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“unforgettable”

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Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“unforgettable”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

spent one of the most fantasic week-ends with the family. wonderful safari adventures, food, service and experience. my daughter got bitten by a mongusta( even though they had told her several times to keep far from them and NOT give them food) to my delight ... but within half an hour the parameds where there and gave us all the assistance we needed . The staff were very helpfull and concerned. besides this episode we loved the place and didn't want to leave . we ALL want to go back as soon as we can .....

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank foreigner R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
Matthews, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Words cannot express how much I enjoyed my stay at MRL. While traveling with my husband for business in South Africa I was fortunate enough to spend 3 nights here. The staff was amazing, always there to make sure you are comfortable (and full of delicious food). We saw so many amazing animals with our guide Benson, who soon felt like part of our family. He was funny and very skilled! He made the trip enjoyable and we learned so much. I would recommend this place to anyone. Just one word of advice, pack accordingly. It was so cold for us in the mornings, especially while riding during game drives. By the afternoons we were sitting by the rock pool with our bathing suits on. Make it a point to go here if you are in SA. Well worth the experience.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank WinsWife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Where to start ? Our main reason for going to Madikwe was to see the wildlife and in that respect it exceeded all our expectations.We stayed in April for 5 nights and every game drive with the wonderful Jerry was fantastic, 5 minutes into our first mornings drive and we were sitting in the middle of a pride of lions.We also saw elephants,giraffe,white rhino,buffalo,zebra,wart hogs,wild dogs,wildebeast,umpala,baboons,ostrich to name a few things and on our final drive we got a close up of an elusive leopard(unfortunately stuck up a tree with 2 hyena underneath)
We went out twice a day, got up at 5:30am,quick cup of tea and off by 6,back about 9am and then breakfast.Out again at 4:30pm and back for dinner at 8.It was quite cold first thing in the morning and last thing at night on the drives(even for hardy Scots !) so take a few extra layers.
We thought the food was good,always a couple of options and we had 2 BBQ nights where there was even more choice.
We stayed in lodge no.8.In the afternoon we would sit and relax on the balcony and look down on the river.Loads of birds to see and watching the cheeky monkeys swing on the trees to cross the river into the lodges grounds !
Lodge was clean and the bed comfortable,maybe a bit rough round the edges but I don't think we would have wanted it any other way.
What made up for any short comings was the staff, they were so friendly and helpful,we felt like they were one big happy family,especially when they sang for us one breakfast time and invited our 11 year old son to dance with them !
Thanks to all the staff at Madikwe River Lodge.
We are hoping to return in the next year or so, we enjoyed the whole experience so much.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank jjkScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thanks for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

South Africa was long on my list of places to go and when I had a chance to go due to a break in jobs, I jumped on that chance. I found Madikwe River Lodge on TripAdvisor and I never regretted my choice. The accommodation is lush and private - I know this is only a 3.5 star lodge, but it felt like it should be rated higher. The rooms were well appointed, clean and modern, with wonderful beds and great decor. I had a private balcony and a great view of the river - like my own cabana.

The food was excellent - not sure about previously poor reviews, but I was fed until I could burst. Three meals, plus pre-game drive teas, were all wonderful. Particularly good pastries and excellent dinners, including a wonderful impala dish that was not gamey at all. The desserts were also excellent - plus a wonderful wine and spirits list.

Highlights had to be the game drives with Charles, who was so passionate and friendly. He kept us safe and got us to see all the Big Five - actually the Magnificient Seven! While there are no guarantees, it is possible! My greatest memory was discovering the full pride of 13 lions early in the morning - the lodge was quiet my week and it was just me with Charles in the Land Cruiser - very cool moment to spent time just the two of us with those cats. We later found the elusive leopard too!

I was also able to spend some time with some of the food and bev managers who were visiting for an onsite - they were very interested in my views and took my minor suggestions on board. It seems that there is a great commitment to making this a great lodge - plus they were great conversationalists, so I had a few lovely meals and chats with them!

In addition, the rock pool is clean and refreshing - and I got a great and very cheap one hour massage. How can you go wrong?

All in all, I highly recommend Madikwe River Lodge to all. Recommend booking directly with them on their website for best prices - I got a midweek deal with a third night free - made it very reasonable (maybe $250/night as a single).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Richard J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We have traveled a lot but had never been to South Africa and our stay here turned out to be a really nice experience. We went out five times with our guide, Ernst, who was very knowledgable and adept at finding animals. Saw lions, cheetahs, many elephants, zebras and giraffes. Our room was a secluded cottage, very tranquil and romantic. At night you could hear elephants calling to each other. During the day baboons played on the roof. The staff was very attentive and obliging and even entertained us with singing some nights. The food was good and sometimes very good. You can find more luxurious lodges, but it was plenty luxurious enough for us.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jim Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milano
Level Contributor
64 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

First day attention and food was very good. We were very disappointed on the second day. We were the only guests in the lodge and it seems that no one was left in charge. Food was low quality (it had been cooked hours ago, before it was served to us, and for instance the started that was supposed to be a hot plate has served cold from the fridge). We talked to the manager the other day, but nobody gave any explanation to what had happened.
It is a pity, because the place is very nice, but our overall experience could have been much better.
If you drive there, make sure you get very good directions because it is not very easy to find the reserve, and it is a very long drive. Would advice to take a private transfer instead.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ZAP9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Almere-Haven, Flevoland, Netherlands
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Me and my dad stayed at the Madikwe River Lodge for 2 nights, after driving over from Johannesburg via the longer route with good roads (Joburg-Rustenburg-Zeerust-Abjaterkop gate). The drive was 390km and took us 4,5 hours.
The bonus of this route is that you enter the game reserve in the west and still have to drive about 33km through the reserve to get to the lodge, so it's basically another game drive!
It's gravel but we managed without any problems in our dinky Kia Picanto rental car.
1 WARNING: There are a few very nasty large pits in the road where you least expext them: the short parts that are asphalted! We were driving too fast, didn't notice and got launched of our seats.

The logde was easy to find and we were welcomed with drinks by the very friendly staff. Check in was efficient and the lodge has a very homely feeling, not posh. The location next to the river is great. You can watch the masked weaver birds build their nests over the river all day.

We got cabin number 17, at the far end of the lodge, which has the absolute best view over the river flowing out into the reserve. We saw lots of birds, baboons and even an elephant passing by from our deck.
Our cabin was very nice: Split level, spacey, nicely decorated and a bathroom with bath next to the window and outside shower, wonderful!

The staff was super friendly and we enjoyed great meals. 1 dinner was served outside across the river around at large camp fire with the staff singing and dancing.

Also be sure to check out the wonderful massages by a professional therapist. Very reasonably priced and very good!

We got 4 game drives during our stay:
1 in the morning at 5AM, after a quick cup of coffee/tea and some yoghurt.
1 in the afternoon at 4:30PM after the high tea was served at 4PM.

I thought both game drives would last 3 hours, but we got back closer to 4 hours each time!
The game drives where truly awesome. Ranger Benson was very knowledgable and told us a lot of interesting facts. We saw so much wildlife within a few feet of our jeep: A herd of +60 elephants with lots of little ones, a pride of lions playing in the afternoon sun, giraffes right next to the road, a solitary African Buffalo taking a mud bath, a whole pack of African wild dogs, White Rhinos, cameleons that walked over my hands, birds in every color, a crocodile, tons of Gnoe, Impala, Springbok and Zebra...it's hard to know where to look!
Benson also took us to see the reserves 4 new Cheeta's in their temporarily enclosure. they'll be released into the reserve at the end of this month to join the 2 Cheeta's already out there. Magnificent animals to see.
The only thing we couldn't find on our short stay here where the elusive leopards, but benson sure tried!

Would love to come back for another stay!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Prauw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, April 9, 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge

Property: Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge
Address: | P.O. Box 17, Madikwe Game Reserve 2876, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Madikwe River Lodge is positioned in the heart of Madikwe Game Reserve and offers attractive comfort in sixteen split level suites with an outdoor dining boma located on a central Island,accessed by a wooden bridge,this luxurious Lodge invites guests to enjoy the sights & sounds in mother Africa's land of brilliance. Surrounded by 75 000 hectares of malaria-free African sand veld.Each suites is individually decorated to create a rich African feel,and offers en-suites bathroom with a full range of guests amenities as well as a private wooden viewing deck overlooking the river. Madikwe Game Reserve, is world of breathtaking scenery and endless African bush. At Madikwe River Lodge the guided game drivers and trails are thrilling to be a part of with Africa offering you and incomparable experience in the wild. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Madikwe River Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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