Enquire Now Book Online

About the camp

Built beneath a canopy of leadwoods, marulas, sicklebush & sausage trees - the Zelati gardens offer a scenic and shaded spot to take in the natural surrounds. The camp itself is fenced and looks onto a set of three waterholes which are frequented by a variety of game, from wild dogs to warthogs.


During the day, in-between safari activities - grab a drink from the Zelati bar, take a dip in the pool, watch the wildlife come to drink or simply relax and bird watch on your private verandah.

Enjoy garden games, boma nights, traditional food and an authentic safari experience at Phakamani Zelati Lodge.

Features and Facilities

  • Built in the big- five Makalali Reserve, Phakamani Zelati Lodge offers guests a secluded safari stay, 80km from the town of Hoedspruit. 

  • Both the main lodge and villa overlook a series of waterholes that are dotted outside the fence perimeter, attracting many of Makalali’s animals and birds.
  • A birding paradise – grab a pair of binoculars, a bird book and take a seat in the garden, there are many different species to see here, from kingfishes and barbets to hornbills and rollers. 
  • Two activities per day conducted in the big- five Makalali Reserve, known for its spectacular game viewing. Home to a diverse plethora of life, where even wild dogs and cheetah can be seen.
  • Free Wifi throughout the lodge & connectivity in all rooms.
  • Simple and delicious South African style meals are served either around the boma fire, at the main lodge or even down in the Zelati Treehouse.

  • When you book the villa you also get the entire lodge to yourself, a private chef and can even add on extra people to stay in the Bush Chalets. 


 Shuttle service & Airport pick-up available on request (Additional Charge). The lodge is also easily accessible for self-drive guests. 


Phakamani Zelati Lodge & Villa is nestled in nature and located within the big- five Makalali Private Nature Reserve. 80km outside the safari hub of Hoedspruit, both Eastgate & Phalaborwa airports are within driving distance, making it easily accessible for fly- in guests.  The reserve is home to a variety of life, and its not just the iconic big-five that reside here, rare African wild dogs also roam the reserve as well as cheetah, crocodiles, hippo, hyena and a plethora of plains game.


The camp itself is fenced but overlooks the abundant bush and a selection of waterholes in front. Many species are drawn to, and it’s not uncommon that elephant herds cool down or lion prides come to quench their thirst in front of camp. 

Getting There

From the city of Johannesburg it’s a scenic 7 hour drive, directions as follows for self-driving guests:


  • Exiting O.R Tambo, take the R21 (Boksburg) motorway and then the N12 toward Witbank/Emalahleni
  • The N12 merges with the N4. Continue on the N4, through Middelburg.
  • At the R33 turn-off, turns towards Belfast.
  • In Belfast, follow the signs to Dullstroom (R540).
  • Travel through Dullstroom toward Lydenburg / Mashishing on the R540, and continue to Ohrigstad (R36).
  • At Ohrigstad, follow the road to Hoedspruit (R527).
  • Leaving the town of Hoedspruit, take the R40 towards Phalaborwa
  • Travel 32.2 km and turn left onto the R526 towards Tzaneen.
  • Continue straight for 31.6km and turn left at the Harmony turnoff
  • Cross the train track, go straight 600m before going through a small boom gate.
  • Travel 11.3km until you see the Phakamani Zelati Lodge Sign on your left.
  • Follow the instructions at the Gate and follow the signs through the reserve to the lodge.

Fact Sheet

Phakamani River Lodge Fact Sheet


Phakamani River Lodge Directions


Phakamani River Lodge Rates


Phakamani River Lodge Wetu Online Brochure