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“Just amazing” 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
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Just amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2009

My girlfriend and i stayed here for three nights in early December. Having never been on safari before, and not knowing much about Madikwe, we had no real idea what to expect. We had nothing to fear though - it was one of the most memorable trips of our lives. The accommodation is superb, the staff are fantastic and the game drives, which is really what this kind of holiday is about, were brilliant. There are some 30 lodges on this park, but you should only choose one - the Impodimo. Our ranger, Wayne, was passionate, knowledgeable and fun in equal amounts, but it was Patrick, our tracker, that really made the days special.

He is the best in the world at what he does and found a Cheetah at 800 metres in the dark one night, and directed us to a pair of male lions over 6 km just from hearing their roar! Truly brilliant and well worth the money you spend. Be aware that only this and one other lodge on the park use trackers, which means that other lodges rely on these guys to find the animals. So if you don't go here, you risk a far lesser experience.

The park itself houses many animals and we saw the big 5 plus many, many other animals, including the elusive Wild Dogs (we went on the hunt with them one day - driving through the bush at 50 km with them chasing down kill was a never forget experience). We can't praise the Impodimo lodge highly enough. Avoid the busy Kruger and Pilansberg where you get crowds of trucks, go for the malaria-free Madikwe, where you can leave the roads in the trucks and the majestic Impodimo.

  • Stayed December 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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181 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (44)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2008

Cape Town is a lovely city. Don't hesitate to stay at the Westin. The service and amenities are wonderful and the dinners on the 19th Floor Executive Club is formal, fabulous and inexpensive by U.S. standards. If you go to Stellenbosch wine country, lunch at Boschendahl Winery is not to be missed. We stayed at the Road Lodge one night because it's at the airport and we had an early morning flight. Not worth the extra hour sleep! It's a dump!! The City Lodge on the Waterfront is not bad, like a Holiday Inn.

The highlight of our trip was a safari at Impodimo Lodge in Madikwe. This is a 5-star lodge. The food was wonderful. Our guide, Chris Kampfert, may well be the best in S. Africa, and the same can be said for his tracker, Ernest. We saw elephants, zebra, leopards, giraffe, rhinos, cape buffalo, wildebeest, lions, wild dogs, monkeys, baboons, a variety of antelope and many gorgeous birds. Most lodges do not have trackers, and the guide has to rely on what appears or what he hears about on the radio. We had the best of the best. I can't recommend this place highly enough. Yes, it's fenced in, but so is Kruger. Madikwe is 160,000 acres. Even in a week, we couldn't see it all. I spent hours and hours researching this safari and came up with a winner.

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2008

My fiance and I stayed at Impodimo in Sept 2007 it was the highlight of our 14-day South African holiday. We took the charter flight to the lodge rather than drive up from Jo'berg and I would recommend that if you don't have many days to spend and want to arrive rested and ready to participate in an evening drive. The lodge is very tasteful and modern, the rooms are beautiful and each feature their own private balcony, outdoor shower, a big standalone bath with views out the floor to ceiling windows, mini-bar and very comfortabl beds. The staff at Impodimo are very welcoming and helpful. We spent a few nights after dinner having drinks with the rangers and the chef's. The food was amazing; we were given a choice of breakfasts each morning, and a choice of game or traditional meats each night for dinner. The food was delicous and there was always so much to choose from at each meal. We really enjoyed our time spent at the lodge itself.
Our game drives were really what made the trip. Our ranger, Chris was very informative and also a great guy to spend several hours every day with. Our tracker (Benson or Bennet - it's been so long, I've forgotten his name!) was extremely talented at finding and spotting game. We owe our nightime leopard kill to him! I've been to Pilansburg before, but I really enjoyed Madikwe a lot more. We saw the big 5 twice through, 2 cheetahs, spotted hyenas and even an ardvark (which got Chris more excited than any of us!). We saw lions on each and every drive - it's crazy how many we actually saw during our 5 days. We were also luckly enough to see several cats with kills - 4 lion kills and a leopard kill. The only thing we didn't see was the wild dogs (which is what Madikwe is known for) - but given everything else we were able to see instead, I don't feel we missed out. The unique thing with Impodimo is that they use rangers and trackers on each drive, so you have two pairs of eyes looking for game. I was full of questions about the reserve and what we were looking at and Chris was super knowledgable and always willing to take the time to fill us in.
September was a great time to go - the bush wasn't too heavy, so it was easy to see game hiding and it definitely got hot, but it was bearable. You were back at the lodge before it got too bad.
This was the best experience and I am always raving about this game lodge to any of my friends who are lucky enough to make it to South Africa. We are planning to come back and bring both sets of parents. If you are wanting to see big game, stay in a luxurious lodge and eat fantastic food, Impodimo is where you want to be.

  • Liked — Luxury for great value
  • Disliked — nothing, it was seriously amazing!
  • Stayed September 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
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1 review
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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Abu Dhabi
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
125 helpful votes 125 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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Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
62 helpful votes 62 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 23 Specialty lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Impodimo Game Lodge 5*
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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