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Experience a safari like no other in extraordinary style and comfort.

Royal Malewane is a luxury safari lodge in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park that exudes the romance and beauty of a bygone age while offering every modern comfort.

One of the most qualified guiding team in Africa delivers an unrivalled wildlife experience providing fascinating insights into the complex ecosystems of the South African bushveld.

There are two accommodation options at Royal Malewane - Main Lodge which is more classic and grand in style and The Farmstead which is more intimate and contemporary.

Whichever style you choose, their expert guides will bring you thrillingly close to the Big Five. Indulge in sensual spa treatments and let the passion of their chefs delight you with nightly feasts under the African stars.

The lodge is easily accessible by air and road and is located in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve on the Western Border of The Greater Kruger National Park.

Where is Royal Malewane located?

The Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa and one of the world’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries. The Kruger National Park is located in the Mpumulanga Province and is about a 6 hour drive from Johannesburg with numerous flights to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit (Kruger Mpumulanga International Airport).

Approximately the same size as Israel or Wales, it covers some 19,485 square kilometres offering a rich diversity of ecosystems that support over 145 mammal species including the Big 5 and over 500 bird species.

The untamed environment stirs deep emotions. You will experience meaningful and often life changing encounters with wildlife replacing bustling city life with the tranquil sounds and splendour of nature. Time slows down as your body adjusts to the natural rhythms of the African bush.


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The Explorations Company, where no two journeys have ever been the same

What sort of accommodation is available?

Africa House is the exclusive-use villa at Royal Malewane that sleeps up to 12 guests in six bedrooms.

Africa House is the perfect option for a luxury family safari. Or for a group of friends celebrating a special occasion. Situated away from the main lodge, it is a totally self-contained bush paradise where you can relax in the most opulent and easy-going style.

Accommodation at Africa House is spacious and elegant with vibrantly eclectic furnishings. Each of the 6 bedrooms enjoys private outside shower and deck. Antique furniture, carved four-poster beds from Mombasa, plush silk furnishings and Persian rugs create an exotic and luxurious feel.

All rooms are air-conditioned and en-suite with twin vanity cabinets, generous Victorian-style bathtub and walk-in shower.

There is an additional guide’s/pilot’s room at Africa House for those accompanied by a private guide, nanny, pilot or photographer.

Guests at Africa House enjoy their own private services which means complete flexibility on your family holiday. Not only will you get your own private chef and housekeeping team, but you’ll have your own dedicated game ranger, tracker and private game drive vehicle.

Are children welcome at Royal Malewane?

There is something magical about introducing children to nature from an early age. Encouraging a lifetime of discovery and wonder at the earth's great and small creatures.

Children over 10 are welcome in the six Luxury Suites, while children of all ages are welcome in the two Royal Suites and at Africa House.

Guests will have their own private safari vehicle ensuring complete flexibility around game drives and bush walks which can be made a little shorter for younger children.

The expert rangers and trackers at Royal Malewane love to share their knowledge with kids of all ages and are masters at making that knowledge accessible to future rangers.

They have a number of goodies and activities designed for kids such as a kiddies’ amenities range, bush backpack (with sun cream, a chap stick and a water bottle), activity booklets, The Royal Cubs Spa Menu, kitchen activities (baking and homemade play-dough) and an animal checklist with pictures.

For slightly older children they have a Junior Rangers course which includes:

  • Scatalogue
  • Moulding and identification of animal tracks
  • Bird watching (10 common birds and identifying sounds)
  • Plant identification and uses
  • Play book (animal pictures, common facts and an introduction to the local language)

What Activities are Available?

From expert rangers and trackers to specialist photographic safaris, Royal Malewane offers a classical safari experience where nature is paramount. With over 130 mammal species and over 300 bird species, Royal Malewane delivers an unrivalled wildlife experience incorporating all creatures’ great and small as well as the incredible plant life that plays such a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

  • Expert Rangers and Trackers

Royal Malewane has some of the most qualified guiding team in Africa. Their team consists of career guides who strive for excellence and are passionate about the African bush.

  • The Big 5 - Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Black Rhino make up Africa's Big 5.

The ‘Big 5’ phrase was coined by hunters back in the day. It referred to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot and the degree of danger involved. The term is still used today but without the hunting connotations. The animals still appear on the various South African banknotes.

It’s interesting to note that technically the Black Rhino and not the White Rhino makes up the Big 5.

  • Game Drives

Experience Africa's abundant wildlife on morning and afternoon game drives with expert game rangers and trackers. Guest safety is paramount.

  • Birding Safaris

Opening your eyes and ears to the fascinating bird life at Royal Malewane will add an entirely new dimension to your safari experience.

  • Specialist Photographic Safaris

A passion for wildlife and a passion for photography often go hand in hand. The Rangers at Royal Malewane will tailor your safari experience according to your level of interest and skill.

  • Bush Walks

Experience an even more intimate nature and wildlife encounter by walking among the Big 5. Learn about the vegetation, eco-systems, insect and bird life on a thrilling and fascinating bush walk.

There is certainly no shortage of activities at Royal Malewane, but for those on an extended stay, there are plenty of activities in the surrounding areas including hot air ballooning, golf and local village excursions.

  • Helicopter over the panorama route
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Local community visits
  • Canyon Cruise
  • Golf at Leopard Creek
  • Horse Back Trails
  • Moholoholo wildlife rehabilitation centre

When is the best time to visit Royal Malewane?

The best time of year to visit Royal Malewane depends very much on your preferences. There is something wonderful about experiencing nature in different seasons and a magical sighting is possible at any time of year,

The summer months (October to February) see more rain which means there are more insects about. Temperatures can be extremely hot. The bush is verdant and the grass is longer which makes game viewing trickier.

Game vehicles are not driven off road if more than 25mm of rain has been experienced in order to protect the environment. But for bird lovers, there are many more birds to see at this time of year as well as all the migrant species and the bush itself is alive with sounds of crickets, frogs and birds. There are also many baby animals born around this time which can be the highlight of a game drive.

The winter months (May, June, July and August) are a great time for good game viewing as the bush is quieter, drier and more open. Animals tend to congregate around watering holes. Temperatures are more moderate, you are more likely to be able to go off road for close-up viewing and there are fewer insects.

Temperatures in summer (from October to end of February) can reach between 16°C (61°F) after a rainy cold front and climb up to a scorching 40°C (104°F) on a really hot day.

Temperatures in winter (from May through to the end of August) can be as low as 0°C (32°F) on the morning game drives and climb up to a comfortable 18°C (64°F) by lunch time.

The Kruger National Park is situated in South Africa’s lowveld which experiences summer rainfall and very occasional winter rainfall.

What should I pack and bring with me?

  • Sun cream and insect repellent are always provided on game drives but you may like to bring your own if you have a personal preference
  • Binoculars are available but your own set will allow you appreciate the beauty of the many birds that can be seen on drives, and also enjoy close up views of the game
  • A small compact camera will be fine for taking photographs; a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses is recommended for longer range pictures, birds and close-ups
  • For game drives, neutral colours are recommended (khaki, beige, green, stone, denim blue, black). Bright colours (pink, red, purple, yellow, white) are best avoided
  • Waterproof jackets are advisable for stays from September to April as there may be rain. Rain ponchos and blankets are provided on game drive vehicles but you may wish to bring a little extra protection
  • Gloves, a warm hat, warm jackets or fleeces are recommended from April to August as it can get cold on game drives in the early morning and late evening (though not usually wet at this time of year)
  • For bush walks, bring comfortable walking shoes and long trousers, as grass may be wet due to morning dew in summer
  • A hat is recommended on game drives, along with sunglasses to protect your eyes from the strong African sun
  • The dress code around the lodge is informal but you may like to dress up for dinner, bearing in mind that temperatures can drop at night so an extra layer might be a good idea

There is a small curio shop at Royal Malewane that sells clothing, hats, caps, batteries, sun cream and other essentials, so don’t panic if you forget to pack something.

Why is Conservation & Community so important at Royal Malewane?

At The Royal Portfolio they believe passionately in investing in Africa. In keeping with their Purpose and Values, they strive to uplift local communities, promote conservation and protect the environment.

Sustainable tourism is about ensuring a long term future for African tourism based on partnership and community benefit. Revenue from tourism is used to ensure sustainability of the industry to educate and to create jobs and to conserve Africa’s precious wildlife and spectacular landscapes for generations to come.

The Royal Portfolio Foundation was established by the Biden Family in order to give back to their local communities by contributing towards various up-liftment and conservation projects within their Three Crowns sustainability framework.

Each of The Royal Portfolio’s properties supports a number of projects relevant to their unique location and particular situation.


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A Fixed Wing Flying Safari is a unique concept of travel in Africa. It introduces another dimension to a typical African safari, that of the beauty of the continent from the air. Accompanied and guided by experienced pilots who are also experienced safari guides a Fixed Wing Flying Safari is a truly memorable and exclusive experience.

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Epic helicopter journeys exploring corners of Africa that few have been to or even ever heard of. We specialise in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, the Congo and Namibia. Our tailor-made safaris cover wild and spectacular mountains, valleys, forests and deserts, with a focus on ‘remote and unknown, unexplored and unforgettable’.

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Take the first step on your extraordinary journey into Africa

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The Explorations Company

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.

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100% Tailor Made

- Utterly designed and tailored around you and your requirements

- Totally unique every time you travel with us

- The very best hand picked guides which can make the difference between a  good and an outstanding holiday

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Priceless Knowledge

- Established over 30 years ago we have been around longer than most

- Our specialists come from, have lived in or travelled extensively in the regions we cover

- Unparalleled knowledge provides you with the best possible experience

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Making a difference

- Philanthropy is our philosophy

- Our founding principle is to always ‘put something back’

- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities

Would you like to know more?

Our team can help prepare a unique itinerary that best suits your personal interests  – no pressure, just
support and advice. Please complete your information and we will be in touch in no time.

As a guide, the cost of our extraordinary and utterly bespoke journeys tends to start from $1200 per person per day excluding international flights.

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Explore with The Explorations Company

By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017

Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...

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Your holiday is fully protected by the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018

Flight-Inclusive Bonding: We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and hold ATOL Number 7159

Flight-Exclusive bonding: Your holiday is further protected by our membership of ABTOT Membership Number 5197