by Courtney Elko
This luxury safari lodge is located in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park. The expert guides are ready to take your family on a safari to witness the Big 5 on daily game drives. Children over 10 years old are welcome in the Luxury Suites, while children of all ages are welcome in the Royal Suits, Africa House and the new Farmstead portion of the expansive property. The Royal Suites and Africa House offer two and six bedrooms respectively and a private pool. They come with a private chef, butler, a ranger and a tracker team. Families will have their own private safari vehicle during the stay as well. Kids will love the added amenities of a bush backpack filled with sunscreen, an activity booklet and water bottle, cooking classes and an animal checklist with photos. Older children may also enjoy bird watching, plant identification and identifying animal tracks.
Our Editor Loves
- South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park
- Daily safari drives in a personal vehicle with guides
- Kids activities
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
My husband and I have just returned from 4 days in Royal Malewane which was also the occasion of my first safari. It is almost impossible to describe how truly spectacular Royal Malewane is. The actual lodge is spectacular and within 2 minutes of arriving at the lodge we had seen a family of elephants drinking out of the water hole and a few giraffes walking by! The lodge is absolutely beautiful. The common areas are beautifully designed with comfy sofas everywhere where you can just sit and take in the amazing vista.
We stayed in one of the luxury suites (no.7) and it is one of the most beautiful rooms we have ever stayed in. From the enormous bed to the incredible bathroom, topped off by a beautiful outdoor area where we had a number of elephants (including a few baby elephants) drinking out of the plunge pool which is a magnificent sight to behold.
The real highlight is the staff of the lodge - we were greeted by various staff members on arrival at the lodge from the Deputy general manager Dani, Margerite, Andrew through to spa staff and everyone in between - such a wonderfully warm welcome that really set the tone for the whole stay. You honestly feel like you are coming home - it is a feeling that you can hardly put into words because it is so welcoming and genuine.
The trip was really made totally memorable by our drive team - we had Elias as our guide, Selby as our tracker and Tyron as the apprentice guide and they were truly amazing! We loved all 3 of them and they were beyond brilliant! We tracked lions, Selby went wandering off into the bush with nothing but a stick and found not only a baby elephant (which I desperately wanted to see) but also a leopard, which my husband wanted to see. And on our last morning, we saw a lion kill which was amazing! Elias is one of the kindest, gentlest souls we have ever met and he was an amazing guide and a brilliant partner to Selby and it was wonderful for us to have a few days with these wonderful men - an honestly life changing experience. A wonderful end to the drives was coming back to the Lodge to be greeted with warm towels which was a lovely touch.
The food and wine was superb - every night there was a new, personalised menu (which was a lovely touch) and the quality of the food and wine was excellent. You will never leave Royal Malewane hungry or questioning the quality of food at this lodge. The staff were also amazing - a particular thanks to Given, Chris, Ashel and Moses who were amazing! Andrew, in the management team, or as my husband liked to her refer to him - my brother from another mother (as they are both called Andrew) was a wonderful, warm and kind presence at the lodge who we will miss.
To wrap up, the pick up and drop off at the airport were perfect. In addition, the fact that the hotel includes your laundry is amazing as it limits what you need to take with you and a wonderful touch that is so rarely offered in hotels.
We cannot recommend Royal Malewane highly enough and we have already planned our return visit next year. We cannot wait to return and only hope that all the staff we had the pleasure of meeting this year will still be there next year! All that is left for us to say is a massive THANK YOU! We loved Royal Malewane and everyone we met.
The staff at Royal Malewane are top class, caring, attentive (but not overly), interesting, skilled but most importantly they love the wildlife and their enthusiasm is infectious. The game drives were the highlight of our stay, our guide, Darrell and our tracker, Lawrence were knowledgeable and went the extra mile to ensure that we saw a wide range of game and it was exciting going off road into the bush (literally) to find some leopard cubs.
Our suite was beautiful and elegantly decorated, the private decking with our own infinity pool seemed perfect but this was topped when we discovered elephants having a drink out of it and swimming with them walking past was an incredible experience. The suite came with a everything you would expect and of an exceptional high quality.
Being linked to the Greater Kruger Park means that there is a wide range of game and we even got to see the very rare pangolin, such an amazing and unexpected treat.
The ladies in the spa made me feel very relaxed and I was truly pampered after being in their capable hands, it is definitely worth a visit.
The food was delicious and we were served a wide range, nothing was too much and the personalised menus were a lovely touch.
Royal Malewane is an incredible experience where all the details have been considered to ensure that your trip is filled with life long memories. We can't thank the staff enough for such a memorable trip.