Your Romantic Adventure Awaits at Makanyi Safari Lodge

Here’s a wild idea: Spend your honeymoon on safari. It might sound a bit outside the norm, but read on to learn why Makanyi Safari Lodge is the ideal destination for a romantic vacation, be it for your honeymoon or anniversary celebration.

Not only will you enjoy luxurious accommodations at Makanyi during your romantic getaway, but you will also enjoy epic adventure.

Makanyi: A South African Safari Lodge

Why Makanyi? It offers a truly wild, lavish, personalized and private experience. While there are many lovely lodges in South Africa, the suites here are so incredibly romantic that you’ll want an extra day or two so you have time to enjoy the lodge — AND the excellent wildlife. With a no-child policy, you’ll also be assured of a restful and peaceful stay.

Makanyi is located in South Africa Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger Area. Timbavati is dubbed “The Place Where Something Sacred Came Down to Earth.”

No fences surround the Timbavati, so wildlife roams freely throughout the area, which is known for being the home to the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros). The rare white lion is also present at the reserve. During our visit, we saw “The Big 5” in just 45 minutes on one game drive!

The first impression when you arrive at Makanyi will be just how beautiful the lodge is. The management team will warmly welcome you.  The vibe at Makanyi is appealing and contemporary with African accents. Many travelers who visit are amazed by the bar and living area, which are great for trading stories with fellow travelers or curling up with a book.

luxury African safari

The rooms are spacious with comfy, large-sized beds. The best part of each suite is the enormous bathroom with earth-colored stone, flawless construction and beautiful fixtures. 

A stay at Makanyi starts and ends with happiness.

Game Viewing

The bush at Makanyi looks like a lot of South African Lowveld. The area has tall grasses, short trees, dams and water holes.

Being a Big 5 game reserve, you will have the chance to see lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo during your game drive. We were amazed when we saw The Big 5 in just 45 minutes on one of our game drives.

Luxury African Safari

Makanyi reserve also features more than 500 buffalo (large according to South African standards). This attracts a wide variety of predators, and there is a healthy population of lions, which makes for an exciting big cat viewing.

Some of the sightings are so visceral that the hair on your neck will stand on end!

You will also enjoy seeing other animals and creatures outside the Big Five. For instance, there are zebra, hippo and giraffe. The birds are also incredible — including birds that fake death as part of their mating rituals, falling within inches of the ground before they swoop back to the sky.

Makanyi’s Lodge

The main lodge at Makanyi has large, cozy sofas and is the ideal place to unwind and gaze into the surrounding bush. The deck is superbly situated, with great views of the dam. This allows you to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings, watch amazing wildlife scenes or socialize with other couples.

The lodge also includes a swimming pool with sun loungers and a comfortable loft that serves as a quiet TV lounge and reading area (although we highly recommended “bush TV” over regular TV).

Makanyi’s also has a terrific gym, spa and curio shop. 

Makanyi’s Rooms

Makanyi provides a discreet yet graceful sanctuary of calm that goes a long way to rival the magic of the bush that embraces it.

luxury African safari

It features seven enormous suites and one sumptuous family suite, which provides the space and time to unwind fully.

Each of the seven enormous suites overlooks the magnificent dam and has a relaxing sitting area with an individual gas fireplace. Every suite also has an extra-large cozy bed, an outdoor shower, a beautiful bathroom with separate bathtub and spacious shower, and a private deck with loungers.

luxury African safari

Two of the seven rooms (‘honeymoon suites”) are luxury pool suites. They are located at the farthest end of the main lodge and provide more privacy and a fantastic private plunge pool on the deck. Definitely worth the splurge.

luxury African safari

Food at Makanyi

Hospitality and food at Makanyi safari lodge go hand in hand. You will experience the flavor their South African cuisine has to offer.

The lodge’s food is all of the highest quality and locally sourced. Dining here has romance in mind. For instance, there is a bush picnic, a romantic dinner in the privacy of your room, a Bona night under the stars and an intimate candlelit dinner.

The food at the Makanyi lodge is plentiful and delicious. The versatile menu caters to everyone so that you won’t miss your favorite meal. There is a high-quality European-style menu for vegetarians.

There are also premium South African wines and a wide selection of spirits, beers and liqueurs.

All the treats, drinks and food at Makanyi reserve are included in the total cost of your stay. 

Makanyi Safari Guides

The best part of the experience at Makanyi safari reserve is the expertise of Makanyi’s Rangers and Trackers. Their knowledge of the reserve and wildlife is impressive. You will also love their infectious enthusiasm.

African safari is not just their job — it is their passion. They are a great team and aim to be the best African safari provider. This makes Makanyi’s guides first-rate.

A big part of your tour and travel enjoyment will be spending time with these amazing men and women and learning about the bush.

Makanyi’s Range Rover

Makanyi safari reserve has a luxury mega Range Rover. The vehicle is a beautiful beast of a Range Rover. It features four-seat tiers, two for each level.

luxury African safari

The Range Rover only takes six travelers at a time. You will never feel crowded in this vehicle. You can also book a photographic safari with one of Makanyi’s skilled and professional wildlife photographers who will teach you the basics of wildlife photography or help you hone your skills.

The vehicle is open to the elements, which makes you feel even closer to the animals that you will see (remember our comment about “visceral”?).

At the end of the day, you’ll stop for “sundowners” where the guides unpack a little table and set up a stunning bar in the bush, complete with snacks and perfect photo moments at sunset.  

Makanyi’s Private Bush Picnic

One private bush picnic is included in Makanyi’s travel and tour package. As the name suggests, it is a picnic in the bush done by you and all the animals.

This is the same bush where you see the elephants, rhinos, leopards and lions. Seeing them while you are picnicking will make the experience thrilling.

luxury African safari

Extra Services to Enjoy at Makanyi

  • Specialist photographic safaris
  • Spa treatments
  • Private game drives
  • Helicopter tours
  • Photographic canvas printing
  • Excursion to Blyde River Canyon
  • Food and culture tours
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Zip-lining over Sabie River valley

Who Would Enjoy Makanyi?

Makanyi is ideal for celebrating your honeymoon or a special anniversary. The luxury and beauty of the lodge and its suites add a true sense of romance to the experience.

It is also a fantastic place for photographers.

Finally, Makanyi is perfect for travelers who value a slower pace rather than hopping around lodges. Makanyi guests will be able to enjoy the bush over time. And, they will find a beautiful home-like environment they will never want to leave.

Final Thought

We hope this blog has provided the information you need to consider Makanyi Lodge as an ideal option for your luxury African safari honeymoon or anniversary getaway.

If so, the next step is to talk to a knowledgeable African safari agency like Cerulean World Travel. We are uniquely qualified to arrange this trip or suggest other options for your African travel adventure.

Schedule a call with one of our luxury travel advisors today.


We know you care how you spend your time. When traveling the world with Cerulean, your itinerary is specifically designed around you and your loved ones’ travel needs. Our exclusive connections and partnerships around the world get you VIP perks and upgrades to ensure that the actual experience exceeds what you imagined it to be. 

Discover places you never knew existed and experiences you never imagined possible. Schedule a call with one of our award-winning luxury travel advisors today, and we can guarantee that you will get three new experiences or place ideas that you haven’t thought of before.


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