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“Amazing experience”
Review of Thakadu River Camp

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Thakadu River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 22, 2012

This was my first experience of the bush and what an amazing experience, when we arrived we were met with wet facecloths and a refreshing drink and then we were shown to our tents, they were spotless and very comfortable.

The 2 game drive were fantastic and the evening we spent there around the campfire was also to the highest standards including some wonderful singing by the the very hospitable staff.

Well worth every penny and I will definitely return

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank jhdub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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258 - 264 of 360 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2012

Absolutely fantastic family visit to Thakadu in August, the large luxurious tent was nice and comfy for 2 adults and 2 children. The food was superb quality, although not a lot of choice for evening meals. Very friendly staff, felt like being part of a family.
But the best part of all was the marvellous game drives with our guide Patience who was a real expert in tracking and finding the animals we all wanted to see, a truly memorable person who gave us some truly memorable close up experiences with lions, elephants, zebra, rhino (white and black), giraffe etc etc . Many, many thanks, would love to come back sometime !!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

This was our second time at Thakadu and it was even better than the first (which was awesome).
The staff is very friendly and acomodating. No request is too much effort for them. The tents are very comfy though it gets a little warm in the summer the aircon cools it down. In the cold winter nights you return to your comfortable toasty bed as housekeeping switches the elecric blankies on with turn down servive. The breakfast is a good selection of cereal, fruit, some other tasty dishes and you can order eggs, bacon, etc. Dinner is outstanding, food is beautifully prepared and absolutely delicious. They are more than happy to prepare a more kiddy friendly option for picky little guests. The absolute highlight is the game drives. Our guide, Patience is super. She did her utmost to see eveything on everyone's wish list, and her name suits her to the tee as she ansewered the kids gazallion questions with a big smile and all the patience in the world.
This is a community operated camp, and it is clear that all the staff is working together to ensure guests leave happy, as they know that they will also benefit from this.
Can not wait to return!

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to main building, some of the further rooms are a rather long walk. The road t...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Bothafamily293767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

I went to Thakadu for a weekend with family in July this year, and had a great weekend with lots of great game sightings, lovely rooms but the place definitely needs some TLC and is ill equipped in the dining room and common areas for Winter. You will freeze!

We booked through www.Mptybeds.co.za and got a good deal. On arrival, the lodge staff were very hospitable. We were shown to our rooms, which were awesome, really beautiful big tents with nice views on the river. I was in room 3, which was great, some are nicer than others. I would recommend this room, it was also the family room, so had slightly more space.

The game drives were great, our guide Tshepiso was very knowledgable and told great stories. The highlights were seeing lots of Lion, Rhino and Wild Dog pups.

On return from our first successful yet freezing game drive, we arrived back at Camp to some hot chocolate to warm us up. But after that, the night went downhill as the dining room is parlty open, and absolutely freezing, it was impossible to sit and enjoy dinner with cold air coming through from all angles. The Camp had just put in a few blinds to block out some of the airflow but this does not go all the way round. I cannot believe this is new, if I had come in Winter prior to the blinds being added, I would have requested a refund and shortened my trip. It was that cold!! Only recommendation to improve this situation, is be the one table to hog the fire, that's all you can do. We already had every layer of clothing possible on as well as bennie, gloves, scarves and blankets. This definitely needs to be looked at. It also ruined the atmosphere as everyone rushed off to their rooms to get warm.

The second night, the dinner was in a Boma, it was also a slightly warmer night, and this was fantastic and really made our trip, the staff had made it look fabulous, and there were big fires to keep us warm. Without this, the disappointing cold dinner the night before would have left us a bit put out.

Best to go in summer, as the pool looked very inviting.

Room Tip: Room 3 was close enough to walk, but far enough away from the communal area to not be disturbed. it...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank SATraveller22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2012

As the title says this was quite an unexpected pleasure. It was highly personalised and the staff were attentive and quite friendly. The river camp's tented style room was a unique experience for us but was very luxurious complete with heated blankets, separate full size bed for kids, and canopy bed for adults, all the amenities like hair dryer, lotions, handtowels (the softest EVER). The decor was fantastic and the terrace overlooked the jungle. Its quite safe as the room is high on stilts keeping the animals away (also it is fenced). In winters there is ample fireplace warmth while dining and there are boma dinners (outdoors around a central fireplace). They catered properly to our food needs (halal) as well as for our 3 year old son. The food was amazing.

We booked a private vehicle for an all day safari with a ranger named Patience who cut her leave short because we had specifically requested for her based on previous TripAdvisor reviews. So a big thanks to her. And it was quite worthwhile as we had an extended safari, and learnt quite a bit from her and the lunchtime picnic was quite fulfilling (in the middle of the jungle!).

Just a note, this is a community run project and thus not as commercialised as other lodges. Its also 5-star standard in my view. All the profits go to the uplift of the community participants and villages.

Reaching there is a rough drive as the roads can get quite gravely. Its easy to miss the Thakadu River Camp sign (but just remember to turn before the bridge). We went there in a rented car and a 4x4 is recommended. As the hotel if they can arrange transport if you dont drive.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank SabaSiddiqui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

I went with friends there during school holidays and we had the time of our life.I can safely say it is the best lodge in that part of South Africa. Everything you can think of its there and they go out of their way to make sure that everyone has the time of their life.I would not mind going back there the way i had the time of my life.It was my first time seeing and being close to wild animals and it was awesome.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank marcellomj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012

Having had to make a last minute plan due to a change in other arrangements, we were fortunate to find an opening due to a cancellation.
It is difficult to find a game farm with the Big 5 that caters for kids under 12; ours are 4 and 6 years old!
Three and a half hours from Johannesburg and we arrived at Thakadu, which seemed fairly average upon arrival, but it did strike me that the service was attentive and friendly, so it was off to a good start. Maybe being a bit of a travel snob who likes being pampered when away from home, I was very worried about our accommodation, a tent!
Well imagine my surprise when I saw this "tent"; a luxurious canvas covered structure that can certainly stand it's ground when compared to the more permanent structures. I must say the whole "camping thing" was a hit with the kids!
From here on in the service can only be described as perfect; not in your face but always aware of your needs. What impressed me most was the manner in which our kids were treated, almost like we were at a family member's house with lost of living aunts & uncles running around to make sure the kids are happy.
Game drives were always eventful and we saw a wide range and 4 out of 5 of the Big 5; pity about the Leopards being so shy. The Wild Dogs were a big hit.
Here I have to single out our game ranger, Patience, who did her name justice in all ways. She is one of the most knowledgeable rangers I have ever come across, from animal behaviour, tracking, tree & plant knowledge, bird species, navigation by stars an the list goes on and on. She also does a game drive aimed specifically at the younger visitors where they are shown some of the wonders of nature. This was quite an experience.
It is also interesting to know that Thakadu is owned by the community of Molatedi and is operated by Tourvest and what ever your take on this may be, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
We will certainly be back

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank DeonBotes63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thakadu River Camp

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: $416 - $548 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Thakadu River Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Thakadu River Camp Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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