A smart revamp in Manyeleti

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Melanie van Zyl gets a front-row seat to wildlife with all the comforts she could ask for (even a butler).

Tintswalo Safari Manor House

Mpumalanga

Image by Melanie van Zyl

 

A short drive from safari hub Hoedspruit, Manyeleti Game Reserve (the name means ‘place of stars’) shares an unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park in one of its most productive predator areas – the Satara region – and also borders the famous Sabi Sands and Timbavati game reserves. You can’t beat the prime location of Tintswalo Safari Lodge.

Ideal for families and small groups of friends, the recently revamped Manor House accommodates between six and 10 guests in a splendid private holiday villa complete with a pool, butler, talented chef, exquisite dining boma beneath the stars, access to your own game-drive vehicle and guide, plus an exclusive waterhole – so you have bathing, splashing elephants all to yourself.

Boasting fresh new interior design, including eye-catching tropical-inspired Ardmore fabrics and two hedonistic outdoor bathrooms that are bound to be arm-wrestled over, the Manor House echoes the theme of the main Lodge, paying tribute to the early explorers of Africa (David Livingstone etc). Think vintage maps, plush furniture and expertly draped mosquito nets. Between dawn game drives and late afternoon excursions, there’s plenty of places here to park off and enjoy the Lowveld ambience, including a moody leather-smelling reading lounge and, outside, a bar, dining area and comfy lounge.

Images by Melanie van Zyl

Tintswalo has expertly combined homeliness and privacy with comfortable luxury – you feel spoilt in an incredible wilderness area without feeling awkward about the OTT opulence that often accompanies private lodges.

Best feature Hands down the waterhole within spitting distance of the Manor House. Plenty of animals pass by – during my stay we had ellies, impala, warthogs, zebras, kudu and wildebeest. Our expert tracker also showed us proof that a leopard had come to drink in the dark as we chatted around the fire.

Cost R48500 per night (sleeps up to 10, children welcome) including all meals, drinks and safari activities.

Contact tintswalo.com/safari

 

This review first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Getaway magazine.

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Our April issue features 13 campsites in Kruger National Park, a visit to Vietnam’s capital, Welcome Lishivha returns to Knysna one year after the fires and Melanie Van Zyl finds the best of both worlds in Mauritius, plus lots more.