Mavela Game Lodge

Mkuze, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Business Details

Mavela Game Lodge is nestled in the heart of the magnificent Big 5 Manyoni Private Game Reserve, near Mkuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

A unique all-inclusive luxury, safari-style tented bush lodge that affords both local and international travellers intimate encounters with the African bush. Committed to conservation and preserving wildlife for future generations, the owners – the Stevens’ family – recognise this region as a prime birding spot with exceptional game viewing opportunities. Mavela has become a wonderful destination for guests seeking an authentic wildlife and “Big 5” experience (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino).

The Lodge

The lodge comprises an open-plan, two-story thatched welcome area with a lounge, bar and dining facilities leading out to the pool and a wooden veranda. The thatched roof depicts a diving raptor in flight and presents a regal architectural feature. Meals are served either in the dining area or outside on the deck under the starry African sky.


Accommodation at Mavela Game Lodge is in five luxury, en suite safari-style tents. Each room has a private deck with beautiful views over the surrounding bushveld.


Early morning coffee and rusks (pre-drive), full English and continental breakfast, Light lunch (pre afternoon drive) and a 3-course dinner. All drinks including good quality South African wines are included.


The primary focus of Mavela Game Lodge is to allow guests to experience the diverse beauty of the African bush. Game drives in open land cruisers are twice daily in search of personal encounters with a range of abundant bird and wildlife.

Walking Safaris

Explore the african bush on your very own two feet. Embark on a walking safari with trained guides through the Manyoni Private Game Reserve.

Bird Watching

The game reserve is renowned for its exceptional birding opportunities with over 400 species recorded on the property.

Lodge Activities

Mavela Game Lodge focuses on displaying the diverse beauty of the African bush. Game drives are in the early morning and late afternoon into the evening, in search of personal encounters with a range of abundant bird and wildlife.

Mavela welcomes guests between 14:00 and 15:00 (late arrival could result in missing the afternoon game drive). Farewell is at 11:00.

Game Drives

The morning departure is usually half an hour before sunrise. with a tea/coffee break affording guests the opportunity to stretch legs and absorb the beauty of the natural surroundings, They return to the lodge for a hearty continental and full, English breakfast, followed by relaxing at the pool or simply day dreaming on their private decks.

The evening game drive departs mid- to late afternoon. The field guide customises each route, depending on what was seen previously and according to the group’s specific interest. The stop at dusk offers guests traditional, South African “sundowners” and a variety of typical South African snacks. It is a special moment to pause and listen to the night sounds with the African sun setting over the pristine bushveld, after which it is time to search for the more elusive, nocturnal creatures of the reserve.

Back at the Lodge

Guests return to the lodge to enjoy excellent South African cuisine, prepared by our own chef, using fresh local ingredients and paired with carefully selected South African wines.

We will gladly accommodate any dietary requests and your seating preferences. Please mention any special occasion and we will gladly endeavour to make your stay at Mavela memorable and magic.

Additional Activities

The additional activities can be organised by the lodge, but are private activities which guests are encouraged to drive to themselves.

Elephant Interaction

Enjoy a memorable Elephant interaction with Bayete Zulu Game Lodge in the Manyoni Private Game Reserve.

Sunset Boat Cruise

Take a sunset cruise on the nearby Jozini Dam for an afternoon with a difference.

Tiger Fishing

Head out early for a mornings tiger fishing on Jozini Dam. Feel the power of the mighty tiger on the end of your rod, this is a one of a kind experience for fishing enthusiasts.

Manyoni Private Game Reserve

The Reserve has a large traversing area with varied habitats and healthy wildlife populations and is the ideal destination for a memorable African safari. Our specialised guides will endeavor to show you the very best of the Manyoni Private Game Reserve.

Come and have an African Wildlife Experience you will never forget.



Map Location

Map Directions


Add new

  • Best Game Viewing!


    best game viewing, amazing staff !!!! can`t wait to return
    Rate this review:
  • Something Special!!


    Beautiful game, fauna and flora, birds etc. to make this private Zululand game reserve something special! All the staff are fantastic, knowledgeable and accommodating, which makes this 'niche' camp extra special. Facilities are top notch and perfect for a relaxing bushveld break.
    Rate this review:
  • very special location


    The Mavela Game lodge is at a very special location in the Manyoni Private Game Reserve. The (all inclusive) lodge en the five tents (no fences) are overviewing a beautiful valley, where African wildlife is passing as close as possible can be. 3 Cheetas were in front of the tent while we were there. Also thanks to Penny, Chantelle, Bratt and Andrew (sorry if we didn't write your names correct) we had a awesome experience! We would recommend this lodge to everyone who wants a real African wildlife experience, but does not like the big touristic parks and lodges.
    Rate this review:
  • Fantastic visit at Mavela


    Fantastic visit at Mavela Game Lodge. Saw three of the Big Five...and cheetah. Many thanks to Nico and Elmarie for your amazing hospitality.
    Rate this review:
  • Magical time!


    We had the most magical time at Mavela. The guides were very knowledgeable and the staff were extremely hospitable. We were lucky enough to see the big 5 over our two night stay; including a very special sighting of a herd of elephants swimming in the dam. Thanks again to the Mavela team.
    Rate this review: