Our Rating
9.1
Overall

Tintswalo Safari Lodge

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Manyeleti

from R 4285 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
54%
Our Rating
9.1
Overall

Tintswalo Safari Lodge

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Manyeleti

from R 4285 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Save
54%
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Our Verdict

Wonderfully stylish and luxurious lodge with private plunge pools - it also offers perhaps the least crowded and rushed safari experience in the Kruger area!

Our Ratings

9.1
Overall
9.0
Luxury & style
9.0
Setting
9.0
Game Viewing
9.0
Romance

Our Ratings

9.1
Overall
9.0
Luxury & style
9.0
Setting
9.0
Game Viewing
9.0
Romance

What's Hot

  • Almost unheard of low vehicle densities means that you’re unlikely to see other vehicles and you can spend long, unrushed periods at prime animal sightings – this is the opposite of the “Ferrari Safari” found in other more crowded reserves!
  • It might not be as well-known as its famous neighbours, but the Manyeleti reserve offers prime Big 5 viewing – guests at Tintswalo commonly get to see the big cats (and wild dog are found here too) along with sightings of breeding herds of elephant and huge 600-plus strong herds of buffalo
  • The 7 suites are wonderfully spacious and luxurious with their own private plunge pools from which you can enjoy great birding and animal sightings – they’re amply spaced apart too for ultimate privacy
  • From the main lodge deck you can enjoy wonderful sightings of the animals (with the ellies being particularly common visitors) as they come down to drink at the permanent pool in the river bed right next to the deck
  • Unlike the long and rough trip over dirt roads to get to the northern Sabi Sand lodges, Tintswalo is relatively easily and quickly reached – just follow the good tar road towards the Orpen gate and then it’s just 8 km of dirt inside the Manyeleti reserve to the lodge itself

What's Not

  • Having so few vehicles out on game drive in such a large reserve means that there are less eyes out spotting game – however the Tintswalo trackers and rangers know the area like the back of their hands and know where the prime sightings are likely to be found
  • The Manyeleti doesn’t have the cachet or brand recognition yet of the Sabi Sands for example – but then again do you want to show off to your mates by name dropping around the dinner table, or rather get to enjoy arguably the most exclusive wildlife experience in South Africa?
Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Tintswalo Safari Lodgeit’s quite likely that you’ll never encounter another vehicle whilst out on drive (unlike the Sabi Sands or Timbavati) whilst the the chance to spend much longer, unrushed periods at prime animal sightings is another huge plus point

Lodge Profile

Wonderfully stylish and luxurious lodge with private plunge pools - it also offers perhaps the least crowded and rushed safari experience in the Kruger area!

Quick Overview

Location
Manyeleti Reserve
Drive Time
5 1/2 hours from Johannesburg
Malaria
Yes- low risk area
Setting
Overlooking river bed
Rooms
6 Explorer Suites and 1 Presidential Suite
Aircon
Yes
Pool
Private plunge pools at all suites
Spa
Yes
Camp Fenced
Elephant fence
Tracker
Yes - ranger and tracker
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
No children under 12

The Manyeleti is perhaps the best kept secret of all the lowveld reserves. It’s substantial 27 000 hectares are basically surrounded by the most famous reserves in South Africa, sharing unfenced borders with the Sabi Sand to the south, Kruger Park to the east and Timbavati to the north – so as you can imagine the game viewing on offer is truly top-drawer! Why then is it less well-known than its immediate neighbours? Ultimately this is basically due to there only being 2 commercial lodge operations in the entire reserve, so as a result there’s been far less publicity and exposure. But rest assured that game viewing here is excellent, with the reserve being known for its predator numbers and breeding herds of elephant and buffalo (sightings of 600-strong herds aren’t uncommon here!)

But it’s this lack of commercial lodge development compared to its neighbours that makes a stay at Tintswalo such a special and exclusive experience.

Between the 2 lodge operations in the Manyeleti there are just 8 vehicles going out on game drives through this vast expanse of bush, so it’s quite likely that you’ll never encounter another vehicle whilst out on drive (unlike the Sabi Sands or Timbavati for example which boast many more lodges and hence even more vehicles) Whilst the feeling of being in the true wilderness is one advantage of this very low vehicle density, the chance to spend much longer, unrushed periods at prime animal sightings is another huge plus point – instead of spending perhaps 10 minutes at a leopard or lion sighting before having to make way for another vehicle that has been waiting in the queue, at Tintswalo you’re under no pressure to move. So if that pride of lions is on the hunt, you may get the chance to spend the next couple of hours watching them – which could end up being the difference between a merely good game sighting and a truly unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.

Further good news is that the lodge itself is quite frankly superb! Entering the lodge, you’ll be struck by the stone-packed walls that’ll no doubt evoke the Zimbabwe Ruins in your imagination. Arriving into a massive foyer, you’re met with expansive views of the dry riverbed and African bush beyond. On one side lies a grand colonial dining room, to the other a spectacular lounge furnished in over-sized and wonderfully comfortable furniture that leads out to an outdoor deck shaded by towering riverine forest. There’s also a library for quiet moments spent browsing through the lodge’s collection of rare books. Probably the highlight though has to be the small waterhole or pool of water perched literally next to the lodge deck from which you can enjoy stunning sightings of animals coming to drink, with elephants being almost permanent residents!

Raised wooden boardwalks lead you to the lodge’s 7 luxurious suites which are situated along the banks of the seasonal Nwaswitsontso River and amply separated for supreme privacy. They’re all named after famous 19th century African explorers (Livingstone, Speke, Burton, Stanley etc) and whilst there are minor décor differences, the air-conditioned suites all boast a huge sense of space and tasteful luxury, with lovely claw-foot baths and indoor/outdoor showers leading out onto your own private deck. You’ll also no doubt enjoy wallowing in your own private plunge pool during the heat of the lowveld summer, whilst at the same time enjoying great birding and game viewing!

Just to put the cherry on top of the whole experience, the dining at Tintswalo gets consistent rave reviews from guests (just remember that drinks aren’t included in the special rates that we’ve negotiated for SA residents) You could end up having dinner under the stars in the boma, on the deck or even a romantic set-up in the lodge's wine cellar! And if all this still sounds too much like hard work, then there’s also the chance to head to the lodge’s Vital Source Spa for a relaxing massage or perhaps a soak in the hydrotherapy bath overlooking the bush. Ahhh bliss…

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Subject to availability
  • Reserve entrance fee of R30 per person and R30 per vehicle payable on arrival
  • Rates exclude the Community Development Levy of R 40.00 per person per stay.

Child Policy

  • No children under 12 years old in Explorer Suites