IMBALI SAFARI LODGE
MLUWATI CONCESSION ǀ GREATER KRUGER
Discreetly nestled in a riverine forest of jackalberry and tamboti trees within the Mluwati concession of the iconic Kruger National Park, lies the majestic Imbali Safari Lodge. This pristine lodge overlooks the seasonal Nwaswitsontso River, and its breathtaking views of the African wilderness will leave guests in awe of the wonders of this pristine region of wild Africa.
This palatial haven offers immaculate accommodation and unrestrained luxury to the discerning nature lover. Here guests can experience magnificent sightings of the Big Five – elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion, as well as of a wealth of other species in the heart of the Kruger National Park – Africa’s most iconic game reserve.
Imbali Safari lodge in the private Mluwati concession of the Kruger National Park, is cleverly positioned among animal migration paths, ensuring a continuous parade of wild creatures – big and small – past the camp. The lodge is built on the site of a 400-year-old ancient African settlement, and a variety of artefacts, such as as clay pots, bone tools and grinding stones, have been unearthed here.
Accommodation in the form of 12 stylish private suites offer romantics the perfect getaway in the heart of the bush. These suites all have en-suite bathrooms, huge French doors and expansive decks with breathtaking views of the natural surroundings. Kruger Imbali Safari Lodge is an impressive structure surrounded by untouched wilderness. It’s eclectic design, characterized by stone columns and thatched roofs, blends perfectly with the surrounds and creates a tranquil haven where guests can relax and rejuvenate the spirit.
Plush leather sofas, African patterned tapestries and traditional artefacts contribute to Imbali’s warm and earthy ambience. An impressive jackalberry tree emerges unapologetically through the teak deck, keeping diners company as it rises up to the Tsonga-styled thatched roof. Continuing in the spirit in which the Kruger National Park was created, Imbali Safari Lodge provides a sanctuary for the bush’s creatures, great and small, and is in fact your very own bush escape for the duration of your special Kruger National Park stay.
The private Mluwati Concession, comprising three lodges – Imbali Safari Lodge, Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge and Hamiltons Tented Camp – was born from the shared objective of a group of conservationists to ensure the future sustainability of the iconic Kruger National Park. As one of the first private concessions within the park, the Mluwati management has been working tirelessly to sustain this pristine wilderness that, for over 100 years, has been a sanctuary for more than 114 reptiles-, 34 amphibians- and 147 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five, lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo.
WHY CHOOSE A PRIVATE CONCESSION LODGE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK?
• We are able to offer you one hundred square kilometres of exclusive safari space – only our own vehicles traverse this area
• We have our own extensive road network throughout the concession
• We are permitted to drive off-road to enable once-in-a-lifetime sightings, as well as stellar photographic opportunities for capturing that perfect image.
• Centrally positioned, and adjacent to some of the most famous safari lodges in the Sabi Sands and Manyeleti Game Reserves, guests can enjoy some of the most productive game-viewing on the African continent.
• Our highly qualified guides conduct bush walks during which guests can experience nature from a whole new perspective.
- Luxurious suites, each with private plunge pool
- Children from the age of 6 years are welcome and can enjoy a special kiddies safari
- A well-positioned waterhole attracts a great variety of animals
- Separate Victorian bath and walk-in shower offer unsurpassed luxury in the bush
- Guided bush walks with experienced guides
- 10,000-hectare concession within the Kruger National Park.
ACCOMMODATION AT IMBALI
Imbali Safari Lodge’s elegant design and tranquil ambiance make it the perfect destination for a honeymoon, couples getaway or venue to propose to your loved one.
Guests are accommodated in 12 spacious suites, subtly decorated in neutral colours with enchanting splashes of traditional African décor. From the ornate wall lamps to the comfortable and richly textured pillows, everything at Imbali ooze traditional African splendour.
Large French doors open onto the bush, inviting the outdoors in. The expansive deck overlooking the Nwaswitsontso River and the savannah grasslands beyond, is perfect for whiling the day away with your binoculars. Relax on a recliner with a good book or revitalise aching muscles in the Jacuzzi after an exciting day out in the bush. Ultimate relaxation does not get better than this. Rejuvenate the spirit to the natural soundtrack of the birdsong. Weavers, thrushes and kingfishers are at your service to provide a magical playlist for your relaxation.
The spacious stone and marble en-suite bathrooms feature a Victorian style bathtub and walk-in shower with signature bath amenities, a hairdryer and fluffy bathrobes. Here you can soak your stress away while immersing yourself in the peace of your surroundings. The comfortable king-size bed, draped in mosquito net, offers the perfect refuge, whether it’s just a quick siesta or a peaceful night’s rest after your luxury Kruger safari – you can cocoon in utter comfort.
Each exquisite suite features:
• King-size bed/twin beds draped in mosquito netting
• En-suite bathroom with antique styled bath and shower, and bathroom amenities
• Private deck with Jacuzzi or plunge pool
• Hairdryer and umbrella
• Insect repellent
• Tea/coffee-making facilities.
Spa treatments are available in the privacy of your suite. These are charged separately, and prices differ according to the treatment you choose. Complimentary Wi-Fi in the main lodge area allows you stay in touch with your loved-ones so you can share your daily experiences with them.
The sparkling swimming pool in the main area offers a refreshing reprieve from the heat of the bush, while soaking in the tranquillity of your surroundings.
FACILITIES AT IMBALI SAFARI LODGE
• Swimming pool
• Laundry facilities
• Credit Card Facilities
• Airport shuttle
DINING AT IMBALI
Magnificent cuisine is freshly prepared to your satisfaction by the experienced chef. Enjoy elegant dinners served by butlers. The menu is extensive and draws on both local and international flavours. Flickering hurricane lamps, fine mosquito netting and exceptional service will ensure you never forget your first taste of a truly authentic African Safari experience.
Enjoy an extensive buffet breakfast or order a delicious hot-plated breakfast to enjoy in the privacy of your suite after your morning safari. Breakfast in the gorgeous dining room or under the tree canopy on the deck outside, also makes for a fine occasion. Lunch is a light, informal affair with a buffet of scrumptious dishes and tasty salads, served in relaxed surroundings; the sounds of the bush providing all the accompaniment you need for a memorable dining experience.
Every afternoon guests can indulge in High Tea with a delicious selection of cakes and pastries, freshly baked at the lodge, before embarking on an afternoon safari. A magical three-course table ‘d hotel menu served under the stars, makes dinner at Imbali a truly festive affair. Flickering hurricane lamps, fine mosquito netting and exceptional service will ensure you never forget your first taste of the African Safari experience.
Outdoor dining in the boma on Tuesday and Friday evenings, hosted by your safari guide, provides the perfect opportunity to engage in great conversation and fine wines, while listening to the enchanting sounds of the bush coming alive at night. Although both lunch and dinner are served at the main lodge, guests can arrange for a private meal on their deck or in-suite upon request.
ACTIVITIES AT IMBALI GAME RESERVE
Imbali Safari Lodge is located within the private 10 000-hectare concession of Mluwati in the western region of the Kruger National Park, bordering the northern Sabi Sands and Manyeleti game reserves. Game abound in this wilderness and guest can look forward to once-in-a-lifetime sightings. Each game drive and bush walk here is unique.
Safaris at Imbali Kruger Park
Imbali Safari Lodge Kruger offers exciting safari activities which include intrepid game drives in open safari vehicles, as well as bush walks for the more adventurous. Embrace the adventure
A total of two safaris daily are included in the Imbali Safari Lodge rates.
After enjoying a steaming cup of coffee and delicious rusks at dawn, your knowledgeable ranger and tracker will accompany you into the bush in an open safari vehicle. Traverse some of Kruger’s most spectacular landscapes.The rich variety of wildlife, many bird species and diverse vegetation within the Mluwati Concession, make each safari a completely unique experience.
Your ranger and tracker will reveal some of nature’s most astonishing secrets en-route, and the anticipation of a sighting of one of the Big Five will leave you breathless with anticipation.
The bush is busy in the early morning as the animals prepare for siesta during the heat of the day.
After all the excitement, a scrumptious breakfast will await back at camp.
Afternoon/early evening safari
After having lazed the day away on your deck, immersed in a good book, or relaxing in the pool guest can enjoy a scrumptious High Tea with delectable treats, before embarking on the afternoon safari.
Again, be prepared to be amazed. Sunset is a busy time in the bush, as nocturnal animals prepare for the hunt and the day creatures settle down for the night. Witnessing a spectacular African sunset whilst sipping on a refreshing cocktail, is the stuff dreams are made of!
Searching for a pair of eyes in the dark with the spotlight, will keep you on the edge of your seat. Adrenalin is at the heart of this journey!
In summer, morning drives depart at 05:30, and evening drives at 17:30. In winter morning drives depart at 06:00 and evening drives at 16:00. The morning game drive lasts about 3 hours. Evening game drives last about 4 hours.
A safari at Imbali is a symphony of new scents and sounds, a true feast of the senses.
The more adventurous can request a bush walk, where – in the company of an armed ranger – you can experience Africa from a whole new perspective. These walks engage all the senses and is a thrill a minute! Getting up close to magnificent creatures such as the African elephant or an elusive rhino, is a priceless experience which will stay with you for the rest of your life. Comfortable walking shoes is an absolute must.
Avid bird watchers can prepare for a feast of the senses at Imbali. With a wealth of recorded species, it truly is a birder’s paradise.
This pristine wilderness is home to more than 500 species, of which many occur in the Mluwati Concession, such as the southern yellow-billed hornbill, crested barbet and Burchell’s glossy starling, just to name a few.
A range of relaxing treatments, which can be enjoyed in the privacy of your suite, is available. It is the perfect way to relax and unwind and restore the spirit.
Pre-booking is necessary.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…
Kick-start your day just before dawn, by dunking a home-made rusk into a steamy cup of coffee, before setting off on your morning safari with your assigned ranger.
Watch in awe as the bush awakens to the new day. The crisp freshness of the landscape at sunrise will energize you for an exciting day in the wilderness. Your knowledgeable ranger will point out life’s smaller wonders, such as the dew glistening on the webs of the golden orb spider or the bright sky-blue bellies of the lilac breasted rollers flitting past the safari vehicle.
See the shy African wild dogs laze under the acacia trees and elephants chomping their way through the bush at a leisurely pace. Watching a lone leopard feasting on its prey high up in an old tamboti tree is a priceless experience, as is the zebra foraging alongside large herds of wildebeest and impala flashing their characteristic ‘M’ as they disappear in to the thick brush.
After the morning frolics in the bush, you can indulge in an extensive cold and hot buffet breakfast in Imbali Safari Lodge’s comfortable dining room, where an impressive Jackalberry shoots is thick limbs right into the Tsonga-styled thatched roof. Then it is time to retire to your luxury suite for some relaxation. Here you can laze at the crystal-clear infinity pool or enjoy a revitalising spa treatment on your private deck.
The more energetic can request a bush walk for an up-close encounter with the Kruger. Feeling the pulse of Africa under your feet is the ultimate thrill. The anticipation of a possible sighting around the next bush will get the adrenalin pumping. The memories of getting up close and personal with Africa and its creatures like this will last a lifetime!
Lunch is a relaxed, informal affair. Served on the deck with its beautiful views of the Nwaswitsontso River and the surrounding bushveld, guests are treated to a range of scrumptious dishes, light salads and tasty desserts before retiring to their rooms for an afternoon siesta. Afternoon tea, served on the deck, heralds the imminent departure of your special late/afternoon evening safari through the Mluwati Concession. Spot a pride of lazy lions lounging casually in the tall grass and the associated warning call of nature’s tattletale, the Grey Loerie, as they inform others of the impending danger.
GETTING TO IMBALI GAME RESERVE
The recommended airport for Imbali Safari Lodge is Skukuza Airport, which is located in the southern part of the Kruger National Park, near the Kruger Gate. It allows guests to enjoy a leisurely safari en-route to the lodge.
• SA Airlink to Skukuza (1.5 hours) , Hoedspruit (2h) or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) (3.5h):
• Federal Air from Johannesburg or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Mbombela (Nelspruit).
Getting There by Road (6 hours by road from OR Tambo)
• Paul Kruger Gate Entry (Estimated driving time: 2 hours)
• Orpen Gate Entry (Estimated driving time: 2.5 – 3 hours)
It is recommended that inform us when you enter the park, to enable us to estimate your arrival time and assist you in the event of a breakdown.
Do not follow GPS directions.
The Mluwati Concession is located in the central Kruger area some 35km south-east of Orpen Gate. The concession is peripheral and borders the Sabi Sands and Manyeleti game reserves to the west. The entire area is unfenced, thus creating a massive corridor for the movement of wildlife.
Kruger National Park gate fees
Due to us being located in a private concession area, our guests only pay a once-off access fee per person per stay. Standard Kruger entrance fees do not apply.
While driving within the Kruger National Park, please adhere to the legal speed limit of 50km per hour on tar roads and 40km per hour on dirt roads.
Please adhere to the Kruger National Park safety precautions, and do not disembark from your vehicle unless in a designated area.
Due to the remote location of the camp, there is no cellphone reception at the lodge. Cellphone signal is only available at the entrance gates and close to Skukuza, it is therefore recommended to make any necessary calls at the gate upon entry. Should you need to make an urgent call, we do have land lines available.
The water at the lodge is safe to drink, however, for your convenience we also provide complimentary bottled water in the suites.
As the lodge does not have fences, it is not advisable to walk around alone after dark. Our guides will escort you to and from dinner.
Children 8 years and older are welcome at Imbali. Extra camp beds are available for children aged 6 and 12 years, to share with parents. Please note that we allow a maximum of 2 children per suite. Safaris for children are organised at management’s discretion. Private vehicles for this purpose are available at a surcharge.
Children older than 12 pay full rate.
Your African-safari necessities:
- Tight-fitting sun hat, cap or beanie in winter (it gets quite windy on an open safari vehicle)
- Light jacket (and fleece in winter)
- Lightweight cotton or linen shirts and shorts
- Tracksuit or warm longs
- Closed shoes and socks
- Comfortable open sandals
- Camera, spare batteries and memory card
- Mosquito repellent.