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!
- 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