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Tel: +27 (0) 21 671 5502

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A very warm welcome to Waterside!

The Biden family is delighted to welcome Waterside into The Royal Portfolio. The moment you step across the floating entrance bridge and arrive in the warm glow of Waterside, you’ll instantly feel the comforting embrace and invigorating energy of the African bush. The view is an Edenesque panorama of bush centred around a bustling waterhole fringed by fever trees and wildlife. Waterside is nothing if not atmospheric. You might conclude that Mother Nature and Liz Biden conspired together to create it, and in a profound sense you’d be right. It is elemental by design and anticipates every need for a memorable modern safari.

This is the Biden family’s third luxury safari lodge at Royal Malewane in the Greater Kruger, and it is a sanctuary that draws on the timeless luxury that Royal Malewane has become synonymous with. It offers the same incredible safari experience with the most qualified guiding team in Africa, as well as the same exceptional service, privacy and thoughtful innovations that guests have come to expect over the past 22 years.


Stimulating your sense of sight, the visual impact of a stay at Waterside promises to leave you enchanted. Speaking to the bold, seasonal hues of the bush, Waterside proves that Liz is not afraid to play with colour. Your eyes will dance from room to room, catching the clever interpretations of this unique design, which matches every shade with its mirror image in nature. Liz has individually decorated and designed each room – yet one thing remains the same – they are all eclectic, abundantly generous and their aspect has been strategically considered to ensure complete privacy and life-changing views across the African bushveld.

Glancing out at the view, your sense of sight will find a place to rest, gently absorbing the greens and golds reflected in the waterhole. Through carefully chosen artwork and intriguing African design, the walls and surfaces of Waterside encapsulate the joy in nature’s colour palette. Colour that captures the atmosphere of the fever trees, the playfulness of kingfishers perched along the water, and the vivid arrangement of wildflowers bursting between green leaves.

View The Waterside Factsheet

“I live in such amazing colour in my own home, and it makes me happy. I felt that guests would love it too” Liz explains.


Waterside is located at Royal Malewane on the Western Border of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is in the north of the reserve while The Lodge and The Farmstead are in the South. The closest airport is Hoedspruit and there is also a private landing strip at Royal Malewane called Jackalberry Airstrip. Click here to view the Waterside Map.

This 12-bedroom lodge consists of four one-bedroom Luxury Suites, one two-bedroom Baobab Suite, two one-bedroom Aloe Rooms and Waterside House, a four-bedroom private villa. The extravagant size of all the suites means that space is the ultimate luxury. All rates are all-inclusive and each room faces the bush, with a heated swimming pool – using a new innovative sustainable solar technology that runs throughout – and a watering hole that runs past many of the rooms.

View The Waterside Rates

Waterside’s luxurious freestanding suites as well as the private bush villa, Waterside House, are linked up to the lodge’s reception, a dining and bar area, a scenic library and Reflections Spa, gym and yoga rooms via paths that are illuminated at night. The sunken hide below the main viewing deck gives you a worm’s eye view of the waterhole, a unique perspective for game viewing. You‘re totally hidden from view, undetectable by visiting elephants, buffalos, nyalas, and the host of other animals and birds that use the waterhole each day. It provides a unique platform to capture up-close and unusual photographs.

Bring The Kids

Watch your kids fall in love with safari under the careful and thoughtful guidance of the Royal Malewane team. Waterside was designed with the ease and comfort of families in mind: it has the space and convenience families need to truly relax and unwind, and there are dedicated programmes to engage young hearts and minds. Kids of any age are welcome in our two-bedroom Baobab Suite and our four-bedroom Waterside House. Children of any ages are welcome in the one-bedroom Luxury Suites or the one-bedroom Aloe Suites should a private vehicle be booked.

Unique to Waterside is the games room which really elevates the experience for young family members. It’s a space for creativity, where kids can hang out together and discover their inner artists through painting on canvas, mosaic tiling, beading, playdough molding, watercolour, and more. In addition to art and crafts, there’s a classic arcade game, a pool table, a TV, and WiFi, as well as a selection of board games and puzzles, offering plenty of options for young guests of various ages. The games room opens up into an open-air boma with a central fire pit and a wood-fired pizza oven.

Our expert guides and trackers love to share their knowledge with kids of all ages and are masters at making that knowledge accessible to future rangers during game drives. The Royal Ranger’s Club is Royal Malewane’s young explorer’s guide to the bushveld. Children will learn how to spot animals through Track & Sign lessons, complete animal checklists and learn how species are classified, look up at the stars and become familiar with the trees and end off with a Bush Quiz to earn their official Royal Ranger certificate!


The lodge is managed by the experienced and attentive Lodge Manager, Jon Morgan, and Assistant Lodge Manager, Nick Daneel. With experienced Tracker Robert Mdhlovu by his side, Nikolas Vounnou, a former Game Ranger of the Year, heads up the Waterside guiding team with palpable devotion and energy, having completed the highest qualification in ‘track and sign’ that is possible in the country, and having trained for over a decade under Juan Pinto, one of the best names in the industry.

Head Chef, Cheslin Cornelissen, has made the transition from city to safari, leaving the kitchen at The Silo Hotel and continuing his culinary journey with The Royal Portfolio with us in the bush. Lumka is the Head Spa Therapist at Reflections Spa and will be offering specialised treatments focusing on the balance between body and mind.

You might also meet Riaan Beeslaar, Waterside’s Head Maintenance Manager, as well as Thandiwe, the Housekeeping Supervisor who is a master at perfecting the quality hidden in every detail, such as the comfort in crisp white linen that lulls you into a silky slumber.


Modern Dining with a South African Twist

Cheslin’s specially curated food philosophy for Waterside celebrates sophisticated notes of South African culture as he brings bold flavours and soul-stirring recipes from his Capetonian background.

Game Drives with the Most Qualified Guiding Team

Experience Africa’s abundant wildlife and the Big 5 on morning and afternoon game drives. To engage with the landscape even more intimately, explore the bush on foot with our expert guiding team at your side.

Reset at Reflections Spa

Combining the healing powers of nature with the carefully trained hands of our spa therapists ensures the ultimate experience, enhancing the overall feeling of wellness engendered by the totality of the ambience at Waterside. Reflections Spa has three treatment rooms, as well as a Hammam.

Between thrilling game drives and delicious meals, Waterside presents unlimited opportunities to reconnect and experience a sense of togetherness in this pristine natural setting. Our guests will find the time and space to recharge, reinvigorate, and replenish. Recline poolside in the rejuvenating presence of age-old trees, practice yoga and meditate in the companionship of nature, enjoy world-class wine tastings in the Waterside cellar, or curl up with a book in the library overlooking the waterhole.


Honouring the integrity of our natural surroundings, Waterside runs with sustainability and its carbon footprint ever in mind. We’ve built our air-conditioning on a state-of-the-art hydronic system, which uses solar power and recycled water to heat and cool the lodge, significantly lowering our carbon footprint while delivering the luxury and comfort synonymous with Royal Malewane. Hand-in-hand with new and improved sustainable systems, we continue to build on our plastic bottle-free policy, replacing them with recyclable glass. Through conservation activities that protect and give back to the wilderness, we offer our guests the assurance that they are contributing to sustainability, whilst enjoying a luxurious and fun filled holiday.

The implementation of energy-efficient systems – such as highly efficient air-conditioners and LED light bulbs, will reduce the lodge’s energy demand. We will record and monitor our carbon-emitting resources monthly at Waterside, conduct regular carbon footprint analysis and undertake ongoing research to identify new opportunities for creating or purchasing clean energy.

To learn more about how The Royal Portfolio Foundation is making a difference in our local communities and conserving our wildlife, through initiatives such as the Anti-Poaching Dog unit, click here.


Our expert reservations team can assist with all your booking requirements and can tailor your stay at Waterside. For reservations or enquiries please contact or +27 (0) 21 671 5502