Glowing Review

“Lukimbi Safari Lodge was the highlight of our visit to South Africa. Even before we arrived, we were delighted with the personal attention we received. Our flight was delayed and we thought we would miss our first game drive. But our driver kept Sean, the manager, updated on our expected arrival. Sean rearranged the game drive groups, holding our ranger back to wait for us so we didn’t miss our first drive. Our ranger Brendan, and tracker Terel, we’re so friendly and knowledgeable. We learned about animal behavior, how to identify footprints, and even plants and constellations. They were as excited to spot the animals as if it was their first time too. The rangers work together, so that if an elusive animal was spotted the other jeeps could rush over and try to see. Because Lukimbi is a private concession, we did not have to deal with crowds making viewing difficult. The location of the lodge meant that we got to see a Buffalo hanging out by the stream behind the lodge, and a kudu just outside our room.”

“The staff at Lukimbi was outstanding. They addressed us by our first names, and we knew their names too. We felt like family. The lodge has only 16 rooms, allowing for lots of personal attention. The food was excellent. And there were lots of little touches that added to the experience. From blankets and hot water bottles for the cold morning drives, to snacks and drinks in the bush, we were well cared for. If you are visiting Kruger, Lukimbi is the place to be.”

Thanks you so much, LaurenKC19, for your wonderful review on TripAdvisor!

(2023-06-18, Review Rating: 100%)

Travellers’ Choice Winner 2023

Congrats to the Lukimbi Safari Lodge team and thank you to all our wonderful guests.

We are in the top 10% of hotels worldwide in the 2023 Tripadvisor’s Travellers’ choice awards.

Every year Tripadvisor recognises travellers’ favourite properties around the world, based on reviews and ratings collected over the last year.

Travellers' choice award winner 2023

Lukimbi – An Open-Plan Gallery of Surprising Art

The moment you walk into the reception at Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, you’ll notice the imagination of artists whose work appears in even the most unexpected of places. With quirky humour and simplicity of form, Tineke Meijer’s plasterwork, for example, welcomes you to the hub and gathering point of the lodge, the lounge, as her animal figures climb up the chimney of a fireplace that roars warmly in winter, casting shadows on pregnant crocodiles, and craning ungainly giraffes. The geometric figures on the other aspects of the chimney are reminiscent of traditional basketry or weaving, the rough knobs further up conjuring a vision of a knobthorn tree or bumpy elephant skin.

Yet this is not the only place where the comical plasterwork abounds. That is part of the artistic treasure hunt that allows Lukimbi guests the surprise and delight of discovery. A sweeping staircase combining African-inspired tiles and concrete and metal-inlaid floors; a frieze illustrating zebras, guinea fowl and an observant Lukimbi, half-lion, half-owl; etched walls; and the reception desk celebrating alert meerkats, a successful fishing foray, an ever-elusive pangolin and a watchful owl. The non-denominational chapel for weddings also has its own unique piece – a Coptic cross in Africanised geometrics.

All those details

At this superb five-star lodge, no attempt has been spared in the details. Each suite is unique, each door swinging open with a key attached to a lovingly hand-carved keyring, the crafted brass doorknobs depicting the lodge’s totem, brightly shining a welcome to a magical space. Inset below huge glass windows, the baths in each suite are works of art in themselves, the view into the bush always changing and surprising. The bath spouts show other endearing minutiae, as little creatures like frogs or otters sit, watching the water flow below them.

Sfiso Ka-Mkame’s work

Another popular artist represented at Lukimbi Safari Lodge is Sfiso Ka-Mkame, a mostly self-taught creative of Zulu and Xhosa parentage and hailing from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. He has worked with vibrant textured pastels and is arguably most famous for his “love letters” series, created during the height of apartheid in the eighties, when protest themes and commentary on social ills were rife. These pieces are not political; rather, they represent a varied humanity through four abstract faces, with cubist associations and energetic hues.


Embroidery hailing from the Kaross collective in Letsitele, Limpopo Province is also on display at Lukimbi. These pieces are witty, colourful and imaginative hand-embroidered works of what Kaross calls “functional art”. Some of the artists at Kaross, such as Hilda Rikhotso, for instance, have been there for more than twenty years. The collective’s founder, Irma van Rooyen, a fine artist herself, was inspired in 1988 by the stories of the Tsonga people and set up the project as a way to empower women in her community to develop, grow and earn an income while still maintaining the responsibilities for their homes and families. The success of the venture can truly be seen in the quality of the work, and also in the eternal themes and views of life: the sky, nature, community and spirituality and of course the ethos of ubuntu epitomised by the artists themselves.

Sondaga Sepataka’s handcrafted paper

As people leave Lukimbi, they are asked to sign the giant guestbook created by Sondaga Reuben Sepataka, who hails from Modjadji, home of the Rain Queen, in the Limpopo Province. Sondaga’s spectacular hand-crafted paper has been made since 1992 and he has used his talents through the years to make inspired combinations of authentic natural products, while also recycling materials into a second life. There is something physically and emotionally weighty in these guestbooks, not only in their sheer size but also in the history that is collected between their pages. A history that Lukimbi too has honoured in its reflection of the spirit of wonder that can only be seen in the African bush and the country’s eclectic artistic traditions.

Lukimbi in the Kruger National Park is the sister lodge to Idube Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand, South Africa. Home to the Big Five, this is the place to take a game drive in an open vehicle for a magnificent safari experience. Visiting Lukimbi 20 years after completing her beautiful plasterwork Tineke Meijer was thrilled to see how well her creativity continues to inspire guests from all over the world.

Written by South African author, Paula Marais, a frequent visitor to both Lukimbi Safari Lodge and Idube Game Reserve.

A Blind Safari Experience!

A blind safari experience!

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about my first safari for a blind guest, but I saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself as a guide, to expand my comfort zone and also to focus more on your surroundings and senses. It makes you realise that seeing the animals is not always the key to going and doing a safari, it is the smell of the bush, the sounds around you and the touch as well.  It’s an all sensory experience.

I had a couple of quiet days prior the guest’s arrival at Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Southern part of the Kruger National Park.  I used these days just to listen and focus on my surroundings, closing my eyes while driving with other guides, just to imagine what it must be like to explore the bush without sight.  It was rather difficult for the first couple of hours or so, but I focused on touch, smell and hearing.  It’s going to be a challenge and I had to think very hard as to how I could create but importantly, achieve a fulfilling, stimulating and successful safari like all the other drives I’ve done before.

My guests arrived at the lodge and it was time for the adventure to begin!

We stopped next to a herd of Impalas and listened as they were chewing on some of the drier leaves and grass.   In a very soft “ewe” sound, the ewes were calling their lambs. In the distance there was a Swainson’s Spurfowls raucous “krraae-krraae-krraae” call coming from a tree not to far behind the impalas.  Kudus also joined the impala and we could hardly hear them walk past our vehicle as they carefully placed the hind foot exactly where they placed their front foot, in order to eliminate sound – which they definitely succeeded in. “Are we driving in a western direction now?”  The guest asked me as we continued with our afternoon drive.  I confirmed that it was correct which he responded with a smile:  “I can feel the warm afternoon sun, shining on my face.”

We approached a dry waterhole on the concession and I stopped the vehicle.  “Reach out to the left.” I told him and I got out of the vehicle.  Slowly he reached out and started feeling the smooth surface.  “Almost like a polished smooth surface” he said.  I explained to him that he was touching a fallen Leadwood that became a rubbing post to rhinos and other animals.  As they mud wallow they look for a log, tree or rock that they can use to rub their muddy bodies against and from the continued rubbing against the object, the surface becomes smooth.  He could also feel little bumps on the post, which we explained was dead ticks that came from the rhino as it was rubbing against the post.

A big old Marula tree right next to the road.  I stopped and let him touch the trunk of the Marula Tree.  He could feel the distinctive circular discs on the bark, a way that the marula tree is easily recognisable and he also felt a part of the trunk was smooth.  The smooth part was the area where the tree got damaged by Elephants as they were peeling of the bark to gain access to the cambium layer which comprises the vascular tissue of the tree.  This is where the tree transports water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves of the tree. Sometimes it happens that when the elephants remove the bark, they also ring bark the tree and it then dies, but in this case, the tree managed to repair itself and the scars could be felt clearly.  We touched a couple of different trees, like the knobs from the Knob Thorn, the softness, almost toilet paper soft leaves from the African Weeping-wattle and we tasted the bitterness of the Magic quarri (because of the high tannin level in the leaves) when we were making tooth brushes.  While busy explaining a bit about the Magic quarri, my tracker spotted movement between the top branches… none other that a big Flap-neck chameleon.  I broke off a small branch from the quarri and held it towards the chameleon, allowing it to climb onto my branch and handed it to the guest.  He could feel the weight of the chameleon on the branch he was holding, and it gave him an idea how big it was.  We slowly and carefully placed the branch back into the bush, where the chameleon safely climbed off and slowly disappeared deeper into the quarri.

Suddenly, a roar in the distance!

It was starting to become dusk and we could feel the cooler autumn air against our skin as we were heading into the direction that we heard the lions roar. Obviously a sound you wish every guest can experience but not always able to accomplish.  And there they were, lying in the riverbed. Females, cubs and two beautiful dark maned male lions.  On our arrival, one of the females suddenly got up and started walking into our direction.  25m away from us, 15m… 10m…5m I counted down so that the guest understood why the footsteps and breathing of the lioness could be easily heard and also assuring him that we were safe. She stopped in front of us. Then, the moment I hoped for!  Both males in the riverbed, right in front of our vehicle started roaring at the same time! The lioness joined, where at this time she was at the back of our vehicle.  There we were, surrounded by the largest African carnivores, roaring like never before. A sound you feel vibrating in your bones.  I looked at the guest and he was smiling. In the days prior their arrival, I was able to make a mould of the track of a male lion we spotted close to camp, using Plaster of Paris.  As the lions moved off that got so close to us. Huge male lion track is almost the same size as a humans hand.

The early evening sounds were entertaining us as we stopped for sundowners.  Orange-pink skies were visible on the horizon as the Bubbling Kassinas and the White-faced Whistling Ducks were singing from the big pan. With the assurance that everything was fine and we were safe, we listened as a big herd of Elephants made their appearance at the pan.  Splashing and drinking water. An odour followed.  A rich, wet, earthy smell, almost like land after first rain.  That was the wet mud on their bodies and the water they splashed on them to cool down. We could hear a rumbling sound, produced by the vocal chords and amplified by the upper region of the trunk – it’s the Matriarch telling the rest of the family its time to go. The faint noise of their footsteps could be heard as the giants disappeared into the darkness. Another successful day in the bush ended with the characteristic night sounds of Fiery-necked Nightjars, whistling, ‘good lord, deliiiiver us.

The guest summed up his experience as, “Silent Appreciation!!”

Christa Bohmer

Outdoor Safaris for Spring

Ideas for Outdoor Safaris for Spring in the Kruger National Park and the Surroundings

Spring is a great time in the Kruger National Park and the surrounding areas. New flowers are blooming, wildling babies are born, and the weather is ambient. While it can be quite hot during these months, it is still very acceptable compared to the stifling summer months. This is when the magic happens in the Kruger National Park and the environment around it! Plantlife that has been dormant during winter suddenly springs to life, wild animals give birth, and the rains and thunderstorms return.

These are only some of the reasons why outdoor safaris for spring are so popular. The climate this time of year is also enjoyable. There is none of the stifling heat and humidity of the summer months, and the evenings are cool and clear. Many wildlife babies are born during springtime, which makes it a very special time to visit game reserves such as the Kruger National Park.

Because the weather is so comfortable and there is so much to see and do in the Kruger National Park, a lot of visitors from all over the world flock to this area to experience outdoor safaris for spring. During this time of year, you can comfortably enjoy time outdoors during the day and the night. The Kruger National Park is popular because of its wide range wild African game and its exclusive game lodges, such as Lukimbi Safari Lodge.

At Lukimbi Safari Lodge, we do our best to facilitate fascinating and interesting outdoor safaris for spring. We conduct daily game drives in the Kruger Park that enthrall and entice our guests. In addition, we also offer a range of other entertaining excursions to important locations, such as endangered animal sanctuaries where guest can interact with the wild animals that are being cared for there. After a tiring day, our guests just love to return to our luxury lodge to relax next to the pristine pool or enjoy a cocktail on their private balconies overlooking the wildlife passing by below.

Outdoor safaris for spring are particularly popular because this is the time when there is plenty to encounter during game drives and other excursions. The surrounding areas around the Kruger Park are also filled with awesome sights and sounds.

If you are looking for one of the most desirable locations to enjoy outdoor safaris for spring, book your stay at Lukimbi Safari Lodge. We aim to provide all our guests with the most amazing experiences that they will never forget. Contact our team for more information.

We are travel ready

It was with great excitement that when our president announced that lodge would be allowed to reopen. As yet Government hasn’t given us an exact date when we can open so in the interim Idube and Lukimbi are getting ready.

While on lockdown much needed maintenance to the lodges was completed. In the case of Lukimbi, the roofs damaged by the storm have been rethatched. The chefs at both lodges have updated their menus to include some exciting new dishes. Most important safety protocols have been implemented. Our staff are being trained on the way forward – how to sanitise rooms, manage social distancing, with no physical contact with guests. Details of our health and safety protocols will be published on both websites.

Our owners, Mal and Louis Marais visited both lodges during June to give the staff moral support and to see what had been done and what needed to be done to make sure when our first guests arrive, everything would be up and running, the staff properly trained and all the protocols would be implemented. While at the lodges, Mal and Louis went out on drive and Louis took these wonderful photos of the animals.

And now, like the rest of South Africa we are eagerly awaiting the news that inter provincial travel will be allowed and we will then open our doors again and the lodges will come back to life.

Kruger Park Safari Lodge

Why You Should Plan Your Next Company Event at This Kruger National Park Safari Lodge

Conferences, brainstorming sessions, and similar corporate events are great ways of getting similar minded people together to pool their knowledge and create new and exciting trajectories for the business or project in question. That said, no-one feels inspired by yet another dreary day in a grey room with no natural light or fresh air, watching PowerPoint presentations and drinking watered down coffee. You can picture the scene all too clearly, can’t you? Which is all the more reason why you should consider hosting your next corporate get together at Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park.

Now, hosting your next company event at a Kruger National Park safari lodge might require a bit of additional planning, but the benefits and rewards are indisputable. We’ve rounded up some of the top reasons to choose Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park:

Less Interruptions Means Improved Focus

Make sure you hit all your objectives by using the time wisely, instead of wasting it on interruptions. In this tranquil environment away from the hustle and bustle of the office, you can get into the zone and focus fully on the task at hand.

Fresh Surroundings, Fresh Thinking

When you take yourself out of your regular environment, you also free yourself from the same pattern of thinking. With a new environment comes fresh energy and inspiration, all necessary for out-of-the-box thinking.

Stress-Free Solutions

It’s a fact: we perform better when we are relaxed. And what better way to relax than to leave the stress of the city behind and to immerse ourselves in the beauty and tranquillity of nature? Give yourself the space to take a step back and get an objective view.

Return Refreshed

An inspired event is great, but you need to carry that energy over to the implementation phase afterwards. Make sure you return relaxed and ready to change the world.

The Lukimbi Safari Lodge Experience

This 5-star lodge is located in the easily accessible southern part of the Kruger National Park and offers luxurious accommodation, delectable fine-dining, and a host of fun activities. We also have fully equipped conference facilities and experts on hand to help organise every aspect of your event.

Contact Lukimbi Safari Lodge for more information on our facilities, or to get in touch with the team to help you plan your event at this incredible Kruger National Park safari lodge.

Lukimbi Under Lock Down

When our President declared a state of disaster and the Covid 19 made its presence known throughout the world, we took a very difficult decision to close Lukimbi for the month of April until things settled down.  Little did we anticipate how long it would take for “things to settle down “.

So far, the lodge has been closed since 27 March but that hasn’t meant that everything has come to a grinding halt, certainly not for Sean, Shelley and Reece who were the only people left on the property.   Level 5 was very difficult for them, they had to see to the closure of the lodge the last staff members left on the afternoon of the 25th March to ensure they managed to return to their homes in time for the lockdown to commence. All windows and doors were locked and secured and all the furniture was covered to protect it making the public areas rather ghostly. 


With everything closed, the only part of the lodge left open and working was the manager’s office, and the fridges and freezers.  However, mother nature then decided that life was too quiet for the family and she unleashed a mini tornedo on the night of the 26th March which tore through the concession,

In the space of fifteen minutes, trees had been uprooted, roofs had been damaged and walk ways smashed.   The damage was fairly extensive and Sean was alone to try and clear up the mess left behind. – what a way to start lockdown.

Although through the doom and gloom, as time passed they had to check the concession to ensure there were no issues, and have been blessed with a number of glorious sightings, including the various wonderful general game Lukimbi has to offer, but a beautiful sighting of a Female cheetah with 3 cubs on Lukimbi Plains, and the heyana’s were back at their den site, and as curious as ever.   

Once level 4 was introduced, life became a bit more bearable.  We were able to bring in 7 other members of staff,   And so the repairs and maintenance of the whole lodge commenced. 

Since then our maintenance team made up of Stranger, Doctor and Sipho, Arie, Cindy and Kaitlyn have been really busy, not only did they have to clear all the broken trees, from across boardwalks, they have been able to get some vital maintenance done in areas, not always so easy to overhaul while guests are in camp.

Cindy and Kaitlyn have spent the last 3 weeks busy in the kitchen, giving it a complete makeover, sanding, repairing and repainting almost all of the kitchen areas, even the fridges have had a new touch of paint to give them a new lease of life…. A job well done ladies…

The tree over the boardwalk and those snapped in half in front of the rooms, proved a challenge to be moved, but with the heavy machinery and with Reece’s supervision, another job well done and was a good workout for all those involved. 

Although we haven’t allowed them to stop there, we’ve so far managed to give the main lodge pool area an overhaul, and this is almost done with the decks, all being fixed up, and re varnished to make them look as good as new again.  Now the project to scrubbing the pool itself is starting in earnest…. Watch this space…

With all the hard work going on around the lodge, there has been some down time and bonding of the staff, they have been able to go on some drives to check the concession which need to be done on a regular basis to ensure there are no problems, and a perfect opportunity for those staff members that don’t ordinarily get to enjoy the location they work in as much as others. 

A friendly game of cricket was had, and Kaitlyn and Arie proved to be very handy with a bat, and to finish the night off a nice social braai was enjoyed by all. 

There has been a constant stream of visitors, obviously curious as to why there were no guests and very little activity around the grounds.  The elephants were the first to arrive.  They stood across the river looking and watching what was happening in the lodge. 

As the days passed and the concession has gotten drier, without much rain for some time the next visitors were a  large herd of buffalo coming down to drink at the river and then George the resident hippo made his return to the lodge River… and to admire the lilies in there too.  An old friend, the leopard tortoise who has lived in grounds for a long time, came up on to the lounge deck to admire the view and to check if anything was being served in the dining room.  

Even the elephants were back at the entrance gate waiting for our guests to admire them. 

The Lukimbi team along with them are waiting for the day we can welcome our much-missed guests again in the not too distant future, until that time we hope you are staying safe….

Where to See the Big 5 South Africa

Where Is the Best Place to Stay to See the Big 5 in South Africa?

It is regularly voted as one of the most beautiful countries in the world and when one considers the vast array of landscapes and abundance of natural wonders, it is absolutely no wonder that South Africa has always mesmerised visitors – and continues to do so. One of the biggest attractions when it comes to wildlife is, without a doubt, the world-famous Big 5: the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhinoceros. So, if you are on a quest to see these majestic creatures, where would be the best place to go?

While this narrows it down – you now have a country, a region, and a game reserve to focus on – it’s still important to note that the Kruger National Park in South Africa is almost the same size as the entire Wales in the UK. If you want to see the Big 5, you would probably want to commit to more than only a 1-day visit. This means you should also consider where to stay while on your African safari in the bush.

Thankfully, this last question is an easy one to answer. If you’re planning an overnight trip to the Kruger National Park to see the Big 5 and want to enjoy a Bushveld adventure of the highest calibre in South Africa, you’d definitely want to book your accommodation at Lukimbi Safari Lodge. It’s where opulent luxury and true African hospitality meet.

Lukimbi Safari Lodge is located in the easily accessible southern part of the Kruger National Park and offers guests a range of luxury suites, decadent fine dining, and opulent spa treatments. Furthermore, bookings also include private game drives and guided bush walks can be arranged for those who want to get up close and personal with nature.

So remember, if you’re wondering where to see the Big 5 in South Africa, your first choice should, without a doubt, be the 5-star Lukimbi Safari Lodge. Contact us to make a booking. We’re looking forward to welcoming you and treating you to a magical African safari that you’ll never forget.

Game Lodges in Mpumalanga

No Other Game Lodges in Mpumalanga Come Close

With its beautiful scenery, abundance of wildlife, a plethora of reserves and, obviously, the world-famous Kruger National Park, you won’t have any trouble finding game lodges in Mpumalanga. However, when planning a holiday for the annals, not just any lodge will do. You deserve to be treated like royalty at the best this province has to offer.

With this in mind, there is only one choice when looking at game lodges in Mpumalanga: Lukimbi Safari Lodge. So, what is it that sets Lukimbi apart from the other game lodges in Mpumalanga?

  • It’s the setting. Located in the easily accessible southern part of the Kruger National Park, the lodge is nestled in one of the most pristine and breathtaking beautiful parts of the Bushveld.
  • It’s the accommodation. Beautiful, African-inspired décor transports you into a magical world of wonder. The spacious bedrooms boast their own private viewing decks and have all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.
  • It’s the wildlife. Explore the surroundings and see if you can spot the world-famous Big 5 on one of the professionally guided game drives or bush walks.
  • It’s the food. Expect fine dining at its best, courtesy of the head chef at the lodge’s restaurant. Or enjoy a boma dinner under the stars, next to a cosy campfire.
  • It’s the spa. Just because you’re in the bush, doesn’t mean you can’t be pampered. Book a treatment of your choice – a full-body massage, a manicure or pedicure, or a facial – and relax as you enjoy a revitalising experience.
  • It’s all the little extras. Your comfort and enjoyment are top priority. Whether you’d like to relax in the gorgeous lounge, stay active using the on-site gym, enjoy a dip in the pool, or even fit in a round of golf, it is all available to you.

If you want to stay at the best of the best game lodges in Mpumalanga, book your accommodation at Lukimbi Safari Lodge right now.