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“Awesome, Awesomw, Awesome”
Review of Tau Game Lodge

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Tau Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I went to Tau Game Lodge with my husband and our 2 year old daughter on my birthday weekend in May it I was such an amzing and relaxing weekend. We arrrived at Tau on a Saturday afternoon and just after we checked in, about 200+ buffalos and a heard of Elephants came to the waterhole which right in front of the lodge and all the room are facing the waterhole. We were so excited. The rooms a very neat and clean, we got a complementary room upgrade because it was my birthday weekend.

On the first evening, we had a bush dinner which was amazing. The lodge provided a babysitter for us and she was great with our child. The spa was great. On my birthday, the staff suprised me with a cake and sang for me. They made my day.

I would recommend Tau Game Lodge to anyone on any day.

Room Tip: All the rooms are facing the waterhole.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Kgothatso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 - 374 of 476 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2012

We stayed at Tau Lodge for a weekend in March. This was our first experience on safari and I have to say it was amazing. Tau is marketed as a five-star lodge and it definitely lived up to that. Given that, the price is extremely good since it's all-inclusive and comparable to what you would pay at a mediocre hotel in NYC. Each cottage is situated on one of the few watering holes in the game reserve, so there was no shortage of viewing a variety of animals at any given time of day. We saw elephants up close right from the patio of our cottage! The food was also fantastic and served in the main lodge overlooking the watering hole. There's also a nice pool, and spa services if you have time for that! The staff was extremely courteous and accommodating. The twice-a-day game drives are nothing short of amazing. I couldn't believe we were seeing all these animals up close! Truly an amazing experience. I told my husband it would be worthy of a honeymoon for anyone out there looking for a unique trip idea. I would definitely return to Tau. Thanks for a wonderful experience!

Room Tip: I don't think there's a bad cottage on the property.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Bosley02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I have been to game lodges in 3 sub-saharan countries and this is one of the best. Upon arrival, we walked out on the viewing deck to see 2 elephants feeding within 20 feet of the deck and 3 lions resting under some thorn bushes on the other side of the water hole. A great start. The chalets, while small, were comfortable and private. Each had a fun outdoor shower and a viewing deck. The lodge itself is large, but has many comfy rooms that make it feel more intimate. Food was excellent. Try the Eland for dinner!

The game drives were also top notch, and our driver, Garth, was very knowledgeable.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room close to the main watering hole.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank HummerBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

We really enjoyed our three nights at Tau Game Lodge, and especially liked Madikwe Reserve. We have stayed at many game lodges and reserves in Africa and we found the staff here particularly welcoming and on the ball. When we arrived, the car keys were taken from us, the vehicle was parked and everything was removed from the vehicle and taken to our 'rooms'. They even put petrol in our car as we underestimated the drive and the number of petrol stations (usually plenty in S.A.) and the vehicle was near empty.

I say 'rooms' because we only booked one of the larger rooms for three adults as we had one mother-in-law with us. As the lodge was not full, the management ever so kindly gave us an additional double room - at no cost - and we didn't ask either! This is a rare thing, and shows ample generosity and foresight. The rooms are well decked out, the grounds are lovely, and although the waterhole was a bit dry (winter is the dry season after all) this didn't stop the many creatures including elephants, kudu, waterbuck, a white rhino and, of course, crocs from stopping by. There was ample birdlife, too.

We also know that game viewing is very much about being in the right place at the right time, as well as game rangers sharing sightings and a dash of luck. Our ranger, Grant, was fantastic. We have no doubt all the rangers are top stuff but we were more than impressed with Grant. As we particularly wanted to see the rare and endangered wild dogs, he zoomed all over the reserve tracking their movements from recent sightings - and on our last day finally found them on the opposite side of this beautiful reserve. We sat with them by ourselves for at least 15 minutes before the long road back. Grant also shared interesting and different information about the animals (we usually hear the same old same old about many of the creatures) as well as interesting personal anecdotes. And he was fun! We saw a lot of game including four of the big five - leopard was the only creature we didn't see although others had seen and photographed leopard here. We even saw the magnificent gemsbok which is apparently rare to see in Madikwe.

The only thing we found a little of a let down was the food at the buffet on the one evening in the magnificent boma. It was very basic, and the meat was dry and tough. Not the standard we would have expected for Tau, but other than that, the a la carte meals were superb.

We would definitely recommend Tau Game Lodge, and we shall definitely return in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank HappyTravelsQld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2012

We spent two nights here last week which we enjoyed very much. We saw plenty of game and our ranger was very good. Having visited many other such lodges in the past, we thought the food was not quite up to scratch .... but the staff were all very friendly and helpful and we had a good time.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jilly13_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2012

Spent 2 nights at Tau Game Lodge. Some very good aspects and some disappointing ones. The lodge is situated on a water hole which is almost dry but the minimal water ensured that there was a constant stream of game visiting the water hole. We saw kudu, giraffe, impala, warthog, elephant on several occasions, a white rhino, countless birds and a crocodile or two from our small verandah. We almost felt like we didnt need to go out on game drives. The location was a huge advantage and a plus for the lodge. The game drives were enjoyable but the rangers do spend a lot of time on the radio talking ton their colleagues about different sightings. We did do a lot of racing around at fairly high speed to ensure arriving at game viewings which was uncomfortable and not relaxing. Our ranger Stefan was very friendly and , knowledgeable and did his best to try and get us to see as much as possible. The staff are very friendly and the general amenities are of a good standard. The "good but...." title hints at something amiss and there are a few things amiss. Although a 5 star lodge, the general atmosphere is not up to the standard of most South African 5 star game lodges. The complimentary bottle of water was never replaced and the minibar was empty. The fridge was noisy and with it being empty, we switched it off. The standard rooms are tight and there is nowhere to sit and relax in between the game drives other than on some steel chairs outside on the verandah or at the main lounge are of the hotel. The bathroom is small and the bath does not accomodate two persons. The outside shower is great but should be available as an option for warm days. I can imagine it being quite uncomfortable on a cold morning, having to step outside for a shower. The food was very basic and boring and apart from the 4 course meal with some options on Saturday night, was disappointing. I feel the big difference between this lodge and other game reserve lodges I have visited, was the lack of intimacy and attention to detail, probably because of the fact that it has 30 rooms which can accomodate 64 people. It is much more a "commercial lodge" than the other game lodges we have been to. If you are looking for good food, attention to detail and a spacious room, then look elsewhere. If you accept standard fare, a place to sleep and 2 game drives per day, then this will be acceptable

Room Tip: Room 1 is a 2 bedroom family room which appeared to be spacious. Rooms 2 & 3 are larger with a l...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SuperSpeed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

I don't often like to write negative reviews but this Lodge really needs a reality check. There were some excellent attributes and absolutely terrible ones at the same time. The good ones were:
The staff were very friendly. The game drive vehicles were in excellent shape. The Lodge is well laid out and the gardens etc are excellent. The extra activity on offer was excellent including the baby sitters and childrens play area. Loved the alfresco dining and found our ranger to be very friendly.
The other side of the coin however weighed this down very heavily. I travel to many destinations in Africa and this has to be the most disappointing Safari I have ever experienced for a high price tag. The animal count was the lowest I have ever experienced anywhere. We drove around the same area for 4 days and could not get our ranger to take us into a different area despite asking. Our viewings at each sighting we came to were between 2 minutes and 10 minutes at most. This is completely unacceptable and needs to be seriously addressed. The radio chatter between the rangers was very disturbing and I would very strongly recommend that headsets are installed in the vehicles so that guests do not have to listen to all the interruptions. After all, we are trying to get away from it all.
Then there were the rooms. These are not 5 star rooms despite there being a 5 star certificate on the wall in the lobby. They are small and poky. The mosquito net makes things even worse and when you have to get up during the night you are constantly tripping over the net. I have slept in bigger tents!! The bathrooms are also very small and the outdoor shower although whimsically impressive is not the greatest idea on a cold morning. The luxurious corner bath has a plug bang in the middle of the bath with a nipple sticking out. When trying to relax in the bath that nipple fits snugly you know where!! Then there is the noise caused by the luggage trollies going past the room every afternoon. No peaceful afternoon sleep between game drives for anyone!
And then there was the food! I have a serious food allergy and despite bringing along an alternative replacement product for my allergy it was not used at all during my stay. I did not get dessert on any night because all the desserts except the fruit salad had egg (yes) in it. The venison that was served tasted like bits of cardboard on one night and the next night like bits of leather. It took the kitchen 25 minutes to produce two poached eggs (for my husband). And then my favourite pet-hate, every night the starter was soup and the first two nights the soup was really not good. Can chefs in Lodges not come up with a better starter than soup?

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms at the end of the row so that you don't have to listen to the luggage trollies...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank christine l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tau Game Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve 2581, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: $674 - $741 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Tau Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tau Game Lodge is a 5 star Game lodge Situated in “Big 5”- Malaria Free Madikwe Reserve. Accessible by scheduled flights, or a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg. Each of the chalets ensures privacy with its own viewing deck, the main lodge offers a Curio shop, Swimming pool as well as a lounge, bar, and dining area, all partially outdoors.The convention centre offers state-of- the-Art meeting facilities. At The Spa Oasis, guests are offered rejuvenating spa treatments, surrounded by the beauty of the African Bush. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tau Game Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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