Our Mission

To provide a holistic hospitality service, focused on excellent food and customer satisfication

About Us

So, you’ve had a look at our website, seen what we can offer, like the look of the place, and are just on the verge of booking………but, what do you know about us???? So, let us give you a brief history:

Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge was started in 1996 by Eric Girardin and his son Paul Girardin…and is now run and managed by Michel Girardin and his wife, Clare…..but how did they get here??

The Girardin family have a long history of being involved in Elim and the local community. Eric’s Grandfather was the legendary George Liengme, who came out to SA from Switzerland in 1893 and who subsequently started the Elim Hospital, famous for its pioneering work in Eye surgery. A hundred years on, and Elim Hospital has now been declared a Natural Heritage Monument, and the Girardin family is still only 4 kms down the road from the Hospital…..The entire family – Eric and Margot Girardin, Paul & Angelika Girardin and Michel & Clare Girardin all reside on and adjacent to Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge….

So, back to the present: After Paul has been running Shiluvari Lodge for about 5 years, he and his then partner, Anja, saw a need for the development of Cultural Tourism in the area, and decided to focus on this untapped market. This, however, resulted in Paul having to withdraw from Shiluvari due to the demands of this new tourism niche, which later on developed into Kuvona cultural tours (see more info on Kuvona on our partners page of this website). This is where Michel and Clare come in! Michel has had a long standing relationship with the Tourism Industry, having been involved in the implementation of Sun Game Lodges, and running the Operations of the world renown Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve for almost 15 years. During his tenure at Sabi Sabi, he was fortunate enough to meet Clare – who with her background of Hotel school management and Tourism was his ideal match! With Paul leaving the Company, Michel and Clare decided it was time to move out of the rat race and take over the daily running of Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge and moved up to the Limpopo in 2000….

Six years on, and we are still here and still enjoying life in Limpopo! Shiluvari has grown from strength to strength, and with the involvement of our local partners, and invaluable staff – including the irreplaceable Betty Hlungwane and her team – Shiluvari is now proud to be one of the forerunners of the Tourism industry in this area. The local awards and accreditations are testament to the dedication and commitment we as a family have for the area ,and the advancement and potential of Cultural Tourism and development of a sustainable Tourism product in this Region…

We invite you to partake of our Land – the land of Legend, and assure you of a warm welcome and a very memorable stay here at Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge!

“Ku dya hiku engeta” – once you have tasted, you will want to return….


The Lodge

Set against a backdrop of Mountains and Forests, Holy Lakes and sacred ruins, Shiluvari welcomes you to the Heart of Ancient Venda and promises to restore your natural rhythm. On a natural peninsula in 30 HA of natural vegetation, Shiluvari’s sweeping views of the Albasini Dam & Luonde Mountains are the perfect base from which to explore this ‘Land of Legend’ 

The main Lodge, once the old farmhouse, houses the award winning Wood-Owl country restaurant, the Hog & Hound bar and fireplace, “Textures” art outlet, wrap-around terrace for al-fresco dining, and reception area.

On site facilities also include the Lakeside Swimming pool, as well as the motorized raft, ‘the Savannah’ for sunset cruises along the Luvuvhu River.

Shiluvari is situated along the banks of the Albasini Dam, and close to the bustling little Town of Elim, 23 km’s East of Louis Trichardt. This side of the Soutpansberg is both magical and mysterious and spans from the Western side of the Soutpansberg conservancy down through the lush green valleys of the sub-tropical Levubu Valley. Shiluvari is set in the midst of a rich heritage of Venda & Shangaan culture, and showcases the Open Africa Ribolla Arts Route of which the world renown Venda “big five’ artists can be found. For the more adventurous you can visit these artists on a self-drive basis or make use of one of the accredited guides from the Ribolla Tourism association who will entrance you with tales of Python Gods, magic mountains and singing Drums!!