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Madikwe Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2012

Had some really great close encounters with lions, rhino and elephants unfortunately never got to see a leopard, our guide Wayne was very good and seemed to spot everything well before we did (which included a chameleon about 4 inches long!).
We would highly recommend Madikwe Safari Lodge, the accommodation, food and service were all very good.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Dave053
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 1, 2012

We have typically avoided the 'all inclusive'......
But thanks to the quality of all that the lodge offered we are converts.
Our exceptional ranger ensured that we saw the 'big 5' but with intelligence and sensitivity.
The hospitality of the team and the quality of the food was exceptional. However, what really made the trip was the singing of the team on Christmas Day! I will never forget their talent and joy of life.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Monkey1928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

Having visited nearly every continent and dozens of countries, as fairly active, outdoor, thrill-seeking travelers, Africa sits on the top of the "favorites" list. For this particular trip, with stops at various points of interest in Africa, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Madikwe Game Reserve, and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Madikwe and Madikwe Safari Lodge were without question the high point of the trip.

Thinking back on the time we spent at the lodge, there truly was nothing to complain about and you can tell looking over the other posted reviews for MSL. With one exception, all of them show highest possible ratings and I believe the exception was a completely inaccurate assessment - we had a spider and millipede in our room, I'm sure others were around too, but we expected bugs being in the African bush and there isn't a way to completely prevent it. The accommodations were perfect.

The main lodge was warm, cozy and inviting. The individual lodges were inviting, comfortable and had all of the amenities you could need. The beds and linens were comfortable and soft. Climate controls in the lodges made it even more comfortable to sleep. The food was excellent and the chefs were more than accommodating for those who had special diets or simply a taste for something specific.

All of the staff at the lodge was terrific. They always had a smile on their face and made you feel very welcome. From the lodge manager to the maintenance staff, food/beverage staff and safari guides, everyone was pleasant, fun, and enjoyable to be around. Additionally, no special request was too big, and no request was left unfulfilled.

Our safari guide, Richard, stood out against an already amazing staff. Richard was knowledgeable about everything, funny, and made you feel safe driving around with what might seem to most people as intimidating wild animals. Richard found us 4 of the "Big 5" within the first day's drive. He owes us the leopard still, but we'll certainly go back to MSL so he has the opportunity to show us. There was so much other wildlife, stories about the wildlife, and new places to adventure that I don't feel we missed out on anything.

To summarize, we would have extended our time at Madikwe Safari Lodge if our trip had ended in Madikwe. We know better now for next time! I highly recommend Madikwe Safari Lodge - we plan to return as soon as we can!

Thanks MSL for a GREAT time!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank RPSJR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2011

spent 2 nights here and loved every minute of it. on my 2 wk stint in the southern africa area, the stay here was by far the highlight. if you break down the place into 3 different aspects, they would be the reserve itself, the personnel, and the accommodations. in regards to the reserve, it is a savannah like area with a massive acreage. there are innumerable animals, birds, and plants, and i felt like we didn't even scratch the surface. not to mention, it's a beautiful landscape with jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets. it's also mosquito free (and hence malaria free). we saw plenty of rhinos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, and all sorts of antelopes. what was even nicer was watching the group dynamics of a group of rhino mothers and children, breeding elephant herds, male lion coalitions, to name a few.

regarding the personnel, the staff at the lodge were extremely professional and friendly. we even got a treat of the staff singing a few folk songs while we were there. the ranger for our game drives was stephanie. not only did she know everything there was to know about the animals, birds, insects, and plants, she was also a ton of fun to be around. later on my trip, i went on another safari where there were 8 jeeps converged on an elephant herd. here, most of the time, we were the only ones around. sometimes there was another jeep, but it was not often. there is a world of a difference when you're the only jeep watching a bunch of animals vs being one of 10.

regarding the accommodations, the room was amazing. air conditioned, clean, huge. 2 showers and a bathtub. an outdoor lounging area and a small (non-heated) plunging pool. yes, there were occasional bugs seen, but if you kept the doors closed, they wouldn't come indoors. the food was also tasty. there is no t.v. in sight, but plenty of books both fiction and nonfiction around. the lack of distraction was nice. drinks, a plug adaptor, and bug spray, are provided in each room.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Yee D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

We were extremely excited to visit Madike safari lodge as we'd just finished two safaris elsewhere and heard great things. Unfortunately upon arriving in our rooms we found both to be infested with large spiders. Wall, ceiling, sink, bed, etc. You name it, there were spiders. We expected spiders and other insects as we were "in the bush". I guess it was odd for us to expect a safe haven in our rooms. We had encountered insects on each safari but never the size or quantity we found in the rooms at the MSL. It is a shame because the rooms were beautiful.

We immediately alerted the staff and they trivialized our concerns and told us they would 'go take a look' however after assuring us that they had completely eradicated the problem, we returned to just as many (if not more) of these gargantuan 8-legged menaces as there were before. Everywhere we looked there was a spider larger and more fearsome than the last- they ranged in size from a silver dollar to the size of our fists! And after thinking that maybe the problem was contained to our room, we went to the room of the rest of our family to find the exact same situation. When we talked to Andy (the GM) about changing rooms, we were informed that it would be fine, but not to expect much better... 'this is the bush' after all, a phrase that soon became synonymous with 'deal with it.'

After we were forced to spend a sleepless first night in the spider infested rooms because "we were stuck" due to the gate closing at 8pm we decided we must leave in the morning. The next morning our concerns continued to be trivialized and we were informed that not only would we receive no refund for the 4 additional nights we were to spend there, we were also double billed for certain charges. The staff was sneaky and we always felt like we were being whispered about. It's no wonder only one other cabin was occupied. We cannot stress the awful time we had in just the 11hrs we were there.

If you must visit madikwe game reserve we STRONGLY recommend staying at one of the other 31 lodges within the reserve. That is unless you enjoy a less than welcoming staff and spooning with spiders while you sleep.

We are a family that days before went bungee jumping off of Vic falls, swam with great whites near Cape Town, and regularly hike through treacherous terrain all over the world. Never in any of our travels have we experienced anything like this!

Luckily the rest of our trip was amazing elsewhere, or our African experience would have been ruined.

Room Tip: None at the safari lodge
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank Ashir G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoreHotels, General Manager at Madikwe Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2011

Dear Ashir

So we can clear up the way in which you were dealt with by my staff and me personally when you were at the lodge I have documented what we did and the extra lengths that we went to try and make you and the rest of your family happy:

When you brought it to the Lodge Managements attention that there were spiders in your room the Camp Manager immediately called the Lodge Manager on the radio to let her know. Our Lodge Manager then set her team into action to go to your room and fix the situation. It should be noted that when the maintenance team arrived at your room only two spiders were found of quite normal size(approx 2 inches in diameter). These were then removed from your room and the maintenance team then sprayed the room for any other bugs.

At this point and after discussion between ourselves we got another room ready for you. At no point did I say ”It would be much the same as the other room” and made every effort to get the room ready for you as quickly as possible. You went back to your original room without looking at the second room we had gotten ready for you.

On the morning game drive you enquired with your Field Ranger “Andre” about spiders, as when you were out on game drive a spiders nest in a tree was noticed, Andre proceeded to explain some facts about spiders. Andre made every effort to put you at ease about spiders as you admitted to him you had a Phobia of them.

I am glad that you thought the rooms were “beautiful” as this is a real compliment. I am further happy that you did not experience too many other guests when you were at the lodge as this is exactly the type of environment that we try and create for our guests. It should be noted we were running with an 80% full lodge on the night you stayed with us.

On the subject of our staff being “sneaky” I would just like to direct you to all the reviews below yours, as if there is one thing that stands out the most it is the way in which our staff are received by guests.

I am truly sorry that you felt the need to check out of the lodge and leave the Madikwe after only one night. We run a fantastic lodge in one of the most beautiful game reserves in Southern Africa and it is really a pity that you didn’t get to experience this.


Yours Faithfully

Andy Paterson
(Acting General Manager)

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Reviewed November 6, 2011

We chose Madikwe because it is malaria free, and chose the Safari Lodge on the recommendation of a friend.
Each of the standalone accommodation units at the lodge is very private and very roomy. We had a comfortable king size bed, separate bath and shower, plus an open air shower on the balcony. The balcony includes a plunge pool, lounges and a table and chairs, all with a view of the surrounding bush with hills as a backdrop. (One day a herd of elephants came wandering through the bush in front of the lodge while I sat on the balcony reading). The usual bathroom toiletries are provided as well as a hair dryer and insect repellent - although we had no need for the repellent on our visit. While we didn't need it in September, the unit had an open fireplace, and there is a safe in each unit. There is no iron or ironing board but a free laundry service is included.
All meals and drinks (soft and alcohol) are included in the rate and eating in the open air dining area was always a pleasure.
We haven't been on any other safari sites so I can't compare the wildlife. However, in our 3 day stay (i.e 6 safari drives) we saw lions (male, female, cubs) a leopard, a dozen or so rhino plenty of elephants including one experience of 30 or so at a waterhole, and a variety of other antelope, impala, kudo, zebra, oryx, wilderbeest, warthog and lots of birdlife. In most cases these were very close encounters.
All the staff and guides are very friendly and welcoming and make for a very memorable African experience.

Room Tip: Even in September it is very cold on the morning and evening drives. Everyone wore jackets and used...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank OzSooty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2011

I decided to spend my 30th bday in South Africa and it was a trip of a lifetime! I had 4 amazing nights in Cape Town, which included shark diving, wine tasting, and lots of nightlife. So I didn't think the last part of my trip, a safari in Madikwe, would be able to compare but I was so wrong! We had 2 nights, 3 days in the West Camp and the staff was superb!!! Rebecca (West Camp Manager) was so fun and entertaining. The lodges were beautiful and more than we could imagine. Andre (assistant head ranger) was so knowledgable and a really terrific guy. Every animal I asked to see, he delivered on. He tracked rhino and buffalo prints and got us up close and personal with the animals. We saw a family of lions right by the car, heards of zebra, elephants, african wild dogs, rhino, giraffes, buffalo, warthogs, hyenas, impalas, wildebeest, amongst so many others. The staff even made me a cake for my bday for dinner, which Andre and our pilots attended and sang happy birthday. Rebecca and Andre had so many great stories and I absolutely loved them, as well as the rest of the staff. I've been to quite a few places around the world, but this was by far my favorite trip. I have to admit, I teared up a little saying good-bye but I plan on going back next year! Can't say enough about this place!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madikwe Safari Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: $911 - $1,374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Madikwe Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The rich red timbres of the African earth are reflected in the warm tones of Madikwe Safari Lodge. Cradled between rolling hills, overlooking game-filled plains intersected by the Marico River and framed by the Dwarsberg Hills, just 20 suites are clustered in three intimate camps. With circular fireplaces at the heart of every suite, and big glass doors to blur the boundary between inside and out, Madikwe embodies the warm, bold heart of this spectacularly rugged corner of Africa. Spacious wooden decks embrace inviting plunge pools, and book-filled shelves in quiet corners entice and captivate, while large pizza ovens add a fun twist to meal times. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Madikwe Safari Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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