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Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

Ampthill, UK
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Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

My wife and I are looking to stay 2-3 nights in Madikwe but are horrified by the astronomical prices of the luxury lodges. Is there any normal priced accommodation available in the last week of December anywhere?

Thanks

Somerset
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1. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

December is 'High Season' so prices are about their highest. Depends on what you consider 'normal priced'.

Didn't check on availability but Madikwe prices in December were around R2300 - R2900 which is among the more reasonable prices in private game reserves in high season.

Grosmagny
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2. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

We have been in madikwe at least 10 times and we love it.

http://www.mtbeds.com/

for special deals

Cape Town
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3. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

Hi,

What is "normal priced"? Most LUXURY lodges charge luxury prices. Remember, all meals are included, teas etc. and in some cases, alcoholic beverages; also, two game drives per day ranging from 2 to 4 hours per drive. Should animals be purchased to complement the existing "herd", these are extremely expensive.

Suggest you find a special although last week in December is peak season with school holidays etc. and you may find it difficult to find accommodation at Madikwe at that time. Take a look at www.bushbreaks.co.za. Click on Northwest Province and then Madikwe.

Georgia
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4. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

Hi,

Touristguide, your comment about animals being purchased "to complement the existing herd" leading to higher prices concerned me, as we are also considering a stop at Madikwe reserve. Is this common practice in the reserves in S. Africa? If so, is this part of the reason that reserves such as this one have a less than glowing reputation in terms of the "natural balance" for wildlife viewing (as compared to, for example, the Bostwana safari regions)?

Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide here.

Cape Town
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5. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

This is the case with small, private reserves. At all times the balance between animals, vegetation and area has to be maintained. Should you wish to find reasonable accommodation which is completely adequate, but not luxurious, then suggest you take a look at www.sanparks.org (the official South African National Parks website).

Port Elizabeth
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6. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

The reality with most malaria-free game reserves, is that they werent game reserves 10 to 20 years ago.

It is not a coincidence that it is mostly the malarial areas that are game reserves. They are the least spoilt because white settlers avoided them.

Madikwe was farm land not so long ago. Pretty much every single animal they have, apart from the naturally nomadic species and some antelope, would have been bought at astronomical prices at the yearly game auctions. A big disease-free buffalo bull sold for R930,000.00 at the last auction in the Eastern Cape. And you cant just buy 1 buffalo! I doubt they buy much anymore, as I am sure most of their herds are established and settled.

You might find this unnatural. You might find this wrong. I find this wonderful.

When I was a child I only saw lion in zoos. The nearest wild lion would have been 1300km from my home. Quite ridiculous in Africa.

When I was a child, Addo was the only game park anywhere near me. It was a fraction of the size it is today. The elephants were feed (yes they were fed) oranges on a daily basis.

Now, within 150km of my home. There is a much, much larger Addo Elephant National Park, plus private reserves like Shamwari, Schotia, Kariega, Amahkhala, Lalibela, Pumba, Blaauwbosch, Sibuya, Kwantu. (Have I forgotten any?) And just a bit further is Kwandwe and the Great Fish River Reserve. A much larger Mountain Zebra National Park, a brand new Camdeboo National Park and Samara Private Reserve are less than 300km away.

Huge efforts are being made to irradicate plants like the Prickly Pear Cactus and Austalian trees like the Wattle, which were introduced with devastating effects.

The increase in numbers of hectares of land under conservation in South Africa in the last 10 to 20 years has been phenomenol. The effort expended in getting the land back to its natural state is huge. I am very proud of my country for what it has achieved in quite a short space of time.

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Cape Town
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7. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

Thank you lamlee, I agree with you and I am also proud of the efforts being made to restore the land, fauna and flora to what it was many, many years ago, before exotic species were imported.

One should also bear in mind that if certain animals, like elephant, were allowed to breed freely, the trees and vegetation would be uprooted and there would be no shrubs or bush for other animals to feed on. For this reason certain species, of which there is an overabundance, are being swapped or even culled. Animals and vegetation need to be nurtured and controlled.

Georgia
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8. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

Thanks to you both for your thoughtful replies. I appreciate your explanation of the history/development of the reserves. I can certainly understand why you would be proud of your country's efforts to preserve and restore all of this land.

Can you tell me more about the game auctions? Do people go out and trap the wild animals and then bring them somewhere and sell them? I would like to have a better understanding of how all of this works as I decide where to go for this possibly once-in-a-lifetime trip for us. Sorry, Lindos-lover, if I have hijacked your post.....thought you might be interested in this topic as well though.

Thanks so much.

Port Elizabeth
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9. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

I really dont know too much about the game auctions. I would be interested to know more.

I found this about our local one. Wildveiling is Afrikaans for Game Auction.

http://www.wildsfees.co.za/wildveiling.htm

Georgia
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10. Re: Is reasonably priced accommodation possible?

Thanks again, lamlee. This is interesting.