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“Awesome stay!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge

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Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Madikwe Game Reserve | P.O. Box 17, Madikwe Game Reserve 2876, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Noida, India
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Awesome stay!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We were a group of 20 and had the pleasure of being the only group staying at the lodge during those two days. The staff was very hospitable. They were there to accomodate our requests to change a lunch to brunch and high tea based on delay in arrival at the lodge as well as arranging a bonfire and barbecue dinner on request. They also arranged a show for us with african songs and dance as well as danced with us to bollywood music.

The rooms are individual cottages with a great view over the river. One can sit on the balcony and enjoy the serene ambience. We were there in the first week of september and it was cold but the staff ensured that the rooms were just warm enough to make us comfortable. They had heaters on even in the bathroom before our arrival.

The safari drives were an experience to remember. The rangers were very experienced and did their best to get us to sight as many animals as possible.

The only hitch was that there were no locks in the rooms. At night one could hear the sounds of animals and having a proper lock would have just helped alleviate some anxiety. Also during the day we had to be extra cautios about leaving our stuff in the room since they couldn't be locked.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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107 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Cambridge
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Family of 3 (one 8yr old),we very much enjoyed our stay here. This is a comparison review with our earlier stay down near Port Elizabeth, so some of this may be irrelevant to some readers ! First off, it's much warmer here in winter, perfect weather for us Brits, and as such you get longer and more pleasurable game drives ( 3 1/2 hrs max here, only 2 1/2 hrs in the chilly south). Staff very friendly, guides very knowledgeable. We liked the food here very much, and if you asked for soemthing different for children they would do that too. Nice to have proper waiter/ress service for some meals rather than just 'help yourself' canteen style which we had at our other lodge. The game viewing is excellent...all the different lodges co-ordinate and communicate so you should see something interesting on most drives. Our room was perhaps slightly cramped for 3 of us, but you don't spend much time in it so not a major issue. The chalets all border the river, so if you sit still and watch just from your balcony/deck you will see wildlife visiting. We watched 17 elephants come down for a drink/wash most days, along with the antelope-types and warthogs...and this was on top of the game drives ! As per our other lodge, although this one readily takes children there are no children specific activies or facilities. There is also a fairly long drive on gravel roads to reach the lodge once inside the reserve, so a suitable car is recommended purely on the comfort level.

Overall, highly recommended !!

Room Tip: Go for 1, 5 or preferably 17 as it overlooks the main wildlife watering spot on the river
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winchester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

We had such an amazing time at Madikwe River Lodge. Such excellent value for money compared to other lodges at Madikwe. The food was amazing and plentiful and rooms great. We were lucky to have the end room which had great views over the water hole.
However the best part of the experience were our game drives with Jerry. He really knew how to find the animals and taught us so much about nature. We saw the magnificent seven in 4 days.
We went in August and were in the pool during the day in bikinis but needed winter clothes for early morning drives - hat, winter coat etc. Warm ponchos were provided too.
We would highly recommend this lodge- it is about 4 1/2 hours drive from Jo burg. We also visited Pilanesburg national park but preferred Madikwe. Next time I would fly in to the Tarmac airstrip.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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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Rome, Italy
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

spent one of the most fantasic week-ends with the family. wonderful safari adventures, food, service and experience. my daughter got bitten by a mongusta( even though they had told her several times to keep far from them and NOT give them food) to my delight ... but within half an hour the parameds where there and gave us all the assistance we needed . The staff were very helpfull and concerned. besides this episode we loved the place and didn't want to leave . we ALL want to go back as soon as we can .....

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
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Matthews, North Carolina
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Words cannot express how much I enjoyed my stay at MRL. While traveling with my husband for business in South Africa I was fortunate enough to spend 3 nights here. The staff was amazing, always there to make sure you are comfortable (and full of delicious food). We saw so many amazing animals with our guide Benson, who soon felt like part of our family. He was funny and very skilled! He made the trip enjoyable and we learned so much. I would recommend this place to anyone. Just one word of advice, pack accordingly. It was so cold for us in the mornings, especially while riding during game drives. By the afternoons we were sitting by the rock pool with our bathing suits on. Make it a point to go here if you are in SA. Well worth the experience.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Scotland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

Where to start ? Our main reason for going to Madikwe was to see the wildlife and in that respect it exceeded all our expectations.We stayed in April for 5 nights and every game drive with the wonderful Jerry was fantastic, 5 minutes into our first mornings drive and we were sitting in the middle of a pride of lions.We also saw elephants,giraffe,white rhino,buffalo,zebra,wart hogs,wild dogs,wildebeast,umpala,baboons,ostrich to name a few things and on our final drive we got a close up of an elusive leopard(unfortunately stuck up a tree with 2 hyena underneath)
We went out twice a day, got up at 5:30am,quick cup of tea and off by 6,back about 9am and then breakfast.Out again at 4:30pm and back for dinner at 8.It was quite cold first thing in the morning and last thing at night on the drives(even for hardy Scots !) so take a few extra layers.
We thought the food was good,always a couple of options and we had 2 BBQ nights where there was even more choice.
We stayed in lodge no.8.In the afternoon we would sit and relax on the balcony and look down on the river.Loads of birds to see and watching the cheeky monkeys swing on the trees to cross the river into the lodges grounds !
Lodge was clean and the bed comfortable,maybe a bit rough round the edges but I don't think we would have wanted it any other way.
What made up for any short comings was the staff, they were so friendly and helpful,we felt like they were one big happy family,especially when they sang for us one breakfast time and invited our 11 year old son to dance with them !
Thanks to all the staff at Madikwe River Lodge.
We are hoping to return in the next year or so, we enjoyed the whole experience so much.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

South Africa was long on my list of places to go and when I had a chance to go due to a break in jobs, I jumped on that chance. I found Madikwe River Lodge on TripAdvisor and I never regretted my choice. The accommodation is lush and private - I know this is only a 3.5 star lodge, but it felt like it should be rated higher. The rooms were well appointed, clean and modern, with wonderful beds and great decor. I had a private balcony and a great view of the river - like my own cabana.

The food was excellent - not sure about previously poor reviews, but I was fed until I could burst. Three meals, plus pre-game drive teas, were all wonderful. Particularly good pastries and excellent dinners, including a wonderful impala dish that was not gamey at all. The desserts were also excellent - plus a wonderful wine and spirits list.

Highlights had to be the game drives with Charles, who was so passionate and friendly. He kept us safe and got us to see all the Big Five - actually the Magnificient Seven! While there are no guarantees, it is possible! My greatest memory was discovering the full pride of 13 lions early in the morning - the lodge was quiet my week and it was just me with Charles in the Land Cruiser - very cool moment to spent time just the two of us with those cats. We later found the elusive leopard too!

I was also able to spend some time with some of the food and bev managers who were visiting for an onsite - they were very interested in my views and took my minor suggestions on board. It seems that there is a great commitment to making this a great lodge - plus they were great conversationalists, so I had a few lovely meals and chats with them!

In addition, the rock pool is clean and refreshing - and I got a great and very cheap one hour massage. How can you go wrong?

All in all, I highly recommend Madikwe River Lodge to all. Recommend booking directly with them on their website for best prices - I got a midweek deal with a third night free - made it very reasonable (maybe $250/night as a single).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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 Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve | P.O. Box 17, Madikwe Game Reserve 2876, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Madikwe River Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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