There are a million safari experiences on earth, but there is only one Royale Malewane. This hotel provides one of the best wildlife escapades in the world. When it comes to wildlife tourism, Royale Malewane bridges the tricky gap between boutique hotel and luxury facility. Unlike other places bordering the famous Kruger National Park, a stay at Royale Malewane is guaranteed to fulfill your African experience. No wonder Elton John picked it to be the place to spend his honeymoon with David Furnish and a host of other A-listers.
The retreat is nestled on the side of one of the largest natural reserves on earth. The lobby, decorated with vintage home furniture, faces a a moderately sized waterhole that is pumped during the dry months and maintains a constant flow of natural wildlife who visit during all hours of the day. A small stopping point for the vast fauna. From large monitor lizards to an array of deer species and the occasional elephant who is not too reluctant to drink from your very own private pool.
The rooms are up to par to the lavish lobby. They are specious, well-organized, isolated from the back, yet open to the wild in the front with minimal intrusion from staff or visiting neighbors. All the rooms are equipped with the necessities and more, including an open mini-bar, outdoors shower and a pool made for the perfect honeymoon. If that wasn’t enough, guests are escorted to their rooms at night to avoid suddenly meeting with random wandring creature.
During your visit you will experience two daily tours into the reserves to see the big five and more. Water Buffalos amass the land, deer become common ground after the first day and bird spotting does not require any effort. It’s not a surprise to see all the beasts in one day and have your apple stolen by a monkey while sitting outside. This is wilderness made at human’s best comfort level. Amidst the tour into the wild a mandatory stop is made to have French cheeses, wines and biltong.
Another marker that puts Royale Malewane on the top of its ilk is its impeccable service. South Africa might be known for its food, but it’s quite a different experience when you have your own chef catering to your needs and ensuring everything to your liking three times a day without hesitation. The sky’s the limit with the menu and everything you eat will be prepared with the utmost care. At dinner expect the staff to burst into song and dance while you have your rare steak and Merlot in a secluded candle-lit corner by the rife waterhole. All the while listening to the sounds of the nocturnal animals while bottle-nosed terrapins lurk under you. It’s definitely an experience to feel.
The spa offers all the best from a modern pool to massages, including hot stone, Thai and Swedish. The gift shop is stocked, well-priced and is equipped with everything a tourist might need in such seclusion. Other tours are available upon consultation, even as all events planned with your package will be enough to titillate and invigorate. This can truly be an experience of a lifetime. Also, when you wake up in the morning, expect to see a lilac-breasted roller by your doorstep. Still, always be aware of those pesky monkeys for they can turn your mobile phone into their volleyball.
- South Africa 2011: Kruger National Park Photo Report 2 – The Birds (mortalcoil.com)
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