Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps
The name Manyeleti, means 'Place of the Stars' in the local Shangaan language. The 23,000 hectare Manyeleti Private Game reserve is situated away from the mainstream tourist areas. With just three lodges in this pristine bush area you can be sure to experience the best of South Africa’s wildlife. As there are no fences between the national park and the private game reserves, Manyeleti is prime big five territory. It makes a great safari destination for families, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and bird watchers alike.
The Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps – Mantobeni Camp & Khoka Moya Camp, which can be found in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, borders the Kruger National Park, Timbavati and Sabi Sands Reserve. Each camp is designed to provide a sense of intimacy to the wilderness.
Mantobeni Camp is designed to reflect Hemingway’s Africa. It is more of a remote bush camp, nestled in a Tamboti grove overlooking a dry river bed. The reception area is comprised of a large sitting area, an outdoor area with a splash pool & sun loungers, a bar and an extensive climate controlled wine cellar. Game visiting the nearby watering hole can be seen from the swimming pool deck.
The main building, on the other hand, is a decidedly modernist and boxy affair, with earth-coloured walls and columns built around the teak-decked dining area and the narrow pool.
There are 15 tents, set in a grove of tamboti trees. Its free-standing bedroom tents are set on wooden platforms, with roll-up walls and a run-around terrace, making for a very “up and close-to-nature” feel. The tents are furnished with king size beds, mosquito nets and soft leather couches. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with a sunken stone-built bath, double shower, his & hers basins and a separate toilet. The nearby waterhole means you can often see Elephants from your room.
Khoka Moya Camp - a camp for families!
Khoka Moya Camp is situated on both sides of a river bed, offering an authentic African experience without sacrificing luxury, safety or comfort. The reception area is made from recycled wood and thatch. It also houses a locally crafted curio outlet/shop. The main dining, lounge and bar area is designed to resemble and recalling the pioneer-dwellings of the early gold prospectors. Outside lies a newly built pool set amidst lush lawns, a renovated bird hide and 15 large, free-standing tents.
Each of the 15 large tents are furnished in a comfortable, contemporary style. Each has canopied king or twin beds, a large day bed/sofa, a writing desk and a fan with an outside deck for relaxation. Behind a screen is an over-sized ‘wet-room’ with twin showers, twin basins and a flush-toilet. There’s plenty of space – each tent is 10 x 5m; with plenty of privacy – the doors and window flaps roll down at night.
Khoka Moya Camp welcomes children of all ages. The tents measure 60 square metres and can comfortably accommodate families of four, all protected with mosquito nets.
Activities at both Camps
The food is a highlight – and heralded by Honeyguide’s famous dawn drumbeat. At both camps it’s a communal affair, usually served outdoors at a long table, with log fires and torches to create a really authentic bush feel. Simple homemade dishes, using predominantly local produce, are plentiful and exquisitely presented. Dinner comes quite late – after a sunset game drive. It’s served either in the boma (fenced-in campfire) accompanied by the fascinating and seductive sounds of the African night or a buffet in the main dining area on certain nights.
Guests are taken on game drives in open game viewing vehicles in the early morning and late afternoon/evening. Late afternoon and evening drives include sunset drinks, views over the Mohwareng Hills, and glimpses of nocturnal creatures. Larger game frequently sighted in the reserve includes elephant, rhino, lion and hippo. In between meals and drives, watch the game and bird-life pass by while relaxing by the pool or take a walking safari through the deep bush, accompanied by an experienced, armed ranger; it’s very exciting - seeing the animals from a vehicle just doesn’t seem to compare. Group tours are available to the nearby village of Welverdiend, where guests will learn about the relationship between traditional and contemporary living.
When to go
The camps is open to visitors all year. Game viewing is at its best the dry Winter (May-October) as animals congregate around water holes and the lack of foliage and grasses gives you a clearer view. For bird watching, summer (December-March) is best. The rivers are full, the bushveld is lush, and there is no shortage of materials for food, nesting and hiding. This is prime holiday season in South Africa, but it can get seriously hot. Autumn (April-May) is also good for birding but probably the worst months for bigger game. In spring (November-December) you can spot lots of new-borns.