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“Great Safari and stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tau Game Lodge

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Tau Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Madikwe Game Reserve 2581, South Africa   |  
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Crawley
1 review
“Great Safari and stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

We spent 6 nights in Cape Town and flew over just to do the safari.
We stayed for 2 nights and drove from Joburg. Was a really easy drive so dont be put off. It took about 4 and half hours from the airport but roads are really good as all toll roads.
We had a lovely room and the outside shower is brilliant.
Our tour guide Yolandi was excellent and we saw some brilliant things, i posted a video on youtube of lions mating and roaring... made the trip for me and my patner,

I would recommend it to first timers or if you have been before.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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255 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2010

We've been on safari 3 times in various parts of Africa and our stay at Tau (Oct 25-31 2010) rivaled them all with the wonderful bonus of being in a malaria free game reserve (Madikwe Game Reserve) with all of the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino (something found almost no where else in Africa) - that is just a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg airport.
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Our room was superb - outdoor and indoor showers, luxurious tub bath, spacious sitting area with an outdoor patio and huge glass doors opening to views of the lodge's waterhole and all the animals it attracts. Twice an elephant bathed less than 100 feet from our room, we could watch him from our bed!

The main lodge and grounds were just as appealing with a beautiful wood bar opening to an upper deck veranda, multiple patios, dinning and sitting areas, spa and an inviting swimming pool. The service was attentive and friendly and our game ranger Dave was an endless supply of good cheer and knowledge on the reserve's amazing birds, animals and rugged natural environment. And then there was the food... from early morning snacks to breakfast, lunch, high tea, "sundowners" & snacks and evening dinner it was excellent, plentiful and elegantly presented. Do not plan on losing weight at Tau.

Our only caveats are Tau's size and price. With space for up to 60 guests (the largest lodge in Madikwe) it could get a bit crowded, although this was not the case during our visit and one night there was about 40 guests. And Tau is not cheap. But it was a world class safari experience that for us was worth every penny.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Plymouth
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2010

I stayed for a sales conference at the "Tau Game Lodge" and so experienced most of the facilities on offer.

The whole complex has been cleverly constructed to appear old and yet has all the modern comforts you could need.

I particularly liked the bungalows that over-looked the watering hole and that had a huge bath and outdoor shower, along with a comfortable bed.

As it is winter at this time of year, the staff put on an electric blanket before I went to bed which made for a great night's sleep, and was a nice touch.

The food was of a good standard and with a few bars to choose from, there is a nice atmosphere in the evenings, with fires burning outside to keep things warm.

The game drives were truly excellent - I've been on safari at Sun City too, but this one was far better. We saw 4 of the "Big 5" both evenings - again the Leopard was the elusive one. The temperature can be really cold once the sun goes down so it is important to wrap up warm beforehand, as the game drives are in an open-top Landrover type vehicle.

Overall, this is a splendid place to visit, and I would most definitely come back to stay again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2010

We drove to Tau Lodge from Johannesberg in 4.5 hours on motorways without any problems. I hired a SUV which was just as well as the last 10km to the Lodge was on a bumpy gravel roar that standard cars were having to negotiate very slowly. After an easy check in we went to out bungalow which was directly in front of the watering hole. As we did so a heard of elephants came in for a drink. What a start to out safari. we went out on four safari's and saw almost everything that there was to see except a Leopard. The guides were great getting us right into the middle of the action. The staff were very friendly. The accomadation was really good but the food was a bit repetative and at times the meat was sometimes over done BUT do not let this put you off staying at Tau Lodge as the safari experiance was second to none. Good Value for money

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2009

We'd read the reviews on Tripadvisor, and especially one still rings true - the one warning about extra hidden costs.

Tau does not claim to be five-star, but they do aspire and take a pretty hefty price, amongst others based on being inside the malaria-free Madikwe. However, the location on the water hole was disappointing, the safari was only decent (only spotted 3 of the big 5 during three days), the restaurant and staff anonymous and disappointing. We - like the other reviewer - had to discuss extra charges at the end, and although a follow-up was promised, we have never heard back from them.

Price / quality-wise the Tau Game Lodge is simply not worth it.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Jessheim, Norway
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2009

Amazing hotel and game drives with wonderful staff and rangers! Can't say anything bad about it.

Stayed December 2009
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Seattle
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2009

My wife and I stayed at Tau for two nights with our three boys (11, 8, and 4), who can behave like baboons. Compared to many of the places we stayed in Botswana (we were living in Gaborone for three months and traveled a lot), Tau was very child friendly. They have an activity program for young kids and, although they state that they prohibit young children on game drives, they went out of their way to arrange a few game drives for our entire family (it helped that we were the only guests on one of the nights of our stay).

The game viewing in Madikwe was excellent, particularly if you want to see lions, and the landscape surprisingly varied. Ernest was a terrific guide. The food was great. The rooms were charming, particularly the outdoor showers. The service was by far the best we experienced anywhere in our three months in Botswana and South Africa. For example, we had come directly from the Tuli block in SE Botswana, where it had been raining for three days straight. Our car was completely covered in mud from the drive. Upon seeing our car, the Tau staff offered to clean it for us! We highly recommend Tau for families with young kids.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tau Game Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve 2581, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Tau Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tau Game Lodge is a 5 star Game lodge Situated in “Big 5”- Malaria Free Madikwe Reserve. Accessible by scheduled flights, or a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg. Each of the chalets ensures privacy with its own viewing deck, the main lodge offers a Curio shop, Swimming pool as well as a lounge, bar, and dining area, all partially outdoors.The convention centre offers state-of- the-Art meeting facilities. At The Spa Oasis, guests are offered rejuvenating spa treatments, surrounded by the beauty of the African Bush. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tau Game Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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