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“Too good to remain the best kept secret”
Review of Jaci's Tree Lodge

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Jaci's Tree Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Too good to remain the best kept secret”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

If i woke in the dream it was just to see the 50 elephants in the lodge waterhole. The game drives were each more exciting than the last and Thomas smiled and seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. I couldn't have imagined i would be so close to all the fantastic wildlife, only a short and thrilling flight from the city. The lodges are not for you, if you want the blandness of a corporate five star suite. They would suit you only if you enjoy luxury quirky bush style. Manny and his gorgeous wife Virginia look after you from the moment you arrive with the smiling team, her cooking is delightful, the staff make the place. Just keep it for the special amongst you, if you cannot love this place stop hunting..there is no more perfect under the african sky. Thanks to all, wonderful to meet you Jan...keep building your dreams for us to find.

Room Tip: There is no wrong room.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Francestrainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Diana D, General Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Thank you so much for your review, we appreciate your wonderful feedback and hope that we will be able to host you again very soon at Jaci's Lodges!
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132 reviews from our community

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Robin Hood Country
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

We had a 3 night stay here as a side trip from a business in Botswana, so we drove from nearby Gabarone. The staff met us on arrival and were fantastic from start to finish - nothing was too much trouble and they were all committed to making our holiday a success in every way for us. The lodge is really special - its unique design feels very African and stylish, and our private treehouse was gorgeous, comfortable, luxurious and unusual. We loved our outdoor shower!
We went on game drives in the park early morning and late afternoon each day with our ranger Thomas who was extremely knowledgeable and informative, and patient when we wanted to stop frequently to identify the many beautiful birds we saw everywhere. The ethos amongst the rangers was co-operative and sensitive to the needs of the animals, so that there was never more than 3 vehicles near to some of the harder to see animals such as lions, rhino or wild dogs despite the fact that there were several jeeps hunting for them. Generally, it seems better to accept whatever the park offers in terms of animal sighting, than expecting to be able to see the animals you want to. That way, whatever you do see is a bonus not a right! Unfortunately not all tourists accept this which can make life difficult for the rangers sometimes, as they are keen to please but not miracle workers! We were lucky and saw many different fabulous animals, but some we have to hope to see on a future trip, such as leopard which are very elusive.
One of my lasting memories was at the lodge when I went to the water hole viewing platform and chanced upon 36 elephants, there for a late morning cool-off. It was fantastic to just sit and watch them interacting with each other, and observe their behaviour for as long as I chose, whilst periodically being offered cool drinks by the ever-attentive staff who just appeared from nowhere! Virginia the chef, produced wonderful food for all our meals and was a delight to talk to, as were all the staff members we met. I could go on, but suffice to say, this has to be one of the best lodges and we thought it was a rare find...treat yourselves to a visit...you won't be disappointed, its the most amazing place to stay and absolutely wonderful.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RobinHoodRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
Thank you so much for this review – it is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us just as much as we enjoyed having the two of you as guests! It really is our passion and pleasure to make our guests feel at home and part of the family. Seeing all those elephants at the waterhole is indeed a privilege and one of the main attractions that Tree Lodge has to offer, so we are truly thankful that these special visitors decided to come and play at our water hole while you were there to behold this precious sight! You were dream guests and we would love to welcome you back at Tree Lodge anytime soon!
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at the lodge with my wife and 2 children (aged 9 & 10) as part of my 50th birthday celebration for 3 nights during February. The best holiday experience we've ever had. Every member of staff made our stay truly memorable especially our ranger, Lucky, whose knowledge of dung beetles to elephants kept us all enthralled throughout our drives. Our kids absolutely loved him and, Lucky, if you ever get to read this, Zack is still using the special handshake you taught him.Cannot recommend the lodge highly.

Thank you


Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank L G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
Our sincerest thank you for choosing Jaci’s Tree Lodge to celebrate this very special occasion – your 50th birthday! It is obvious from your review that it has been the right choice for you, and we are so happy that we had the chance to make it even more memorable and special for every member of your family! Lucky says that he hopes to greet Zack with that very same African handshake again sometime soon…!
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

We arrived at Jaci's and were greeted with genuine smiles by all the staff. The staff continued to smile throughout the whole of our holiday and went out of their way to make our stay wonderful but they were never overbearing.

The accommodation was superb. The tree lodge was beautifully designed inside and blended with the natural environment from the outside. The bed was extremely comfortable and the temperature of the tree lodge could be controlled either by air con or by ceiling fans. All the luxuries were in the room including very thick and comfortable bathrobes, a hairdryer and bath and shower products. The private outdoor shower (with hot and cold water) was a highlight. Imagine showering whilst listening to the monkeys chattering away in the trees next to you!

Our ranger, Patrick, was very experienced and provided us with lots of memorable moments. Particular highlights included seeing the Big 5 plus many many more over the course of our 8 drives (over 4 days) and drinking gin and tonics whilst watching beautiful African sunsets. Patrick gave us so much information about the different animals, birds and plants. He also gave us tips on how he tracked the animals and was always happy to answer any questions.

The food was exceptional. Virginia and her team provided muffins, tea and coffee first thing (before our drive), a hearty cooked breakfast and/or continental buffet after the drive, lunch, afternoon tea and supper! The evening meals were often cooked with local ingredients and inspired by local recipes although there was always an option of eating more familiar foods. Both options were delicious. Any special dietary requirements were also well catered for. Remember to save room for dessert as Virginia is the queen of puddings!

One morning we came back from a drive and breakfast had been set up by the river. On another occasion on an evening drive our ranger mysteriously drove us to a beautiful spot in the bush where our supper had been set up. It was beautiful. The tables had been set up elegantly with white table cloths and oil lamps. They had even remembered to bring our favourite bottle of wine to the bush. It was a wonderful evening and the owners of the tree and safari lodges, Jaci and Jan, joined us. They are truly hospitable people who genuinely enjoy making sure that everyone is having a fabulous time.

There were many other little surprises that made our stay so special. As an example we came home one evening to find a bubble bath drawn and a bottle of our (yet again!) favourite wine chilling on the side. And the staff spontaneously bursting into song over breakfast- soulful and happy.

A must do is to sleep on the bed outside above the watering hole. Romantic and beautiful.

We also indulged in a massage or two from the lovely Kate. Excellent and relaxing. She's got powerful thumbs!

The only extras were the drinks and the massages. Everything else was included.

I can't recommend Jaci's highly enough.I can honestly say that I've never experienced such warm, genuine hospitality. We left with the smiles of the staff and the songs of Africa in our hearts.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Pip450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
What a heartwarming review - thank you so much! We are happy that you got to experience and enjoy all the different ingredients that constitute an unforgettable safari, the Jaci’s way! We will continue to offer our guests this whole range of memory-making experiences, should you ever feel the need to come back and relive a few of them…
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London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Dear Mr Jan van Heteren,

I am writing to tell you how much we enjoyed our too short a stay at Jaci’s Tree Lodge from the moment we arrived to the genuinely warm welcome, to the moment your staff bade us goodbye as we departed so reluctantly after our 3 day stay.

I found the décor particularly pleasing and well thought out. It blended tastefully yet unobtrusively with the cooling green tree canopy that surrounded us. Our bedroom was quiet, private and extremely comfortable. I thought the canopied bed at the hide a great touch.

Our ranger Paul was excellent. He was knowledgeable, professional and made every drive informative, exciting and different.

We were particularly impressed with the fact that all of your staff couldn’t do enough to please us and meet our every wish no matter how trivial. We loved the chef’s description of the dinner menu delivered every evening with a delightful touch of theatre, not to mention the high quality of every meal served with such attention. We appreciated the trouble your staff went to in arranging a different candle lit venue every night for dinner. One couple in our party came with their 18month old daughter and so appreciated the friendly and supportive service offered making it possible for both parents to enjoy a real break plus all the game drives.

In summary the very high and consistent level of professional and genuinely warm service that all your staff delivered made us feel extremely welcome and spoilt. Please thank them all and tell them that it was this, above all else, that makes us look forward to returning one day soon.

Yours sincerely

Stephanie Moore MBE

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brian Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Stephanie
Thank you for your return visit to Jaci’s Tree Lodge and for the glowing review. We are very humbly thankful for your appreciative comments and positive feedback and hope to continue providing such memorable experiences for you during your future visits to Jaci’s. We look forward to saying “Welcome back!”
Wild wishes
Emmanuel Mekgwe
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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I have been to quite a few game lodges in South Africa, and I have to say, this is by far the best one I have ever been to.

After the first game drive with Thomas, we had already seen most of the "Top Ten" and/or Big Five! He was an absolutely amazing and very experienced game ranger and ensured that we enjoyed every second of the morning and afternoon drives which he took us on. Never before have I had such a close and personal experience with these animals and it was truly magnificent (see the photos which I posted along with this review which I took on our game drives).

The accommodation was superb. The air-conditioned rooms were always a refreshing place to come back to after our game drives. The beds were comfortable and the outside shower and huge inside bath was really amazing. However, because of all the wonderful activities and sheer beauty of this lodge, I was rarely in our room for much of the day.

The food at Jaci's Tree Lodge was most exquisite and the choice of foods we were offered at the different mealtimes was of a great variety and all of them very delicious. My personal favourite was the steak fillet tower which Solly made for us over lunch on our second day there. On this note, I have to mention that the staff at Jaci's Tree Lodge were very friendly and helpful and literally catered to our every need. Never before have I been treated so well by any hotel's or restaurant's staff. They were great people (this includes the game rangers, chef, waiter, barman and managers) and I had wonderful conversations with all of them.

Lastly, the starbed was a very unique and wonderful experience. I slept there the first night and woke up to a beautiful view of the waterhole (which the starbed overlooks) as the sun was rising. We also had breakfast there on our last morning which was really great. Thanks to all the staff at Jaci's Tree Lodge for the wonderful experience, I will definitely be returning at some point in the future. I would recommend this lodge to anyone who is looking for a fantastic bush experience and the opportunity to see so many beautiful animals.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Andy52839
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Andy
Our sincere thanks for taking the time to write a review and for sharing your photos with us. We are happy that you were so fortunate to experience the expertise of Thomas who we too regard as an excellent ranger and great asset to our lodge. It is heart-warming to hear that you were pleased with your room, the food, and the service of our staff. Hats off to you for being adventurous enough to experience “a night at the hide” – we look forward to welcoming the guests that you would refer to us and hope to see you returning to Jaci’s one day!
Wild wishes
Emmanuel Mekgwe
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Johannesburg
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 15, 2013

I have just had a thoroughly enjoyable stay at Jacis. The highlight for me at the lodge was the friendly down-to-earth attentive service from all the staff - they really do make a stay at Jacis an excellent experience. I have stayed at many many lodges in Southern Africa and Jacis stands out for this reason. The accommodation was wonderful and the game drives excellent - a highlight was seeing a pack of wilddog lying in the shade during the heat of the day - completely unperturbed by our presence. I would be very happy recommending Jacis further. Thank you!

Room Tip: All the rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah8118_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Sarah
Thank you for your positive review. It is sincerely appreciated by all of us at Jaci’s Tree Lodge and we are happy that we could live up to that which we are most proud of – the friendly service of our staff! Please do visit us again - we would love to welcome you back as a guest.
Wild wishes
Emmanuel Mekgwe
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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 Jaci's Tree Lodge

Property: Jaci's Tree Lodge
Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Jaci's Tree Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jaci’s Lodges promise personal attention to detail from effervescent staff each indivdually committed to outstanding service and united in assuring you enjoy an supurb African Safari with memories to be cherished.Jaci's Tree Lodge, with breathtaking raised walkways & only 8 “tree houses” eachhidden amongst the ancient riverine trees, ensures the ultimate, luxurious forest hideaway in the african bush veld.… complimented with daily game drives in expansive madikwe, conducted by knowledgable and attentive guides your wildlife sightings and memories will be unforgettable. Perfect for romantic safaris, weddings, or just to escape the urban jungle...we look forward to pampering you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jaci`s Tree Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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