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Why did we hand pick Indlovu River Lodge?

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  • Beautiful and varied terrain abounds in the 9000ha private Big 5 Karongwe Game Reserve
  • Scenic riverbank location is an idyllic setting for the lodge
  • Large, comfortable villas offer classic bushveld luxury

Indlovu River Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

64km from Hoedspruit


-24.2025, 30.5764


Indlovu River Lodge’s history started in 1992 following the Venter family’s dream to live in the African bush. After a joint decision with fellow landowners to drop their fences and create a Big 5 conservancy, the family decided to open up their little paradise on the banks of the Kuvjename River to guests in 2005.  

The three villas, Shawu, Kambaku and Shingwedzi are named after some of the celebrated “Great Tusker” elephants of the Kruger Park, and each occupies its own nook on the lodge premises, affording privacy and serenity. Dzombo Suite and the two Superior Suites with river frontage are adjacent to Shawu Villa.

The villas are built in true African style with beautiful stone-clad walls and thatched roofs, and have swimming pools and bomas for outdoor dining. Various areas of the lodge offer vantage points with views directly onto the Kuvjename River below and onto the majestic Drakensberg Mountains in the distance. 

The villas are large, with plenty of space to accommodate families, and children are unable to resist the trampoline in the garden, while a bumble drive guided by an experienced ranger will allow the young ones to experience the many small wonders of the bush.

Attached to the main house is a large dining room and lounge area with a distinct African feel, as well as a large terrace for brunching or dining under open skies.

The Karongwe Reserve abounds with game and you are very likely to see at least one member of the Big 5 during the daily 3 hour game drives offered at the lodge. The afternoon drive extends into the evening, where the tracker will scour the bush with a spotlight to find the reserve’s nocturnal mammals.

Guided game walks are the purest way of experiencing the bush, and the only way to gain a true pure perspective of the fauna and flora. There is the added priceless bonus of the chance to see cheetahs while on foot.

Rates & Summary

Shawu Villa

Located in the main house
Sleeps 4 in 2 double bedrooms
En-suite baths and showers
Fully-equipped kitchen
Gazebo overlooking river
Access onto balcony

Shingwedzi Villa

Sleeps 4 people
For self-caterers, 2 more people can be accommodated
Open-plan kitchen/lounge
Master bedroom with balcony
Fully-equipped kichen
Situated on river bank 

Kambaku Villa

Sleeps 9 people in 3 double rooms
En-suite baths and showers
Open-plan kitchen/dining room
Large rock pool

Dzombo Suite

Adjacent to Shawu Villa
Standard double room
En-suite bath and shower

2 Superior Suites

Both adjacent to Shawu Villa
Each sleeps 2 in extra length queen-size/king-size bed
Open-plan bath and shower plus outdoor shower
River frontage


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


Full Board
Self-catering option


Cots available on request.
Special children’s game drives.

Why Stay Here?

In the heart of the 9 000ha Karongwe Private Game Reserve, Indlovu River Lodge is located on the tranquil banks of the Kuvjename River and draws inspiration from the unsurpassed peace of the bush, providing exceptional game viewing, relaxation and comfort in a luxury African lodge of the highest standards. The Karongwe Private Game Reserve features seasonal rivers, rocky outcrops and pure bushveld ecosystems, and this luxury lodge has all the ingredients for guests to experience an all-inclusive, prime safari experience and a true connection with the bush.


  • Beautiful and varied terrain abounds in the 9000ha private Big 5 Karongwe Game Reserve
  • Scenic riverbank location is an idyllic setting for the lodge
  • Large, comfortable villas offer classic bushveld luxury

Things to consider Bringing

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

Road Conditions

After passing through the gate, there is a 3.2km good gravel road to the lodge.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pools
  • Outdoor bomas
  • Gym
  • Game drives
  • Bird watching
  • Guided bush walks


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge and freezer


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

Leisure Amenities

  • Gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • No business centre
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted







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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