If we’re being totally honest, most of Africa’s flagship wilderness regions are wild, free and unfenced (except for the outermost borders!). Some lodges prefer, or are required by regulation, to fence their living quarters and this is obviously great for families with small children and lodges with larger guest numbers. But, let’s face it, our dreams of wildest Africa include hearing lions roar a stone’s throw from your tented suite and gazing out at a busy waterhole from the camp’s deck.
One of the perks of staying at an unfenced lodge is that animals are free to roam wherever they like so you’ll be surprised by animals walking past your suite and have brilliant photographic opportunities! Something to consider is that these lodges have very strict child policies and that guests need to be acompanied by an askari or member of staff when they walk from one part of the lodge to another, especially at night.
So, without getting too technical, the Royale Malewane is our top recommended favourite lodge where the animals roam free and wildlife is known to visit on a regular basis – offering you the ultimate ‘armchair safari’.
Juvenile elephants drink from a plunge pool from one of the lodge’s private suites. Part of the Royal Portfolio, the award-winning Royal Malewane is located on Thornybush Private Game Reserve within the greater Kruger region. The lodge exudes the romance and beauty of a bygone age offering personalised service and sensational game viewing and is known for having one of the best guiding teams in Africa. The staff to guest ratio is four to one so expect personal service catering to your every need.
Adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Royal Malewane is simple to access by road or air from Johannesburg. Its sublime forest suites offer panoramic views and you will feel like a king or queen with the amenities offered at the lodge, which include private game drives, butler service and a personal chef. Just call on the attentive staff to take care of your every need: the staff to guest ratio is four to one.
* Fantastic game-rich Kruger reserve
* Opulent, luxurious yet relaxed safari retreat
* Unbelievably spacious safari suites – with a big emphasis on privacy
* The best safari spa in South Africa – fantastic treatments available
* Magnificent dining experiences with a distinct safari flair
* Excellent guides making your safari extra special
Each of the six freestanding and private suites has a wooden terrace, thatched gazebo and spillway pool.
The colonial style of the lodge is especially noticable inside the suites which feature a palatial air-conditioned bedroom/sitting room with a fireplace, antique furniture and a canopied king-size bed with Ralph Lauren linen.
Each suite has an extravagant bathroom with a window-side Victorian bath and indoor & outdoor showers.
The Royal and Malewane Suites are the largest in Africa at 210 square metres.
With a private lounge and dining facilities, these ultra-luxurious private hideaways each accommodate four guests in two en suite bedrooms. Complimentary services include a private butler and chef, up to four massages a day per suite and private game drives.The air of exclusivity and privacy is absolute: only the wildlife witnesses guests relaxing on their viewing deck or in the private rim flow pool.
The African thatched-roof main complex is the heart of Royal Malewane where you will find the library, a shop and the dining areas. Furnished with rich antiques and Persian carpets, every fitting creates the feel of original colonial elegance.
There is also a swimming pool, a gym and spa facility offering health and skincare therapy by an internationally qualified in-house therapist.
You can enjoy a treatment of your choice at the luxurious spa or in the sala surrounded by nature. Alternatively, you can relax with a treatment in the complete privacy of your safari villa.
Dining is a grand affair with the very best china, silver and crystal set against crisp white napery. The dining area and lounge overlook the lodge’s waterhole and provide a thrilling backdrop to the fabulous cuisine, complemented of course by fine wines.
You can also choose to have your dinner in the boma or in the lamp-lit Bedouin tent. Head chef John Jackson has been a name behind some of South Africa’s most sought-after restaurants and the award-winning cook joined Royal Malewane in 1999 and has since delivered great culinary experiences to guests.
Expected pricing: From $1920 per person a night
The Ultimate Royal Itinerary concierge package
South Africa is a vast and diverse country with something for every visitor. A country that rewards exploration with magnificent natural treasures throughout. The Royal Portfolio have built a collection of quintessentially South African experiences – Safari, Coastal, Wine Country and the Art & Culture of Cape Town. We believe that this is the perfect circuit for discerning guests looking to travel in style and experience the very best of South Africa.
From $8075 to $9285 per person sharing (2020)
The Royal Itinerary includes all transfers between The Silo, La Residence, Birkenhead House and Cape Town International Airport as well as a complimentary night at Birkenhead House.
Royal Malewane & Birkenhead House are BOTH fully inclusive while The Silo and La Residence are on a bed & breakfast basis.
This package is based on a Luxury or Silo Room category across the four properties and is subject to availability. Should another room category be booked a surcharge will be applicable. Flights and transfers to Royal Malewane are not included. Guests can fly into Hoedspruit and get a road transfer to Royal Malewane, or fly direct to the private airstrip at Royal Malewane. Road transfers from Hoedspruit airport to Royal Malewane cost an additional $78 per vehicle one way.
Contact our experienced reservations team who are on hand to assist with your travel arrangements every step of the way, including charter flights, domestic flights, private jets, road transfers, private security, car hire, concierge services, day tours and activities.
+27 21 671 5502
Reservations desk is open from Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm and on weekends and public holidays from 10am to 3pm (GMT +2).