Abelana River Lodge

Abelana River Lodge

Abelana River Lodge

From ZAR 3250 per person sharing per night

This stylish, newly rebuilt 20-room lodge offers spectacular views over the Selati River. The river is home to a plethora of wildlife such as hippo and crocodile and a variety of bird species, from the African fish eagle to Pel’s fishing owl.

The main area and swimming pool also overlook the river and include indoor and outdoor dining areas and a bar, as well as a lounge and fire pit for sharing safari experiences and sightings in the evenings.

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All rooms are under thatch with en-suite facilities, including an additional outside shower and spacious deck overlooking the river where guests can spend time relaxing between activities.

The rooms are airconditioned with ceiling fans and a mini bar.

About us

Owned by the Mashishimale community, the word “abelana” means “to share amongst each other” in the local Northern Sotho language. This spirit of sharing underpins the relationship between the Mashishimale and its lodge operations partner which leases the land for eco-tourism purposes.

Characterised by breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, varied topography and a mixture of vegetation types, Abelana Game Reserve has a 10km stretch of the semi-perennial Selati River in its northern section, as well as numerous other seasonal watercourses.

Lodge Features:

  • The main area and swimming pool also overlook the river
  • Indoor and outdoor dining areas
  • A Bar
  • A Lounge
  • A Fire pit for sharing safari experiences and sightings in the evenings.


Various dining experiences are offered, from alfresco bush dinners, to the deck overlooking the river. Dining options are dependent on weather and guest preferences.

Abelana is home to a rich diversity of fauna and flora, from the hippos and crocodiles that make the Selati River their home and the famed Big Five – elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo – as well as cheetah and wild dog, which are occasional visitors, to an impressive number of endemic bird species including the African fish eagle, peregrine falcon, Arnot’s chat, thick-billed cuckoo and Bat hawk.

Activities Include:

  • Guided morning and afternoon game drives
  • Bush walks
  • Birding
  • Photography
  • Stargazing

Abelana Game Reserve consists of several properties, the largest of which – Croc Ranch, was originally proclaimed as a nature reserve in 1958, and is owned by the Mashishimale community, who acquired it in a successful land claim in 2010.

The community have committed to ensuring the property is managed for conservation and eco-tourism and has entered into a long lease agreement with MTH Lodge Holdings regarding the development and operation of eco-tourism projects on the property.

The community benefits directly from jobs through preferential employment, the lease rental paid, as well as from a direct daily guest community levy. Funds raised from the community levy are allocated specifically for community upliftment and development. Supplies and services are purchased from local businesses and community members and include laundry services and staff transport. Additional projects under development include an aquaponics project and an environmental education project with local schoolchildren.

There are no gate entry fees payable at Abelana Game Reserve.

Rates Includes:

  • Accommodation in air-conditioned suites with en-suite indoor and outdoor shower
  • All meals and teas/coffees
  • Morning and Afternoon/evening game drive with qualified guide and tracker, optional walk offered after breakfast
  • Filtered water provided

Rates Excludes:

  • All drinks
  • Any curio purchases
  • Any gratuities
  • Transfers to and from the reserve (transfers included in the Horse Back Safaris packages ex PHB/HDS)
  • Community levy of R200 per person per night


Abelana River Lodge Facilities Air Conditioning
Abelana River Lodge Facilities Bar
Abelana River Lodge Facilities Fan
Abelana River Lodge Facilities Outdoor Shower
Abelana River Lodge Facilities Pool
Abelana River Lodge Facilities River View
Abelana River Lodge Facilities Lounge
Abelana River Lodge Facilities Dining Area