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“Simply amazing”
Review of Jaci's Tree Lodge

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Jaci's Tree Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2014

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!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Hawks2008
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 reviewResponded March 10, 2014

Thank you for your fabulous review. It is fantastic that during your stay at Jaci’s and Madikwe we were able to exceed all your expectations.
We agree Madikwe is an amazing reserve with spectacular game viewing, a night in the hide is a unique experience to observe nature during the nocturnal hours. We are glad you were able to enjoy the surprise of a variety of dining and outside dinners locations and look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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85 - 91 of 141 reviews

Reviewed January 11, 2014

We visited Jaci's some time ago (1,5 years) and I would normally not write a review on places visited that long time ago, but I just signed to Tripadvisor and Jaci's made such an impression on me and my family that I wanted to share it with you.

When we arrived we were met by the always cheerful and sweet staff who greeted us with moist towels to dry off the dust in our faces and a nice cold drink, followed by a briefing of the facilities in the open and cool reception building.

A typical day at Jaci's starts with an early wake up call by the staff, followed by a light breakfast to keep us going through the morning safari drive. We were there in August and the mornings were chilly, so our jeep had blankets and a hot water bottles in each seat. The drive started before sunrise, which is a brilliant time to see the wildlife and of course the magical South African sunrise. Midway through the drive; morning coffee with the optional dash of Amarulla. After the drive, a big brunch with all the goodies you can think of; fresh fruits, breakfast freshly made from your order, drinks.. Lovely! There is time for about four hours relaxation until the last drive of the day, followed by dinner. Speaking of meals; over the four days we were at Jaci's we never had a meal at the same place, and they were all set at frist class settings!

The wildlife is spectacular, but your experience doesn't get better than what your driver gives you. We had one dedicated driver for our stay, simply the best driver around! In fact all the other guests said the same about their own drivers. All drivers work as one team and they constantly share information between themselves. This makes not only the individual drives stand up, but the whole team. This is also the spirit for the whole Jaci's team.

Jaci's is truly a five star experience; comfy lodges, excellent food, attention to details. Speaking of details, we observed too many to mention here. Go experience for yourself!

Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
Thank Bumble B
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 reviewResponded March 10, 2014

We are so glad that you had a wonderful experience with us, from the guide, staff, accommodation, food and game drives. We are looking forward to your return.

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Reviewed December 19, 2013

We just had a wonderful stay here. The rooms were so comfortable and we loved the outdoor showers. The food was incredible with lovely touches. The game drives were fantastic and we had a fabulous ranger who told us so much about what we were seeing. Our kids ( 17 and 15 years old) also had a wonderful time and didn't even complain too much about the early starts! We would recommend Jaci very highly.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank Philippa S
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 reviewResponded January 5, 2014

Dear Philippa S,

Thank you so much for your lovely review - we are so pleased that you loved your stay with us!
We surely hope that you and the family can return someday soon!

Happy New Year to you and the family!

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Reviewed November 13, 2013

Madikwe knocked our socks off, and Jaci's Tree Lodge's unique product and Team blew us away. We'd always wrongly perceived Madikwe as second tier to the Sabi Sands that we've savoured the last 30 years with a miscellany of private camps. However the Big 5 sightings within 24 hours, with many, many pluses not seen in the Sabi Sands, made the Madikwe/Jaci's Tree Lodge game experience uniquely special. We saw our first ever elephant kill - a 10 year old taken down by two male lions, and sadly witnessed nature in action as the two professional assassins took 25 minutes to finish the feisty little fellow off. Savage yes, but it's Africa at its best. The amazing thing is the calmness of the animals in Madikwe which provide outstanding photo opportunities whereas they tend to be more skittish in the Sands. It was great to see both black and white within in reasonably proximity, and some of the finest specimens we have ever seen. Excellent herds of elephant - we saw three sets at sundown frolicking in the adjoining river. Also had herds of 200 wildebeest and zebra at the water holes which we had never seen before. Clearly Madikwe's mini Masai Mara. We had excellent sightings of a jackal family within very close proximity, scrapping over remnants of a kill, and we even saw a black mamba stalking some unfortunate squirrels. So Madikwe certainly offers everything and more that one could hope for. We did it in conjunction with a Sun City trip and it is merely an hour and a quarter away, bordering Botswana, and of course is Malaria free. In short a scintillating game experience, and a magnificent breakaway at Jaci's Tree Lodge with 'six star' luxury and service provided by Jan and Jaci's incredibly hospitable Team highly ably led by Manny and James. Their Team is 27% empowered, a great unselfish tribute to the owners, and the significantly positive results are very evident in the outstanding service rendered by every Team member who go well out of their way to make for a magical experience, coupled with very thoughtful food arrangements four times a day. The final accolade goes to David our game ranger whose bush knowledge far exceeded anything previously experienced, and all mostly self-taught despite his humble beginnings. Do not miss this fantastic and uniquely special combination of Jaci's Tree Lodge and Madikwe - it's an absolute must-do for anybody visiting Sun City, and dwarfs the Pilansberg experience. Enjoy - you'll be back again and again we guarantee. Only sad it took us so long to learn!

Room Tip: All rooms are fabulous, luxurious, spacious, air conditioned, and a lot of thought and pride has gon...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Paddy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
African Secrets M, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2013

Dear Paddy,

Thank you so much for the visit, the photos and the lovely review! We are so glad that your experience with us has been a memorable one and patiently await your return visit!

Wild Wishes
Team Jaci's

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Reviewed November 11, 2013

Just came back from a 2 night stay in Jaci's Tree Lodge with my girlfriend. From the very first second we arrived up to the moment we left we felt so fortunate. The staff is so nice and thoughtful, they kept surprising us with amazing food and their high level of attention. The Tree lodges are beautiful, the finishing is just so good.. We absolutely adored the outside shower (there is also a huge bathtub inside). We not only saw lots of Lions, Rhino's, Buffalo's, Elephants etc during the gamedrives, they also walk around the lodge and can be spotted while having a drink. In conclusion, should you have plans to go on a Safari near Johannesburg then Jaci's is the place to go! Thank you once again for the great experience..

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank WillemLangenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
African Secrets M, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2013

Dear Willem,

We are so happy that you and your girlfriend enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you very much for the great review and for taking the time to post it, we really do appreciate the feedback.

We hope you visit us again soon!

Kind Regards
Team Jaci's

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Reviewed October 20, 2013 via mobile

I have just arrived home from the most incredible 5 days at Jaci's Tree Lodge. The WHOLE experience exceeded my expectations. I have stayed at many lodges all around Africa but this is a lodge I will definitely be visiting again! The rooms were spacious comfortable beautiful and clean. The food was absolutely mouth watering! The staff were there for your every need and truly went out of their way to make our stay memorable! The game viewing was the best I've seen! We are overwhelmed by our special stay and look forward to visiting the lodge again! Thank u to all the staff!

Stayed: October 2013
1  Thank AimeeSadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
African Secrets M, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear AimeeSadie,

We are so glad we could make your experience with us a memorable one! We look fwd to welcoming you back on your return visit!

Wild Wishes
Jaci's Team

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Reviewed September 8, 2013

We’ve just stayed at a similarly priced lodge in another game reserve prior to jaci’s and couldn’t help comparing the experiences we had. Jaci’s is not too bad but lacked details of 5 star qualities. For example, the lodges are placed far apart and very private in a good way but had no telephones, so it’s a bit of a pain if you want to contact a friend in another lodge or needed something from the kitchen in the middle of the night. No tea/coffee making facility in rooms, the lodges had no locks, they had a small safety box but it will only hold small items, definitely can not keep larger things like laptops. It gets quite cold in winter and the outdoor shower wasn’t very comfortable at night. There’s a pretty bath tab indoor but I felt too bad about wasting all the water. Some of the amenity bottles were mucky and looked unhygienic but I used them anyway and the contents were actually great! The other place we stayed always welcomed us back from game drives with hot towels and drinks but we didn’t get that here (a warmish hot chocolate once, I think). The drinks during game drives were also charged extra, although the other place was included. Coffee on game drive was also instant (the other place was freshly pressed coffee). A mouse in our room, though I didn’t mind it since it had a rather sweet face. The staffs were sweet and very friendly, but sometimes overfriendly, they should observe more carefully when you wished to be left alone. I had notified my diet preference (non strict veggie) prior to arrival and at check in but veggie options were not really available throughout the stay. (I did say I wasn’t strict..) food tasted great nonetheless, and Solomon the chef was very sweet and hard working. so jaci's wasn't too bad, it just that "the other place" was actually cheaper and had a better overall quality than Jaci's.

Room Tip: stay close to lobby/dining room for convenience but it can get noisy when staff are getting ready fo...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Champ1gnon
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 reviewResponded September 14, 2013

Dear Champ1gnon,

Thank you very much for your review on Jaci's Tree lodge. We really value constructive feedback as this helps us to achieve the highest levels at all times. We pride ourselves in being a uniquely Bush based Lodge and are operated similar to the lodges you find in the neighbouring African countries. We do not have telephones in the rooms as we do not have any telephone lines and as a company use mobile phones as our management phones & reservations - our cellphone signal at the lodges are working very well and we have repeaters for Vodacom in each lodge. There are emergency numbers as well as the Manager's numbers in the room folder should you need any assistance, we also have full wi-fi at the lodge that has now been installed in all the rooms just to make life a little easier. We have a central coffee and tee station with a vast selection of Filter coffee, Instant Coffee(Decaf & Plain), Hot Chocolate & flavoured teas available 24hrs - we do not have tea and coffee in the rooms for 2 big reasons - we would like the main lodge to be utilized as the gathering place where everyone can enjoy a cup of tea of coffee together and recollect the happenings of the day and use this as a social "lodge"activity. The other reason we have to blame on nature; Our Monkeys have a absolute passion for tea and coffee or any other snacks and will break into the rooms and make a hugemess - we have many stories to tell. However, we do offer the service to deliver coffee or tea to your room on request at any time should you require it. We do not have proper locks and keys for the rooms as we are in the middle of the bush and have no need to lock the doors - the doors have several latches and hook locks to close the door so that our Monkey friends do not intrude. The safety boxes in the rooms are the standard size safety boxes used by all hotels/lodges/resorts country wide. Should you require to lock away your laptop or any larger items you are most welcome to ask management/staff for safekeeping it in the office/reception. Apologies that you didn't get your welcome back drink in the evenings when you returned from game drive, there is always a lovely sherry, gluhwein, hot chocolate awaiting our guests in winter and a refreshing non-alcoholic coctail on return from Safari in the evenings in the summer, also apologies that you weren't greeted or met by a Manager on your return, this is a part of our daily quest and our managers are usually extremely good at this. It has been taken up with them. Also, it is a shame that you found our staff over friendly, they all absolutely love what they do and interacting with guests are the fun part of our job. THis is one of the biggest aspects that we get complimented on: the staff is always so friendly and wonderful. Thank you for the idea of filter coffee in the bush, this is certainly a wonderful idea that we will look into. And lastly, we always want to keep our guests with special dietary requirements happy and it seems like we failed you on this one. We try our best to make sure that we cater for everyones needs and try and always have veggie options available.

We really hope that you will return to Jaci's lodges in the future and understand that we are unique in many ways, and that we are trying hard to keep it as luxury, but rustic as possible, otherwise the whole "bush"feel gets lost easily.

Have a wonderful day.

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Additional Information about 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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