Timbavati Game Reserve, Greater Kruger

Makanyi Private Game Lodge


Small, stylish luxury

Makanyi Lodge is an intimate, family owned luxury lodge well located in the pristine bush of the private Timbavati Game Reserve.

Surrounded by wilderness, Makanyi’s eight sprawling suites (two with pools and one perfect for families) are like your very own home in the bush with expansive indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Being family owned, service is excellent at all levels from dining to some superb guiding. And, sharing a unfenced border with Kruger National Park, the game viewing here is excellent with the freedom to explore on walking safaris as well as exciting game drives.


At a glance

  • Eight luxury suites

  • Dining area, lounge and bar

  • Swimming pool

  • Gym and spa

Makanyi Lodge 13


  • Makanyi Lodge Game Drive

    Game drives

    Climb into a custom-built six-seater Land Rover and head out on two game drives per day. You’ll be joined by a guide and tracker team and stop for morning coffee and afternoon sunset breaks with snacks. Each drive is about three hours. The vehicle is kitted out with binoculars, suntan lotion and insect repellent spray. You can also go on night drives.

  • Makanyi Lodge Luxury Picnic


    In the winter months you can go on bush walks with qualified guides along walking trails. These walks can accommodate six guests and are subject to your guides’ discretion and approval. After the sun has gone down you might choose to do a little star gazing. Far from the cities, the night skies are spectacular.

  • Makanyi Lodge Photo

    Photographic safaris

    Keen photographers will jump at the opportunity to go out on a photographic safari. You will be accompanied by a private photographic teacher, guide and tracker. Equipment can be rented ahead of time and professional mounts and gimpros are provided. You can also make use of the lodge media room, a Mac for editing images and postproduction and editing tutorials. There is also a Canon photographic canvas printer for use at extra cost.

Community & Culture

Most of the staff at Makanyi come from the local community and are given the support and training they need to grow within the company. The lodge also uses community-based suppliers when it comes to things like food, firewood, and arts and crafts for the curio shop. The staff and their families are encouraged to make products that can be sold for extra funds. Because most of the team is local, they already have a deep respect for the land around the lodge and will do whatever is necessary to help protect it, including choosing different routes for game drives when wet weather could cause extra erosion.


One of the waterholes has been changed from an electric pump to solar, and the plan is to convert the entire camp to solar power in the future. It will be done in stages, starting with the staff village.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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