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“The most welcoming and amazing home away from home.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Jamala Madikwe

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Jamala Madikwe
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“The most welcoming and amazing home away from home.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2012

Beyond doubt, Jamala Madikwe surpassed all our expectations in terms of service, quality of food, accomodation and the warmth and welcoming environment that Rodney and Dearest Shaun have created.
It is truly a Royal game reserve and attention to minute elements has been made to make their guests feel at home.
The staff was impeccable and courteous and polite.
The food prepared by The chef was out of this world, especially the High Tea which was our favourite.
We will return again and highly recommend it to everyone.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Faribaalaghband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rodney S, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Fariba, Nasser, Yasmin & Niloofar
Thank you for these kind words and for sharing your family and friends with us. Tea time is not the same without you all. Shaun so thoroughly enjoyed your company. It was a great privilege for us to meet you and show you our little special space in Africa. Thank you from myself, Rodney and from Nico and the entire team at Jamala Madikwe
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268 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

I have traveled since I was eleven. Been to over sixty countries and I can truly say Jamala stands a head and shoulders above any other experience I have had before. It is supreme luxury amidst a beautiful wild nature reserve with a staff that has created a truly personal and unique environment. There are only 5 luxury bungalows, each immaculately furnished in a pristine setting with a private plunge pool, living area, master bath and outdoor shower -- and the main lodge is more reminiscent of a private posh residence with the finest chef on the premises serving multi course gourmet delights at every meal.
I recommend Jamala highly. it is an experience of a lifetime that would not be forgotten.

Room Tip: The luxury bungalows are identical. each one facing the reserve where you can watch the animals roa...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Firouzeh A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rodney S, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Dear Firouzeh, your words are such a compliment to us. For someone who has travelled as much as you have, to bestow us with such kind praise is all the reward we need. You know we enjoyed your company immensely (even though you snuck away quietly early in the evenings). We wish you many more happy journeys around the world and hope to see you here again. Kind regards Rodney and from Nico and the entire family at Jamala Madikwe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bermuda
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2011

"Natural elegance", along with exquisite accomodations, sublime hosts and extraordinary cuisine makes Jamala Madikwe an imperative stop on any traveler's itinerary. I have been fortunate to visit not once but twice now and will return to my home away from home for many years to come. I cry when I arrive because I am so happy to be back and I cry when I leave because, well, I have to leave!! The attention to detail and service that Shaun and Rod have created at Jamala is second to none, from personalized writing paper for each guest and the heartfelt note waiting in your room each evening to the inviting hot bubble bath waiting for you upon return from your game drive.

We had some amazing sightings in the bush but if you're looking to relax at the lodge, you can always 'sofa safari' and gaze at the plethora of animals that visit the watering hole in front of the lodge throughout the day and night. There is never a dull moment at Jamala yet if getting away from it all is what you are looking for, your private chalet with plunge pool is the perfect place to relax while watching the animals in your front yard. Afternoon tea is so decadent you want to cry when you see the spread. And if you feel like you are in need of a game of Mexican Train dominoes while sipping on some rose, the boys are more than happy to oblige but beware, they won't let you win!!!

Already planning my return in July 2012, it can't come soon enough! Jamala Madikwe is simply magical and to call it heaven is not giving it enough justice.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zoe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shaunroe, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 20 November 2011
Zoe, you completely take our breath away! We love your very special friendship and wonderful support of Jamala Madikwe. Your return to this lodge is the greatest compliment we could ever wish for.
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los angeles
Level Contributor
68 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

Imagine rather than bouncing along on yet another land rover, you instead are invited to the beautiful Estate of a friend with a private game reserve, where both in the main residence and the guest houses, money was no object. This was what we found at Jamala Madikwe. Every need taken care of, every detail attended to. It was akin to walking into the most tasteful design and culinary magazines, where elegance is timeless. This is not a recreation of a bygone era but rather simply what happens when everything is just done right. The five course meals, anounced by the chef with more silver reflecting in the candles than you can imagine. The five individual guest homes, where the walls of glass slide away so that you are in the environment, not simply looking upon it- amazing! My wife and I travel extensively, both for business and for pleasure, and are not too difficult to please, but extremely difficult to impress. We have been to many, many safari lodges over the last few years. The owners, Shaun and Rodney, have with their amazing estate truly taken our breath away. The fact that almost every day there were more animals than Noah's ark around the water hole was just icing in the cake! There are game drives if desired, but who needs to leave Nirvana! It may seem pricey, but it is worth every dime.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank culturebound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shaunroe, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 17 November 2011
Thank you Ashley and Douglas for sharing your experience at Jamala Madikwe and taking the time to craft this wonderful review. We wish to pay tribute to extraordinary people, such as yourselves, whose powerful creative energy and deep appreciation of our world continues to inspire each and every one of us, heightens our passion and provides for a clear direction as we move forward. We have an exceptional team and Rodney and I have the great fortune of standing on the shoulders of giants as we look to the future.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

Our review may be biased, because Rodney and Shaun are long standing friends; but we were so spoilt during our visit last week - that we just had to tell everyone about Jamala Madikwe.....

Jamala is for the discerning nature lover - and those that appreciate the good things in life. The lodge and accomodation is beautifully designed, with privacy and magnificent views on offer - and sumpsciously furnished and decorated. Rodney and Shaun, together with Lucky, Vuyani, Prayer, Lawrence and Benson; have created the most incredible customer experience - from the food, the finest attention to detail, to a warmth and friendliness that makes it very hard to leave....

If you have never experienced the magnificence of Africa and have the opportunity to travel, this is a bucket list must....

To everyone at Jamala, thank you so much for your hospitality and to Rodney and Shaun in particular - we will be back !!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Niel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shaunroe, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 19 October 2011
Hi Niel, Meril and Sean

There is something so special in reading a review written by those closest to you.

We are extremely proud of Jamala Madikwe and ALL her attendants. Each and every member of this special "family" shares a united vision in ensuring the delivery of incomparable hospitality, genuine african warmth and the finest cuisine matched only by the level of service - in essence, an unprecedented safari experience.

Thank you for your validation of the work that we do ... and above all, thank you for sharing such a special time with us.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

I was so impressed with Jamala Makikwe - it's hard to find words to describe the quality of the game viewing, the perfection of the villa's, the level of service provide by all staff and the absolute hospitality offered by the hosts, Sean and Rodney. Our meals were also just wonderful too.

We saw a pack of wild dogs (endangered species) and the lions had 5 cubs, we had the most spectacular elephant viewings and all this from the deck of the lodge.

I have no hesitation in recommending this lodge as one of the very best!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gillian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shaunroe, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 19 October 2011
Dear Gillian

What an absolute delight it was for Rodney, I and the team to be able to share this very special time with you. The impact of a first time visit on safari is life changing and it was a privilege to experience this with you.

Thank you for sharing our very special paradise.
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Birmingham
Level Contributor
58 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2011

We spent two days in Jamala Madikwe as our first stop on our trip across South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.

Jamala is certainly not a typical bush lodge, and may not be for safari purists. It is plush and the villas very comfortable. Each villa has a plunge pool overlooking the watering hole. It is too cold to take a dip in the pool this time of year, but I imagine that it would be a great way for guests visiting in the summer months to cool down.

The camp is protected by an electric fence. This means that you don’t experience the excitement of elephants eating from the trees outside of your villa or hippos splashing around outside your window, which we enjoyed in the Okavango Delta. However, it does make it a safer environment and eliminates the need to be chaperoned back and forth between the lodge and your villa after dark, which I found a little tedious in other lodges.

August is a quiet time of the year for the Madikwe reserve, so there was only one other family staying at Jamala at the same time as us. The guests all eat their evening meal together, hosted by Shaun and Rodney the owner/mangers of the camp. I really enjoyed this aspect of the stay. Shaun and Rodney were excellent hosts who also went out of their way to ensure we had a comfortable stay.

The food was first class. Each of the five courses of the evening meal were presented by the chef. There were also nice touches, such as hot chocolate muffins before leaving for the morning safari and a constant supply of freshly baked cookies in each of the villas.

It was freezing cold on the game drives in the morning and evening (even though we were prepared with woollen hats, gloves, coats etc and the lodge provided blankets and hot water bottles on the open Land Rover). The temperature was around 4ºC but on the back of a moving open truck, it felt like it was below zero. The reward for this is the game viewing is at its best in winter and we saw some spectacular wildlife, although not quite as abundant as on the game drives in the Okavango Delta, which is also warmer at this time of year. However, Jamala Madikwe more than compensates for this by positioning each villa with a view of its busy watering hole, which meant that we could view wildlife at any time of the day from our villa.

The temperature warmed up considerably during the day and the staff built log fires in the evening and put water bottles in our bed so, apart from on the game drives, we were always nice and warm.

If you want five star luxury and a safe and tranquil surroundings, then I would definitely consider Jamala Madikwe. It was the place I was most sorry to leave.

Room Tip: The villas closest to the lodge provide the best view of the watering hole
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PRLBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamalaMadikwe, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this review, 7 September 2011
We are so grateful to have had the pleasure of your company.

We felt that our time together was too short and we look forward to a return visit! Hopefully, the next time we will have the pleasure of introducing your son and daughter to the wonders of our beautiful Africa.

Thank you for a very fair and balanced review.
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Additional Information about Jamala Madikwe

Property: Jamala Madikwe
Address: Molatedi, North West Province, 2838, Madikwe Game Reserve 2838, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Jamala Madikwe 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jamala Madikwe is an intimate and elegant safari lodge located within the 75 000 HA malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa's North West Province. Each of the five sumptuous and elegantly appointed suites offer private decks and rim-flow swimming pools. Madikwe is home to all of the Big 5 and most of Africa's top game species which includes a spectacular array of general game in addition to a very successful breeding program for the endangered wild dog. ... more   less 
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