A wide variety of accommodation is available at Madikwe Safari Lodge. About 30 lodges, dispersed throughout the reserve, are available to choose from; a few “community lodges”, owned and run by the local villages, have also been added for the visitor interested in that type of experience. Do not be mistaken by thinking that this means something inferior. Thakadu River Camp is an example. It opened in 2006 and has recently been given a Five Star rating by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. We have selected 16 SAFARI LODGES which will definitely meet any requirement. With the exception of one (which has a Four Star rating), all Madikwe Safari Lodges have Five Star Ratings from the South African Tourism Board, so all of them have luxury written all over them and the guests are treated with exceptional hospitality. So, choosing between them based on luxury and hospitality won’t get you anywhere – the one is as good as the other to live up to their ratings. That goes for wildlife experience as well, since they are all situated inside the boundaries of the 75,000 hectares Madikwe Game Reserve, where 60 different mammal species and as many as 350 different bird species stay. So your final choice will be determined by some other criteria, like the following:
- Price (There are some differences – see below)
- Size: Are you looking for a big lodge where many people can be accommodated, or a small, intimate one? (Small, medium and large discussed below)
- Special therapies: Does the lodge have a spa, sauna or wellness centre for special therapies? (See discussion below)
- Does the lodge cater for families and does it have special activities for children?
- Are there conference facilities available at the particular lodge? (see discussion below)
- What about internet and related facilities?
- Is the lodge suitable as a wedding venue? (see discussion below)
Price of accommodation at Madikwe Safari Lodge
Prices range from around R 1550.00 pp/night sharing at the popular 4 Star Madikwe River Lodge Three Cities, right up to in excess of R 8 000.00 pp/night sharing for some of the more exclusive camps. On the other end of the price range a stay at the exclusive units in Royal Madikwe costs R60,000 per day. Some camps also offer rates for families, with special programs for children as well. These rates usually include two guided game activities (walks or drives) per day, accommodation, all meals, and, depending on the lodge, all local beverages and house wines. Guests are taken on day and night game drives or bush walks, conducted by experienced game rangers, who will do their best to make sure you have the best possible game viewing expperience you can imagine. In some cases whole units have to be rented, like Little Madikwe Hills, where four guests can be accommodated in a secluded, private area, separated from the main lodge at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge, with a butler, chef, game ranger and game viewing vehicle all to themselves. So these units are expensive for good reason.
Different sizes Madikwe safari lodges
One can clearly distinguish between small lodges, medium size and relatively large lodges.
Small Madikwe safari lodges
10 – 12 persons sharing:
Motswiri Safari Lodge, Royal Madikwe and Mateya Safari Lodge can each accommodate 10 guests, while The Bush House has room for 12 guests. Royal Madikwe has only one unit with sleeping facilities for 10 people, so they cater only for groups. The other three has double suites for 10 and 12 persons sharing. Madikwe Hills have a separate, exclusive lodge known as “Little Madikwe Hills”. This is said to be the ultimate in private, luxurious bush experience and includes among others luxuries like a private butler, own private Landrover and game ranger, large swimming pool and entertainment centre. Little Madikwe Hills are for 4 guests, but with the inclusion of two standard suites, it can accommodate 8 guests. At Thakadu River Camp a similar exclusive private camp separate from the main camp can be booked – “Little Thakadu“.
So, if breaking away from the rat-race means a game reserve like Madikwe and as little as possible contact with strangers, these small lodges are for you.
Medium size Madikwe Safari Lodges
16 – 24 persons sharing:
Tunungi Safari Lodge, Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge, Makanyane Safari Lodge and Morukuru Lodge can each accommodate 16 guests. Buffalo Ridge and Mayakane both have 6 suites for 12 persons sharing, while Tuningi has 5 suites for 10 persons sharing as well as one family unit for 6 persons. Morukuru, on the other hand, has three separate units (houses) and caters only for groups like families, friends or business associates.
Rhulani Safari Lodge has 7 separate chalets housing 14 guests, as well as a family unit for 4 people.
Etali Safari Lodge has accommodation for 20 and Impodimo Game Lodge for 22 guests. In both cases there is a combination of suites and family units.
Thakadu River Camp is totally different from the rest: While by no means compromising luxury and hospitality, this lodge has accommodation for 24 guests in 12 luxurious tent suites. The lodge is owned and administered by a local community.
Large Madikwe Safari Lodges
Madikwe River Lodge Three Cities (50 guests), Tau Game Lodge (66 guests), Jaci’s Safari and Tree Lodges (66 guests) and Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge (204 guests) are all way bigger than the others. They accommodate their guests in a variety of suites and bigger units like chalets and family units.
Madikwe accommodation based on special therapies
All of the Five Star safari lodges at Madikwe have special therapies on offer for their guests. Madikwe Hills, for an instance, has a wide array of healing treatments, based on a fusion of ancient healing traditions, philosophies and rituals from Africa and includes therapies like full body exfoliation based on African healing remedies, body wrap and hot stone massage. Many have spas and saunas, and at least one, Etali Safari Lodge, actually has a complete Wellness Centre, which includes a gymnasium. For more information, click HERE.
Conference facilities available at Madikwe safari lodges
Madikwe is only 3-4 hours away from the Gauteng metropolis by car and 45 minutes by air and this has made it a popular conference venue for businesses. Some of the lodges are actually catering for this and have fully equipped facilities for 20 to 75 delegates. The setting is perfect: Secluded and away from the normal working environment, yet not without the equipment needed for a brainstorm, group re-focusing or general conference. The guests stay over in super luxury chalets and are treated on game drives to offset the intellectual activities during the conference.
For more information, click HERE.
Madikwe safari lodge accommodation fit for wedding venues
Bush marriages are increasingly becoming more popular among young people wanting something different for their special day and Madikwe’s relatively close proximity to the Gauteng metropolis has made it a popular choice as wedding venue. Privately owned safari lodges in Madikwe have realized the potential and some are catering for this particular need.
For more information, click HERE.
Madikwe safari lodge family accommodation
An important consideration for making a decision as to where you will finally go for your holiday, is whether your family can be accommodated or not, so you’ll be looking at safari lodges where family units are available. Most of the safari lodges in Madikwe do have family units and many even have special activities for smaller kids. Madikwe Hills, for example, includes activities like beatle hunting, treasure hunting, dung investigation, tree studies and video nights. On leaving kids even get a certificate for a successful Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and African buffalo) safari. For more information, click HERE.
No day visitors are allowed in Madikwe; only visitors staying in one of the lodges. It contributes substantially towards the feeling of exclusivity and the feeling of exposure to wild Africa. There’s no such thing as a string of cars crowing around a pride of lions. As a matter of fact, sightings in Madikwe are always limited to a maximum of 3 vehicles in order to maintain the feeling of exclusivity and to ensure the animals’ well being. Even though there are some 30 lodges in the reserve, they are widely dispersed, so chances are very good that you could have exclusive enjoyment of a situation during one of the dawn and dusk game drives.
Wheelchair friendly accommodation at Madikwe safari lodge
What a shame that wheelchair people do not have access to everything as “normal” people does have – in spite of the Constitution of South Africa. Anyhow, even at Madikwe not all the facilities are accessible to users of wheelchairs, but fortunately some are, like Etali and Tau.