Mavela Game Lodge is nestled in the heart of the magnificent Big 5 Manyoni Private Game Reserve, near Mkuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A unique all-inclusive luxury, safari-style tented bush lodge that offers both local and international travellers intimate encounters with African wildlife.
The lodge is owned and run by us, the Steven’s family who are committed to conservation and preserving wildlife for future generations. After spending a lot of our own time on the reserve, and being keen birders we know how special this region is, and as a prime birding spot with exceptional game viewing opportunities, we aim to share what makes it so special with you too. It’s in our nature to ensure that you are greeted with friendly hospitality and the highest standards of service, and because it’s us who have put our passion into this lodge, we understand the importance of hands-on management.
It’s incredible to witness how Mavela has become a return destination for guests seeking authentic wildlife experiences and “Big 5” sightings (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino), But among the big 5, the reserve also strives to protect and conserve some of the most endangered species in Africa (Temminck's Pangolin, African Wild Dog, Black Rhino and Cheetah) which adds an even more memorable destination for your African safari holiday. We cannot wait to welcome you to our bush paradise.
Upon the arrival of your stay, you’ll be welcomed at the main lodge. The lodge is designed as an open-plan, two-story thatched welcome area with a lounge, bar and dining facilities, all leading out to the pool and a wooden veranda that overlooks the rolling landscape of the Manyoni Reserve. The thatched roof depicts a diving raptor in flight and presents a regal architectural feature that aims to merge the feeling of the lodge’s positioning as a “birds-eye view” over the reserve. Depending on the weather our meals are served either in the dining area or outside on the deck under the big African sky.
We’ve designed our space as if it was the comfort of your own home; fully-inclusive to all guests, meaning you can help yourself to anything you wish. The stunning upstairs bar with beautiful views of the rolling hills is open for self-service, allowing you to sit back uninterrupted to soak up your African safari escape. On warm days we are sure you’ll spend them by the pool and on colder nights you can curl up next to the fireplace upstairs, and when the magic of an African sunset settles on the day, we know you’ll be at the bar enjoying your favourite wine, captivated by Africa.
Our primary focus at Mavela Game Lodge is to allow you, as our guests to get the best game viewing experience in the diverse beauty of the African bush. Our game drives are in customized open-top land cruisers which depart twice a day (morning and afternoon) in search of personal encounters with a range of abundant bird and wildlife.
Each safari game drive experience will be led by a highly trained, FGASA qualified guide with years of experience in finding animals and explaining their behaviour. If you, as our guest have any specific interests such as birding, botany, geology, photography and star gazing - You name it, our guide will have some knowledge on the subject. Please feel free to make any special requests, and we will do our absolute best to provide you with fascinating details in your area of interest.
At Mavela you can go on a walking safari that will take you closer to nature for an immersive wilderness experience. On the walking safari, your guide will teach you about the finer details of the bush - you’ll learn about the art of tracking wildlife or the various medicinal and cultural uses of the plant life found in our area. And who knows, you may even encounter one of the big 5 on foot! Please enquire about walking safaris upon your arrival and we’ll do our best to fit it into your itinerary.
Night drives can also be arranged to search for the rarely seen nocturnal animals. We head out after the sun has set, and drive through the darkness under the starry night sky while the ranger searches the bush with his spotlight. Stargazing is also an included magical experience as we are situated far from any light pollution.
The Manyoni Private Game Reserve has a large traversing area with varied habitats, and healthy wildlife populations and is the ideal destination for a memorable African safari. Manyoni Private Game Reserve is one of the largest privately-owned reserves in Kwazulu-Natal, in the east of South Africa. This 23,500-hectare reserve is the product of 17 dedicated landowners who dropped their fences in 2004 to create one contiguous protected area for our wildlife. The selection of the area as a potential release site for the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project was a major driving factor in the establishment of Manyoni. When you’re on our game drives, our specialised guides will be able to show you the very best of the reserve. For more information about where we are located have a look at the Manyoni Reserve site.