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Makanyi Private Game Lodge

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Traveller (621)
Room & Suite (125)
Dining (45)

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About

#5 of 13 lodges in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
Makanyi is located in the Timbavati, South Africa, directly adjacent to the Kruger National Park, with no fences between us. We offer 7 large luxury suites and a two bedroom villa, excellent personalised service, and highly experienced, knowledgeable and passionate guides. In addition to being in a very private and prime game viewing reserve, we are also located in proximity to world-renowned attractions.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Spa
Mosquito net
Wifi
Pool / beach towels
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Massage
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Bathrobes
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Room service
Safe
Minibar
Refrigerator
Complimentary toiletries
Seating area
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Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
5.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Romantic
Great View
Languages Spoken
Afrikaans

Location

Kruger National Park 1380 South Africa
Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Getting there
Ngala Airfield
11.7 km
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Hoedspruit Airport
23.9 km
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213Reviews19Q+A66Room tips
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Lucy wrote a review Mar 2024
Northampton 6 contributions4 helpful votes
+1
Wow wow wow… Makanyi we loved every minute spent with you. We have just arrived home from a 4 night stay, it was truly amazing. I couldn’t fault one thing. You are made to feel so special whilst you are there by every single person you come across. The Safari drives were simply amazing we saw so many wonderful sights with our Tracker and Guide, their skill and knowledge was just mind blowing. Thank you guys (Alfred and Themba) xx Then… the food, absolutely outstanding, I have never stayed anywhere before where every meal has been as good as that, we travel regularly (and love food!!) Simply amazing…again thank you all. (Head chef Amos you really are the best!) Xx The Lodge is so beautiful and the rooms were outstanding. The staff here can’t do enough for you to make you feel at home and help with anything you need at any time. I wanted to cry when I left and I’ve never before felt like that leaving anywhere. Thank you so so much for making our trip so special. Makanyi is absolutely wonderful and WE WILL be back. Xxx
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Date of stay: March 2024
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Don’t even think about it … book!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 2 weeks ago
Dear lucyr766, Thank you for such a wonderful and moving review! We are so happy you loved your stay with us and that you were made to feel special and a part of our family. We look forward to welcoming you back soon! Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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SK1000 wrote a review Mar 2024
Dublin, Ireland108 contributions131 helpful votes
+1
If we could have rated higher than 5/5 we would. We arranged a 5 day stay in Makanyi to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Having been on safari before we undertook a lot of reviews and chose Makanyi and boy were we right. From the moment we arrived and welcomed by the amazing Cecilia , Rico and Carmen we knew we were going to have the trip of a lifetime . Every day we were made to feel like VIPs . Everyone was so welcoming and friendly . Our lodge was 5* plus , with every amenity possible, with a huge deck overlooking a large waterhole frequented by numerous wildlife . The Chef Amos and his team were genius’s. The food was amazing . From the home made cakes before the morning game drive , to the breakfast choice, then lunch , then high tea before the evening game ride and finally dinner, every meal was an experience supplemented by copious amounts of superb wines and soft drinks. Game drives were superb , led by Carl and Rondi our tracker , we had them to ourselves the whole week . Knowledgeable , caring, humorous , we had some great adventures locating the wildlife, which was plentiful, including an amazing array of birds and reptiles, as well as the big 5. If you’re a hobbyist photographer, then this is paradise. Carl (lead ) and Rondi (tracker) did everything to ensure they got into the best positions to take some great shots, and their knowledge of all the animals and fauna was extensive . They really made the game drives , adventures. If you’re after a place where you see the big 5 in a couple of hours this is not the place for you . The extent of the estate is huge and would take days to traverse . We just set out each morning and evening to enjoy the surroundings and company . Quick change after the evening ride and into the bar for pre dinner drinks served by the head barman Amanda then onto a superb dinner. All to be repeated next day . If you fancy a spa treatment , can definitely recommend Lucia . If you’re deliberating over booking , just do it , you won’t regret it . Fantastic!! We’ll be back , hopefully for our 25th anniversary.
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Date of stay: March 2024Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 2 weeks ago
Dear SK1000, How wonderful to read your beautiful review of your recent stay with us - thank you! I am delighted you had a wonderful time and indeed we hope to welcome you back for your 25th anniversary! Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Lydia wrote a review Jan 2024
New York21 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
Our time at Makanyi was pure MAGIC --- it was truly one of the most incredible weeks of our lives. My husband and I made the mistake of staying at Makanyi in the earlier part of our trip that no other hotel/lodge afterwards felt as wonderful as Makanyi. We were completely spoiled! We found ourselves comparing every other place to Makanyi which in my opinion is truly the gold standard of great hospitality. THE STAFF - From the moment we arrived, we felt right at home. Every single staff member that we got to know over the next week treated us like we were part of the family from day one and we got to know some of them quite well too. It's really wonderful when you know everyone by name and you get to hear their inspiring stories too.We were blown away by the attention to detail & attentiveness that the staff members provided, and these little touches are what made us feel so well taken care of. (For example, I really liked the hot chili peppers and Lorraine brought them for me with every single meal) GAME DRIVES - Carl, our guide, and Robert, our tracker, were the BEST. We had a blast with them and learned so much about the animals, the circle of life, their behaviors & tendencies, etc. What we enjoyed the most was tracking the animals and "earning" the sightings rather than just stumbling upon them! Every morning coffee break and sundowner was so special, and we could feel how genuinely passionate they are about what they do. Even though the days can feel long, we looked forward to every single drive with Carl and Robert. THE FOOD - Omg, where to begin!? I don't think I've ever eaten so well in my life. Every single meal from breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack to dinner was an A++. Tons of pescatarian & vegetarian friendly options and every meal was incredible. And shoutout to Amanda at the bar! The drinks were also A++ and we really looked forward to the happy hours before dinner everyday. THE FACILITIES - We were so spoiled with the quick turnaround laundry service and thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor shower, the AC, comfy beds and swimming pool. Everything was so clean and fresh. Our week at Makanyi was definitely THE highlight of our trip and we already can't wait to go back. This is the first time in my life where I cried at checkout because I was genuinely so sad to say goodbye to the wonderful staff. Thank you so much Cecilia, Lillian, Distance, Lorraine, Amanda, Carl, Robert, Lucia, Catherine, Ishmael, Tact, and anyone else I forgot to mention!
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Date of stay: December 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 2 weeks ago
Dear Lydia, Thank you very much for your wonderful and detailed review of your stay with us. The team is thrilled you had such a wonderul time with us and we hope to welcome you again soon! Warmest regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Travellingsista wrote a review Dec 2023
Tamworth, United Kingdom27 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
We recently experienced a 5-night, holiday of a lifetime, at the magical Makanyi Lodge - Private Game Lodge. Our first safari experience we and it exceeded ALL expectations! The lodge itself is extremely high 5-star standards, a beautiful home, huge bedroom with living area and stunning bathroom plus outside shower and full wrap-around veranda - each lodge was equally large and stunningly equipped, the very personal service this small team offer was truly something else. From the moment we arrived, Lillian and Nicky plus the whole team welcomed us like ‘family’ - helped by the fact that the maximum capacity is only 16 people and over 14’s only. We realised that a private safari is so very special, tucked into the Timbavati private reserve of over 220 square miles, we saw ALL the animals very up close and personal. The food at Makanyi was also superb! A truly talented chef and team, with a wonderful mixologist for post-evening safari cocktails!! As for the massage and facials at the bespoke spa, they were some of the best I ever had. The tracker team we were with; Alfred and Temba, had a massive wealth of knowledge and experience, it was like travelling round exploring each day for 6 hours in a living documentary. They were perfect gentlemen and answered every question we had. The silence of the bush, the fresh air, all weathers, lack of contact to the every day - was simply sublime. I’ll somehow never get used to morning coffee and sundowners in the bush with sunrises and sunsets to take your breath away! I was so sad to leave this African ‘family’ ……. A real deluxe place to stay, but equally a gorgeous place to leave a tiny piece of your heart. ❤️ Thank you to every single team member at Makanyi - you were all so very special and an asset to the lodge. Thank you @jessjessgold for sharing your vision into a reality that we can all share - truly blessed. If anyone gets the chance to go - you must! 🐘🐆🦁🦓🦛🦏🐊 (we saw MANY lions, leopard, elephants, hippos, rhinos, zebra, giraffe, wilderbeast, water buffalo, impalas, warthogs, hyenas, wild dogs, crocodiles, vultures and SO many different birds - truly magnificent! ) Dreaming to get back as soon as we can!
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Date of stay: November 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Pack layers of clothing - we experienced various weather in November.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 11 Dec 2023
Dear Travellingsista, Thank you so much for your beautiful and warm review of your recent stay with us. We are so happy that it exceeded all your expectations and that we could share this little piece of heaven with you. We hope to welcome you again in the near future. Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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BarterIslandBonsai wrote a review Dec 2023
Boothbay, Maine14 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
Stay 4 nights if you can. Sumptuous accommodation in our own gigantic suite with fireplace, deck and plunge pool. Great food. Lovely attentive staff. But the reason for Safari is the game viewing and this was outstanding, made possible by our guide/driver and his tracker. We encountered elephant, lions, buffalo, rhinos, zebra, giraffe etc etc. we also learned a lot about reading animal tracks and about animal behavior. This is a lodge on its own private reserve in the Greater Kruger area where we were generally the only vehicle - just us and the animal we were watching - not jockeying for a view in the midst of a large caravan. Also outstanding is the availability of the resident photographer who gave a short course in camera management and helped us edit our photos into a first rate album.
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: October was a great time for Greater Kruger. Only one day of rain during which the animals seek...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 11 Dec 2023
Dear BarterIslandBonsai, Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us. We are delighted you enjoyed all the aspects of it! We hope to see you again soon. Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Christine W wrote a review Nov 2023
Gloucester, United Kingdom9 contributions4 helpful votes
From the moment we arrived i can't imagine that we would feel so at home and i would like to say a special thanks to Carl and Rondi for our fabulous drives and Armondo for making my husband his favourite tipple !! Everybody was amazing and i can't wait to come again Thankyou for making this an absolute trip of a lifetime.
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Date of stay: November 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Use the Spa - it's fab
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 11 Dec 2023
Dear Christine, Thank you so much for your review. We are thrilled you had a wonderful experience and we look forward to welcoming you again soon! Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Lizzy wrote a review Sept 2023
Altrincham, United Kingdom1 contribution
+1
We have just returned from our second stay at Makanyi as a family of six adults. We are lucky enough to have been on a number of safaris in the past and this is the first time we have returned to the same lodge, which is testament to how much we enjoyed it last year. Happily, in the last 12 months there have been some changes at the lodge (notably some decorating and the addition of a new barman) which have made the experience even better. Accommodation: the individual lodged are huge and really well decorated, as are the communal areas. Staff: the staff and the overall atmosphere and environment are brilliant. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and the staff seem to genuinely love their jobs. Food: there is a good choice at each meal, particularly breakfast, and the quality is excellent. All of the included spirits and wines are of a good standard and the new addition of a cocktail barman has taken the bar and drink experience up a notch. Facilities: facilities include a small gym, a spa and a shop. The gym is very welcome after all the food and wine! All of the treatments at the spa are excellent and also very good value when compared to the European market. Game drives: the vehicles are well maintained and the drivers and trackers are excellent. We had Rico and Saki this year and loved all the drives they took us on. The game itself is probably more sparse than in some of the fenced in private reserves, but we still had some incredible sightings.
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Date of stay: September 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 11 Dec 2023
Dear Sherpa, Thank you for your lovely review and it was great to have you back again. I am delighted you liked the changes and updates! We hope to welcome you again soon. Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Cynthia W wrote a review Aug 2023
Cincinnati2 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
This was a fabulous stay from beginning to end. It’s an intimate place with a caring staff ready to help make your safari experience the very best it can be. Our beautifully appointed room was spacious and super clean and the lodge facility was wonderful. The food was outstanding with thoughtful menus capitalizing on the abundant game plus other tried and true dishes. A big shout out to our guide Solomon and our tracker Sakkie. We established a great rapport and had so much fun with them. I think about our stay at Makanyi all the time and would love to come back here.
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Date of stay: April 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 11 Dec 2023
Dear CynthiaW855, Thank you so much for your lovely review of your stay with us. We would love to have you back too and look forward to welcoming you agin soon. Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Kmd379 wrote a review Aug 2023
London, United Kingdom8 contributions7 helpful votes
What a wonderful place. Truly exceptional. Our room (pool suite) was gorgeous and huge. The beds were very comfy and had nice sheets. Nothing was too much trouble. We had such a wonderful adventure at Makanyi. Rico and Sakkie looked after us so well, Anja was a delight, Lillian always joyful, Distance with the drinks. Just in fact ever member of staff could not have been kinder. What Makanyi offer is truly amazing, from the comfort of the stay, the quality of food and the exemplary customer service. Just go, you will not regret it
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Try to have a treatment at the spa, it was wonderfully relaxing
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 05 Aug 2023
Dear Kmd379, Thank you for your lovely review of your recent stay at Makanyi. We pride oursleves on our team and service so I'm delighted we delivered! We hope to welcome you back soon. Warm regards, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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ChrisF072271 wrote a review Jul 2023
Charlotte, North Carolina17 contributions8 helpful votes
My family (Me, my wife and 3 sons (aged 13 x 2 and 15) had 3 nights recently at Makanyi. Wonderful experience from start to finish. When we arrived Lillian greeted us all (by name) even tho she'd never met us. We were made to feel so welcome. The service was exceptional. Both me and my wife had birthdays around this time and they made us a surprise cake and presented it to us at dinner. The game drives were amazing. Warren was our ranger and Robert our tracker. Both outstanding at their jobs. Warren was very informative about all aspects of the wildlife which made the drives more enjoyable. He was always determined to get us the best possible viewpoints of the animals that he could. After each drive he'd join the family for a drink or breakfast which we really enjoyed. The food was excellent as was the staff service. The lodge we had was fantastic - we even had monkeys as our neighbours! Because we got very close to the animals we got some excellent photos. We used Anja to purchase some hi-quality prints for our home and she was very helpful in this process. Overall we had a fantastic time and would highly recommend Makanyi. Chris Flynn Charlotte, NC
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Date of stay: July 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Jessica Gold, Owner at Makanyi Private Game Lodge
Responded 05 Aug 2023
Dear Chris, Thank you for your lovely review. It was great to meet you and your family and we're delighted you had such a wonderful time with us. We hope to welcome you back soon. Warm regards to you and your family, Jessica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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PRICE RANGE
R 32,108 - R 32,655 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
South AfricaKruger National ParkTimbavati Private Nature Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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MAKANYI PRIVATE GAME LODGE - Reviews & Price Comparison (Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Makanyi Private Game Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Makanyi Private Game Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
Which room amenities are available at Makanyi Private Game Lodge?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a refrigerator.
What food & drink options are available at Makanyi Private Game Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Makanyi Private Game Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Makanyi Private Game Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Makanyi Private Game Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Makanyi Private Game Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Makanyi Private Game Lodge?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.