We arrived at the Royal Madikwe at about noon on a sweltering 34 degree summers day. After having driven some miles on a dirty, dusty rocky road the prospect of any sort of home comforts were exciting but what we found when we entred the luxury game lodge was nothing short of paradise in Africa!
We were met with moist towels to freshen ourselves up in the garden then were escorted down to reception where, after checking in, we were served a delicious three course lunch on the balcony attached to the main lodge overlooking a watering hole where, we were told, wild game often came to drink. It was not long until we were joined for lunch by some thirsty buck making their way down to the water for a drink.
After an invigorating lunch we were shown around our private chalet. To say that the mini-mansion (complete with traditional thatch roof) was the very definition of luxury would be an understatement! The attention to detail was most impressive, from the Royal Madikwe bubble bath to the well stocked minibar, every whim of the guests was catered for. The massive bed complete with six pillows and turned down every night with stepping stools provided for ease of entry was a nice touch but by far the best part about the rooms was the private balcony which sported an outdoor shower, two sun loungers, two seats in the shade of an awning and a secluded plunge-pool for late night dipping under the stars. Also, the wooden roller-blinds could be moved back to allow a view of the sun rising over the jungle while guests enjoyed a cup of french-press coffee in bed.
And then there were the game drives... Obviously, as with so many things in Africa, the experience that we had can never be replicated but I can't help feeling that regardless of what you see or where the game drive takes you the feeling of being SO close to the wild will be an experience of great excitement, wonder and delight. On our trip we managed to see the full big five but the highlight of the game drives for us was stopping in the middle of a clearing populated by 120 zebra and having a refreshment or two in their company.
These events were made all the more memorable by Andrew our guide, driver, spotter, head lodge guide and only defense against the wild animals that surrounded us. His knowledge of the African wild is second to none; from nests made from the saliva of frogs to the hunting habits of individual lion in the park, not only does Andrew make you feel safe in your safari truck but also provides a witty and educational commentary on the game drives. Another attraction of the Madikwe Game Reserve is the caliber and condition of the animals that can be seen there; unlike some other game parks that we have visited the pristine condition of the wildlife that we saw on this trip was an education in its self. It seemed to me that we were in a wildlife documentary; the colours were vibrant the physiques were toned and seeing the beautiful animals thriving in their natural environment made the modern world seem far away.
Upon returning from the game drives we were served breakfast or dinner (depending on whether it was a morning or evening drive), again the food was exquisite and the atmosphere was uncompromisingly relaxing. Words can not adequately convey the level of luxury and service that we experienced during our stay at the Royal Madikwe; from the staff to the amenities to the accommodation to the management every aspect of the establishment seemed tailored to our needs, wants and comfort (also the inspired selection of top shelf liquor was very enjoyable).
I would wholeheartedly, unreservedly and passionately recommend the Royal Madikwe for any one who wants a perfect vacation or a place to make unforgettable memories. Business functions, holidays or honeymoons would all benefit from the experiences that this lodge has to offer, it is truly a slice of paradise in the heart of the dark continent.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Where 5 star service, lavish accommodation and adventurous Game Drives come standard, Royal Madikwe offers an unforgettable luxury safari experience for families, groups of friends or couples, seeking to soak up the splendour of the African Bush. Situated in the Malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve, just a 1 hour flight or 4 1/2 hour drive from Johannesburg International Airport, this is the ideal safari destination teeming with encounters of Southern Africa's famous Big Five as well as the endangered Wild dogs and Cheetah! Children of all ages are welcome at Royal Madikwe where they can play and learn about their natural surroundings in a safe environment with an exciting kiddies program while parents relax by the poolside, or join in on the fun! Winners of the "World Luxury Hotel Awards" in 2010, 2011 & 2013 in the Luxury Game Lodge category, Royal Madikwe offers accommodation on a per person shared basis to a maximum of 12 guests in 3 free standing Luxury Suites and 1 Royal Villa with spacious interiors, organic textures and beautiful views giving our guests the opportunity to lose themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of the African Bush. Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge also offers the option of exclusive use of the whole lodge, providing a more personal and intimate experience ideal for small groups or families which is available on request. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz, Booking.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, Priceline, Agoda, Hotels.com and South African Hotels so you can book your Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.