• Uniquely Situated

  • Authentic Big Game

  • Exceptional

– Shikumbu Lodge –

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Shikumbu Lodge

South African Lowveld

Set on 21ha of virgin African bush within MPGR, Shikumbu Lodge is one of only two private residences in the reserve that border directly onto the Kruger National Park. Shikumbu Lodge not only adjoins the Kruger but it also overlooks its own expansive seasonal waterhole with a private game viewing hide.

The lodge offers an exclusive and authentic big game bush experience which means that you should always expect the unexpected. Shikumbu is the only private residence in Mahlathini that offers a shared ownership investment opportunity. The close proximity of Shikumbu Lodge to the Kruger’s Phalaborwa Gate makes it easy to participate in the full spectrum of activities offered by SANParks.

Activities include open vehicle day and night drives, bush barbecues, guided walking safaris, mountain bike trails and sleepovers at Sable Dam Hide. In addition a number of bush tracks (previous SANParks management roads) have been opened to the public in the Phalaborwa region of the Kruger for use with high clearance vehicles. Because so few vehicles are encountered on these tracks, it makes traversing the Kruger in this area feel almost like you are exploring your own Big 5 game reserve.

On day drives from Shikumbu Lodge into the Kruger one can easily explore seven different Kruger Park ecozones. These are the Mopane/Bushwillow Woodlands, Sandveld, Mopane Shrubveld, Lebombo Mountain Bushveld, Olifants Rugged Veld, stunted Knob-thorn Savannah and the riverine ecozones of the Ngwenyeni, Letaba and Olifants rivers.

Shikumbu Lodge

Mahlathini Private Game Reserve

The entrance gate to Mahlathini Private Game Reserve is only 7 km north of Phalaborwa which means that it is easy to access a variety of retail stores such as Woolworths, Checkers, Pick and Pay, Spar, Game etc, numerous restaurants, medical facilities as well as recreational amenities such as the Hans Merensky golf course and Olifant River game viewing cruises.

Mahlathini Private Game Reserve is easily accessible from almost anywhere in the world being situated within 15 minutes of Phalaborwa's Kruger Park Gateway Airport. South African Airlink provides direct scheduled flights from Johannesburg International Airport (ORT) and car hire is available at the airport.

Phalaborwa provides an ideal springboard for direct access to the Bilene and Xai-Xai areas of the Mozambique coast via the Kruger's Giriyondo border post and Mozambique's Limpopo National Park.

Shikumbu Lodge

“Buildings too are the children of the sun and earth” - Frank Lloyd Wright

Shikumbu Lodge is an impressive shared ownership bush residence set on an exclusive 21ha portion of Mahlathini Private Game Reserve.

This Lodge with its towering thatch roofs is hidden amongst a wooded thicket of established mopane, bushwillow, black monkey thorn and knobthorn trees adjoining a large seasonal waterhole that is visited by a wide variety of game including lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, cheetah (rare), elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, waterbuck, eland and more. The waterhole also attracts an interesting variety of birds including a variety of storks and large raptors such as fish eagles, martial eagles, black-chested snake eagles, tawny eagles etc.

The Lodge is named after Shikumbu hill in the Kruger National Park which is comprised of three rocky outcrops situated a short distance to the east of Mahlathini. This natural Kruger landmark is of ancestral significance and was once home to chiefs of an iron age community that resided at the foot of another nearby hill called Masorini. The Masorini settlement dates back to the 19th century and has the remnants of iron age foundries that smelted and forged iron artifacts. It is the Kruger's second most important archaeological site after Thulamela.

Shikumbu Lodge is comprised of three separate buildings representing the three rocky outcrops of the Kruger’s Shikumbu. These buildings are a three bedroom chalet, a two bedroom chalet and the main building that serves as the common living area. The three buildings are linked together by raised wooden walkways.

The distinctive roof design of Shikumbu Lodge found its inspiration from the putty grey and ochre colored spires of the tall termite mounds that characterize the landscape in this region of the Kruger National Park.

The living area of the main building incorporates an open plan lounge/dining/kitchen area and a laundry. The living area opens onto an expansive veranda with an under cover al-fresco facility. An upper deck provides views towards the waterhole and Kruger National Park.

All bedrooms and living areas in the lodge are air-conditioned and lead onto expansive cool shaded verandas with deep overhanging thatch roofs supported by old Leadwood tree trunks. All five bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. The bathrooms of the main bedrooms of each chalet offer private views over the surrounding bush and open to outdoor showers for a “back to nature” showering experience.

A wooden deck leads off the lounge veranda to a circular rim-flow pool with views to the waterhole and Kruger Park beyond. The kitchen and lounge open via stack doors and windows onto a shaded area that merges with an elevated tree-sheltered boma with fire pit. One side of the boma is fringed by a deck that overlooks a natural wallow in which warthogs and other animals like to take mud baths during the rainy season.

Leading off from the boma is a 40m long raised wooden walkway that meanders at canopy level through a thicket of Black monkey thorn, false-thorn and sickle bushes to a game viewing hide on the edge of the waterhole.

A latte covered carport provides shaded parking for 4 cars. The entire lodge is surrounded by an electric fence which gets breached by bull elephants from time to time. Shikumbu Lodge is supplied with 3 phase Eskom power via an underground electrical cable. Municipal water is piped to the lodge. Two 5000 liter JoJo tanks provide a back up water supply in case of outages. A borehole keeps a small dry season drinking pond supplied with water for thirsty game.


Wildlife Experience

Shikumbu Lodge provides a truly exciting spectrum of very private wildlife experiences with the intensity of activity being dictated by the ebb and flow of life in the bush.

Game recorded at Shikumbu includes Lion, Wild dogs, Cheetah (rare), Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Jackal, Honey Badger, Caracal, Buffalo, Elephant, Eland, Impala, Kudu, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog, Zebra, Giraffe, Grey Duiker and Steenbok. A variety of unusual (ant bear) and interesting medium and small mammal species occur in the reserve.

With free roaming predators such as lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog it stands to reason that kills do occur in MPGR and at Shikumbu.

Birding is superb especially during the summer months when rains fill the waterhole which is visited by a variety of waterfowl, storks (yellow-billed, African spoonbill, wooly-necked, black and saddle-billed) and raptors.

Shikumbu lodge offers everything a Kruger bush enthusiast could ever wish for .........total privacy, tranquility, unexpected exclusive sightings plus a nocturnal chorus of iconic African bush sounds including nightjars and owls calling, hyenas whooping, jackals wailing, leopards rasping, lions roaring and elephants rumbling.......and sometimes total bush stillness.

Shikumbu Lodge

Shareholder structure and lodge use

There are a total of ten shareholder slots in Shikumbu Lodge. Each shareholder of a slot enjoys 5 weeks right of use per annum. Individual use periods (weeks) run from Friday to Friday. The annual use periods are chosen by shareholders from a calendar that is circulated to them approximately 6 months in advance of the commencement of the following calendar year. Once all of the weeks have been chosen, Shikumbu shareholders are free to arrange private swaps amongst themselves. They can also opt to make use of a reciprocal exchange facility with other upmarket lodges and residences in exclusive private game reserves, coastal and country estates (T&C apply).

Shareholders may invite guests to make use of the lodge subject to their invitees agreeing to abide by the rules of the lodge and the game reserve. “Off-the-street” renters are not permitted at Shikumbu Lodge. A domestic worker services the lodge from Monday to Friday and a gardener tends to the lodge surrounds twice a week. A pool service company maintains the pool.

Investment Opportunity

Fractional Ownership

Opportunities to join the Shikumbu syndicate have been scarce to say the least. Between 2006 and 2019 only two ownership slots (5 weeks each) exchanged hands. This is testimony to the love that the shareholders have for this unique property. An opportunity to join the Shikumbu syndicate has come about through a recent resale listing.

For a fraction of the cost of investing in and maintaining an outright ownership residence in MPGR you can go wild in style and enjoy the Kruger bush by acquiring five or more weeks in this well run and uniquely situated private lodge. With the sharing of all running and maintenance costs between the shareholders, the operational levy is reasonable.

download the Shikumbu Lodge info sheet

Shikumbu Lodge

Fractional Ownership

    0800 117 622
    + 27 11 327 7620

Click here to enquire about the availability of fractional slots in Shikumbu Lodge