You won’t need to leave the comfort of Imbali’s deck to see Kruger’s creatures stake their claim over their humble patch: the striking Golden Orb spider spinning her impenetrable web, Burchell’s starlings bravely pecking at a wayward cobra and squirrels dashing past with their tasty tidbits.
Sheltered in a riverine forest overlooking the seasonal Nwaswitsontso river, Imbali is built on the site of a 400-year-old African settlement that has yielded such evidence of an ancient culture as clay pots, bone tools and grinding stones.
Plush leather sofas, African patterned tapestries and traditional artifacts fight for their place of pride amidst thatched Tsonga roofs, stone columns and the odd tree that emerges unapologetically through the teak deck; an impressive Jackalberry keeping diners company as it rises through the lodge’s floor and peeps well out over the Tsonga-styled thatched roof.
Nothing gets in the way of Kruger’s creatures at Imbali. The humble dung beetle is left to his day’s work on neatly raked pathways, the skittish francolins shriek in protest to occasional distractions while tiny frogs play peacefully in the lodge’s infinity pool.
Continuing in the spirit in which the Kruger National Park was created, Imbali acts as a sanctuary for the bush’s creatures, great and small, and is in fact your very own bush sanctuary for the duration of your special Kruger National Park stay.
Accommodation at Imbali
Guests are accommodated in twelve spacious suites, subtly decorated in neutral colours with enchanting splashes of African tradition, from the ornate wall lamps to the comfortable textured pillows.
Large French doors run the length of the room to let the beautiful outside wilderness in, on your terms; an expansive deck overlooks the Nwaswitsontso river or savannah grasslands with a Jacuzzi or outdoor pool to complete your leisure bush experience. Relax on the sunbed with a book or let those bubbles soothe your weary muscles; the chattering of weavers, thrushes and kingfishers providing a magical bush playlist for your relaxation.
The spacious stone and marble bathroom features a separate claw-foot bathtub and shower with signature bath amenities, a hairdryer and fluffy bathrobes. Soak your stresses away as you marinade in bath salts while looking out on to the peace of the Kruger bush.
Sink in to the comfortable king-size bed for a quick siesta or after a hard day’s safari; a mosquito net envelops the entire bed in the evening, a prediction of the day’s weather and something sweet provided as a nightcap preparing you for pleasant dreams in the bush.
All 12 private suites have their own private plunge pool, large king beds and a romantic antique-styled bath en-suite. Telephones in rooms, mosquito nets and air conditioner.
Children 8 years and older are welcome. Maximum 2 children under 12 years may share with parents. Children 8 – 12 years are only permitted on game drive at management discretion.
Facilities at Imbali
Imbali Safari Lodge continues the safari tradition of a bygone era, incorporating comfort and luxury in the serenity of the African bush. This exclusive lodge in the world-renowned Kruger National Park has just 12 private suites, each with their own plunge pool. Each suite has a large king bed and romantic en-suite bathroom with magnificent views of the wilderness beyond. All suites are air conditioned, and have telephones and mosquito nets.
Complimentary wi-fi in the main area allows you stay in touch with your loved ones, to tell them about your safari adventures each day.
The sparkling swimming pool in the main area promises a refreshing dip while providing the opportunity to enjoy the rich and varied wildlife that comes to the Imbali water hole for a cooling drink.
Spa treatments are available in the privacy of your suite. These are charged separately, according to the treatment you choose.
Dining at Imbali
Enjoy an extensive cold and hot buffet breakfast in Imbali Safari Lodge’s comfortable dining room; an impressive Jackalberry rising right through the deck of the dining room and the Tsonga-styled thatched roof.
Lunch is a light, informal affair with a buffet laden with tasty salads and meats served in relaxed surroundings; the sounds of the bush providing all the accompaniment you need for a memorable dining experience.
Indulge in High Tea with a delicious selection of cakes and pastries freshly baked at the lodge before embarking on your afternoon’s safari.
Then enjoy a magical three-course dinner under the stars. Good wine and good conversation flow while you listen to the enchanting sounds of the surrounding bush coming alive at night.
Although both lunch and dinner are served at the main lodge, guests can arrange for a private meal on their deck or in-suite.
Facilities, services and activities at the lodge and nearby:
Welcome drinks on arrival, butler service.
No cell phone reception and limited land lines, Internet facilities at the main lodge
Spa treatments available in the privacy of your room at an additional charge.
Safaris in 4 x 4 vehicles, bird watching, self-drive in the Kruger National Park, guided safari walks by prior arrangement.
The camp is situated in a Malaria area.
Gate entry fees are applicable and are charged per person per stay.
Kruger Gate Times:
05h30 – 18h30 – January, February, November & December l 05h30 – 18h00 – March & October
06h00 – 18h00 – April, August & September l 06h00 – 17h30 – May, June & July
All guests must enter at Orpen Gate a minimum of 1.5 Hours and Paul Kruger Gate 3 hours before gate closure.
PLEASE NOTE: If guests are not in time at the respective gates, they will not be permitted to enter the park and they will have to find alternative accommodation for that night.
- 558 km from Johannesburg
- 168 km from Nelspruit (Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport)
- 106 km from Hoedspruit
- 85 km from Skukuza Airport
- 42 km from the Orpen Gate and 95 km from the Paul Kruger Gate
Getting there by air
SA Express to Hoedspruit:
SA Airlink offers flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town into Hoedspruit
Airport. Transfers from Hoedspruit can be booked at time of reservation, at
an additional charge.
Federal Air from Johannesburg or KMIA:
Guests will fly into the Manyeleti airstrip where they will be collected by
the lodge. Driving times from the lodge is approximately an hour and a half.
This transfer is charged at R40 per vehicle and R30 per person.
Airlink to Skukuza or KMIA:
Airlink offers flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town direct to Skukuza.
Airlink also offers direct flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town
direct to Nelspruit KMIA. Transfers from Skukuza can be booked at time of
reservation, at an additional charge.
We recommend the following connecting times to ensure that passengers do not
miss any connecting flights:
Domestic flights into Johannesburg must arrive two hours prior to the
departing times of your connecting flight to Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga
International flights into Johannesburg must arrive two and a half hours
prior to your connecting flight to Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga
Domestic flights departing from Johannesburg must be booked to depart OR
Tambo two hours after the arrival of your connecting flight from Hoedspruit
or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
International flights departing from Johannesburg must be booked to depart
OR Tambo three and a half hours after the arrival of your connecting flight
from Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
Getting there by road
Depart from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg
Take the R21 highway North towards Pretoria
Before reaching Pretoria, take the N4 highway East
Turnoff at Belfast, take the R540 towards Dullstroom (approximately 37km)
At Dullstroom, take the R540 towards Lydenburg (approximately 43km)
At Lydenburg, take the R36 towards Ohrigstad (approximately 62km)
At Ohrigstad, take the R527 towards Hoedspruit (Note: You will pass through
the JG Strijdom Tunnel)
16km before Hoedspruit, at the Swadini Reptile Centre, turn right onto the
R531 towards Klaserie
After about 30km, turn left onto the Orpen Gate Road (R531)
After 40km you will reach the Orpen Gate of the Kruger National Park
Paul Kruger Gate Entry: (95km from the Paul Kruger Gate)
Enter Paul Kruger Gate
Proceed toward Skukuza
From Skukuza take the H1-2 towards Satara (32km)
Turn left S36 (Dirt Road) signs will read Imbali Safari Lodge/Hoyo Hoyo
Safari Lodge/Hamiltons Tented Camp
Continue on S36 for 40km
At T-junction turn left onto S125 for 5km then right S36
Continue for 6km
Turn left S145 for 3km
At the signs for Imbali Safari Lodge and Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, turn left
Travel about 4km to T-Junction, turn left to Imbali Safari Lodge.
Orpen Gate Entry:
(45km from the Orpen Gate)
After entering the Orpen Gate travel for 22km on the H7.
Turn right on the S36 where you will see the signpost marked Imbali,
Hamiltons, Hoyo Hoyo with the exact distances.
After about 20km turn right on the S145 where it is signposted for Imbali
and Hoyo Hoyo after 3km turn left at the no entry sign.
Drive for 3.5km where you will reach a T-junction.
Turn left to Imbali Safari Lodge.
Arrival & Departure Times
Check out time: 11h00
Check in: 13h00 hrs
Accommodation, three meals and selected beverages (soft drinks, water, beer, selected wines & spirits). Two game drives and VAT at 14%.
Transfers not specified, premium brand beverages and gate entry fees of R82.00, which are payable per person per stay. Subject to change in 2018 without prior notification.
Children from the age of 6 years are welcome at the lodge. 6 – 12 years are only permitted on game drives at management discretion.
6 – 11 years of age:
Pay published child rate when sharing with two full paying adults
Full adult rate applicable if occupying their own room or if sharing with one full paying adult
A maximum of two children under 12 years can share with parents.
12 years and older:
Considered as adults and accommodated in their own rooms. Pay full adult rates.
Not applicable, rooms accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 12 years