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Madikwe Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 1, 2012

I have traveled all over the world and I can honestly say that this was one of my favorite places. I would love to have a lodge built in exact replica of the bungalow we stayed in to include my favorite shower ever...a floor to ceiling window that looks out onto the reserve while you are showering! Amazing food, amazing staff...amazing safaris...LOVE this place!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kari4princess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 19, 2012

Myself and my family loved the Madikwe Safari Lodge.
The setting is stunning and the Lodge is in the process of being renovated. The public spaces are complete and beautiful with the bedrooms following behind.
The staff were extremely helpful and friendly and the rangers outstanding, they made the holiday.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Paul F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

We live in Buenos Aires & have the good fortune of being able to get over to South Africa at least 3, sometimes 4 times a year & on this last occasion there, stayed 2 days at Madikwe Safari Lodge the first week of March.

It was our first time to this lodge although we have been to Madikwe Game Reserve staying in other lodges, on 5 previous occasions.

Prior expectations were high as the game viewing safari experiences in Madikwe have always over-delivered; it certainly offers the most diverse, high density multiplicity of mammal, bird, reptile & insects that you will find in South Africa, with the added advantage of being such a vast expanse - nearly 78000 hectares, six (6) eco-systems & sub-Kalahari species you don`t get elsewhere.

As for Madikwe Safari lodge itself, a better operated team & more willing to indulge their guests you`ll just not find. Simple as that.

And that`s because the ethos & demeanor & levels of on-going hospitality training they all go through, comes from the More Hotels stable.

The More family owns & operates the three glorious lodges on Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve; they manage the two Tinga Private Game Lodges - Legends & Narina in SW Kruger across the Sabie River from Lion Sands & in Cape Town, they have what we rate as the most salubrious,restful & welcoming lodgings at the boutique Cape Cadogan Hotel in the Kloof district on the lower slopes of Table Mountain & with it, More Quarters which are glorious self contained `apartments`.

We have had the privilege of experiencing all of the More Hotels portfolio & if whomever reads this post is a discerning, comforts of life loving person(s) with a sense of wanting to feel `at home on vacation`, look no further. Family owned, family operated, family influenced with deeply instilled family values & courtesy which is rare in this day & age.

Jeremy the GM at Madikwe Safari Lodge came from Cape Cadogan - More Quarters & he`s a `can-do`here to help hands on GM. His consummate, welcoming lodge Manager - Ulrica, was for a number of years previously at Lion Sands, so you have a continuity of first class service, with style & a smile wherever you venture in the More Hotels portfolio.

Madikwe Safari Lodge is tucked over on the eastern portion of the greater Madikwe Reserve & at times such as they are now - heading deeper into dry season, the game viewing here is enhanced immeasurably as they are close by life-giving water - a large dam, that is a magnet early morning, during the day & especially as the sun is dipping down on the western horizon as all creatures great & small come to quench their thirst. In a scant 2 days ( which is far too short of a stay but we had no option this time being pressed for time between business appointments) we had 3 encounters with two different lion prides - one pride had 13 lions, 2 huge black maned males, 6 females & cubs ranging from 18 months to 2 little ones who were still finding it fascinating that they had this long appendage with a fluffy bit that followed them everywhere they went. The other price was reuniting the night we came upon them & the gut-wrenching bellows from two of the three big males, calling in the females to their location on the edge of the vast open Savannah plain actually shook the Landrover as we sat with engine off, not 7m away observing. Leopard, the toughest of predators to find usually, we were privileged to see two; a family of black backed jackal warming themselves in the setting sun on the warm tarmac of the airstrip befroe heading off on their nocturnal predatory pursuits; hyeana - both spotted & the shagged coated Brown;& the crowning glory, multiple encounters with two separate packs of African Painted Dog - one pack with 8 members where the Alpha female was mating, the other of 17 dog who had obviously had a punch-up with one of the lion prides as Andre the Head Ranger at Madikwe Safari Lodge who was our host & walking thesaurus-like fountain of indepth knowledge on all facets of the bush, said this pack had lost one member, killed by the lions in that confrontation a scant few days before we arrived. Plains antelope - again, so many species; Hartebeest, Springbok, Gemsbok & the usual cast of character Impalas with their huge dewy eyes & sheen coats by the thousands. Giraffe - ticked that box, Zebra - lots & numerous tussles among the stallions competing for females & then what has to be heart warming given the news media being full of horrific reports of mutilation & killings for their horn which some ´rocket scientist` claimed is a cancer cure which is utter rubbish, rhino. Many of them. We encountered a total of 9 different white rhino & tracked one black rhino who was no spotted as the bush territory it had retreated into got too dense.

Birds- it`s claimed Madikwe is a place where more than 350 species can be seen, both indigenous & migratory. Our check list is overflowing & on numerous occasions we happened on some of the more rarely spotted species - members of the Roller family - European Rollers, Burgundy Rollers & then as usual many of the more frequent sighted Lilac Breasted Rollers.

Raptors, actually that was the solitary anomaly as we spotted Black headed & Brown snake eagles, Steppe Eagles, a couple of species of Gosshawk, falcons & three species of owls on the two night game drives, but no Marshall eagles & no vultures, which in the case of vultures, Andre told us is due to farmers having killed them by laying poisoned baits outside the boundaries of the Reserve.

And as for the guest accommodation at Madikwe Safari Lodge - summed up in one word ´superb` & it will only get better as we were mildly surprised to learn that there will be a refurbishment program commencing shortly which will likely add a second bedroom to some of the already generously spacious guest suites, which will be brilliant for a family of parents & two youngsters, or even two couples traveling together who may be looking at budget considerations.

The guests suite we stayed in was at the far end of the concrete walkway approx 100m from the Main Lodge (the pathway is well lit at night & in the early morning, however a member of the Security team walks with guests as there are no fences around the lodge at all) & it had both an inside walk-in & a `star-gazing`outside shower, double his-n-hers basins, a large bathtub, which may well be superfluous for most folks, but looked the part. In the main bedroom a queen sized bed, with to die for soft pillows. Ours had a fireplace in the lounge (which we didn`t need given the time of year, or use) & a deck out front looking into & over the bush with a private plunge pool that we did use as after morning game drive in the middle day hours, the sun made its presence felt & it was hot.

And the cuisine - thankfully we stayed only two days or a fork-lift may have been required to hoist us into the transfer vehicle; you wouldn`t say the dining experiences for breakfast, lunch or dinner were over the top, but certainly you`ll never lack for an amazing menu with so many choices that cater to every imaginable taste & palate.

Breakfast set you up for the day, but we forced ourselves to take lunch as well - why, who knows, but we did & lunches were scrumptious; dinners offered African game meats (kudu, warthog as two examples) fish dishes & pasta platters, all complemented with an array of fresh vegetables, fresh salads & lots of fresh fruits. On the two evenings we dined once in the outdoor Boma under the stars & the other evening in the open main lodge dining area.

It is traditional for your Ranger to join you for dinner & we certainly lassoed Andre as typically when we`d finished main course, the poor fellow had hardly had time to engage his fork with mouth, as we peppered him with questions. But never once did his enthusiasm falter with detailed articulate explanations.

We left Madikwe Safari Lodge reluctantly as the welcome, the service, the ambiance & the game viewing was astonishing, however we left all the better for the education we were afforded on game drives by Andre (truly, he`s an encyclopedia but it`s the passion he puts into the delivery that makes time with Andre so intensely special) & with the knowledge we WILL return, next time for a minimum of 3 nights, most likely 4, as otherwise according to my wife, I need to find a suitable kennel & a choice spot in our backyard at home as I`ll be banished from the house!

We rate Madikwe Safari Lodge 9 out of 10, nudging close to 10, as to give a 10, leaves no room for improvement, besides, we can`t have it go to their heads now can we.

Cheers
Allan & Muriel

Room Tip: For absolute peace & quiet, the room at the end of the pathway away from Main Lodge is supreme
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SundanceSpirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2012

Stayed here a while ago but would throughly recommend the hospitality. Food was very different with things such as Kudo on the menu. Fresh fruit in the morning and if you dont like bees stay in bed. The rooms are fanyasyic with out door showe facility which over looks the savanah and a bar in the room, take out a bottle of south afrian wine on the veranda and jump in the plunge pool and enjoy a glass whatching the elephants, lions , rhinos etc pass by. The safaris are amazing too, during the evening one we saw lion cubs in a pride of lions. Views of the milky way are fabulous too - very romantic. We saw rhinos, owls, lions, giraffe, deer, elephants, wilde beast, buffalo, birds and more. Plus an amazing terrain. the rangers are extremely knowledgeable

Room Tip: they are all beautiful
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wigglywormSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2012

the location was exquisite high on a hill over the wilderness. Each villa had a plunge pool on their deck and the rooms were large and very "african" in feeling. We had fabulous service and had to be escorted to our villa after sundown for our own protection by security. They had a wonderful variety of complimentary cocktails and the food was all fresh. We were always met by the staff with cool towels and a drink upon arrival from our game drives. We did a pre-down and a pre-sundown drive every day and our gruide was very knowledgeable. We saw an amazing array of animals from lions, wild dogs, elephants, rhinos, wild dogs, hyenas, impalas, kudu, zebra and giraffes plus many variety of birds. It was a once and a lifetime experience.

Room Tip: I think all the suites are exactly the same and all have ant spray in the rooms - but they are large...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lorilimelight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

My husband and I recently went to Madikwe Safari Lodge for a long weekend. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Jeremy, the friendly general manager, and his very attentive staff. Throughout our entire holiday at the lodge, the entire staff (including the security guards!) went out of their way to ensure our perfect holiday. The food was absolutely amazing and the outside dinners underneath the stars were memorable experiences that we will never forget. The rooms were luxurious and comfortable - we especially loved the private balcony and outdoor shower looking out into the bush. Our game drives were incredible, as we saw lots of animals (including a pack of the very rarely sighted wild dogs!). The passion that Jeremy and his staff is clearly evident. We highly, highly recommend Madikwe Safari Lodge to anyone looking for a bush holiday and will most certainly come back soon. Thanks again for the holiday of a lifetime.

Room Tip: All rooms are gorgeous and have private balconies/plunge pools/outdoor showers. Can't go wrong a...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nm563
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2012

I've just returned from a weekend at Madikwe and must admit it was an absolutely glorious expereince. Before we left I'd read some reviews and the "Arachnophobia 2" review bothered me a little. I can however say that the picture painted was totally misleading. I found the staff to be fantastic, the rooms to be very well kept and the game drives superb (we saw so many animals - unbelievable!!). I'll highly recommend it to anybody looking to experience a safari lodge.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled on business
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4  Thank Richard W
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: $910 - $1,376 (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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