Even when conditions are optimal, travel can be taxing for fully enabled folk. But for people whose mobility is challenged in some way, the demands of travel are so much greater. Fortunately, South Africa has some very fine lodges that are well enabled for travellers with special physical requirements. As a result, such travellers can get around in South Africa and experience its spectacular attractions, enjoying enabled accommodation at fine hotels and lodges.

A very useful website for finding South African lodges with enabled facilities is www.disabledtravel.co.za. The accommodation options it lists for disabled travellers have been assessed by an experienced occupational therapist – a professional who is clearly finely tuned to the very specific needs of travellers with special requirements. Most, but not all, of the lodges featured below are listed on this website, and we are grateful to the site for many of the facility specs we’ve featured. Do visit www.disabledtravel.co.za to see all their enabled accommodation options in South Africa.

Ximuwu Safari Lodge, Klaserie, Limpopo

Ximuwu Safari Lodge is a luxury wilderness sanctuary in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, hosting private group bookings of up to 8 guests at a time in stylish exclusivity. Guests enjoy sole use of the lodge and experience the rare privilege of having nature all to themselves. A dedicated game viewing vehicle will be at the disposal of your group, along with the skills of a wilderness guide and tracker. Guests determine their own schedule of activities, making every stay uniquely special. Each of Ximuwu’s four private suites has been positioned for the utmost privacy and marvelous views of the open savannah and the waterhole in front of the lodge. Ximuwu offers fully wheelchair-accessible safaris: the central areas are wheelchair accessible, two of the suites are fully accessible to wheelchairs, and so is the swimming pool and game drive vehicle. Mail us.

MalaMala Game Reserve, Mpumalanga

Disabled travellers can head to MalaMala Game Reserve with confidence, to enjoy one of the most acclaimed of safari experiences in South Africa. This luxury lodge prides itself on a wildlife safari of distinction. A fully equipped and very luxurious safari suite features:
~ Master bedroom with two en-suite bathrooms and an additional disabled bathroom for a wheelchair-bound guest, with wheel-in shower with all the necessary fittings;
~ Desk and table surfaces adjusted to wheelchair height;
~ Separate lounge area which converts to a bedroom for a disabled guest travelling with a nurse or aid;
~ Ramp at entrance;
~ 24-hour temperature control;
~ Elevated outdoor deck overlooking the bush;
~ Game drives are conducted in a suitably equipped vehicle with ramp.

On its website, MalaMala features this comment made by a very satisfied guest: “Being a disabled quadriplegic and on the South African Disabled Peoples Committee, I was recently invited by MalaMala to try out their new facilities constructed especially to accommodate disabled guests. They are fantastic and absolutely in line with international standards. Well done MalaMala!” Mail us.

Makaranga Garden Lodge, Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal

Enabled travel South Africa for disabled travellers
Makaranga Garden Lodge in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal

This lush and leafy garden paradise is a magical base just 15 minutes away from Durban. Enabled features include:
~ Drop-off zone at front entrance;
~ Large bathroom for manoeuvring wheelchair;
~ Bath with a grab rail and lever tap, and seating space for transfer at the one end of the bath;
~ Adequate space alongside toilet for sideways transfer;
~ Roll-in shower with lever tap, adjustable shower handle and large collapsible seat. Opening width of shower door is 800 mm. Height of shower chair is 430 mm and grab rail is 620 mm;
~ Limited leg space of 650 mm underneath the basin with lever taps and mirror within reach;
~ Spacious bedroom with access to cupboards;
~ Access available to the lounge, bar and dining room;
~ Access to the swimming pool with a wheelchair ramp providing access into the water. Wheelchair available for use in pool;
~ Wheelchair-accessible paths throughout the large and very beautiful garden. Mail us.

The Robertson Small Hotel, Western Cape

The Robertson Small Hotel is a shining gem of luxury in the pretty country town Robertson. Offering superb accommodation and dining, it’s a wonderful base from which to explore the region. Enabled facilities include:
~ Access to the back entrance of the hotel from the parking area behind the hotel. Paved pathways and a gradual ramp give access to the patio and entrance;
~ Spacious bedroom with access to the cupboards. Height of bed is 580 mm. One step of 70 mm to access the room – a ramp will be provided on request;
~ Access to private patio;
~ Spacious bathroom for manoeuvring wheelchair;
~ Roll-in shower with a lever tap and overhead shower. Width of shower is 1200 mm, entrance is 1030 mm;
~ Large basin has lever tap and vanity shelf, and mirror within reach;
~ Adequate space next to the toilet for sideways transfer. Grab rails present;
~ Level access to the restaurant, lounge and bar;
~ Access to the garden via pathways and grass;
~ Two steps to access the swimming pool deck. Mail us.

For disabled travellers wishing to self-drive, adapted rental cars are available from some of South Africa’s larger car rental companies.

Mail us or call +27 21 797-7122 for safari and accommodation bookings in South Africa.