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“Amazing safari experience... Memories will Last forever!”
Review of Thakadu River Camp

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Thakadu River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 19, 2009

From the moment we were greeted all of the staff in the warm African tradtion, we knew we were in for something special. The Thakadu River Camp was an awesome experience from start to finish. The food was excellent (roast warthog one night) and the luxurious tents took our breath away twice (once on arrival and later after the turn-down).

The game drives were spectacular... Our ranger, Ignatius, was enthusiastic and an encyclopedia of knowledge. We had up close and 5 of 5 visuals on all of the Big Five except the elusive Leopard - and we just missed seeing one stalking an impala (they are quite stealthy). A tip of my hat goes to Iggy for saving us during a spectacular encounter with a musking bull elephant.

Bottom line - Thakadu River camp will make lasting memories. I felt especially pleased that the local community owned and operated the lodge.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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Thank KemKementari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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304 - 310 of 385 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2009

Stayed here for a long weekend with my fiancee celebrating our engagement. I can't add much to the reviews below except to say that they're absolutely correct - a fantastic place, with amazing rooms and great food. Seriously, I'm a bit of a chowhound, and I can say that they served one of the better cuts of meat I've ever had. Staff was extremely friendly, and I liked that it is owned by locals. I give it three thumbs up, if that's possible. Madikwe's a great park, too.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank 8,425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2009

Booked this holiday through go2africa.com. They were brilliant at organising the trip excluding the flights, which we organised through Expedia.
We were met at the OR Tambo airport (JNB) as arranged and on time, transferred to Sun City to spend New Years there, staying at the Cascaded Hotel at the resort. If anyone has stayed at Centre Parcs, then this resort is just a bigger version. The exchange rate was favourable, and so good value for money. The hotel was perfectly located for the entertainment facilities. The only downer was the lack of sunbeds. But it gave us an opportunity to unwind from the rigors of work.
Then there was the transfer to Thakadu River Camp. Road ran out 20km from the camp, but our driver was great and we felt safe. The camp itself comprises of 12 luxury tents, with personal verandas, air con and rainshower. It was lovely. We were advised to keep our french doors closed for fear of inquisitive baboons commiting food burgulary! The lodge were we had our meals was naturally open plan and tastefully decorated. The food was fantastic and was all inclusive, except for booze and soft drinks. The staff friendly and attentive.
If anyone is interested, then look at their website. What you see is what you get....with the warm human factor.
There were 2 game drives per day; 5am and 4pm. They were fantastic, seeing animals in their natural habitats in open sided 4x4, with knowledgeable rangers driving. Watching a pride of lions feeding on a freshly captured wildebeest with only 6 feet of fresh air separating us was wonderous.
We can't say how fantastically enjoyable, exciting and relaxing this holiday was.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank food_fancier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2008

In March 2008 my girlfiend and I spent a long weekend at Thakadu River Camp.

We loved the camp. The luxurious tents are large, spaceous, fully equipped and decorated in a classic but tasteful style. In addition, the tents are not very close of each other, which allows for some privacy. Our tent had a view on a small river bed. There are

The main area of the camp has an ample lounge , another area for breakfast and a restaurant. There is also a very nice pool.

The food served, especialy for lunch and dinner, was delicious (top notch). We did find there were too many courses.

The staff was very friendly and professional, which is not necessarily common in South Africa.

Obviously, the reason for traveling to this game reserve is for the safaris. The game drives take about 3 hours and are organized early in the morning or towards the end of the afernoon. Again, do dress properly because it can get really cold in the open 4x4. We saw practically all wildlife we wished for, such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, hartebeests, kudus,bushbucks, springboks, lions, elephants, rhinos, wild dogs, jackals, warthogs, monkeys and even a porcupine.

Our guide Patience was very knowledgeable. Apparently she is the first female guide in South Africa, as I a few months later by coincidence read in the Financial Times.

Madikwe Game Reserve (malaria free) is a 4 hours drive from Johannesburg. We rented a car to get there, but we should have also rented a GPS device, since the directions to this game reserver are poor. In fact, we got lost and we drove to a village called Madikwe, which was not exactly in the right direction.

We do recommend driving to this game reserve, as the route is scenic and it provides the opportunity to see how South Africans live in the sparsely populated country side. Halfway on the way to Madikwe you pass Sun City and Pilanesberg Park. For those who enjoy gambling and resorts Sun City may be a stop-over (not our cup of tea). Near Sun City there is an excellent golf course. Pilanesberg Park is also nice, but it is more touristy and it does not offer the same wildlife as Madikwe. However, if you only have one day while being in Johannesburg or Pretoria, do seize the opportunity and visit Pilanesberg.

Overall, staying in Thakadu River Camp does not come cheap. Naturally, you can see the wildlife in Madikwe for considerably less. However, if you are looking for a luxurious and romantic safari getaway, this tented camp is a great choice!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank sfcastillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2008

We stayed at Thakadu River Camp as part of a 3 lodge trip to the Madikwe reserve. Despite people recommending againt us staying at 3 different lodges in the same area we are so glad we did as it really gives you a better insight into the reserve.

We arrived at Thakadu after having spent 3 nights in the Western part of the park (Thakadu is in the East). I have to admit that we did see more game over in the Western side (& we returned to the West after our stay at Thakadu) but I would still thoroughly recommend the lodge. It is a completely different experience, being in a tent to being in a fixed building & Thakadu is by far the most luxurious of any tented camp we have stayed at (and this was our 8th safari experience).

The tents are beautifully & luxuriously furnished & it was great to be high up in the canopy of the trees. The main lodge area has a much more open feel to it than some lodges & is very stylish. Meals are taken on seperate tables so if you prefer the ''everyone sitting around the campfire'' experience, then this may not be for you. The food is fabulous & the staff are probably the friendliest we have come across at any lodge. What was important to us is that seeing as Thakadu is run by the local community, the profits go directly to them & not to some large corporation which is as it should be & they manage to run the lodge to true 5 star standard.

It is fantastic quality at an excellent price & for a luxury tented camp, it cannot be beaten.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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Thank TravellerAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2008

We stayed at Thakadu River Camp last month with two children aged 9 and 12. It was their first safari experience and they loved it.

The tents are nestled in the bush and are therefore very private. They are also beautifully presented and have everything you need inside. The camp itself is protected by an electric fence which gives you peace of mind. There is also a lovely little pool which the children enjoyed relaxing in during the afternoons.

The food was the best we had in South Africa, plentiful and varied. The BBQ was very good too and gave you a real feeling of being in Africa with the campfire and the sounds of the wildlife in the background.

Our guide (Patience) was incredibly knowledgable and taught us all lots about the wildlife and enviroment. She had an amazing ability to track and spot animals and was absolutely determined to find them for us. We saw 4 of the big 5 and lots of other creatures too. The game drives did get quite tiring though as it was a bit of a drive to get to the parts of the reserve where the animals hang out!

We were also lucky enough to have a trip to the local village and visit the schools etc. This was a fantastic experience for all of us and one which we'll never forget.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank prettyinpinkmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2008

Just returned from 3 nights in Thakadu. Had a wonderful experience. Camp is beautifully decorated, tents were stunning - plenty of space, clean and well fitted out. Food was great - plenty of it and very good quality. All staff and game guides were very friendly and very professional. Game drives were great fun with our guide Patience who was very knowledgable and was able to spot bush babies in a tree some distance from the road in the dark whilst driving!! Also she spotted lions hiding in the bush by being able to spot the twitch of an ear!! Did not want to come home - the whole experience - sights sounds and smells was intoxicating. Warning - depending on time of year you go take plenty of layers - the game drives can be freezing first thing in morning and after dark. Weather was v hot during day though.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank newbushbaby
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: $475 - $704 (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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