Manyeleti Private Game Reserve

Manyeleti Reserve forms part of the vast, celebrated wilderness of the Greater Kruger. It lies wedged between the Sabi Sand and Timbavati reserves on the western border of the Kruger National Park. Manyeleti is home to a few safari lodges that offer quality accommodations and guided open 4x4 safaris in this conservation area owned by the Mnisi Tribe.

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Manyeleti lies in the heart of South Africa's Big Five country. It is relatively underdeveloped, with only six camps, lodges, and 200 kilometers of gravel road. Visitors to Manyeleti will not encounter large numbers of tourists or traffic jams at popular waterholes.

The reserve offers nature lovers the opportunity to view more than 300 bird species, the Big Five, and many other mammal species. It is a wonderfully wild haven easily accessible from Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit, with a drive of around an hour. The entrance to Manyeleti is adjacent to Kruger'sKruger's Orpen gate. The accommodations on offer range from moderately priced tented camps to luxury lodges. It is an excellent option for those wishing to enjoy a lodge safari at a reasonable price.

230 km²
Bird species
+/- 300
Famous Feature
696 water source sites

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Safari Lodges at Manyeleti

African Sky recommends the following lodges. These bushveld getaways are the finest available in this one of the reserves that make up the Greater Kruger National Park.

Pungwe Camp

At Pungwe Camp, guests are accommodated in meru-style safari tents. The focus is on immersion in the wilderness and authentic safari experiences in an area of the Kruger National Park with a very low visitor density.

Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Each of the seven individually decorated suites at Tintswalo is built on the banks of a seasonal river. All suites have private decks with plunge pools, ideal for relaxing between safari adventures.

Reasons to Visit Manyeleti


Exclusivity in the Bush

With a limited number of intimate lodges, luxury, and personal attention, your safari will be a genuinely exclusive adventure. The low density of tourists in the area means your game drives will not be interrupted by others, and it will be an exclusive affair between you and mother nature.


Finer Detail

For those interested in the finer details of the African bushveld, Manyeleti offers flora identification and footprint tracking by highly skilled rangers who effectively communicate their intimate knowledge and understanding. It brings to life the complexities of the ecosystem and the behavior of those who inhabit it.



At Manyeleti, you can be sure that you will experience different things every day. Game drives are often to other locations daily in search of specific species. Various relaxing and rejuvenating activities are available at the lodges. Even dinner will only sometimes be served in the same locale, alternating between the Boma and camp dining area.

Experiences to Savor

Barely touched by development, you'll undoubtedly savor the exclusivity of a safari in the "place of stars." The experience is tangibly authentic.


True to its name, "the place of the stars" is one aspect of the reserve you will cherish forever. The glittering stars shine so much brighter here. Relax on the main lodge deck or the porch of your safari suit with the sounds of an African night filling the air below a star-studded sky.

Secret Safari

Manyeleti is far from the mainstream tourist areas and one of the few places in Greater Kruger where you can enjoy an uncrowded safari experience in a pristine, unscathed natural environment. It is a place you can truly break away from it all and experience nature in all her glory.

Skilled Rangers

The rangers at lodges are experts in tracking wildlife rather than relying on the sightings called in by other rangers based at other lodges. The low lodge density in this private game reserve ensures a more authentic safari focused on intimate wildlife encounters.


Can you visit the reserve for a day?
No day visitors are allowed, which makes for a great private safari experience.
Are there any picnic facilities available?
No picnic facilities are available; guests are catered to at the luxurious lodges.
Who owns the reserve?
The reserve is owned and managed by the local Mnisi tribe.
Are there any other reserves adjacent to Manyeleti Game Reserve?
Yes, there are, and they have no fences between them. The adjacent reserves are the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, and the Timbavati Private Game Reserve.
What does Manyeleti mean?
In Shangaan, it means "Place of Stars."
Are there any spa facilities in the reserve?
There is a wellness spa at Tintswalo Safari Lodge.
What should I remember to pack?
Bring a quality dust-free bag for your camera, as all the roads in Manyeleti reserve are gravel, and the park gets dusty in the winter.

Useful Travel Info

Getting There

By Air

Guests can fly to Hoedspruit, Skukuza, or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. From any of these airports, guests are transferred to their lodges in a private air-conditioned vehicle. Manyeleti is the most accessible access from Hoedspruit Airport.

By Road

The six-hour drive from Johannesburg is quite extensive. Guests traveling with African Sky will either fly to the nearest airport. If you are visiting Manyeleti after another destination in the area, you will be transferred via a private, air-conditioned vehicle.

Weather & Best Time To Visit

Wildlife viewing is at its best during the dry winter months. The vegetation is much sparser than during the rainy summer season, and the animals flock to the watering holes. It gets cold in the evenings and early mornings in the winter, but the days are pretty fair, the temperatures are ideal for bush walks, and clear skies make for incredible stargazing.

The peak summer months from December to February can be scorching and humid, but the lush green vegetation is beautiful. Spring is a great time for birders, as the migratory birds arrive in the reserve.


Manyeleti is owned and managed by the local Mnisi tribe. During the apartheid years, black tourists were not allowed in the Kruger National Park, and therefore Manyeleti was the only place where they could enjoy nature's bounties.

The apartheid government loathed to engineer any development within the reserve, and for many years visitors had to contend with very basic amenities. Today, this proved to be a blessing in disguise, as the area is close to untouched. Manyeleti only has 200 kilometers of gravel road. The roads are well-maintained; currently, there are no plans for further development.


In this area, 108 mammal species, 25 species of amphibian, 80 reptile species, and more than 240 bird species are documented. The most common animals in this park are zebra and blue wildebeest, which move around in large herds. Other prevalent large antelope include greater kudu, nyala, and the rare sable antelope. It is also home to the Big Five.

Manyeleti is one of the few places where one might see black-back jackals and side-striped jackals in the same area. It is unusual, as these two species compete for the same resources.

Vegetation & Terrain

The reserve is situated within the savanna biome, the most commonly found in South Africa. Three hundred fifty plant species occur here. The biome typically has grassy plains, mixed woodland, and dense riverine shrubbery. Thorn trees scattered among the long green and yellow grassy plains create the perfect habitat for herbivores to graze and predators to hide as they hunt them.

The terrain is arid in winter and wet during the summer rainy season, so the availability of food fluctuates throughout the year. The large lake at the center of the reserve and the N'waswitsontso and Pungwe Rivers are great attractions, as animals and birds congregate at these water sources - especially in the dry season.


If you want to experience an exclusive Big Five safari and relax and rejuvenate your spirit in the African bush, Manyeleti is for you. Its fence-free agreement with the Kruger National Park and neighboring reserves means that the animals roam freely, but people do not. It is relatively small and not as well-known as the more significant reserves.

Game drives are conducted twice daily by experienced rangers that will share their intimate knowledge of the area with you. Each lodge has a small in-house library, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, and swimming pools. Guided bush walks are also available.

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