Originally a private family retreat, Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodges earned its name as an affectionate ode to the aging giraffe bull who shared the lakeside home as an extended member of the Brink family.
According to the owner, Charl Brink, the majestic arrival of this regal relative was always signaled by the creaking of his old joints - and still today, his watchful essence is felt presiding over the lodge.
Much like the giraffe around which this charming tale of Chitwa Chitwa is centered, the private game lodge is magnificent and graceful in appearance, yet humble enough to evaporate into the surrounding beauty of the unspoiled bush of the Sabi Sand.
After its classic transformation into an eclectic blend of European style with African chic,these Game Lodges has emerged as an exquisite balance between unbridled luxury and environmental harmony.
We strive to achieve this through our ongoing efforts to maintain a holistic approach as a guest in the home of the African bush, thus ensuring the continued splendour and beauty of Chitwa Chitwa and its surrounds for generations to come.
Nestled in a pristine golden triangle of African fauna, the luxury lodge basks in the sun on the banks of one of the largest lakes of the exclusive 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the greater Kruger National Park.
This area, in turn, is incorporated into the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park - a world-class eco-tourism destination managed to optimize benefits for the sustainable economic development of local communities and biodiversity conservation.
Chitwa Chitwa`s distinctive charm is translated into the detailed finishings of our accommodation. Natural colours and textures meld with the beauty of nature`s paintbrush to replicate the serenity of the African bush indoors. The mood is complimented by the passionate artworks of Maria Brink, who together with her husband Charl, has created the perfect environment of refined luxury and relaxation.
Chitwa Chitwa Suites
Great care has been taken to balance unpretentious style with complete comfort in our beautiful chalets. Each individually decorated suite has its own private plunge pool, framed by a spacious timber deck that overlooks the nearby lake - a popular drinking hole for our wealth of wildlife.
The Chitwa House
In response to a growing demand for greater privacy and exclusive hospitality, we have created a treasured escape into unapologetic style in the form of The Chitwa House.
Here, guests can enjoy a bush experience tailored to their every whim with the assistance of an experienced house butler and the enthusiasm of a dedicated ranger. Aside from the striking beauty of the African chic interior, the emphasis is on an element of familiarity as guests set the pace in their own private piece of Africa.
Nestling into obscurity around the largest lake in the reserve, one of Chitwa Chitwa`s most endearing features is its seamless integration into the surrounding African bush through its ideal location and design. Guests can be assured of superlative game viewing from the main lounge and dining areas as they are rendered invisible to the various groups of wild animals that congregate at the waters edge in the mornings and early evenings.
Shaded by old Knobthorn trees, our large wooden lounging deck affords unrivalled wildlife sightings of the Big Five (leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros), who share the rugged bushveld with cheetah, giraffe, hippo, zebra and antelope. Spacious viewing areas strewn with comfy daybeds and a rim-flow swimming pool further enhance the feeling of being a part of the beautiful scenery, whilst creating the perfect environment to relax, unwind and absorb the sights, sounds and scents of Africa.
Chitwa Chitwa`s cosy library offers a large selection of books - both for reference reading and relaxation. The library is also equipped with an internet access point.
Our curio shop is situated at the entrance of the lodge and displays a selection of hand-made African memorabilia created by skilled local craftsmen together with various traditional ornaments and bush-wear.
Functions and Weddings
Imagine exchanging your vows in an African Dry River Bed at sunset, the bride being serenaded in by African dancers amidst tribal song. Few experiences can be as personalized as a wedding and we therefore realize that each experience will require attention to the finest detail.
We can promise you unrivalled big game viewing, complemented by exquisite accommodation, sublime cuisine and above all, a day you will never forget. Your safari style wedding will be a celebration of love, tradition and lasting memories.
We do recommend that you book the lodge on exclusive use, so the we can ensure that our full attention is devoted to your function.
Arrangements can be as glamorous or as understated, according to the bride`s wishes. Consideration needs to be given to weather conditions and the fact that we are in a nature reserve so certain restrictions do apply. Ministers from most denominations are easily accessible, as are photographers, cakes, hairdressers and florists. Special menus and dining venues can be set aside for the wedding party, when the lodge is booked exclusively.
All you need to do is sit back, relax and leave the wedding preparations to us whilst you enjoy massages, sunset cocktails and game drives. Our wedding venues are renowned for their beauty and excellent service.
The lodge is a fantastic romantic destination for honeymooners and your hosts will ensure that your time with us is an unforgettable experience. The honeymoon package includes an upgrade to a suite (subject to availability or supplement), special private deck dinners and honeymoon turndowns in the bedrooms.
For celebrating special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or other milestones we would be delighted to be able to assist in creating a memorable experience. All relevant information needs to be communicated to your reservation consultant in order for the lodge to prepare for it. Unique experiences like a private dinner in an African river bed, tribal dancers presenting a special treat or a hot air balloon with champagne breakfast can be arranged.
A sensorial experience which starts at sunrise and captures the very essence of the magnificent wildlife heritage and natural landscapes.
Cultural Village Excursion
Dixie is a small village situated close to the Gowrie Gate entrance of the Sabi Sand. Through our close associations with our neighbours and our love of the area in general, we have cultivated a unique partnership with the Dixie community in order to contribute to their general upliftment.
The Cultural Village Excursion, headed by professional field guide Chris Sebuye affords the opportunity to slip unnoticed into a day in the life of the locals whilst tapping into the optimism and energy that is so much part of this little village`s charm.The transfer will be in a Chitwa Chitwa open vehicle and will take about two hours from the time of departure from the lodge.
Nothing typifies the ultimate in relaxation more than one of the oldest healing arts in the world: massage. The far-reaching benefits of massage such as stimulating circulation, removing toxins and relieving the stress and tension of everyday living can be experienced at Chitwa Chitwa with our resident masseuse.
The Chitwa Children eco-experience is designed to entice our younger guests into our world whilst encouraging a love for the African bush and her many secrets as well as a greater awareness of the environment in general.
- a daily bush walk within our enclosed camp area. Walks are guided by an educator who will offer the children the opportunity to learn about and identify the beautiful fauna and flora in the area. Basic bush skills are taught such as how to survive in the bush, what plants to eat and how to build a basic shelter.
- A face painting session where children will enjoy a big five masquerade.
- Making spoor moulds of animal tracks with plaster of paris.
- Evenings spent roasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate whilst listening to the enchanting folk-tales as told by an
“intokoto” (the Shangaan term used to describe a person with lots of life experience).
- Chitwa Chitwa story books are placed on children`s beds during turn down in the evenings. These fairy tales include traditional local bedtime stories such as “when the elephant was King” and ” When the hippo was hairy”.
The Chitwa Chitwa Daily Programme
General Programme (15 September to 31 May)
05h00 Wake up, meet at lodge for coffee
05h30 Depart for a safari (game drive)
08h45 Head back to camp for breakfast
10h00 Bush walk with your ranger or alternative activities and relaxation
16h00 Afternoon tea at lodge
16h30 Evening safari and sundowners
19h30 Head back to camp
Winter Programme (1 June to 14 September)
06h00 Wake up, meet at lodge for coffee
06h30 Depart for safari (game drive)
09h30 Head back to camp for breakfast
10h30 Leisure time where bushwalks and activities are proposed
15h30 Afternoon tea at lodge
16h00 Evening safari and sundowners
19h00 Head back to camp
The Chitwa Chitwa Safari Experience
The most thrilling and eagerly-anticipated part of any stay with us is undoubtedly the Chitwa Chitwa safari experience. For over a decade, our guests have been treated to spell-binding sightings of our abundant wildlife and have left with affectionate memories of the very best of the African bush. The experience is further enhanced by our desire to protect and sustain the local environment and improve the well-being of our resident communities.
Located in the Sabi Sand which is the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in southern Africa, Chitwa Chitwa is highly acclaimed for its excellent game viewing, as all hunting in the area has been abolished for decades. As a result, the animals have grown accustomed to the presence of safari vehicles in their territory and we can boast some of the best opportunities to meet Africa`s Big Five - being the five most dangerous animals to meet on foot: buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard and lion. Our highly qualified guides and Shangaan trackers ensure an unforgettable African safari by enriching the experience with their profound knowledge regarding this animal kingdom and its complex habitat.
Arriving at Chitwa by air.
The lodge is comfortably accessible by air directly from Oliver Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) with a flying time of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Direct connecting flights are also available from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (35 minutes flying time) and Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit) with 25 minutes flying time. Charter Air Shuttle Services provided Federal Air and CFA.
Arriving at Chitwa by road.
The road transfer from Johannesburg to Chitwa Chitwa takes approximately 5 hours. The lodge is situated in the northern area of the Sabi Sand and access is via the Gowrie Gate (near the Orpen Gate of the Kruger National Park). Chitwa Chitwa is a scenic three hour drive from Nelspruit. Road transfers from the airport can by arranged by Eastgate Safaris.