Hotel check: Shibula Lodge And Bush Spa


What ’s it like?

‘Shibula’ meaning ‘Wild Lady’ was the name given to a black rhino that was reclaimed from a European zoo and became the world’s first rhino to have calves after a return to the wild. This lodge and bush spa is a five-star accredited lodge in the Limpopo Province. It is superbly situated close to the best game viewing areas with access to the entire 36 000 hectare private Welgevonden game reserve which forms part of a bigger, 100 000 hectare game reserve. It is a malaria-free reserve where the big five roam freely and is home to a diversity of plant and animal life, as well as more than 350 species of birds.

Guests are also treated to some of the best rhino sighting and a large variety of different antelope can be seen. Rare game species include aardvark and brown hyena, tsessebe and bush pig. Voted by Getaway magazine as one of the top 10 most romantic destinations in South Africa and by Elle and Marie Claire as one of the ‘Pick of the Best’ Bush Lodges, Shibula Lodge hugs the banks of the Platbos River overlooking a cliff and is vast, peaceful and incredibly beautiful.

This is a fascinating destination with a rich, cultural legacy and a natural splendour, a captivating tapestry of sounds, colours and earthy smells. A visit to Shibula will give you a rare sense of freedom and renewed inspiration. This magnificent wilderness area offers an unforgettable African bush experience from boundless, rolling savannah, ancient bush, to lush, lifesustaining riverines. The bush spa offers various relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. The Thera Vine Grape Extract products are locally produced, and with indigenous base oil ingredients like marula and baobab, rooibos extract and Kalahari watermelon, the richness of Africa comes to life. Treatments include massage, facials, reflexology and much more.

Where is it?

In the Waterberg. Transfer to Shibula Lodge by road is a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, or 45 minutes by private air charter. Due to the 45 minute-drive from the main gate to Shibula, arrival times at the main gate are 13h00 and 16h30.


Guests have a choice of eight, luxuriously furnished suites all fitted with Victorian baths, inside and outside showers, private patios and mini bars. Depending on the suite, you may have an outside Jacuzzi, private lounge, fireplace and spa bath in thebathroom. Some suites have satellite TV , a private patio and splash pool. The decor in the lodge has been acclaimed as being exceptional and unique, with lace and crystal blended with authentic African culture. The interior is one of a classic ethnic feel.

Facilities and Activities

 For bush enthusiasts, morning and evening games drives are organised and for the fitness fanatics the lodge boasts its own gym in natural surroundings. For the wine connoisseur, a wine tasting can be arranged in the wine cellar and for the shopper, the lodge’s curio shop with book selection will keep guests entertained.


The conference facilities seat 16 people with an outside bar area and a boma next to the conference. Basic equipment is available and special requirements need to be arranged when booking. Shibula also caters for wedding ceremonies for up to 28 people and accommodation can be arranged for up to 10 guests at neighbouring lodges.


Enjoy starlight boma dinners with traditional potjiekos and other gourmet dishes. You can also dine in an intimate wine cellar or in the main lodge. The food is distinctly African inspired and freshly prepared by the resident chef. The wine cellar is well stocked with South African award winning wines. Diners are entertained by the resident Shibula singers and dancers. Breakfast can be eaten on the banks of the river; high teas of mouth-watering surprises and the sundowners and dinners all contribute to the magic of Shibula lodge.


Shibula Lodge offers a complete African experience and the opportunity for weary souls to reconnect with their inner peace. The silence and sounds of Africa, the spectacular sunsets, and cuisine to surpass the expectations of discerning diners make this a place of supreme serenity and worthy of its five-star rating. Here you will find the essence of Africa in all its unspoilt splendour.