Thornybush Private Game Reserve,
South Africa

Insider’s Review of Africa House Royal Malewane

The Royal Malewane—one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 20 Resorts in the World in 2020—is delectably luxurious, but its Africa House is a notch above: a resolutely private, exclusive-use villa, designed for family-friendliness, for airy and pastel-hued appreciation of Thornybush Game Reserve’s scenery, and for a serene yet simultaneously exciting experience of safari in the highest style.

Accommodations at Africa House Royal Malewane

Africa House has its own chef and butler and all of its 12 luxury rooms are—of course—air-conditioned and unobtrusively equipped with all the modern amenities, and all are individually designed for gentle comfort and openness to the House’s beauteous surroundings. All feature en-suite bathrooms with twin vanity cabinets, generous Victorian-style bathtubs, and walk-in showers. And each has its own private deck—with an outside shower and a winsome plunge pool. The House has its own large pool, dining room, lounge, bar, and full access to Africa’s sublime and pure airs and what Elspeth Huxley called “the soft velvet darkness of the tropics…a warm conservatory whose great dome is encrusted with all the diamonds in the world.”

The House is secludedly separate from the Royal Malewane main lodge, itself a luxe lodge with only eight suites. But Africa House guests pop over to the main lodge for enlightenment in the lodge’s fine library, exercise at its fitness centre, and purposeful relaxation at its excellent and multifaceted spa.


Activities and Attractions at Africa House Royal Malewane

Thornybush is a private reserve, available only to guests in the Thornybush lodges, including, of course, Africa House—which means our game drives in this exceptionally game-rich area (which shares an unfenced border with famed Kruger National Park) are free from buzzing vans and day-trip safariers. Our Micato Safari Director, with us throughout our stay (here and beyond), is a highly-credentialed expert on this area, and our classically African game drives—in private, top-of-the-line Africa House vehicles—will almost invariably include up-close encounters with all of the Big Five and a host of their mammalian, avian, and reptilian co-stars.

Our safari experts and your Travel Director stand ready to discuss a wide range of activities a little further afar than Thornybush’s right-at-hand gamelands. For example: luxury helicopter flights on the Panorama Route, soaring over the Three Rondawels, the wonderfully-named God’s Window, and the dramatic Blyde River Canyon (on which we can arrange lovely cruises). Hot air ballooning—one of Africa’s most eye-popping escapades—over the Blyde River, below the epic Drakensberg Escarpment. Golfing at Leopard Point, a world-class course right on the border of Kruger National Park. Horsebacking rambles in the nearby Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate (a delightful game viewing experience). Visits to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. And—because, as we always say: people come to Africa to see the animals, and leave in love with its people—an unscripted visit to the families of one of the region’s communities.

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