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“A little magic in the Karoo”

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Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Muizenberg, South Africa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A little magic in the Karoo”
Reviewed February 16, 2014

This is the place to go to if you want to get away from all the stresses of every day life. It is the perfect place to do absolutely nothing. When we arrived there we were greeted by the call of the fish eagle and a very friendly Natasha. The lodge is tastefully decorated but not overly done. The food was absolutely fantastic. Loved the central dining table and meeting and making new friends. The staff is friendly and professional. If you get bored of doing nothing go for a bush drive and you might be as lucky as we were by meeting up with a pack of black-backed jackals at 7 in the morning! The morning boat cruise was amazing and Nico was very informative. Madi-Madi, we won't forget you as well as you special African coffee.

Room Tip: All the rooms are excellent but if you can, book the executive riverside cottage
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank AlisonJoyS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Hi Alison,

Thank you kindly for the wonderful review. Your Jackal sighting that morning was indeed a special moment. I am very happy to hear that you found the magic here at Madi-Madi as I feel this place certainly has a little bit of magic to offer. It is great to hear that you enjoyed both the relaxation we offer here and the activities. It was such a pleasure to have you here with us and I certainly am looking forward to seeing you again in the near future. We will make sure our special African coffee is brewed for you.

Kind regards,
Natasha Opperman
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172 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
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English first
Berrynarbor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
119 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

We recently stayed for 3 nights at Madi-Madi and had a great time. The location is beautiful & remote (9k along a gravel track, do get the directions off the website before you go, people there who had used sat-navs had had problems). We had extended our stay so spent one night in the main house and 2 in a riverside bungalow. Both were spacious with comfortable beds and antique furniture, the bathrooms in both were also large but the plumbing was perhaps trying to be a little too authentic and we had problems with the water keeping to a constant temperature in the shower. It was definitley worth paying extra for the bungalow, the views were spectacular, it had a lovely shady veranda, but no comfortable chairs to sit on outside, loungers would have enhanced the experience hugely. Also there was a large chandalier in the bedroom, somewhat spoilt by bare, energy saving bulbs. It looked really ugly, there are alternatives!
Natasha & Nico were super and went out of there way to look after everyone. We did enjoy meals around the big table, but can understand how this would not suit everyone. I think they are trying to make it like a house stay experience, which worked for us. Natasha checked if anyone did not like anything on the menu & provided alternatives accordingly and there was a choice of main course. One night we had a braai when a large selection of dishes was on offer.
Our main problem was with the game drives, Nico was very good, but no binoculars were provided & as we were the only people with a pair we ended up having to share them round. We didn't mind, except when people held on to them for too long! Nico really should have had his own and at least one pair per row of seats should have been provided (as on every other drive we have been on) Also, we went on a night drive, and I suspect it would not have been on if my husband had not been able to fix the spotlight, which was a real botched together affair. They really need a reliable one.
Having said all this, we would return again & look forward to seeing a few more varieties of animals when they have stocked up. It didn't feel too managed or predictable & Natasha's enthusiasm when she saw their first spotted Genet was wonderful!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jamly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Thank you very much for your review. Our guest feedback is of utmost importance to us. We were so happy that you extended your stay from 2 to 3 nights here with us. It was such a pleasure having you here with us. Our furniture has been chosen to fit in with our old Karoo theme. I would have happily brought a lounger to your patio had I known that you found the furniture uncomfortable. The energy saving light bulbs are to ensure that we run our lodge as green as we can, we are very serious when it comes to being as kind to our environment as possible.
It pleases me to hear that you enjoyed our family dining table, we did have a few fantastic nights in the lodge together. We realize that the family style dining will not suite everyone, thus we have made provisions for this in offering alternative private dining in our welcome letter that everyone receives on arrival in their room.
I regret that you did not inform me of the hot water problem you experienced, I would have done everything in my power to fix this immediately.
I am happy to inform you that we got a new spotlight the very next day. Unfortunately the wires burnt on the one we had, but we really appreciated the help your husband offered.
I am very glad we went on our night drive, we managed to have some amazing sightings, not only the spotted Genet that I was so exited about but also the Caracal and the group of Jackal.
It was really such a pleasure to have you here with us. I truly love Madi-Madi and everything it has to offer and I look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Kind regards,
Natasha
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Cape Town
Level Contributor
91 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2014

We decided to purchase the Groupon special for a 2 night weekend at Madi-Madi for our 25th wedding anniversary. We stayed in one of the executive chalets which was luxurious and spacious and had a beautiful view of the river. Unfortunately my husband was ill the whole weekend and we did not eat in the diningroom so we cannot comment on the quality of the food but we would like to offer the following suggestions in order to improve on what is already a very special gem that we feel could be even better.
We felt that a tv should be available in the room. Although we understand that the idea of being at Madi-Madi is to unwind and relax, this should be an option and it could be discretely hidden away in a cupboard.
Although we did not eat in the diningroom, we would not have liked to sit at one table with everyone. We would prefer to sit at our own table. The option should be given to do either.
An absolute winner would be to allow guests to have their own weber braai at their cottages and braai packs could be offered for one to purchase from the lodge.
At present, a set menu is offered in the evenings. Sometimes one only wishes to have something small so it would be nice if an a la carte menu was available.
Lastly, it would be great if a couple of rubberducks with small quiet engines were available for hire so that one could go fishing up the river during the day.
Natasha went out of her way for us and sent soup to the room for my husband and I which was very much appreciated.
Nico was also very friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: I would definitely book an executive or superior cottage as these are situated on the lawn overlooki...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Anne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Thank you very much for you kind words about this beautiful piece of paradise. I am certainly counting myself as an extremely lucky person to be able to live my life here at Madi-Madi. This lodge is nothing less than an extension of my home.
It was such a pity that your husband fell ill and that you were not able to partake in more of what is to offer at Madi-Madi.
We did consider the television idea when we first opened Madi, but like you say, the whole place is all about switching off from the world outside. Our motto is that here you finally have enough time to do all the nothing you want. We did however put a television in our main lounge for the sports fans or news fans. We believe the silence is contributing to guests having a closer to nature experience that make Madi-Madi exceptional
Our family style eating is also another character of our lodge. We have found that this has made new friendships and even a few business partnerships possible. We do however understand that this option is not for everyone, and we have made provision for this. In the welcome letter that you received on arrival we do offer private romantic patio dinners, as well as offering alternative dinner arrangements that can be discussed with me the Lodge Manager at any time to suite the need of our individual guests.
I will make a note that on your next visit to go through various suggestion which would suite you better. We also offer snack platter for the rooms during lunch or dinner time if you feel not having a too heavy lunch/dinner. Unfortunately we do not have portable braai's for our guests as we are not a self-catering lodge. We do though have indoor fireplaces in all the rooms to ensure a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy a glass of wine while overlooking the 13 km stretch of Kammanassie River.
Unfortunately motorized rubber duck would not work here either as we try to ensure a quiet and natural experience for our guests but you can always try the canoe's trip we have available here, even fishing from the canoe or take the fishing rods with on our lovely sunset cruise.
I am glad you and your husband enjoyed the soup that we made for him as per your request. It was such a pleasure to have you here with us, and I am really hoping to see you again in the future. I hope that the next time you join us for the weekend, you will be well enough to join in all our activities.
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Merseyside England
Level Contributor
87 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2014

This place is a real gem if you want to get away from it all in a tranquil setting in excellent accommodation with friendly staff and good food. It is not a safari lodge in the mold of Shamwari etc although they are building up their stock of animals and its worth doing the early morning safari and boat trip. It is pretty isolated but accessible. We planned to use it as a base to explore the area but loved it so much we did not bother going out. Of all the places we visited in the Western Cape this is the one to which we would be most likely to return.

Room Tip: No bad rooms. We had an excellent cabin of our own overlooking the river
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ItsAllOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, February 9, 2014
Thank you so very much for the kind review. Madi-Madi is such a special for all of us working here that is brings so much joy to our hearts when our guests enjoy the tranquility of this magic little piece of paradise.
It would be an absolute pleasure to see you again in the near future. Please keep following our growth on our Facebook page.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed January 10, 2014

I don t normally bother with reviews but having just returned to UK after our S.African holiday, I felt I had to write about our too brief stay at Madi Madi. As someone who does not really like being stuck somewhere quiet and tranquil, I was apprehensive about going to Madi Madi, but was one of my current wifes pre-requsits for this holiday. After an exciting drive into the resort, (felt like an off road adventure) we were greeted by the wonderful staff, Natasha, Rupert and George. After showing us the wonderful riverside cottage and great facilities in the rooms, we had a great meal sat round the large table with people from all over the world and were made to feel very welcome. I was woken the next morning with a pre game drive coffee to the room and a lovely bacon sandwich that I had cheekily asked for at dinner. Thanks Natasha. Stefan took charge of our game drive, with Rupert as back up, and saw some wonderful animals and scenery. Only when we got back did we find out it was Stefans first drive in charge, and he did a great job. He also took care of our riverboat trip later and again, was excellent. All the staff chip in with all jobs, and cannot do enough to look after you, They love their jobs and it shows.
Guys, thanks for a wonderful time and hope we can get back to spend some more time at your wonderful location soon. Still having nightmares about the ostrich chasing me though !

Room Tip: Try and get a room overlooking the river,
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ANDREW R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you very much for your review as I know you dont normaly bother with them.

We had such a great time here with both of you and enjoyed the laughs you were responsible for at the dinner table and around the bar before meals.

I am very happy that we beat your apprehension to quiet and that you managed to relax a bit here with us. The bacon butties were just to prove that we really listen, and to make getting up at 05:30 worth it for you.

We hope to see you again soon in the future.

Kind regards,
The Madi-Madi team
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed January 1, 2014

My husband and I have just stayed here, and I can't speak highly enough about the location, staff and ultimate relaxed location. I read the other reviews, and all of them say just what I want to say. Perfect scenery, fantastic food from George who manages all things in the kitchen. Including amazing breakfast! We stayed in one of the luxury apartments and it was just as the website describes, there were no disappointments at all. I couldn't wait to have a bath with the doors wide open, completely at one with nature (including the odd horse or ostrich visits). The lodge provides a welcome place to have a drink, read, swim and soak up the quite mountains and river. You have dinner and breakfast around a large 'family' like table with other guests. As a result, we met some lovely people from Sweden, Holland, Russia and Pretoria. We spent New Years Eve here and we were taken on a night drive to a hillside location where a fire was lit and Champagne provided. It was the best New Years Eve I've ever experienced. If you want peace, privacy and beauty you must go here. I do recommend at least 2 days, but stay longer if you can.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Twumzp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you very much for you kind review. It was such a pleasure to meet you and your husband. Hope the current joke is still running. I am so happy that enjoyed the bush champagne on New Years eve. We look forward to seeing you again sometime in the near future.

Kind regards,
The Madi-Madi team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bern, Switzerland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Wonderful place in tranquillity, beautiful surrounding, amazing views from the terrasse of the suite, wonderful boat trips in the evening on Kammanasie Lake and morning Bush drives through the reserve. We enjoyed the great hospitality, very tasty food and warm atmosphere. We had very relaxing days in Madi-Madi Lodge and would recommend it very warmly.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Bieri2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natasha12013, Manager at Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you so much for your kind words. It would certainly be a pleasure to enjoy your great sense of humours here with us again. I am so very glad that you the enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere that we aim to create here.

Kind regards,
The Madi Madi team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge

Property: Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge
Address: Kammanasie Mountains | Off N12, Dysselsdorp, Route 62, Oudtshoorn 6620, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Oudtshoorn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 46 Specialty Lodging in Oudtshoorn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Madi-Madi Karoo Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated outside of Oudtshoorn off the Route 62 this elegant and luxury 5000 ha game lodge offers guests unique accommodation experience with the cottages overlooking the 13km stretch of Kammanassie river. Activities on the reserve includes bush drives (game viewing), horseback safaris, sunset river cruises, bush walks and stargazing evenings. Madi-Madi offers exquisite nature and wildlife. ... more   less 
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