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Why did we hand pick Amafu Forest Lodge?

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  • Comfortable classic bushveld accommodation in a beautiful and unique garden
  • The mountainous setting offers majestic views
  • A warm and knowledgeable team will help you get the most out of the area

Amafu Forest Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

In Hoedspruit


-24.5222, 30.8866


Surrounded by dense indigenous bush and offset by beautiful mountains, the privately owned and managed Amafu Forest Lodge is located on a pretty property characterised by dozens of indigenous cycads growing in landscaped rock gardens. The lodge enlisted the help of a professional cycad expert to create this exquisite showpiece, and each of the five secluded thatched cottages is named after the various species that can be viewed here.

In the interests of accommodating most needs, the lodge offers catering options ranging from self-catering to bed and breakfast and dinner, bed and breakfast, while the units can sleep between two and eight guests. The tranquillity of the lush bushveld surrounding the lodge can be soaked up from patios, decks or balconies in all of the cottages and tents. Roomy lounges and dining areas, along with kitchens and braai areas, allow for a private self-catering experience.

Located in the original, renovated farmhouse, Nubi Cottage is the smallest of the units and sleeps four guests. This open-plan cottage has an authentic farm-style feel and an impressive renovated bathroom with shower.

Styled on the same lines as Nubi, Laevi Cottage is more luxurious and spacious, with sophisticated interiors and a full en-suite bathroom with outdoor shower.

Built to create a romantic atmosphere for couples, Cupi is a double-storey log cabin secluded at the back of the property. A bathroom with one-sided glass, along with a dreamy loft bedroom and outdoor shower, are features of this honeymoon cottage.

Just as private and romantic, Pauci is another beautifully designed log cabin with a vast in-room bath and outdoor shower.

For a slightly more intimate and authentically African experience, couples can choose to stay in one of the two luxury Ituri tents, where the decks showcase stunning views over the bushveld. One of the tents has the advantage of its own private plunge pool.

Meals can be taken in the privacy of the units, or at the lodge’s lovely African-themed Rainforest Café, perched on top of a rockery filled with cycad, palm and aloe species. The restaurant adjoins the deck - an idyllic sundowner spot - as well as the outdoor boma, where in typical African style, dinner and good company can be enjoyed next to a crackling fire. Also close by is the lodge’s rimflow swimming pool, where the hotter hours of the day can be lazed away.

The lodge offers plenty of other activities to keep guests busy. Although Amafu is not located on a game reserve, Big Five safaris to one of the numerous reserves nearby, including the Kruger National Park, can be arranged. Other attractions include a tour of the traditional Shangaan village, while the Panorama Route, elephant interactions, hot air ballooning and much more are within comfortable driving distance. 

The team at Amafu can assist with any holiday requirements and touring arrangements (self-drive or guided) and all other transfer needs, making your stay as memorable as possible.

Rates & Summary

Nubi Cottage

Sleeps 4 in double and twin rooms
Bathroom with shower
Dining room and lounge
Patio with braai area and bushveld view

Cerinus Cottage

Sleeps 8 in bedrooms and open-plan areas
Bathroom with shower and bath
Kitchen, dining room and lounge
Balcony and patio with bushveld views

Laevi Cottage

Sleeps 4 in Queen-size and twin rooms
Shower, outdoor shower and bath
Kitchen, dining room and lounge
Verandah with braai area and bushveld view

Pauci Cottage

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
Bath and outdoor shower
Kitchen, lounge and breakfast nook
Verandah with bushveld view

Cupi Cottage

Sleeps 2 in loft bedroom with Queen-size bed
Bathroom with outside shower
Kitchen and lounge
Deck with bushveld view

Ituri Tent 1

Sleeps 2 in double or twin beds
En-suite bath and shower
Kitchenette and dining area
Deck with plunge pool

Ituri Tent 2

Sleeps 2 in double or twin beds
En-suite bath and shower
Kitchenette and dining area
Deck with bushveld view


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


B&B, DBB and self-catering options available
Light lunches available


Children of all ages welcome in the cottages.
Due to their elevated positions, the tents are not suitable for children.

Why Stay Here?

Situated in the spectacular Northern Drakensberg mountains outside the bushveld town of Hoedspruit, Amafu Forest Lodge is an intimate retreat offering a flexible range of accommodation in private chalets and luxury tents. The lodge is a polished, creative celebration of Africa and offers gorgeous bushveld, mountain and forest views. Guests will marvel at the rare indigenous cycads that adorn the beautifully landscaped gardens of this peaceful retreat.


  • Comfortable classic bushveld accommodation in a beautiful and unique garden
  • The mountainous setting offers majestic views
  • A warm and knowledgeable team will help you get the most out of the area


The luxury tents are secluded in the treetops and offer optimum privacy. Cupi Cottage is also very private and ideal for honeymooners.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, mosquito repellent, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

All the roads leading to the lodge are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Rimflow pool
  • Game drives
  • Nearby: The Three Rondawels, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, waterfalls, game reserves, wildlife rehabilitation centres, elephant rides, boat cruises, river rafting, tubing, quad biking, horse trails, hot air ballooning, reptile park, silk farm.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Iron and ironing board available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast and dinner by arrangement
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Kitchenette
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 2km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe







The Mopani region is a heady mix of mountain and bushveld, history and culture. Mopani includes the towns of Tzaneen, Giyani, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit. It also includes sections of the northern Drakensberg mountains, parts of the Kruger National Park and an eastern chunk of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon. Think dramatic mountain scenery, ancient rivers and unspoiled wilderness reserves.

Mopani is named after an edible worm, of all things. The best way to discover the delights of the region is by exploring the Valley of the Olifants self-drive tourism route. This takes you through wilderness areas with excellent mountain views. It is this combination of mountain and bush that gives the Mopani region its special charm.

The route is named after the Olifants (Lepelle) River, which cuts its way through steep mountains and then flows through the Kruger National Park to join the Limpopo River.

From the quaint hamlet of Haenertsburg, north-east of Polokwane, the panoramic 40km-long Magoebaskloof Pass descends 600m in a series of dizzying bends to the subtropical town of Tzaneen. Every bend greets you with a different surprise: waterfalls, historic bluegum trees, lookout points, nurseries and roadside stalls.

Surrounded by blue-green mountains, Tzaneen is a laid-back centre of agriculture and farming. From here you can explore wilderness and mountains, visit the realm of the legendary Rain Queen, and see the country’s biggest baobab tree.

From Tzaneen it’s a pleasant drive through scenic bushveld to the towns of Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit. Phalaborwa was established in 1958 after the discovery of huge mineral deposits. It is the central gateway to the Kruger National Park via the Phalaborwa Gate. It’s a small but busy town that reaches scorching summer temperatures.

Apart from having the biggest opencast mine in the world, Phalaborwa’s other claim to fame is that it’s the closest town to the Kruger National Park. It’s a five-minute drive from the centre of town to the Phalaborwa Gate. Residents are used to the ‘Hippo Crossing’ signs and the odd warthog trundling down the high street.

Hoedspruit is a centre for surrounding wildlife reserves, private reserves, game reserves and conservation centres. The town is known for its bushveld beauty and conservation ethos and is a stepping stone to assorted bush adventures. These include game viewing, birding, hiking, river rafting and mountain climbing.

The Mopani region also includes the eastern part of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon, offering the essential ‘Kruger to Canyon’ experience that combines mountains and bush. Travellers from Mpumalanga to Hoedspruit will arrive via the scenic Abel Erasmus Pass, which descends 800m in its 24km length.

The highlight is the 133,5m-long Strijdom Tunnel where you emerge from cool darkness into bright sunlight nearly a thousand metres above the Olifants River valley.

Look out for

The northern Drakensberg & Wolkberg wilderness areas - he mountainous heart of Mopani is the Wolkberg Wilderness and Magoebaskloof. This is hiking, birding, fishing, strolling, rambling and botanising territory. If you’re into extreme stuff and adrenalin rushes, you can take a canopy tour, go kloofing, abseiling, river rafting, white water tubing and mountain biking.

The Realm of the Rain Queen - This is set in the village of Modjadji, in mountain foothills, near Tzaneen. It is said that Queen Modjadji settled here after fleeing Zimbabwe in the late 17th century. She brought with her special rain summoning powers, and started the matriarchal Bolobedu tribe. Modjadji is also home to the Modjadji Cycad Reserve, which has thousands of species of the rare endemic cycad (Transvenosus encephalartos) that dates back to the time of the dinosaur.

The country’s biggest baobab - The Sunland Baobab, as it’s officially known, is named after the farm where it has grown for over 4 000 years. This gentle giant is 22m high and has a 47m circumference. Get up close and personal with this giant at Sunland Farm, near Tzaneen. You’ll discover why the surreal baobab is a source of great legend, and the symbol of Limpopo province.

Kruger to canyon trip - The Mopani region’s hallmark is the combination of mountain and bush. The area between the central Kruger National Park and the eastern reaches of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon offers amazing nature and adventure opportunities. These include gentle sundowner cruises and tranquil bushveld walks, adrenalin-charged river rafting and gorge swinging. This part of Mopani has excellent views of lichen-clad cliff faces and dramatic kloofs and canyons.

The Lowveld and the Kruger Park - The Mopani region offers direct access to the central and northern parts of the Kruger National Park. It also leads to the Mpumalanga Lowveld, famed for its game-rich reserves. Just inside the Phalaborwa Gate is the Masorini Museum, a Late Iron Age archaeological site showing smelting furnaces, homesteads and historic implements. Another highlight is the Elephant Museum at Letaba Camp, which is an easy drive from Phalaborwa. Letaba is a pretty camp overlooking the river, where elephant sightings are practically guaranteed. In the northern Kruger Park, near Punda Maria, is Thulamela National Heritage Site. A significant archaeological site, with hillsides that are filled with stone ruins that tell the story of an ancient culture that settled here in the 15th century.

Bush to beach - It is now possible to take this route from the Phalaborwa gate all the way to the beaches of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. Travellers drive through the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which includes the Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park. The border post is a Giriyondo, near the Massingir Dam.

Kruger to Canyon Birding Route - This route starts at the beginning of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon at God’s Window. It follows Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route and enters Limpopo via the dramatic Abel Erasmus Pass. From there it leads to Hoedspruit and into the central Kruger Park.

Hans Merensky Golf Course - Undoubtedly the best golfing experience in Mopani. This famous course, designed by Bob Grimsdell, is adjacent to the Kruger National Park. It offers players a unique opportunity to tee off amongst the wildlife.

Wildlife and conservation - Apart from being part of a massive transfrontier park, the Mopani region offers incredible opportunities for viewing wildlife. It’s also a conservation centre. In and around Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa are a variety of wildlife breeding and rehabilitation centres. There are also ranger training camps and guided wilderness experiences.

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