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Makalali Private Game Reserve Highlights

Makalali means 'place of rest' and offers the ideal destination for a romantic honeymoon or traditional safari with magical sunsets, breathtaking views and exciting safari activities. Makalali Private Game Reserve offers an abundance of wildlife and plays host to over one thousand wild animals including Africa's Big Five, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. The reserve is family-friendly and Makalali Private Game Lodge welcomes children of all ages; however, the area is situated in a Malaria-risk area, hence precautions are essential.

Sun Safaris Says

  • Perfect positioning, close to the mighty Drakensberg mountain range and west of the Kruger National Park.
  • One of the leading pioneers in ecotourism in South Africa, Makalali Private Game Reserve is home to over 1000 wild animals including Africa's Big Five.

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Safari Lodges within Makalali Private Game Reserve

Little Garonga

Garonga Safari Camp and Little Garonga are exclusive camps situated in the greater Makalali Conservancy situated west of the Kruger National Park. This unassuming sanctuary promises an intimate wildlife encounter in an unhurried environment.

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Garonga Safari Camp

Garonga Safari Camp and Little Garonga are exclusive camps situated in the greater Makalali Conservancy situated west of the Kruger National Park. This unassuming sanctuary promises an intimate wildlife encounter in an unhurried environment.

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Makalali Game Lodge

Makalali is nestled on 26 000 hectares of conservancy and prevails as one of the finest private game lodges in the world. With its thatched spires and earthy walls, ancient mystical ornaments and Pan-African cuisine, Makalali offers a truly unique experience.

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Makalali Private Game Reserve on display

Makalali Private Game Reserve Game Viewing and Activities

Makalali Private Game Reserve offers 22 000 hectares of pristine African wilderness playing host to the Big Five, lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo as well as a variety of general animal and bird life including cheetah, giraffe, zebra and kudu.

Safari activities at the camps and lodges vary; however, most include game drives, some night drives, walking safaris, birding and incredible star-gazing. Makalali has contributed to the ongoing conservation efforts of endangered species.

Seasons and Climate

The summer months, October to March are usually hot with afternoon thunderstorms. Makalali is located in a summer rainfall region. Late afternoon thunderstorms happen regularly however usually do not last long. Light clothing, walking shoes, sun hats and sunscreen are important items.

Winters are dry with cold nights and early mornings. Guests will need warm clothing for winter months from June to August. Summer temperatures range between 17°C / 63 F and 37°C / 99 F. Winter temperatures range between 9°C / 48 F and 28°C / 83

Top Destinations

Little Garonga is small and exclusive and offers luxury safari accommodation with activities that include game drives, wilderness walks, sleep-outs under the African sky, outdoor safari bush-baths and aromatherapy and reflexology sessions.

Garonga Safari Camp contributes to the conservation efforts of the park, including elephant contraception research, and uses eco-friendly power alternatives that keep this lodge well in touch with nature without compromising on luxury.

Makalali Private Game Lodge has earned a reputation for being one of the best safari lodges on the planet; offering a superb location only 5 hours drive from Johannesburg, near the majestic Drakensberg Mountain range, and just west of the famous Kruger National Park.

How to Get there

Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights for guests from most major airports to Johannesburg. From there guests can take a rental car or Sun Safaris can arrange a road transfer for you. The distance from Johannesburg to Makalali is 506km and the drive will take between 5-6 hours on good roads. A map and directions will be provided when booking with us. Guests can also fly into Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit) and take a rental car or road transfer to Makalali arranged by Sun Safaris.

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Meet The Sun Safaris Team

Meet Nadine

Where to go icon Expert Travel Advice

Our expertise in African travel comes from years of experience travelling the continent, canoeing the rivers, walking the bush trails, and seeing the stars. We've been on the game drives and watched the sunsets, spent nights wrapped up in remote areas, and eaten great food around the fire. Our recommendations come first-hand, and they are your assurance that a safari booked with us is one we know you'll love, because we did.

Where to go icon Price Guarantee

We know a safari can be pricey, but we guarantee that we're giving you the best deal on your travel. We don't want your trip to Africa to be a once in a lifetime experience, we want you to do it again, and again! Through nurtured relationships with our suppliers, we can offer you the best deal they've got, and you'll never pay more than you should for your accommodation. If you find the same holiday for less, we'll confidently better the price.

Where to go icon Tailor-made Itineraries

Just like the spots on a leopard's back, each of our tailor-made itineraries is unique. Every journey has a personality, carefully designed to match the desires and expectations our clients bring to the table. Every element is taken into consideration to stitch together a personalised safari experience, grown from seed and cultivated to embody the perfect adventure. Our tailored itineraries are your safari dreams, defined.