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“Fantastic place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thakadu River Camp

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Thakadu River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2014

We (three children 13, 10, and 7, my wife and me) stayed at the Thakadu three nights, arriving in the early afternoon of April 24. In the same afternoon of our arrival we went in the first safari and met a pack of 14 macagnani (wild dogs, Lycaon pictus) and the driver of our vehicle could follow them for 30 min. Soon after leaving the macagnanis, we met Rhinos, and Elephants, and impalas, and Kudus! This was the welcome experience! In the days that followed we went out in safaris two times per day (from about 6 a.m. to about 9:30 a.m., and from about 4 p.m. to about 7 p.m.) and the level of surprise and beauty was always far beyond my expectations. On the day of our departure (flight departure at 11 a.m.) we could go for a last safari thanks to the organization of Wayne, the Lodge Manager, and to the experience of Maans Booysen (our guide and driver, a professional and a very kind man).
Under all aspects, I recommend this place to all those who like to travel with children and families who love the wild but like to stay in comfortable and protected places.
I would like to thank Wayne, Maans, and the entire staff of Thakadu River Camp for their hospitality and for the superb experience that they allowed us to live in Madikwe.
giorgio with Sefania, Carlo, Gregorio and Alessandro (Tatà) Marrubini

Room Tip: We were in a room 5 minutes walk distant from the main lodge (room n.12). There was a superb view of...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank giorgio m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Good evening to the Marrubini family,

Thank you kindly for your rewarding feedback on your visit with us here at Thakadu River Camp.
It was lovely to host your family and I particularly enjoyed your interest in nature and the snakes of the area. We are happy to note from your comments and ratings that you enjoyed your overall experience with us out here in this special part of the country.

Thakadu River Camp and the enchanting Madikwe Game Reserve await you…

Kindly,

Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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298 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2014 via mobile

We had the most incredible time at this lodge. The staff are so friendly and ready to help at all times. They make you feel at home very quickly. The main lodge area is nice and the pool area small but such a gorgeous pool looking out onto the bush. The tents are well kitted out and comfortable ( although probably in need of a little upgrade ) You feel miles away from anyone else when you sit on the balcony and stare into the tree canopy! It was so quiet and peaceful ( other than the glorious noises of lion and hyena at night) that we were able to sleep and rest so well. Meals were wonderful and we just kept eating all the time! The game drives were obviously a real highlight! Thank you Obakeng! The bush is a place that warms our souls and this bush experience did just that. Thank you also for the special treat for our 10th wedding anniversary!

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KCC_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, May 10, 2014
Good evening you two bush lovers,
Thank you for your lovely posting on TripAdvisor and for your complimentary rating and comments. We really appreciate receiving wonderful feedback like yours as it really is rewarding to have succeeded in our goal of offering you a memorable bush experience.
Thank you for choosing Thakadu River Camp as the destination for your special 10th wedding anniversary, it was lovely to host you.

Gratefully,

Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2014

We have just returned from a 3 night stay at Thadaku River Camp at the end of our trip to South Africa. We all had an amazing time. The game sightings were amazing, we saw the big 5 all pretty close up, including a leopard with it's kill up a tree and and a wild dog pack taking down an Impala.

The staff and service provided in the Lodge was very good - with the staff being very friendly, helpful and accommodating. The food was very good and enjoyed by all of us and the 'tents' were very big and luxurious. The bed was so big all four of us could have slept in it. We were in a family tent which was plenty big enough and enjoyed all of the home comforts. Beds, were made, and turned down it seemed whenever you left the room. One improvement may be that a mirror could be provided above the desk area or somewhere else near a plug for the hairdryer.

Although we arrived late on our first day, and assumed that we would have missed the evening game drive, one was laid on for us which was great and unexpected. Out of the 6 drives that we had, only one was disappointing in regards of what we saw. We did however breakdown on one of the evening game drives which resulted in a lot of hanging around, without being told what was going on before we were rescued, which meant a short game drive but still an adventure in other ways!!
We did end up with 3 different game guides which we were told wasn't normal. Each guide was different, but all informative and helpful.
Do not make the mistake of trusting your GPS to get you to the Park, make sure you use the directions provided by the park and you will save yourself about 2 hours of driving!
wi-fi is available in the main lodge for a charge
Overall we would highly recommend this Lodge and the Madikwe game reserve and thank the manager Wayne and his staff for their hospitality.
Scholtz/Boyman family April 2014

Room Tip: room 1 is close to the main lodge so is less of a walk, we didn't suffer from noise from the mai...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J0B0y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, General Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, May 10, 2014
Good afternoon,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback surrounding your experience with us here at Thakadu River Camp. We appreciate you kind words and useful suggestions.
It was lovely to host your family and look forward to an opportunity in the future where perhaps you can join us once again for a Thakadu experience out here in the Madikwe Game Reserve.


Gratefully,

Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2014

We were not satisfied with the service overall. Some of the staff were willing and very helpfull, but management wanting to charge for the Bumble (kiddies) drive left a bitter taste. In they end they did not charge which was a good decision on their side but given that I based my decision on the fact that there was a kiddies drive available (see a previous review by another family) I was quite appalled that they would even suggest it. At that point we had been there almost a full day and we repeatedly communicated to the staff that we would be going on the Bumble drive. (According to website and staff there is one Bumble drive per day just after breakfast). On the first Bumble drive there was water available - the follwing day there was none, No snacks on either drive.

Interaction with the staff created the distinct impression that my presence was an inconvenience --- they repeatedly confronted us asking why we were not willing to leave our three-year-old with a babysitter while going on the regular game drives

On the morning of departure we left our luggage in the room since we knew they needed it for guests arriving that day. We had breakfast, went on the Bumble drive, and returned for Lunch - at which point we communicated our intention to leave directly afterwards. We checked out, they gave us our keys and we proceeded out alone - our car was nowhere to be seen. They had loaded our luggage into the wrong vehicle. After some running around and making vague excuses they brought our car and loaded our luggage into it.

While it is understandable that mistakes (such as the luggage debacle) happen, the attitude we experience when dealing with some staff members left the distinct impression that they were not trying very hard to make our weekend memorable for the right reasons.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Christina, Fran... C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, May 10, 2014
We are really disappointed to learn of your unhappiness whilst with us here at Thakadu River Camp. I apologise for your overall experience not meeting your expectations and that you felt, by the time that you left, that you were an inconvenience to us? Please be rest assured that you were not, at any stage, an inconvenience to any one of my staff. My staff inquiring about a babysitter was not meant to come across as confronting, they were trying to assist you. My apology that it however came across as confronting.
When I inquired with you about whether you were aware of the fact that we are charging for bubble safaris for youngsters, I approached you with respect and immediately reassured you to please not worry too much about it and that I would check on your reservation. I immediately returned and informed you that it was taken care of. Children 6 and under are not charged for accommodation. I was simply inquiring with you if you were aware of the fact that we would charge you for the bumble drive for your child. I apologise if this perhaps was brought across inappropriately. The camp does not offer snacks whilst out on bumble game drive as these kiddies safaris depart after a full breakfast.
My apology for the slight confusion with the vehicle on your departure, these small inconveniences do happen.
My sincere apology once again…

Kindly,

Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aboyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2014

I spent four nights at Thakadu River Camp with my parents and husband and was blown away by the fantastic service, food and game viewing from start to finish. The whole experience was exemplary of African hospitality and a rare find in the lodging world - France and the whole team went out of their way to ensure every need was met, and all with a genuine smile! The game viewing was second to none - wild dog, lion, elephant and general game all close up, excellent birding and a guide who not only knew what he was talking about but enjoyed sharing it with his guests - thank you Obie. The food was excellent and plentiful, and the cake made for my husbands birthday on our last day looked so professional I would have thought it was bought in, if we hadn't been so far away from a shop to do so! The boma braai was a lovely end to a very relaxing stay, I would recommend staying at least 3 days if not 4. Thank you for a fantastic holiday and an unforgettable stay.

Room Tip: If you are unfit or have any health issues - request a tent close to the lodge such as 1 - 4, if you...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hannah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
Thank you kindly for posting your comments on TripAdvisor.
We are most rewarded by your feedback as this is exactly the type of experience that we are striving to offer guests like yourselves. I have noticed that couples bringing their parents with them to Thakadu River Camp have enjoyed a memorable time together. I am happy that you enjoyed our hospitality and will provide Obakeng with your positive feedback. We are very lucky with our Guides here at Thakadu River Camp, not only do they have colourful personalities, but they have a special passion for the wildlife in the Madikwe and the manner by which they bring this over to their guests.
We look forward to the potential of receiving you back in camp as one of our special return guests.
Our family of staff await you…

Gratefully,
Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2014

A huge thank you to all of the staff at Thakadu River Camp. We have just returned from our honeymoon of which the first 3 nights were spent here. It was wonderful and the perfect start to a great trip. The staff were fantastic, as was the food and the accommodation is amazing. We saw all of the wild animals you would want to see and so much more....

It was a truly unforgettabe experience.

Room Tip: We self drove from Johannesburg. Its easy enough but make sure you have the actual camps driving ins...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ginac2182
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, March 31, 2014
Good evening to our honeymoon travellers,

It was such a pleasure to host you and your partner for the first three days of your honeymoon and it is wonderful to receive your feedback of compliments and appreciation. Thank you for this, I will be certain to pass on your comments to my staff.
Thank you for your recommendation to fellow travellers regarding the self-drive to Thakadu River Camp. It is a pleasant drive and I thoroughly recommend guests traveling from OR Tambo Airport, to head directly to Sun City. Once at Sun City to then follow our written camp directions and to switch off their GPS. The route is now clearly marked from the cross roads just after Sun City. All guests wanting to contact the camp to obtain our written directions can request this from me on gm@thakadu.co.za
Traveling this route is certainly better during the day and one must remember that our gate closes at 17:00 in Summer and 16:30 in Winter.
Wishing you much love with the privilege of your new partnership, come and visit us again as return guests and reignite your memories of this special time.

Thakadu River Camp awaits you…

Kindly,

Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cessy, France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, and have already recommended the Camp to friends. The highpoints included the very professional, warm and able staff - from Wayne, to the guides, to servers and kitchen staff. Absolutely excellent. The facilities, including the individual lodges, were extraordinarily comfortable. We were especially happy to see that the Camp employs local staff, and that there is community ownership. Special mention, also, for the wonderful guides who provided us with an unforgettable experience. We look forward to coming back.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne H, Manager at Thakadu River Camp, responded to this review, March 31, 2014
Good evening,

Thank you kindly for posting your comments on TripAdvisor and for your complimentary comments and ratings. It is most rewarding to note that you enjoyed a well-rounded experience with us. I am thrilled to note that you enjoyed our Thakadu hospitality. Your posting has encouraged us to maintain and enhance on our level of hospitality and the experience that we offer our guests.
Thank you for recommending us to friends, perhaps we will have the privilege of hosting you and your friends as a group?
I will certainly pass on your compliments to my staff and to my Guides who will be most rewarded to be mentioned as providing you with an unforgettable experience.
It would be wonderful to host you once again at Thakadu River Camp…

Kindest,

Wayne Herholdt
General Manager
Thakadu River Camp
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 Thakadu River Camp

Property: Thakadu River Camp
Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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