

We spent a long time choosing where to go on safari and I don't think we could have made a better choice. We stayed at Makanyane for 4 nights of our honeymoon and it exceeded any expectations we already had from the great reviews on here.

From the moment we arrived after a 16 hour trip, we were made to feel so welcome. The staff really make this place, the service is so personal and friendly and completely faultless. Our room was of 5* luxury standard with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river (where we saw hippos bathing!). The food was amazing - a 4 course dinner every night and an amazing brunch which was served after your morning drive.

Our driver, Nico, was brilliant. So experienced and enthusiastic, he was committed to making sure we had the best safari experience possible and seemed to have endless knowledge on every question put to him. We saw the big five plus many other animals, and each and every drive was different and exciting.

We were very sad to leave such a special place and are hoping that we might be able to go back for our first wedding anniversary! We definitely wouldn't go anywhere else!

Room Tip: We were told all rooms were the same, just decorated in different colours.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank neems23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MakanyaneSafariLodge, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Thank you so much for your review. We were honored that you chose to spend some of your honeymoon with us and so glad that you enjoyed your stay.
We will be waiting to hear from you for that first anniversary booking!

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Reviewed 23 May 2014

My husband and I spent 4 nights during our honeymoon.
The safari drives were wonderful. We have seen lions (3 times), cheetahs (twice), leopards (3 times), wild dogs (twice), buffaloes (3-4 times), elephants (countless times) numerous times. We even saw lions and cheetahs feeding, leopard killing impala.
Excellent services from the start to the end. We didn't have to lift a finger for anything. Everything has been done for us. All we had to do was to enjoy our time.
Our room was spacious, clean, comfortable, right next to the river. All meals, house drinks and mini bars were included.
The food was top restaurant quality, I would have paid good money for the dinner alone back home.
Africa is a long way for us, but if we get the chance, we would definitely go back to Makanyane Safari Lodge again

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Liu X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2014

We actually stayed here in Feb 2013 but have only just managed to log on to submit the review!

Not too sure where to start here! The rooms a totally stunning with 180 degrees of glass with the bed in the middle. You truly were in the middle of the safari and after dark you had to have an escort back you your lodge! Each lodge was totally separate from the next and hence you had totally privacy.

The food was wonderful with pre breakfast before the first drive, drinks and snacks halfway through the drive, full breakfast on return, a lovely lunch, afternoon tea before the second drive, drinks and snacks half way through the drive as you watched the sunset followed by dinner at a time of you choice - WOW!

The staff were lovely and were on had at all times. We had the advantage of going out with two of their guides (Dillion and Eugene) both extremely knowledgable and great fun to be with! Normally you just have the one guide as they know what you have/have not seen and have/have not been told but due to some other pesky guests (handled very well by Lynette) we were asked if we wanted to temporally switch guides.

The food was exceptional (even my wife could not fault it) and they made a real effort to position our table in a different area each night where it was in a secluded romantic setting.

The game drives were great with our first mini drive on our way from the Landing strip to the lodge! Dillion was very enthusiastic and wanted you to see as much as possible. We even manage to track down some wild dogs! A big thank you to all at the Makanyane, we would love to go back sometime and hope we will.


Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank seblb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

My husband and I have just returned after spending four nights at Makanyane for our honeymoon. We had high hopes and even these were vastly exceeded.

Although this was our first safari experience, we can't imagine why anyone would want to go anywhere else: the service was impeccable; the rooms were luxurious; the area and lodge is beautiful; the food was incredible; and we saw all the big five plus many more.

The staff are really to credit for why this particular lodge is so remarkable. They greeted all the guests after every drive with an enthusiasm that made it difficult to imagine that they must hear the same stories all the time. They are clearly a family orientated company, something which comes across particularly in their care and attention to all their guests. There were constantly little extras (which I actually won't share so as not to spoil any surprises!) and we were genuinely sorry to have to say goodbye at the end of our stay.

Our ranger, Nico, was also brilliant - so knowledgable and skilled and he went above and beyond to ensure that we saw as much as possible.

In essence, the experience was faultless and certainly one we will never forget.

Room Tip: We can highly recommend room 6, which looks directly over the watering hole. Each day from our priva...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Katie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MakanyaneSafariLodge, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Katie, it is great to hear from you, many thanks for your kind review. We are so happy that you had a good time and the lodge and really appreciate you posting this review!
We look forward to welcoming you both again to Makanyane soon!

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Reviewed 20 May 2014

The lodge is one of the best luxury lodges in Madikwe game reserve, room is specoius and clean just right on the river bank, serice and food were at top, game viewing was great saw the big five in 2 nights stay.

Its a wonderful place to visit to enjoy game viewing and top service.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Khalil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MakanyaneSafariLodge, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Many thanks for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated!

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Reviewed 20 May 2014

I had high hopes for this part of our South Africa trip, and they were exceeded. We stayed at the Makanyane Lodge for 4 nights. The staff were, without exception, super accommodating, professional, knowledgable, friendly, and made us feel so relaxed and comfortable in this luxurious setting.

The setting is gorgeous, located in the bush bordering a small river. The rooms are spectacular. Each room is decorated with the natural setting in mind. Each detail was considered when designing the rooms and the lodge to blend into the natural environment.

Our guide was Trevor. He was a wealth of knowledge, so even when we weren't seeing animals, he had so much interesting information to share about he environment, the animals, the birds and the insects. He also would sit with us at breakfast to chat with those of us in his group, which made it even more comfortable and fun.

The food was outstanding. Each night was as good as the night before and very different. They also were very accommodating to any requests, i.e., my husband wanted to try just a taste of some of the meat being served as the one of the mains, even though he ordered a different main. Each night, they served him a side dish of whatever meat was being served.

We had two drives, one at about 6am and the other at about 4pm. After breakfast and in between drives was a glorious time to relax in whatever way you chose.

I would so highly recommend this place. It will not disappoint!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank sue0040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MakanyaneSafariLodge, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Thank you, Sue, for your review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us!

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Additional Information about Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge

Address: Krokodildrift, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £131 - £1,130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxurious accommodation, exceptional food, welcoming service and thrilling game viewing combine to create an unforgettable safari experience at Makanyane Safari Lodge. Situated on private ground within the malaria free, "Big 5" Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa's North West Province, the lodge caters for just sixteen guests, ensuring personal attention and exclusivity. Hidden in riverside forest, the eight luxurious suites, each with glass-walled bedrooms, overlook the Marico River, offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding bush. The suites have open-fronted lounges, private sundecks and spacious bathrooms that can be opened to the forest. The lodge has an infinity-edge swimming pool, gym, health and beauty treatment centre and lookout point with magnificent views. Fine wines from the award-winning wine list complement exceptional cuisine created by the team of internationally trained chefs. Meals are enjoyed in a variety of locations, from our riverside boma to intimate private meals in the comfort of the guest's suite. Makanyane has a rustic sleep-out hide, providing guests with an opportunity to sleep under the stars surrounded only by the African wilderness. The drama, mystery and beauty of Africa's wildlife and cultural heritage can be experienced on game drives and bush walks conducted by expert, passionate field guides. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makanyane Safari Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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