Looking out into the park from a lounge area in Thawale Lodge

Thawale Lodge

A classic tented camp in the prime wildlife area and conservation success that is Majete Wildlife Reserve.

Welcome to Thawale Lodge

Thawale lies at the gateway to Majete Wildlife Reserve, a completely unfenced camp that provides guests with a unique experience in natural surroundings; a stay here is a safari in its own right. The word ‘thawale’ means a natural pan that fills with water after the rainy season.

Six tented chalets are available as well as two purpose-built air-conditioned chalets for families – each with two en-suite bedrooms, a lounge, and veranda. The guest areas consist of a central dining area, open-air bar and restaurant lapa, as well as a birding platform.

A unique experience is swimming or snorkelling in the natural “bio-pool”, where guests can cool off during the hot summer months, while surrounded by freshwater life – including some of the many species of cichlids – a group of fish many of which are endemic to the fresh, brackish waters of Malawi.

Wildlife viewing is excellent, whether on game drive or just relaxing at Thawale Lodge watching the waterhole, with its constant procession of animals, including lion, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, eland, buffalo and an elephant herd that regularly frequents the area. In the summer months, birding is excellent. Visitors can explore the far reaches of the reserve – the areas of Pwadzi and Pende – on specialised game drives.

Adding to the lure is Thawale Lodge’s conservation model whereby 100% of its revenue goes directly back to the reserve and surrounding communities.


Photo Credit Dru and Cheryl Jayaratne

Morning and Sundown Game Drives

Morning game drives take advantage of the cooler hours, while the latter include sundowners at sunset and a chance to see some nocturnal wildlife. All are conducted by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Drives can be arranged with Thawale Lodge management upon arrival.

Self-drive through Majete

The Reserve is open from 6am to 6pm daily. Visitors can self-drive on 55km, and 4×4 on a further 350km, of roads. Self-drivers can enter via the Namisempha Gate to the west of the reserve, on request. This is especially convenient for guests travelling from Mozambique.

Photo Credit Dru and Cheryl Jayaratne

Bird drives with a specialist guide

Enjoy a dedicated birding drive in an open-air game viewing vehicle with a specialist bird guide to see some of the 300 species in the Reserve. From the African pitta to the racket-tailed roller, Majete attracts birds from all over the world to see rare and elusive species.

Self-drive – with a Guide

Book a Hop-on Guide to join you in your own vehicle. These local guides offer a unique insight into Majete from the perspective of someone who lives in the reserve’s vicinity.

Photo credit Morgen Trimble

Community Visits

Experience the “warm heart of Africa” by meeting and interacting with the local communities, learning more about their traditional lifestyle, from sampling traditional foods to enjoying local dancing.

Campsite site at Thawale

More about Thawale Lodge

  • 8 tents of which 6 have air-conditioning
  • 2 family chalets consisting of two en-suite bedrooms (1 double and 1 twin), large lounge, max 2 adults, 3 children
  • 24-hour power in tents and main area
  • En-suite bathrooms with hot/cold tapped water, flush toilets & showers
  • 1 honeymoon tent with open air ensuite including a bath with a view
  • Safes in each tent

Inclusions and Exclusions

  • All meals included
  • Two activities per day included for local and resident rate.
  • Two activities per day included for international rate.
  • Laundry service available.
  • Intermittent cellular coverage.
  • Internet available.
  • Private game viewer at extra cost.

How to Get There

Thawale Lodge is located inside the reserve, 15 minutes from the main gate.

Majete Main Entrance Gate:



Namisempha Gate:

Only by special arrangement for guests visiting via Mozambique:

15°48’22.00″S                                34°34’32.54″E


Please download the latest rates here.

Mountain Ranges in Majete

Visiting a park managed by African Parks is one of the best ways to support communities, wildlife conservation, and the long-term success of Africa’s wild areas.