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“Great service, incredible views, personal touches.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Etali Safari Lodge

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Etali Safari Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
May & June Special R3450
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dublin
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great service, incredible views, personal touches.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

I stayed at Etali for 3 nights with a group of 8 photographers. This was my first safari and I was completely overwhelmed by the experience. The warm welcome we received not only on our first arrival, but at every arrival back from our game drives was great. Either warm or cool cloths (depending on the temperature) were immediately handed to you as you got out of the Landrover. Kel and Gerry were a fantastic team who seemed just as enthusiastic as us to see the wildlife as we were and were very patient while we all tried to get our shot, even turning the vehicle round for those on the other side. We watched a pack of wild dogs hunt over two nights, once missing an impala and the next night pursuing a buffalo calf. We managed to see 4/5 but just missed the leopard. The staff back at the lodge were amazing - they all seemed to know us by name, room (and drink) by the end of the first day. On Thanksgiving night they did themselves proud with their first ever Thanksgiving feast put on for the two Yanks in the group. We were extremely touched by this and devoured the tasty (and authentic) food. The Boma the next night, complete with shooting star, was another highlight. Although we were all there on our own, it would make a very romantic (and private) getaway if you travelled with your partner. The cabins were huge. I stayed in Room 8 which, while it didn't have a view of the watering hole, was very close to the constant parade of animals on their way to the watering hole. In fact, I had a very shy giraffe who just seemed to hang out by the tree outside my cabin most days. The inside/outside showers are great also. Cannot say enough about my first safari. Thanks a million! I hope to be back someday.

Room Tip: Room 8 gets the beginning of the parade of animals, no need to see the watering hole.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    137
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    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

Our family of 5 adults stayed at Etali from 4th to 7th Nov 2013. What a magical experience. It was a fantastic family holiday spent in 3 luxury lodges. The suites were luxurious, two overlooking the waterhole and the third one where elephants are able to lean over and take a drink from the plunge pool. Food was cooked and served by the wonderful staff. On our last night, because the weather was threatening rain( it didn't) we had an indoor Boma, great food and wonderful singing by the staff.
Our safari guide and spotter, Kel and Jerry, were a great double act and gave us the most fantastic game drives possible. On our first night we saw a pack of wild dogs which we had never seen on previous safaris and after that every game drive had superb highlights. They both shared their knowledge and love of the wild life in Madikwe. This culminated in the sighting if the big five on our last day with a georgeous leopard only a few metres away from our vehicle. Customer experience was the byword of our experience.
Everyone of the staff were attentive from the moment of our arrival to the time of our departure giving everyone of our party a truly memorable experience.
Thank you Etali and a special thanks to Connie for organising our staff from the Bainbridge family

Room Tip: The rooms near to the waterhole give sightings of the animals at close quarters
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaborone, Botswana
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Etali lodge is a great-looking lodge, in a secluded part of the Madikwe game reserve. It takes a while to get to it, but the drive is definately worth it (we even saw a lot of game on the way). The lodge has a great "African ambiance", both inside and out, with a large deck for having coffee or lunch, with a great view below.

We went for a day-visit, which included coffee, a game drive and lunch. The staff were all immensely friendly and catered to our every need. The game drive was sufficiently long with many animals being seen along the way, thanks to our knowledgeable guide and trackers.

Upon returning from the drive, we were warmly greeted by a tasty lunch and were shown around the lodge and even had the pleasure of seeing a large bull elephant strolling slowly by the lodge.

All in all a great lodge, with wonderful hospitality and warm smiles all around. The rooms seem secluded and look great and maybe one day we shall spend the night, but from my experience, Etali lodge is a great place to visit for the day, go on a an exciting game drive, have a relaxing lunch and soak up all the African treats that they have to offer here!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

The staff was just amazing! Everyone was very attentive, whatever the request everything could be accommodated. No one was pushy, there was just the right amount of closeness and eye contact to be comfortable.

The game drives were very good with lots of attention to smaller things such as tracks, insects, termites, and such ( we had requested that ahead of time also). But of course also the wild dogs! First time ever that we saw a dog that did not make a kill when it had cornered a young wildebeest. It made for a great video.

We managed to see lots of other game including rhino, lion, buffalo, and elephant, giraffe, zebra. Not to forget.......impala. Made some amazing pictures of courting Purple Rollers. We were less than 3 meters away and the light was just perfect for photography. Also managed to find the yellow throated sandgrouse, a rather uncommon bird species in SA.

The accommodation was very nice, with a room large enough to hold all four of us comfortably. The associated deck was just massive - it must have been over 100 msqr. Air conditioning and fans. A nice touch was the carry bag in the room. That allowed us to take our gear along on safari in a handy bag. The pool wasn't the biggest we have every seen in Madikwe, but when we used it we were the only people and was plenty big for all of us (each room has its own plunge pool also).

We will be coming back!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Everything was very welcoming and well organised. The food was excellent. The view from the balcony was stunning but that from room 4 not as good as the others I saw. On the final night we had a BBQ down by the water hole and again the food was very good. A real highlight was when members of staff sung traditional (and some modified!) African songs after the BBQ

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We have just returned from a weekend to celebrate our birthdays. From the friendliness and attention of the staff, the delicious food, relaxed atmosphere and active waterhole, it was a trip to remember. I highly recommend this lodge in Madikwe if you are looking for an intimate and luxurious stay.

Room Tip: Rooms 5-7 have a view of the waterhole
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

In early October we completed our visits to three game lodges in South Africa with a four-night stay at Etali Lodge. We were delighted with the relaxed atmosphere and the professionalism and hospitality of the staff. Koos, Karen, Hayley and the dining staff made certain that our every need was attended to. Our guides, Obe and Thulani, were expert at finding game and seemed genuinely excited at some of the sightings, particularly the leopard with his fresh kill in the tree.
As good as the game drives were, we enjoyed the daily (and nightly) parade of wildlife to the waterhole in front of the lodge almost as much. The big five all simply came to us.
Food and service were excellent and accommodation was perfect: quiet, private and elegant. We would love to return.
Oh, and a word about the spa - great. (Maudley has a nice touch).

Room Tip: Stairs to some of the rooms are steep. If you have mobility issues, stay closer to the lodge.
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Etali Safari Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Etali Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Etali Safari Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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