An Extraordinary encounter with South Africa’s bushveld awaits you at Mabula Game Lodge, located just two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Johannesburg in the Malaria Free Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province.
Revel in the sheer variety of animal, bird and plant life; the diverse landscapes ranging from grassland plains to rocky outcrops creating an ideal habitat for the free-roaming Big Five and all the little creatures that contribute to a magical wildlife experience you’ll never forget.
Distinctly African in style, Mabula Game Lodge offers comfortable thatch-roof accommodation with luxury finishings. With soft neutral bushveld colours throughout and massive windows bringing the African wildlife indoors, guests will experience unprecedented relaxation while enjoying the sights and sounds that Mabula Game Lodge has to offer.
Watch the warthogs nibble their way through the gardens and hear the incessant chatter of happy birds as you relax on your patio, or escape the African heat in your cosy lounge. Soothe your weary muscles in the shower for a quick wake-up dip before boarding your morning safari.
Tuck into a mouthwatering impala casserole or a delicious vegetarian dish. Mabula Game Lodge serves up a staggering array of appetizing dishes to tempt your vegetarian or carnivorous palate.
An unbelievable display of salads, bread, roasts, fish and cold meats, not to mention traditional South African desserts will have you lingering at the buffet far longer. You’ll never walk away hungry at Mabula Game Lodge!
Enjoy a light lunch amidst the call of Grey Loeries on the terrace, retire to the lodge’s main Restaurant or savour a scrumptious dinner under the stars in Mabula Game Lodge’s traditional Boma dining venue accompanied by the rhythmic beat of traditional African dancers.
For special occasions, there’s nothing more magical than dining under the stars at one of Mabula’s legendary bush dinners; the flickering lights, the sounds of the African wilderness, traditional South African cuisine with great company creating an unique dining experience.
Choose one of the special dining venues to make your event exceptional in every way. From traditional African wilderness-themed evening dinners under a 100-year-old Wild Fig tree to weddings at the open-air Shaya Moya offering astounding views over the plain.
Small or large, sophisticated or eccentric, Mabula Game Lodge will create a fuss-free African bush event to exceed your expectations.
Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner al fresco in tranquil surroundings with nothing but the sounds of Grey Loeries and the serene sound of trickling water to keep you company.
Dine under the stars in Mabula Game Lodge’s Boma, (weather permitting) usually every second or third night. The Boma offers seating for up to 180 guests for gala dinners and theme evenings. Enjoy traditional Tswana dancing and a dazzling starry sky while you tuck into delectable South African cuisine.
Pool Cocktail Bar
Relax at Mabula Lodge Pool and enjoy a light lunch on your lounger while soaking up the sun. Mabula’s fully equipped Pool Cocktail Bar seats up to 60 people and is also available for finger lunches, cocktail receptions and cheese and wine evenings.
It’s bushveld dining at its best. Set deep within the Mabula bush is the spectacular Fig Tree dinner venue; a 100-year-old Wild Fig tree adorned with flickering lanterns providing a magnificent backdrop for your special dinner.
Fig Tree is available for gala dinners and theme evenings during which you can enjoy Mabula’s traditional dancers and marimba band or even brave a fire walk over red-hot coals.
There are few venues that offer the tranquillity and romance of Mabula’s Shaya Moya, situated in the middle of a grassy plain against a lovely Wild Fig Tree. Dubbed Shaya Moya for the cool, refreshing breeze guests will enjoy here, this open-air venue is ideal for champagne breakfasts and weddings, seating over 180 guests.
Ideal for smaller groups, Mvubu Deck overlooks a watering hole and is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as gala dinners, theme evenings and weddings. Seating up to 60 guests and within walking distance from the main lodge, Mvubu offers buffet meals as well as on-site entertainment until 23h00.
We are pleased to present our Conference and Meeting facilities at Mabula Game Lodge. Meeting in the bush couldn’t be more special than at Mabula Game Lodge, with three fully-equipped conferencing venues on offer.
We pride ourselves on being able to tailor-make any event to your requirements and invite you to meet with us to discuss the many options available to you.
You could spend two weeks at Mabula Game Lodge and not experience the vast array of activities on offer for both young and old. From quad biking to bird walks, stargazing safaris to dam picnics, fill your days and nights with all that the Mabula bushveld as to offer.
Mabula Game Lodge is a veritable hive of activities offering such bush experiences as horseback safaris, quad bike safaris, and guided bush walks.
Keen birders will enjoy the regular birding safaris or walks, spotting such species as the Amur Falcon, Lilac-breasted Roller, and Red-crested Korhaan, while guided bush walks provide the perfect setting in which to follow animal tracks, identify plants and insects and spot some of the area’s most beautiful birdlife.
Picnic breakfasts or afternoon bush barbecues including safari drives can be arranged, as well as dam picnics and the Madjuma Experience that takes visitors into the lion section of Mabula Game Reserve at night to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, and perhaps even witness a hunt.
This is a 1.5-hour drive. Learn all about the common constellations in our night sky and the myths and legends surrounding them through your Ranger.
Indulge in an exotic menu of time-honoured spa treatments under the skilful hands of our therapists. Calm your mind, while absorbing the peace and tranquillity of the surroundings and then escape to a world without stress.
Cool off in Mabula Game Lodge’s crystal clear swimming pool, relax on the pool loungers while reading a book or sipping a refreshing cocktail from the Poolside Cocktail Bar.
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
The Balloon Crew, consisting of the pilot and two crew members, will arrive at the Lodge the evening prior to the Hot Air Balloon Safari to meet the passengers and brief them on the following morning’s balloon safari.
The flight lasts approximately one hour, starting at 06h00 at a suitable area selected on the reserve – the latter depending on the flight direction and meteorological conditions of the day. Our Rangers will transfer you back to the Lodge in time for breakfast.
The varied habitats on Mabula Private Game Reserve provide ideal conditions for an astounding selection of large mammals including the Big Five, other predators such as Hyena and Jackal, and a variety of antelope from Red Hartebeest to Eland, Gemsbok to Blesbok.
That’s not to mention the elusive cheetah, cheeky honey badger and the omnipresent crèches of warthogs that flit across one’s path during your safari at Mabula Game Lodge.
Safaris are offered to lodge guests twice a day – once early morning and again in time for sundowners in the late afternoon, and depending on the time of year you visit, each experience can be unique. Watch the vivid change of the seasons as the green thickets and grasslands give way to the bushveld greys and yellows of autumn.
Feel the chilly winter air on your cheeks before sunrise and witness the rebirth of the bush as the first summer rains fall and with it the exciting arrival of lambing season. For panoramic views of the beautiful Mabula Private Game Reserve, there’s nothing more special than heading up Dicks Hill.
See Impala, Zebra, Giraffe, Eland, and Ostrich all graze together on the vast open grassland plains; the herd of elephant crashing through thick bush to get to the succulent leaves and a shy hippo pair hiding everything but their protruding nostrils under the water.
Admire the resident lion pride lazing under an African thorn tree after a tiring hunt or watch silently as the beautiful, yet terrifying, Golden Orb spider spins her thick web across two Silver Cluster Leaf trees. A Mabula safari will reveal new scents, curious sounds and the beauty of an authentic African landscape to delight your senses.
- 300 bird species
- 60 mammals
- Big Five
- Numerous plants, reptile and insect species
Horseback Safaris Trail
Horseback Safaris offer a different perspective for wildlife viewing. Benefit from the height and mobility offered from being mounted that sets this opportunity aside from other activities. Experienced Rangers ensure that riders are aware of the necessary safety precautions. Long trousers and closed shoes are recommended.
Eco Adventure Trails (Quad Bike Safaris)
Participate in an adventure over safari trails on a quad bike. With the emphasis on safety, rangers ensure that participants are wearing the necessary safety gear before exploring the reserve. The safari is undertaken on 250cc Suzuki Quad bikes that can be driven in manual or automatic.
During peak periods such as South African school holidays, Mabula Game Lodge offers its Cubz Club children’s program, which teaches kids all about the magic of the wilderness and wildlife.
Kid-friendly stargazing and safaris to learn about the Big Five, the Small Five, the Ugly Five and Mabula Game Lodge’s other wildlife species are offered, as well as a range of afternoon activities including Bingo, tug of war, pool competitions, sack races, egg, and spoon races and coin diving.
Kids also have access to a supervised Games Room fully equipped with building block sets, hula hoops, colouring-in books, a Wii and PlayStation.
Mabula Game Lodge offers their children’s program under supervision keeping your little ones delighted and engaged. Mabula Cubz Club members receive an activity book with a checklist and a certificate upon completion of the educational program.
The Mabula Ground Hornbill Project
Mabula Private Game Reserve has been the home of the award-winning Mabula Ground Hornbill Project since 1999. This non-profit conservation project aims to change perceptions – and the fortunes – of this iconic but endangered species, through multi-disciplinary and evidence-based conservation techniques.
The charismatic Southern Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is a bird that many people already know well. They are culturally important as the ‘thunder’ or ‘rain’ birds and are a flagship species for the savannah biome (along with cheetah, white rhino and several vulture species).
At present, Southern Ground-Hornbills are considered internationally as ‘Vulnerable’ throughout their range in Africa by the IUCN, but within South Africa and Namibia they have been classified as Endangered with their numbers outside of formally protected areas still in decline.
It is estimated that there are only about 1 500 Ground Hornbills left in South Africa, of which only a third are safe within the protected areas of the greater Kruger National Park.
The birds live in social, cooperatively breeding groups that consist of between two and nine birds, but with only one alpha male and one breeding female per group, the rest of the group are helpers to defend the territory and feed the female and chick.
This means there are only an estimated 400-500 breeding groups in the whole of South Africa, while data from the Kruger National Park shows that, on average, only one chick is raised to adulthood every nine years.
The reasons for their decline are predominantly loss of nesting trees, secondary poisoning, and electrocution, loss of habitat to croplands, bush encroachment, overgrazing, and monoculture.
Cheetah Conservation and Research Project
Mabula Private Game Reserve is part of a project coordinated by the Endangered Wildlife Trust that seeks to reintroduce cheetah to areas where they have been driven out by conflict from farmers as well as one of the biggest wildlife challenges today, habitat loss.
The project is called the cheetah metapopulation management project and is based on the principle that the cheetah occurring in different areas of southern Africa is seen as one big population and that individuals are managed accordingly to prevent inbreeding.
In December of 2011 the first cheetahs arrived on Mabula, they originated from Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and were aged at 30 months from the same litter.
All the adult cheetah on Mabula are collared to monitor their movement, prey preference and status closely. Data gathered will be used in future research projects, into the knowledge of cheetah population management on a medium sized reserve in the Waterberg area, that could be used as a guideline for other similar sized reserves.