Thakadu River Camp

Thakadu River CampThakadu River Camp is a Five Star safari lodge on the banks of the Marico River within the boundaries of the 75,000 hectares malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. It is an ecotourism partnership between North-West Parks, the Molatedi Community, and the operator, The Nature Workshop. The community has a 45-year lease to operate it as a commercial lodge with substantial benefits accruing back to the community itself.  Louis Korb of The Nature Workshop says that this creates an entirely different relationship between tourists and the people who work at the camp: “They’re not just staff, they’re the owners, too, so the mentality is different. When people arrive, they’re not greeted by a false smile because the local people here are genuinely pleased to show them round their camp.” “(Guardian June 2006). The camp was opened in August 2006 and has recently been rated a Five Star tourist destination. Thakadu is easily accessible through the Eastern Airstrip, which is just 45-50 minutes away from the Gauteng metropolis. By car Thakadu River Camp is only a three – four hours drive from Johannesburg on the N4 via Sun City. (Thakadu is the Tswana word for “Aardvark”, “anteater”, a fascinating nocturnal animal of the region.)

For availability of accommodation, tariffs and quotes, CLICK HERE.

Thakadu River Camp Main Camp

Thakadu River CampThakadu River Camp consists of a main camp and a satellite camp, known as “Little Thakadu”. The Thakadu main camp is ideally located between the Great Marico River and a small tributary of the Marico, in the riverine canopy. The main camp consists of the main lodge and 12 tented suites. So Madikwe Safari Lodge also has tented suites at Thakadu!
Thakadu River CampThe Thakadu main lodge is an airy, beautifully furnished place with high thatched ceiling and projecting eaves, housing an open plan lounge, dining and reception area, as well as a little curio shop. Function facilities, meeting rooms and internet access are also available. The décor of the camp has a strong African safari ambience to it, with use of wood, canvas, reeds, carpets and natural stone throughout the camp. The infinity pool right at the very edge of the river and bar area offer views of the gully and the Marico river. A traditional ‘lapa’ falls within a natural open space inside the riverine forest. When you’re staying at Thakadu River Camp, you’re in the domain of the river, with the trees, birds and water providing a peaceful and tranquil mood within the camp.

For availability of accommodation, tariffs and quotes, CLICK HERE.

Thakadu River Camp Tents

Thakadu River CampEach of the 12 tented suites is secluded and has been lifted high above the banks of the Marico on a stilted platform, opening out views to the river and surrounding forest. Every tent can be reached via a bricked path cutting out along the river bank through thick bushveld.  At night you are escorted to and from your tent by a camp ranger.
Do not be misled by the fact that these suites are tents. Remember, the camp has a Five Star rating and for a very good reason as well. The tents are large and spacious and the walls of the suites are canvas and the roof has a double layer of canvas, with air pocketed Thakadu River Campinside for extra insulation. The canvas walls have drop-down window flaps with mosquito netting, whilst the river-facing wall is all glass – big sliding doors opening onto a private deck overlooking the river, where every suite has a private plunge pool as well. The interior is beautifully, but soberly  decorated. All the rooms have central heating for the winter and cooling for the summer (air-conditioning units), safe boxes, telephones and coffee and tea making facilities, as well as luxury details such as complimentary toiletries. Of the twelve tented double suites, four are family units, each with an extra sleeper couch for children. High, reed-lined headboards serve as divisions between the main bedroom and the dressing room/bathroom, to the rear of the tent, where there’s plenty of wardrobe space and a choice between showering or bathing.

For availability of accommodation, tariffs and quotes, CLICK HERE.

Little Thakadu

A little further along the river bank is Little Thakadu. This independent satellite camp consists of 4 tented suites for 8 guests and is ideal for families or groups looking for additional privacy. It has its own private lounge , dining area, pool and vehicle. Guests can have meals prepared here by Thakadu’s staff or can eat at the main lodge with the other guests of Thakadu.

Activities at Thakadu River Camp

Thakadu River CampGame drives from Thakadu River Camp in especially adapted game-viewing vehicles into the game park are conducted in the morning and late afternoon/evening into the park. The Big Five and “Super Seven” (Big Five plus African wild dog and cheetah) are on the viewing menu  and don’t forget about the rest of the 60 odd mammals found in Madikwe Game Reserve.  You have a good chance of spotting the extraordinary Thakadu River Campand fascinating porcupine, which is primarily night-roaming, and could even be lucky enough to watch an encounter between a leopard and porcupine!  That goes for my favourite, a honey badger (Afrikaans: “ratel”) as well! Game drives include visits to hides, bush sundowners and drink stops. The knowledgeable game ranger accompanying you will share his knowledge and experience with you, giving you the best chances of having an unforgettable outing.

Bush walks and tracking from Thakadu: Conducted by a game ranger who seems to know every single plant, bird and animal. All safari activities are included in the tariffs.
Birding: Madikwe is home to 340+ different bird species and the diversity of eco-systems in the reserve as a whole contributes to this. The riverine eco-system, where Thakadu is situated, is in itself paradise for bird watchers and you can enjoy them right from your own private deck.
Other activities at Thakadu River Camp
Bush dining, guided gazing at the star-lit clear African sky and massages.

Thakadu River Camp Special treatment for kids

Thakadu River Camp caters for couples with kids, providing four of the tents as family units, with pull-out beds for children. There is also a 50% discount for children aged 3 – 12 sharing with parents. Kids are given an activity booklet and those under 6 are taken out on ‘bumbles’, where you get a workbook including a checklist where you can tick off sightings on. Other activities for kids include treasure hunts, along with an educational talk (which include fascinating bush tales), drawing and T-shirt painting. Special kids menus and cooking classes are also available.  Babysitting can be arranged for while parents are out on game drives. Cots are also available.

Thakadu River Camp Cuisine

Thakadu River CampThe extensively trained kitchen staff at Thakadu are passionate about the food they treat their guests on. Every meal is an occasion and a taste sensation. The lodge where the dining takes place is a stunning location for any meal, as can be seen in the picture. It also looks out across an infinity pool to the deep gulley of the Marico.  The camp’s open-plan kitchen creates a nice visual link with the chef, Tsholofelo, and her assistant cooks.

Breakfast is served around 9:30, on return from your game drive. It is a big, healthy buffet with fruit juices, cereals, yoghurts, stewed fruits and fruit salads, cold meats and cheeses. Cooked breakfasts  can be ordered as well.  After this late breakfast lunch  is light, as can be expected – like a tuna salad accompanied by other salad options, finished off by delicious homemade ice cream. Dinners are superb and you can expect to be treated like royalty. In the main dish guests will have the option of venison (like barbecued bushbuck or kudu) , prepared to perfection . You can also enjoy dinner in the open air boma under the stars. Three meals are included in the tariffs.

For availability of accommodation, tariffs and quotes, CLICK HERE.

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