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Why did we hand pick isiLimela Game Lodge?

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  • Elegant comfort in beautiful wild bushveld surrounds
  • Tranquil self catering with warm hosts inside a Big 5 reserve
  • Numerous activities can be arranged in the region, besides game drives on the reserve

isiLimela Game Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 8 years and older

45km from Hoedspruit


-24.1535, 30.9226


The owner-managed isiLimela Game Lodge was built according to a policy of non-interference with the natural environment, and blends beautifully into the bushveld surrounds. Set on a ridge overlooking the unspoilt expanses of the Balule Nature Reserve and the Drakensburg mountains in the distance, the lodge is a secluded, intimate retreat where guests can completely unwind and connect with the bush.

The lodge has four chalets decorated with a clean-cut African flavour, all well-equipped for self-catering and offering plenty of peace and quiet away from technological distractions. 

Sleeping two guests in twin beds, the three superior chalets are modern and practical, featuring full en-suite bathrooms with adjoining outdoor showers. The kitchens are equipped with fridge/freezers, microwaves, hot plates, crockery and cutlery, while a braai and dining area on the spacious patio allow guests to get a true taste of Africa while looking out over the bush.

Families of up to four can be accommodated in a chalet with two twin rooms and a shared bathroom with shower.

The chalet has the charm of an outdoor kitchen on the patio, where meals can be prepared in the company of leafy indigenous trees, birds and spectacular views. In all the chalets, air conditioning ensures cooling relief from the summer heat.

To cool down further, guests can take a dip in the lodge’s swimming pool, which is particularly refreshing after returning from a morning game drive. 

On these guided drives through the reserve, participants can expect to encounter all manner of wildlife, including the Big Five, various other mammals and hundreds of bird species, setting the scene for a wonderful safari. On clear nights, the unspoilt sky provides the perfect opportunity to take part in a fascinating stargazing experience, where some of the secrets of the universe will be unlocked.

Although owners Jean and Miles afford privacy to their guests, the affable couple are always on hand to offer friendly service and good advice while sharing their knowledge of the natural environment and surrounding areas.

The lodge outsources tours to the Kruger National Park, and is also a good base for exploring the town of Hoedspruit, where visitors can take part in a multitude of intimate wildlife experiences, including cheetah interactions, animal rehabilitation centre tours and elephant-back safaris.

Those with a thirst for adventure can go hot-air ballooning, quad biking or river rafting, while the Panorama Route along the Northern Drakensberg escarpment makes for a spectacular self-drive day trip. After a busy day, you may well want to treat yourself to a lie-in, requesting breakfast to be prepared for you by the lodge.

Rates & Summary

3 Superior Chalets

Each sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite bath, shower and outdoor shower
Patio with braai area
Views of the bushveld

Family Chalet

Sleeps 4 in 2 twin rooms
Bathroom with shower
Patio with kitchen and braai are
Views of the bushveld


  • TBA


Continental and English breakfast by arrangement


Children over the age of 8 welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Situated in the 40 000 hectare Balule Private Nature Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park, isiLimela Game Lodge is an intimate thatched lodge accommodating guests in four self-catering chalets. The lodge allows guests to enjoy the independence of comfortable, private self-catering in a tranquil bushveld setting, while offering guided game drives where sightings of the Big Five game are a possibility.


  • Elegant comfort in beautiful wild bushveld surrounds
  • Tranquil self catering with warm hosts inside a Big 5 reserve
  • Numerous activities can be arranged in the region, besides game drives on the reserve

Things to consider Bringing

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

Road Conditions

The gravel approach road is in good condition and suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Morning game drives
  • Stargazing
  • Nearby: The Three Rondawels, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, waterfalls, game reserves, Kruger National Park, wildlife rehabilitation centres, boat cruises, river rafting, tubing, quad biking, horse trails, elephant back safaris, hot air ballooning, reptile park, silk farm.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast by arrangement
  • No Restaurant
  • Not licensed
  • Kitchenette
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Hot Plates
  • Fridge and freezer


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

Leisure Amenities

  • No swimming pool
  • No television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km


  • 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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