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“A great safari experience”

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Madikwe Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A great safari experience”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We stayed here with our four children and it was their first safari experience. As a reserve, its a really good one as its very well stocked with animals in a relatively condensed area so there is plenty to see. Our guide Kenny was superb and really went out of his way to ensure we saw everything we wanted to and that the children enjoyed some great memories.

The lodges are spacious and well equipped whilst not being 5 star but at the end of the day its much more about the animals and the rooms are perfectly adequate and comfortable. The food is also a bit average (meals never quite arrived all at the same time and on one occasion the children had to have plain pasta as they had run out of sauce ) and unfortunately there are some shortfalls on service, but thats made up for by the enthusiasm and general desire of the staff to make sure you are happy and of course by the superb game drives which is what the stay is all about.

Room Tip: The higher the number the further away from the centre the lodges are. If you dont want to walk far...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FionaPollard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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573 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
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English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I stayed in Madkiwe Safari Lodge, Lelapa, in January for 4 nights, with my husband and another couple.

The service is excelente. Everyone tries their best to make sure you have everything you need, specially Constance (Connie).
The rooms are spectacular, simply breathtaking! Spacious, confortable and have all the amenieties you would need: coffee, tea, shower, bathtube (perfect for 2 pp), dip pool, outside shower.... It was unfortunate that during our stay we only encountered one sunny day and could only enjoy the dip pool once, however the room and the lodge itself are still great: sun or rain.

The food was good, however the lunch menu was the same and after the 3rd day you´ve had enough of the same options. The chef has a problem, he LOVES black pepper and chilly and I am allergic to both. Unfortunatly, even after complaining 3 times, and even once to the manager, my food kept coming with black pepper and/or chilly. Once, even on the desert!!
However, Constance was always attentive to this and tried with a lot of effort to make my food allergy free.

The drives were really nice. I am a "usual" safari traveller, however it was the first real african safari experience for him and he loved it.
Jacques, our guide was very helpful, attentive and knew a lot about the animails, fauna, tracking, etc. He really made an effort for us to find the big five. Unfortunatly we didn´t manage to see the Leopard, but definatly not his fault.
The only minor detail I would point out would be that on all the trips we did we only stopped for coffee once. It would have been nice to have the option on the other days... (although I understand the weather did not help).

Bugs in the room are the one thing that would make me second guess on coming back again. We found a white scorpion near the bed, just before we went to sleep and big spider inside the bed. I undestand it is not the lodges fault, since in fact we are in their terretory. And staff was helpfull in giving us anti-bugs spray to put around the bed.

All and all it was a wonderfull trip, beautiful safaris, amazing sunsets and a vacancy to experience at least once in a life time!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ana Mikaela S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Have stayed on a number of occasions and was never disappointed. Lots of wildlife and bird life to entertain. And quiet - just the sounds of the grasses singing....African safari style interior design which is inspiring. Located on / around a river. With a pool beside it. Truly lovely.

Room Tip: Everyone gets their own chalet.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Roberta R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

I´ve never been in a place like that! Amazing! Staff is so lovely, Keba is really nice! And the drives with Stephanie, are outdstanding! Rooms are beautiful and the food is great! My home away from home!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pablo16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

My wife and i spent 3 nights at Kopano lodge in Mid january and i can recommend it as an alternative to Kruger where we normally stay.

The Lodge is made up of 4 rooms that share their own very large lodge which makes it intimate and easy to find a place to relax and feel secluded. the main lodge is well appointed with plenty of separate lounges, fire places (not needed when we were there) and places to relax.

The food was very good and the chef had no hesitation in changing the options to suit my wife who does not eat red meat. All of the food was of a high standard and as good as anywhere else we have stayed. Breakfast was great with plenty of options, my favourite being the eggs benedict, gorgeous. When we left the chef also prepared a small 'patkos' for the journey home which was a nice touch. The one evening we had a Boma dinner which was very nice and one felt the staff did all they could to enhance the experience compared to some other camps. Again the Boma is only for the 4 rooms in the camp so it feels very secluded which is what one wants in the bush.

The rooms are very spacious and well decorated and even though i believe they are busy redecorating i would not have known. Again the small touches like freshly ground coffee and fresh milk in the fridge make all the difference. The outdoor deck is spacious with a good view over the surrounding area, table and chair under a covered area, sun lounges and a great plunge pool for cooling off. It was vey hot when we were there and maybe an umbrella over the plunge pool could be a good addition.

The game drives were good and obviously one will see whatever is around at the time of visiting, in our case lions, elephant, rhino, wild dog etc. Our vehicle was covered which helped with the afternoon sun but i noticed that some of the vehicles from the Lelapa lodge were not covered and they could have been uncomfortable in the heat and the rain which appeared later in the week and may be worth checking on.

Although Madikwe is Malaria free it is still worth using mossie spray to avoid bites in the evening (spray supplied in the rooms).

On one morning drive the lodge had arranged for us to have more than the normal coffee stop and had pitched up with a pancake station in the middle of the bush, a great touch and a nice surprise.

All in all, would recommend the lodge and will be back in the future.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

stayed 3 days and 2 nights at the Kopano lodge and in general there are better places to book in the reserve. The value for money in this place was a bit out of sync if one has been on more safari trips/lodges and can compare... We were lucky our stay was right after the summer holiday as it was very quiet which was very nice and added to the overall enjoyment. For sure if booked full the experience would have been less. The difference in quality and experience of the rangers is also something we had never seen before but maybe we are just spoiled by all the previous visits to the reserve.. Anyhow the staff was very nice the food great the plunge pool a treat and the rooms excellent. One tip when steak is served a steak knife would be welcome not that the meat was tough but just difficult to cut.. So all in all a nice little break but not spectacular and for what we paid had expected more.

Room Tip: rooms close to lodge so you don't have to walk far
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peter_Ahouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaborone, Botswana
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

My friends and I have stayed at game lodges throughout the region, some equivalent in price, some less. Madikwe Safari Lodge is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful , but where they fall short is on the food in terms of quantity and quality. Food is such an important part of the overall game park experience, and here it was a huge disappointment. Not only were the portion sizes entirelty too small, but the quality and preparation was substandard (overcooked meat, eggs incorrectly prepared, etc.). We all agreed that this is the first time we have ever left a game lodge actually hungry. The breakfast in particular was the worst we have ever had. From the stale tasteless muffins before the game drive, to the 45 minute wait for a small tasteless entree. Unfortunately, I could never recommend this lodge to friends when others in Madikwe are able to produce such higher quality food.

My other complaint was with the actual game drive. This is the first place any of us have ever stayed where we did not stop for a cocktail in the evening and cofffe (and rusks) in the morning. The guide was very nice and knowledgeable, but at times it felt like we were on a "death march." Over four hours in the vehicle with only one small bottle of water is just unacceptable when you are paying these prices!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ugyes1
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 review, January 24, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for writing a review of our Lodge. I am sorry about the food experience you had and can assure you that this feedback is not taken lightly. Upon receiving your direct letter I immediately met with Kitchen management to workshop the highlighted issues and rectify this as priority. We take our food seriously and as I am sure you have seen on other posts, as a norm we receive fantastic food feedback.

Furthermore with regards to the ranger not stopping for afternoon or morning drinks stops, I have addressed this matter with them. They did not stop due to the heavy rains during your stay however they have now been further trained to engage with guests ensuring that our guests are given the option as to whether or not to stop

I would like to thank you for your direct letter to me highlighting not only the above challenges but the positive experiences you had at the lodge as well

Once again thank you for you valued feedback
Regards

Jeremy Clayton
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 Madikwe Safari Lodge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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