Need another reason to plan a safari retreat? Hardly. But now there’s a new reason to dream of an African vacation — Sanctuary Retreats has announced the August 1 opening of its first South Africa property, the intimate 8-suite game lodge, Makanyane Safari Lodge.  Situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve, Makanyane will join the brand’s 16 other properties throughout the continent.

Named for the African wild dog indigenous to the surrounding South African landscape, Makanyane features just eight exclusive glass-fronted suites hidden in the lush riverside forest.  Constructed from local stone, wood and thatch, the stylish main lodge is on the edge of a ravine overlooking a waterhole frequented by game and features a main lodge, dining area, small spa, air-conditioned gym and swimming pool.

The 185,329-acre Madikwe Game Reserve is home to the ‘Big Five’, as well as the rare African wild dog, cheetah, giraffe, hyena and more than 360 bird species. Activities available at the lodge include morning and night game drives, guided walks, birding expeditions, bush dinners and sundowner cocktails.

Each air-conditioned suite offers complete privacy with its own private sun deck and open-air lounge. The bathrooms are equally luxurious with roll-top bathtubs, double sinks, indoor and outdoor showers and floor-to-ceiling doors that open to an outdoor bathroom overlooking the reserve.

One of our favorite features is the lodge’s private, second-story sleeping deck. where guest can enjoy the opportunity to spend a romantic night under the African stars, surrounded by lanterns and the African bush.

Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge - Bedroom Sleep Out Hide Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge -Makanyane Elephant

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Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge - Elephant Outside Suite