Simone and I love traveling. During 2020, international travel was impossible and on a whim, during an overnight stay in Cape Town, we decided that we would look locally. We both love South Africa – but we have not spent nearly enough time exploring our country.
A easy 6 hour drive from Johannesburg is the Manyeleti Game Reserve; and in it is the magnificent Tintswalo Safari Lodge. Tintswalo is wonderful. The accommodation is beautifully evocative of a bygone era. Every moment of our stay was an adventure and we felt like the 19th century explorers that the suites are named after. Our suite, was beautifully appointed with a large four-poster bed, a small lounge, romantic bathroom and our own private swimming pool. It gets really hot during the day and a splash around the pool is literally God sent. The care and attention to detail in the furniture and fittings is clear, and Tintswalo feels luxurious without being overly opulent. The lodge seems completely at one with its setting – and that seems very appropriate to me.
Our gracious hostess Amy was always waiting with a beautiful welcoming smile, a post drive drink and to welcome us to dinner.
The food is a serious highlight. Every morsal was delicious. I put on a ton of weight and can’t say that a regret a single gram. It was so worthwhile and I am willing to go on record – I would stay at Tintswalo for the food alone. On our second night, on our return from our game-drive (and after an incredible leopard sighting) we were greeted by a pathway of candles, leading us to the dining room and then onto a candle lit dinner in the wine cellar. Tintswalo boasts a wonderful wine list with fabulous local wines.
Breakfast was a favorite experience for me as the staff greeted us so warmly and sat us under a large tree near the elephant watering hole. The weather on our trip was perfect and the surroundings the perfect setting for a couple of safari explorers.
Tintswalo apparently boasts one of the lowest vehicle densities in the Greater Kruger – and we certainly felt completely alone and isolated (in the best possible way). In addition to all the regular game, we had fantastic lion, buffalo and elephant sightings. We were also often treated on our walkway to the rooms, to nyala females peacefully grazing within the lodge, as well as watching the males display locking of horns for the females attention. It was as if they did not even see us and we were at times only 2 meters away, which was absolutely thrilling. A real highlight is the water spout at the lodge deck. An elephant came to drink from it while Simone and I were having a drink. Sharing sundowners with an elephant is completely fabulous.