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“Truly Amazing”
Review of Jamala Madikwe

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Jamala Madikwe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 July 2013

If you are looking for a life changing experience then you have found the right place. Thank you so much to Rodney, Nico and the team. The entire experience was mind blowing. Its not often that one finds yourself completely relax, pampered and spoilt for choice with all the amazing food not to mention the amazing game viewing. Truly one of a kind, and i highly recommend Jamala to all.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank The Residence T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nico V, General Manager at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2013

Dear The Residence
I can say this with total sincerity, coming from an amazing property The Residence a truly great compliment. The Jamala-ian's really enjoyed your company and enthusiasm for our magical place in Africa.

We thoroughly enjoyed having you here to experience the food in addition to the Big5 animal attractions of Malaria-Free Jamala Madikwe. We always strive to make each guest experience as special as possible and we are very pleased this has been so for you

Thank you for this review.

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272 - 278 of 324 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2013

How can I possibly be brief in my review of this lovely property and experience? Jamala Madikwe is a dream. Rodney and Nico are the best hosts I have ever experienced. The accommodations are breathtaking and supremely comfortable. The staff is kind, gracious and attentive. The food is extraordinary in taste and presentation. The game viewing is remarkable. We watched elephants, zebra, giraffe, impala and rhino while relaxing at breakfast or from the sofa of the main lodge. Our wonderful guides JR and Lucky took us on beautiful safari adventures in which we saw even more. They inspired us with their knowledge of and respect for the breathtaking creatures we saw.



I could go on, but you should go yourself and experience the peace and daily surprises of this wonderful place.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank TEM17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nico V, General Manager at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2013

Dear TEM17
Thank you so much for this beautiful review, both Rodney and I loved meeting you and your family. Your enthusiasm and wonder of our beautiful Jamala Madikwe is heartwarming. We would like to thank you for spending time with us and I can tell you now you had ME in tears when you left.

The great thing is you can always return, consider this your home in Africa. I will share your comments with all the staff, Lucky and JR.

We the Jamala-ian's always try and create wonderfull memories but Africa's true spirit will cast her magic and leave you wanting. We look forward to your return.

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Reviewed 17 June 2013

The first time I write a review on the web - on this occasion I feel that I absolutely have to make the effort, to let anyone reading know what a great place this is (I can only confirm the other string of 5* reviews), and to take a small step to repay the sort of attention and care back to Jamala which Rodney and his staff paid to our travel party during our three day stay.


Rodney and his team made this into a magical stay. I don't have any other safari experience to compare this to, however I can't imagine a better way to enjoy a game reserve.

The accommodation lodges and main lodge are all very luxurious and comfortable. For safari the game reserve is great however the accommodation balconies also offer great viewing meters away. We first arrived at dusk and were greeted with the surreal experience of around 40 elephants coming to the watering hole meters away.

The food was always excellent and the staff were attentive, without being intrusive, ensuring we had a comfortable and relaxing stay.

To top it all, there is always incredible attention to detail that others have described here and which continued to amaze and surprise throughout the three day stay. I don't want to mention all the touches as some of them were such great surprises - I can only recommend staying and checking it out for yourself.


This was the perfect way to kick off my first trip to South Africa and I look forward to returning to Jamala. It must have provided the ultimate safari experience and accommodation.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Tom S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rodney S, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2013

Thank you Tom for your review and praise. Our response seems to have disappeared. None the less, we are always very happy to receive great feedback and we are very happy the experience was great. We hope that this as your first taste of visiting a Game Lodge will be the start of many more. The waterhole has remained as active as ever with so many Elephants and multitudes of plains game as well as the usual range of predators. We have had particularly over the last two weeks, many endangered Wild Dog sightings around the lodge and waterhole. Well done on completing the marathon. We look forward to another visit perhaps on your next marathon. Kind regards to the whole family from all of us here at Jamala Madikwe.

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Reviewed 3 May 2013

We stayed for two nights on 24th and 25th April and it was the most magical experience ever! Rodney runs this lodge superbly with great, friendly, well trained staff who go out of their way to be helpful. The luxurious main lodge and the villas have to be seen to be believed. When we arrived we went straight through to the deck, glass of champagne in hand, to see about 40 elephants at the watering hole and that set the standard for the following two days! This was our first experience of game drives and we were in the expert hands of Lucky, who clearly thoroughly enjoyed his work and had great knowledge of all the animals and delighted in sharing it. This was indeed the highlight of our visit to South Africa. Hopefully, we will return.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank SandJHyndland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nico V, General Manager at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

Dear SandJ
Thank you so much for this wonderfull review, we so appreciate every heart-felt comment. We are also pleased the elephants in Madikwe Game Reserve played along, making your welcome extra special. We have recently painted and re-decorated parts of the main lodge and the villas, we would love for you to come see it soon.

Rodney, Lucky and the entire team wish to thank you for visiting us and we look forward to perhaps hosting you again in the near future. We will keep the champagne on ice..........!

Kind Regards, Nico, Rodney, Lucky and the Jamala-ian's.

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Reviewed 9 April 2013

I must confess, that as family we went with high expectations to Jamala. Each of these expectations was surpassed. Rodney one of the best host, Nico seeing all the small details and the mega details (apart from the best food ever) in our room that made you look forward to the end of day and Lazzy a great tracker with incredible stories and knowledge. Each day we where treated as honored guests. The lounge where you can be sitting in a comfy couch drinking wine and seeing 30 elephants drink water or eat the minerals, the zebras, buffalos and so many other animales is priceless. We also got to see the wild dogs and that was priceless. So many thanks for an incredible vacation. They deserve six stars....

Room Tip: there are no bad rooms, only 5 villas ;)
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Cecilia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rodney S, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2013

Thank you Cecilia, that is really great to hear. We certainly enjoyed our time with you and your family and we are very happy to have surpassed your expectations on all levels. Our "Sofa Safari' is such a great activity and given your Mother and Brothers recent accidents resulting in leg casts on both of them, made for very comfortable game viewing directly from the main deck. As we move into winter, we are starting to get even more species frequenting the waterhole day and night. I will pass on your comments to Nico and the kitchen team as well as Lazarus. Thank you once again and we look forward to perhaps another occasion to host you as our honoured guests. Kind regards, Rodney.

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Reviewed 2 April 2013

It's truly a luxury safari lodge. It's owner run and it shows. Very tastefully done, excellent food and accomodation.If you don't want to leave the lodge and enjoy it you don't have to as all the animals will come to you (to the water hole right in front of the lodge)while you are sitting and enjoying a drink, food etc. it's truly a sofa safari as Rodney calls it. We saw a leopard walk by and drink water just sitting there enjoying our evening. Truly magnificent.Our son of 8 loved his stay to.Thankyou Nico and Rodney,you are running a gorgeous lodge.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same and lovely,villa 1 is the closest to the main lodge so is less of a walk.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Ajy2j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rodney S, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2013

Thank you all, that is tremendous to hear. We thoroughly enjoyed having you here to experience the "Sofa Safari" and the excellent food in addition to the Big5 animal attractions of Malaria-Free Jamala Madikwe. We strive to make the entire experience as special as possible and we are very pleased this has been so for you. We were very fortunate to have the Leopard at the exact same time we were enjoying our pre-dinner cocktails on the deck and even more delighted you had spotted him. The Elephants and for the last four days, Wild Dogs, have been as busy as ever around the waterhole. We look forward to meeting up again in the near future. Kind regards Rod, Nico and the rest of the team at Jamala Madikwe.

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Reviewed 27 March 2013

Nico, Nico, Rodney, Rodney ETA 10 minutes…..whispers Lazzie our safari driver in to the 2 way radio, indicating to our hosts we were 10 minutes away from the warmest, friendliest and most sincere welcome you are ever likely to receive in your travels.

We were being welcomed home to Jamala Madikwe for the next 6 days and 5 nights and what greeted us was sheer understated opulence, refined sophistication and an attention to detail so often forgotten in modern day travels.

Initially when looking for the ultimate safari experience Jamala Madikwe caught our eyes as my wife was pregnant and Madikwe is in a malaria free zone. Food also was somewhat of a concern, but it was no concern to the GM and head chef Mr Nico Vester, for he listened intently on what my wife craves to eat as we sat back and watch gnus', zebras, kudus graze, elephants drink and giraffes meander all from the most comfortable leather sofas known to man.

The next day at afternoon tea came out the exact cravings my wife had mentioned to Nico the previous afternoon. The food, presentation and service are at the highest standard.

The newly added spa offers those weary safari bones some respite. Being somewhat of a connoisseur of spas I was somewhat sceptical but the massage and salt scrub were of a world class standard.

The safari experience was exceptional and Madikwe does things right with limiting vehicles at sightings and allowing that intimate experience with the animals. It amazed me during our stay how many of the other guests preferred to skip the safari and just relax and have a 'sofa safari' of the Jamala waterhole.

I will not go on about the rest of the property the villas, the lodge etc as they have been so adequately explained in previous posts, suffice to say my only complaint is that we were not there long enough as Jamala Madikwe is surely heaven made on earth whilst watching gods creatures.

Thank you guys for allowing us a brief glimpse in to the world that is Jamala Madikwe.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank larrymull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rodney S, Owner at Jamala Madikwe, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2013

K&J, this is the most fantastic review we have received. We so thoroughly enjoyed your company and enthusiasm for wildlife and photography. The time lapse sequences you created have been so widely viewed and appreciated. "The Special Lens" that had us rushing around taking macro shots - this is definitely on the wish list now . Thank you for sharing this passion with us.
I am so delighted how you have picked up on the smallest of things like the radio communication between us and the rangers and how you have described being welcomed "Home" to Jamala. This is unbelievably special to hear and this is the exact feeling we strive to make our guests feel when even just returning from a game drive. However the term guest is fast replaced with the feeling you are great friends on holiday in our personal home that is Jamala Madikwe.
As you have mentioned, we are Malaria Free, making it the ideal place for pregnant couples (and Non-pregnant too). This combined with our close proximity to Johannesburg and exceptional game viewing - often right from the front deck overlooking our private waterhole. We have been so fortunate with our location offering so many of the "Big 5" right in front of the lodge.
We pride ourselves on our cuisine and your compliments to the team have been passed on. We love that you enjoy and are enthusiastic about food and we will do all in our powers to make this as exceptional as the rest of the experience.
Also you positive feedback for the newly opend spa is very encouraging. It has certainly taken off.
Madikwe is a special reserve and we all live by a code of conduct and place great care on the comfort of the animals.
Again, we so thoroughly enjoyed having you here and would gladly welcome you once "Baby'" is born to let the same passion you have for Africa be bestowed upon him/her. Look after yourselves and please let us know when the big day happens. Kindest regards Rodney, Nico, Lazzie and the rest of the team at Jamala Madikwe.

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Additional Information about Jamala Madikwe

Address: | Madikwe Game Reserve via Molatedi Gate, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £969 - £1,175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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