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“Comfortable lodge, great food”

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Madikwe Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We have just returned from Madikwe safari lodge. We stayed at Lelapa (they have 3 separate lodges) rooms were spacious and beds comfortable and the outdoor shower is Awesome, it was very hot and we got good use of our private plunge pool. The food was excellent, I left with a few delicious recipes from the wonderful chef. Ruth our server was very good too. Our only gripe is that this lodge is very child friendly so if you taking children then its great but we wouldn't return to Lelapa again because of that but we will try one of their other lodges that don't allow children under 12. There were a couple of children on our vehicle and although they were 9 and 11 they made a lot of noise which was very irritating, there were other kids in camp who were also quite noisy and we go to the bush for peace and quiet not to be irritated by other people children. On our first and only drive (was extremely hot so we relaxed and enjoyed the lodge) our ranger didn't even have water for us only sodas and we felt quite dehydrated by the time we returned from our afternoon game drive, a mistake I hope he won't make again. There is a road about 200m in front of the rooms which isnt visable due to thick bush but is very noisy, it is quite a busy road as it links a few other lodges and the cars and trucks race down there. so consider that too if you looking for peace and quiet. Overall we had a lovely break away but don't compare Madikwe to Sabi Sands or Timbavati which I would highly recommend instead if you are able to choose.

Room Tip: All rooms are good and nicely spaced apart
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank traveller77722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JemClayton, General Manager at Madikwe Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2012

Thank you for the comprehensive feedback. We of course are always striving to improve our guest experience and therefore appreciate both the positive and constructive feedback. I am glad to hear that you really enjoyed our spacious rooms and soaking in the plunge pool. Also great to hear that the food and beverage experience that you had at the lodge was excellent.

I understand your comments on being at Lelepa (our family camp) as the particular weekend that you were there we had an extraordinary amount of families in camp. We do always try our best to keep couples away from families and in fact allocate our rooms and vehicles around these very points. That said, I know this wasn’t the case during your stay and I can only apologise for this as it is certainly not the “norm”.

The road I think you are referring to is actually our private road between our three camps that other lodges are not allowed to use. To be factual the road is located between 800 metres and a kilometer from the front of Lelepa lodge dependant on where you are standing. I appreciate your comments here and have added it to our agenda for the upcoming meeting of our executive committee for discussion.

Having personally worked both in the Sabi Sands and Timbavati it is nice to hear you talk about these other reserves. Both are incredible reserves as is Madikwe. I am going to disagree with you slightly, as I believe all three of the afore mentioned reserves are incredible and offer the safari traveler something unique, so very difficult to judge them.

Once again thank you for posting your review on Trip Advisor and wishing you all the best.

Kind Regards

Jeremy Clayton

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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487 - 493 of 632 reviews

Reviewed August 27, 2012

We have just returned from the most wonderful trip to Madikwe Safari Lodge. It is difficult to know where to begin to express how wonderful a place it is - from the location, to the decor, to the private plunge pool, to the warm and very personable people who work there, and of course the incredible game drives. We did the same as you before we booked (it is a sizeable financial investment when booking a safari!) and looked at lots of different places. I am so pleased we picked Madikwe. The personal touches were absolutely perfect - from the cold flannels after the morning drive, and warm ones in the cool evening, to the incredible twice daily turn down service that kept the room feeling fresh and new. The food was wonderful - I think some of these reviews were based on the old menu/chef and I was really thrilled with the quality of the food - rack of lamb with roasted vegetables, butternut squash quiche, and eggs benedict for brunch to name but a few choices from the lovely menu. The group BBQs included incredible South Aftrican and Cape Malay delicacies, all lit by old-fashioned gas lamps which made an incredibly romantic setting. The refreshments on the drives are a real treat too. And the drives themselves are just wonderful - we saw 4 of the big 5 and lots of other animals, which I now know lots about thanks to our brilliant guide Vaughn who was a bit of a star, particularly on the subject of Impalas (of who you will see on a daily basis) where he saved a different fact for each viewing in order to keep us engaged and entertained, just another touch that showed how much thought has gone into creating a great experience for the guest. He was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions very well indeed. We saw three different lion prides/coalitions, and had lion sightings on 4 of the 7 drives. Whilst in the plunge pool on our deck we witnessed two elephants mating about 10 metres away which was quite an eyeopener! You feel completely emerged in the wildlife whilst being pampered and treated beautifully. I would like to thank the lodge for making it the most memorable trip we've ever made, and making my childhood dream come true!

Room Tip: They are refurnishing the rooms one by one so ask for a newly decorated room. Also, choosing a room...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Wherearewewritenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

If anyone is thinking of a holiday to Madikwe safari lodge they will not be disappointed! The game drives were superb with Vaughn, our guide, showing knowledge and enthusiasm in equal measure. The lodge was very comfortable with a wide choice of excellent food including the three breakfast system. Our room was the perfect place to spend the day, generally watching elephants from our pool or deck. With extra gifts and treats laid on such as champagne on ice on return from an evening game drive and breakfast in the bush we felt like we were really valued by the lodge. The manager even took the time to talk to us on several occasions. All together we found this the perfect place to enjoy our safari.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TGFewster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

We had the pleasure of being booked by our very good friends to stay at this lodge with them for 2 nights.
Ideally it should be 5 stars but we felt let down by management.
Unfortunately, on arrival Saturday night, we were informed that our party of 8 was not expected but rather that a party of 6 had been 'booked', which made our hosts feel very uncomfortable as the implication was, from the lodge management, that our friends had lied on their booking request!!
This was subsequently confirmed on Monday morning as incorrect on proof of our invoices and through Bush Breaks, and the management of the hotel came to apologise, but not after having made all of us a bit angry and humiliated at their approach,.
The administration bungle aside, the lodge is wonderful with gorgeous rooms and bathrooms, each with private deck and plunge pool. Evenings, the added luxury touch of warm water bottles in our comfortable beds facing an open crackling fire all prepared for us in our bedrooms, is just the most romantic end to an African bush day.
Water bottles are also provided in the morning in the game viewing vehicles to keep the early morning chill at bay and Kenneth was our driver and guide for the duration of our trip.
The abundance of elephant in the reserve certainly allows you to appreciate them up close and personal, and we did have the odd occasion where we had our breath catch in our throats, when we heard them trumpet up close or meet them on the road at night!
The catering is adequate but a bit monotonous particularly for breakfast and lunch. Patrick, our waiter, was on the ball all the time with our large party, and also very attentive.
Our children ( teenage boys) thoroughly enjoyed the experience and Rebecca provided extra humour daily with them!
Tip: bring the best camera and lens you can as the shooting safari is fabulous and do not forget your binocs. Lastly, bring a beanie if you are going during winter time!!

Room Tip: We stayed right at the end-villas 15 and 16 but I think all villas have a great view and enjoy excel...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank econokal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

What an amazing, amazing experience. From the arrival, to the game drives to the in-room service, Madikwe made our 3rd anniversary one to remember. The little touches at every opportunity really makes such a difference. I've grown up going to Game Lodges and have never quite felt as pampered and taken care of as I did at Madikwe.

Thank you. We'll definitely be back and will recommend this lodge to every one we can.

Ps: order in room service dinner just one night. It's an experience of a life time :)

Room Tip: Room 12 is further away from the restaurant, but has a generator just in front. Quite noisy if the...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shebeegee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We have been to a lot of lodges but this was the most child friendly lodge that we have been to. Our 4 year old and 6 year were looked after at every turn. They came on the game rides and the ranger (Stephanie) was brilliant with them as well as with the rest of us - able to talk at their level as well as ours.

After drives, their were activities for kids (baking, spoor casting, a trip to the eco house to look at animal skulls and bones and hold snakes and spiders for the braver ones).

The game drives were superb, we saw everything and more (including a water monitor scrounging through anthills for brunch). The hot water bottles that we found in our bed were a nice touch and those on the morning drive were life savers on probably the coldest weekend of the year.

The accommodation was top class and this is definitely a lodge that we will be back to. Our kids ask every day when they can go back.

Only criticism was that the website said all beverages were included but when it came time to paying, we were charged and the lodge staff were not aware of the website. When the issue was raised, to their credit, they did not argue and took off the drinks immediately.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I recently travelled to South Africa for the first time & lived a long time dream of being up close to the BIG 5. I stayed at Madikwe Safari Lodge & WOW! Honestly, the lodges are amazing, the staff are incredible & the food........ well it's five star. I went to my lodge one evening to find a pathway of candles leading to a bottle of champagne by the bath filled with warm water & flowers. The staff at the lodge don't miss anything. You feel very special everyday.

Our safari guide, Billy, made each & everyday an amazing venture. And to all the staff at the lodge a very big thank you for making up a song about my Peacock call! You are all very special people who have left me with some amazing memories. And Solomon....... i miss your voice

Words really can't describe my experience enough.

I am definitely returning one day soon.

Julie & the Peacock

Room Tip: i stayed in Lodge 9 which was fantastic! You must use the outside shower, really cool
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jules76_12
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
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 #7 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: $876 - $1,357 (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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