We were treated to a visit to Jaci's as a (very generous) gift, so our expectations and knowledge were limited.
We arrived at night after what felt like a rather perilous road trip up from Joburg through the north western parts of South Africa, almost to the Botswana border. (On our return by daylight we realised we had been passing through very safe and friendly villages!).
As we arrived at the Park gates, we were met by a member of the lodge staff and escorted in to the Lodge. We had gone only a few meters before our minds were quite literally blown by night-sightings of wildlife which until that moment had been consigned to documentaries and zoos, all just meters from us.
We pulled in to the Lodge and the amazing (truly, truly, truly amazing) staff were waiting out front with a soothing aperitif, ready to show us straight to our outdoor table around the blazing open fire BBQ, which was a special treat that night.
So, within minutes, we realised we had arrived at a place that was something well out of the ordinary. By the time we had finished our magnificent meal prepared by our chef's loving and talented hands, we thought it was even better than that.
While getting up at 5am is not our usual preference, being gently and respectfully raised from our slumber by our magnificent guide David (insist on him by name) was only pleasure. Every single element of our comfort and enjoyment was attended to - we have quite simply never experienced anything like it.
The Park was wonderful, and the wildlife amazing. We were so lucky to have David as out guide. When it was suspected a group of cheetah had made a kill and were resting, David struck out to find them, utterly determined. Where all others failed, David succeeded, and we enjoyed the treat of an entirely private viewing before David alerted guides from other lodges of the Cheetahs' location (note that the guides in Madikwe are very respectful of the agreed viewing guidelines - no more than three vehicles per site at any one time, so it is never over crowded).
We saw amazing animals and scenes, but frankly it was Jaci's itself which will remain the experience which we most remember and long to repeat. The people, the place, the food, the atmosphere. We simply could not recommend it enough.
Add to that a rouge elephant on the loose in the Lodge compound overnight, and one really has some tales to tell…. but that's a story for another time!
- 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