TINTSWALO SAFARI LODGE IS THE PLACE OF STARS

Tintswalo Safari Lodge has unveiled its refurbished Manor House, with a fresh new look and revamped facilities tapping neatly into the growing demand for luxury exclusive-use safari properties.

Tintswalo Manor House exterior and pool
Tintswalo Manor House exterior and pool

Opened by the Corbett family in 2003, Tintswalo Safari Lodge is situated on a private concession within the Manyeleti Game Reserve. The game-rich Manyeleti – which means ‘place of the stars’ in the local Shangaan language – is located between the iconic Timbavati and Sabi Sands Game Reserves. The 23,000-hectare reserve shares an open border with the Kruger National Park, allowing free movement of animals in an area renowned for its sightings of the Big Five.

The Manor House was opened to the public in 2008, and was in need of an overhaul; but the Reserve’s management prohibited any expansion of the building footprint without a time-consuming environmental impact assessment.

“But we really needed to revamp and redecorate”, says Gaye Corbett, who co-founded the Tintswalo Lodges portfolio with her husband and family. “So we had to be creative.”

That meant reworking the internal spaces to ensure all five bedrooms offer ensuite facilities and upgrading the living that spaces guests have come to expect in a luxury safari experience. Two of the suites also now offer indulgent outdoor baths, allowing guests to soak away the day beneath the namesake stars of the southern sky.

Indulgent outdoor bathroom at Tintswalo Manor House
Indulgent outdoor bathroom at Tintswalo Manor House

Remarkably, due to heavy forward bookings, the renovations were completed in less than a fortnight, with two teams of artisans working in shifts.

Along with the structural changes, a complete overhaul of the décor has brought the Manor House closer to the five-star luxury on offer at the eight-suite Tintswalo Safari Lodge nearby.

The soft refurbishment has added a new dimension to the property, with Ardmore fabrics, luxury linen and classic safari touches – think billowing mosquito nets and plush couches on deep shady patios – offering a modern, yet timeless private-villa experience.

Securely fenced from the reserve, the Manor House – once the Corbett family’s private home – is also ideally suited to tap into the growing demand for multi-generational and family-travel destinations. While the neighbouring Tintswalo Safari Lodge caters for honeymooners and couples seeking serene luxury, the spacious lawns, outdoor dining boma and private swimming pool – all securely fenced off from the surrounding ‘Big Five’ reserve – make the Manor House a perfect option for families with children.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in demand for the Manor House over the past few years”, says Corbett. “Every now and again, we’ll have a group of couples or solo travellers, but, most often, it’s booked out by families.”

Guests at the Manor House also benefit from the flexibility that comes with exclusive-use accommodation. During their stay at the Manor House groups enjoy the use of a dedicated guide, private safari vehicle and a full complement of staff, with a butler, chef and housekeeping team on hand. To keep kids entertained while parents take some time out between game drives, an age-appropriate “Kids Programme” is offered, with activities from ranger tracking to jewellery making and baking with the chef.

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Richard Holmes
Richard Holmes is a freelance travel, food and lifestyle writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. His work on African and international destinations has appeared in a wide range of consumer publications both in South Africa and abroad.