Manyeleti Game Reserve safaris, tours & holiday packagesAn off-the-beaten-track Big Five safari destination
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There are just three lodges in this 23,000-hectare private game reserve on the western edge of Kruger National Park – which means game viewing without the crowds.
With no fences to separate Manyeleti Game Reserve from Kruger National Park and the private reserves Timbavati to the north and Sabi Sand in the south, game can wander freely. And there's a lot of it in this reserve.
As you traverse Manyeleti's 200 kilometres of gravel roads in search of the Big Five, you're unlikely to see many other cars – day visitors are not allowed and each of the three lodges on the concession has just a few beds.
Kruger National Park is South Africa's best-known wildlife destination but it has thousands of visitors a day in the peak season, which means that when you spot a leopard there can be 30 cars parked around it. Private concessions like Manyeleti offer a better wildlife experience and your car may be the only one at a sighting.
More on Manyeleti holidays
Like its more famous neighbours, Manyeleti is a mixture of open plains and grasslands, rivers and thick wooded areas. Alongside the Big Five, the reserve is home to antelope and other game; there are more than 300 species of birds including a well-known raptor population.
There's a range of accommodation provided by the three lodges on the reserve, which is owned and managed by the Mnisi tribe in the wake of a successful land claim. Tintswalo Safari Lodge is the most upmarket, with only six suites, each of which has its own deck and plunge pool. Each of the two Honeyguide Tented Camps – Khoka Moya and Mantobeni – has 12 luxurious safari tents done in contemporary and colonial styles. Pungwe Bush Camp offers more affordable accommodation in four safari tents, with dinners cooked over an open fire and the opportunity to go on both game drives and walking safaris – a whole different way of experiencing the bush.
Manyeleti means "Place of the Stars" in Shangaan, a local language, and stargazing in the evenings while sipping Amarula is what you'll be doing after each day's game drives.
Manyeleti's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Manyeleti
May to September are the best time to visit Manyeleti National Park - during the dry season. The wildlife seeks for waterholes and other sources for water. go there.