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“The Best Holiday Ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Impodimo Game Lodge

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Impodimo Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Wonderboom Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve 2874, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The Best Holiday Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2008

We cannot pay the Impodimo Lodge, staff, game viewing and overall experience a high enough accolade.

We booked direct with the lodge and made a substantial saving compared to making the reservation through a travel agent. The booking process was hassle free and the Lyné and Michelle made all of the necessary arrangements, including booking the internal flight from Jo'burg into the Madikwe.

The whole African experience started from when we landed at the air-strip and were met by our guide for the week, Wayne.
Now, what that man doesn't know about game and the habitat is not worth knowing! Together with Patrick (an amazing tracker), they made our safari absolutely fantastic! We were treated to witnessing a wild dog catch & kill, on foot with White Rhino, leopard sighting and numberous close encounters with elephants and all the big game species that inhabit the Madikwe.

The Lodge itself provides both luxury within fantastic surroundings. The accomodation is better than portrayed in photographs. The bathroom is worthy of a special mention. The Lodge is one of only two in the game reserve that is not fenced off, therefore providing a unique atmosphere that you are actually living with the wildlife. We viewed numerous animals from the porch of our chalet.

We found the food to be comparable to some of the best places we have eaten and the 'Bush Braai' is a must. The dinner time experience is something special at Impodimo. Sitting around a large fire, with excellent food, great wine and sharing the day's experiences with the staff and other guests was a highlight.
The entertainment was in itself great and watch out for the chef, he is fantastic!!

Now, all of the above points make the Impodimo Lodge a must do safari experience, however, it is all of the staff there that make it just that bit special.

We would like to thank Alison, Lyné, and Michelle for being extremely warm, helpful and funny.
We would like to thank Wayne for ensuring we saw everything we wanted to see and more, but also for providing a good insight into wildlife and great stories at dinner. A special thank you for Patrick who is the bravest man we have ever met and has the ability to track a needle in a haystack.
We would also like to thank all of the other staff who were magnificent, including Isikill (hope the spelling isn't too far out) who made us feel at home and served us with a smile.

Overall, if you decide to stay at Impodimo I can assure you that it is a choice you will not regret. We will definetly be back!!

Guy & Donna (London, U.K)

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
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Abu Dhabi
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
109 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2008

Impodimo was one of three lodges we stayed at in the Madikwe game reserve - 2 in the Western part of the park & 1 in the East. Impodimo is in the West & when we arrievd, our guide, Wayne told us that we had the bast selection of game right on our doorstep & he wasn't wrong!

It was great to stay at 3 completely different lodges within Madikwe as each one is totally different. Besides Impodimo, we stayed at a wonderful tented camp & another amazingly luxurious (& much more expensive) lodge but Impodimo was by far our favourite.

The main lodge is beautiful - very luxurious with lots of separate areas to realx in. The chalets are also of a very high standard with lovely bathrooms & great outdoor areas. It has the most fabulous views, being perched high up, overlooking the reserve.

As a family of 4, with 2 teenagers, we all loved the fact that being a lodge with no fences, the animals could wander right up to your tearrace - and they did! This meant that after dark, you must be escourted to your room by an armed guide but this only adds to the excitement of the lodge.

As for the game drives, this was our 8th safari, all over Africa & our guide Wayne & tracker Patrick were the very best we have ever had. They make a fantastic team & would always be the first ones, out of all the neighbouring lodge vehicles, to get to the best spots. Another thing that sets Impodimo apart is that whereas at some lodges you are pretty much seperate from the other guests, here, the guides all sit down to dinner with the guests, either in the outside boma or in the lovely indoor dining room (pretty good food too) & there is lots of cameraderie & fun as everyone recounts their day's tales. Other exclusive lodges can lack the sense of friendliness that to us, is all part of the safari experience.

We also liked the fact that they use open game vehicles which means that you can get up much closer to the animals in the undergrowth than in the covered vehicles that most of the other lodges use.

Impodimo manages to combine something very rare - luxury & friendliness - to create the perfect safari experience. We loved it.

  • Liked — luxury & friendliness combined with fantastic game drives.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2008

Mu husband and I spent 3 nights at Impodimo in February 2007. The game viewing was excellent, our ranger and tracker did thier best to make sure we saw as much as possible - a lion and wild dog kill during a 3 night stay is usually unheard of!
The accomodation and facilities are very good. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The food was of a very high standard.
I highly recommend Imopimo to anyone vivisting the Madikwe Game reserve. You can't go wrong.

  • Liked — Returning to our room after dinner one evening only to find a hot bubble bath and candles...
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
coleby,lincoln,england
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

We have just had the most fantastic six days at Impodimo,we drove up there from jo,berg it took about 4hours on a good road and a steady speed in the rain!
The weather was not being kind to us but who cares when you are in paradise.
We were met by the very friendly staff and showed to our room which I can only call wonderful and wanting for nothing. We had two game drives per day one in the morning 0500hrs and return about 0945hrs, the day is then yours after a huge breakfast until 1600hrs when after a bit of high tea it is out again for the evening drive and sundowners of course to return about 2045hrs for dinner. During the drives we saw every thing you would wish to see the big five were virtually a daily occourence but the other animal were just as interesting in some cases more so.
Our guide Chris and his tracker Ernest were really great Chris was most informative in his who, what,where and why the animals do what they do with out being to deep and thank goodness he had a sense of humour as well, especially when you are soaked to the skin but who cares when there so much to see.The weather did clear up on the second day .
After the game drives you are met with a glass of Port and hot towels ready for diner to chat about the days sighting.
The evening meal usually contained some game meat or traditional fare.
You cannot loose weight here with the very good home cooked food it was great.
I cannot express how well we were looked after by Steve and his staff but Chris and Ernest were exceptional.Thank you very much for a great time.

  • Liked — The location and high standard
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Buenos Aires
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2007

Impodimo Private Game Lodge is a 5 star property located in the vast 75000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve 4.5 hours thereabouts self-driving NW of Johannesburg.

My wife & I had the privilege of staying there two nights (far too short of a stay in hindsight reflection ) three weeks ago, May 17th & 18th.

We self-drove from JNB International Airport & it took an easy four & a bit hours all on main highways to the Madikwe Game Reserve entrance gates & another ten minutes from the gates to Impodimo´s guests car park.

A stunning location, tucked into a hillside over looking a valley with perennial running water it is a private game lodge that for those who have experienced the upper echelon of South Africa´s private game lodge locations, rates amongst a select grouping of the finest we have had the fortune to stay.

The greater Madikwe Game Reserve is fairly ´new´ in so much as it was
inaugurated some decade ago, with most of the animal species relocated here from other parts of Southern Africa. In our short two days we were surprised to encoutner all of the traditional Big 5, but
we also had marvellous game drive - game viewing experiences with the
smaller animals, some of which are not often spotted such as genet, serval & honey badgers.

To add to the quality of the game viewing there is a small waterhole directly out off the deck of the bungalow / chalet accommodation unit
we were allocated to, which had continual visitors from family groups
of elephants to all sorts of bush bird-life, giraffe, Cape buffalo & all manner of antelope, so our balcony deck was akin to being on game
drive without leaving the room).

The staff at Impodimo are wonderful & we wanted for nothing - gracious yet attentive, in a manner which can only be found in African bush.

In terms of the accommodation, they have 8 double chalet / bungalows & the larger ´owners cottage´which is fully self-appointed with two guests suites under one roof, ideal fro two couples or a family travelling together.

Te chalet/bunglaow we stayed in had a bif bedroom, canopy styled bed,
plenty of cupboard space, electronic personal safe, a big bathroom with a large Victorian ´eagles feet´ styled deep bathtub & as well, both an indoor & a seperate outdoor shower. For anybody who hasn´t enjoyed the freedom of an outdoor shower in the African bush, here´s your opportunity.

The cuisine served at breakfast & dinner times is wonderous in quality & presentation & the servings are seemingly endless. Certainly Jenny Craig has never been to Impodimo, nor would it qualify in any way to feature in her proclaimed diets, & likely, nor has Impodimo ever pretended to be anything less than a 5 star experience from beginning to end; game viewing, to their classic African style accommodation & cuisine supreme.

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the game viewing Impodimo offers remains imperceptive to the lay person - that being they provide a game drive experience to guests using both a qualified professional Ranger & an indigenous Shangaan professional Tracker.

Our Ranger - Tracker duo was Wayne & Patrick, both of whom worked tirelessly as a true harmonious team to ensure the guests got the absolute best game viewing experience these two could provide on any outing, morning or late afternoon-evening.

Our tracker - Patrick - who is native Shangaan African - is one of only two Trackers in South Africa rated with the highest level of bush tracking certification attainable & to say he could find an ´ant
in the Kalahari Desert´ is understating the man´s abilities - he proved to be a wizard time & again.

The species Patrick found & that other vehicles from other lodge properties in the Madikwe Reserve who don´t have Trackers aboard their safari game drive vehicles missed out seeing, were too numerous
to number. We witnessed many instances where other lodge game drive vehicles stopped to enquire of Patrick what he´d seen, & where the beast in question was last sighted at as legendry are his abilities widely known & respected.

Needless to say we were extremely happy with the game viewing that we were a part of - a marvellous experience to be sure. In two days we saw the big 5, had not one but two very special sightings of different leopard (which are fairly rare sightings in the vastness of
Madikwe) had a herd of 220 elephants ( we counted them!)ome to drink from the pool 50m from the front deck of the Main Lodge on both afternoons we were present & saw countless numbers of plains game antelope including gemsbok & hartebeest, zebra, Cape buffalo, giraffe, & a bevy of big male kudu in splendid condition.

And the litmus test has to be ´will we be back to Impodimo?

Absolutely, unequivocally yes, just as soon as the opportunity provides.

Allan & Muriel Falck
Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Liked — the setting & hideaway ambiance
  • Disliked — having to leave after all of the pampering we received, go home
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2007

If you love South Africa, love the bush, and love being looked after, then you won't do better than Impodimo. It is the most fantastic lodge and yes the elephants really do come to drink at the pool !! The team are incredibly caring and really make sure that every individual has the best possible experience. Food is divine (be prepared to put on some weight!) and evenings in the boma are magical.

But of course the focus has to be the game drives. There is plenty of game at Madikwe and the immensely knowledgeable rangers helped by experienced trackers ensure that there are great sightings - each game drive is an exciting adenture. I saw "The Magnificent Seven" during my stay including an incredibly memorable Big Five drive plus wild dogs!

I've left a bit of my heart at Impodimo and will definitely be going back to visit as soon as I can. It is a truly special place.

Claire Grout, Cheshire, UK

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Leaving!
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
South Africa
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2007

I recently hosted our top 125 sales achievers on safari as part of a one week South Africa Sales Incentive trip.

Part of the group was fortunate to stay at the Impodimo Lodge.
The group were impressed by the excellent organisation on arrival, the food and beverage and high quality of the game drive guides. The warm hospitality of the Impodimo team led by Deb and Steve made them feel very special throughout their stay.

Best Regards

Alison
Vice President, Sales - Asia Pacific

  • Liked — The friendly service and hospitality
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Additional Information about Impodimo Game Lodge

Address: Wonderboom Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve 2874, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Impodimo Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a rugged dolomite ridge overlooking a vast African wilderness, you will find a hidden treasure called Impodimo. Taken from the Tswana words Mpho Dimo, Impodimo means a gift from God, and is truly a slice of heaven on earth. Rise in the morning to an African dawn and enjoy an early morning game drive with your dedicated professional ranger. Relax as your ranger guides you through the bush on a custom made open Land Rover, searching out the Big 5 or the smaller secrets of nature. Set out on a foot safari with your armed ranger and learn the secrets of tracking African game or just enjoy the trees, birds and stunning scenery. Return from the excitement of the bush to a sumptuous breakfast or brunch and then relax at the pool or the sala overlooking the waterhole where game may come to quench their thirst. In the afternoon, when the heat of the African sun has diminished and the shadows are longer, head out again on a sundowner safari, where you will stop to watch the sun set on this bushveld paradise and enjoy your favourite sundowner drink. Once the sun has set and darkness descends, set off again for a night safari where the more nocturnal creatures now rule the bush. Return to the lodge where you will be treated to the finest Pan-African cuisine with your hosts in the open air boma, and share your days adventures, while you enjoy a night cap around the fire. Impodimo Game Lodge is set along a rocky ridge commanding stunning vistas of the reserve. It is also located at the source of a natural spring, which provides the lodge with elevated views as well as riverine serenity. The lodge offers dawn and dusk safaris. The safaris are carefully timed to ensure optimal seasonal comfort. Whilst Impodimo has 10 suites, its capacity is 16 guests. Each of the suites have been carefully positioned to ensure absolute privacy. Spacious in design, each includes a closed system fireplace, climate control air conditioner, mini bar fridge, tea & coffee making facilities and full en-suite bathroom and outside shower. Your private deck allows uninterrupted views of the Madikwe Game Reserve. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Impodimo Game Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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