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“perfection”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Jamala Madikwe

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Jamala Madikwe
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“perfection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

This safari lodge has to be among the top in South Africa as I can't think of any shortcomings. There are 5 luxury villas each with private plunge pool. The villas are elegantly and tastefully decorated, and accommodate one couple each so I assume there are a maximum of 10 guests. The main lodge is likewise beautiful and overlooks a watering hole which frequently during our 4 day stay was visited by elephants, water buffalo, giraffes, and other animals which could also be seen from our villa. The food was fantastic. I had not expected such amazing quality and style given the few guests, but there was no compromise. The manager and staff were graciously welcoming and friendly ensuring that our stay was perfect.

Room Tip: Villas nearer the main lodge can also see the watering hole.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank steing1111
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, 16 October 2013
Thank you for this fantastic review, much appreciated. The secret is now out about villa 1 and the view - this is all part of what is important to us, the game experience, the lodge and accommodation and of course the food. All three need to compliment and reflect each other. The privacy we are afforded with our location in Madikwe Game Reserve and that it also allows us exceptional game viewing from the main deck and from the villa's. We are so happy this was a rewarding experience for you and look forward to welcoming you on another occasion. Rod, Nico, Lucky and the whole team at Jamala Madikwe.
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270 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 (87)
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2013

We have just returned from an awesome loooong weekend break at Jamala Madikwe safari lodge in the North West province. What a fantastic experience, from the company, location, amenities, the food, game drives, the lodge itself - all brilliant! Thanks so much to Rodney, Lucky, JR, Laurence, and the rest of the guys - you really made us feel welcome. I can't wait to be back.

Room Tip: Ask for the first villa - just because it is the closest to the waterhole and lying in bed with game...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank CapeTownCobraman
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, 16 October 2013
Thank you for your review, it is always great to have a satisfied client leaving wanting to come back. We will be waiting to welcome you back again. I am glad you got to experience our "Sofa Safari" and hope the photo's have yielded some great shots. The waterhole in front of the lodge has continued to deliver many species including the Big5, Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard andBuffalo. Look forward to seeing you all again, Rodney and the team at Jamala Madikwe
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Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2013

The only thing we regret is not staying longer! We've had 3 nights there and it was A M A Z I N G. Everything was so perfect! The people are friendly, kind and delicate. The food is first class, top class, delicious, unforgetable... The rooms (well, you can call it Villas, by the huge space you will find there) are simply perfect. Beautiful, comfortable and has big wall-windows so you can see the animals passing by - yeah, just in front of your villa! It is perfectly safe because of the fences and it allows you to watch the zebras, wildbeest and impalas from your bed! It can't get any better! From the mais area you can see them driking water from the waterhole! And we saw everything, even hyenas and elephants and baboons and rhinos and giraffes drinking water there...
Rodney, Nico, Phumi, Precious, Prayer... I know their names and I will never forget the moments we had there.

Room Tip: No tips needded - all the villas are amazing! and they have only 05 villas what makes it really priv...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FlaviaMaxim0
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, 28 August 2013
Thank you Flavia, this review is most appreciated. I am so glad you spent time enjoying the lodge and experiencing the special space we have. To see Elephants almost daily, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Impalas all from your bed is so much of what Jamala Madikwe is about. Our "Sofa Safari" from the main deck overlooking our private waterhole is also such a special part of the experience. We want guests to be relaxed and enjoying themselves, whether out on a treasure seeking Big 5 game drive, being pampered in the spa or using the gym, "Sofa Safari-ing" on the deck, enjoying some of Nico and Prayer's fantastic food creations or simply taking some nap time in the villa's - every aspect needs to reflect the other. Thank you and I will pass this onto the staff you have mentioned, such a great boost for them. We look forward to another trip in the future. Rodney, Nico, Lucky and the entire team at Jamala Madikwe
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2013

We were referred to Jamala and boy am I glad we were! We knew it would be incredible based on the reviews but had no idea what a treat we were truly in for!!! It's actually overwhelming to think about how I could even write a review that would do Jamala justice... just read all of the other ones. You won't find an exaggeration or overstatement in any of them, maybe hard to believe but once you experience it for yourself, you too will understand. "Excellence" is by far what most stood out to us. Rodney, Nico and the staff exude excellence in everything they do, in how they serve, and how they turn visitors into family only minutes from first arriving. Not a single detail has been missed.

We so enjoyed visiting with Rodney, Nico, Lucky, Happy, Phumi, and Lesego. So pleasant, friendly and ready to serve. "Sofa Safari" is incredible, Rooms are unbelievable, food is amazing. Want to know more, do yourself a favor and read all of the other reviews! You'll be crazy with excitement to visit Jamala and experience a little slice of Heaven for yourself!

Room Tip: They are all fantastic!! Villa 1 is closest to the main lodge but all have complete privacy and inc...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank aaronseven
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, 23 August 2013
Thank you for great review. I am humbled by your words. Excellence is not only what I strive for but what our entire fantastic team is dedicated to. I chuckle when I read how you describe how excited you were and recall all the notes and FB comments, counting the days till you arrived. I am happy we were able to make that a reality for you and that you experienced our now trademark 'Sofa Safari". I know you took an amazing amount of pictures and hope that you have managed to sort through them and have some got some great shots. Your praise for the team is heartwarming and encouraging. SO very appreciated by each and everyone. Thank you and we look forward to seeing at least some of those pictures and perhaps even a second visit....? Rod and the team at Jamala Madikwe.
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Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

My husband and take a safari trip once a year in Southern Africa (since the mid-80"s) and Jamala has gotten everything right! We visited in May with our adult son and girlfriend and to celebrate my birthday - Jamala knocked our socks off. We were greeted with sparkling and cared for by the most genuine, friendly, excellent staff - everyone!
The food was absolutely exceptional. We learned that Nico (the General Manager) is a chef, but we loved the fact the local staff prepared our food and presented it. Everything we put in our mouths was cooked to perfection and so delicious.
And the sofa safaris were the best anywhere!! We saw almost as many animals in the water hole that the lodge overlooks as we did on our game drives. One of the most memorable, that I am still dreaming about, was having a candle and lantern lit dinner in the boma under a starlit sky and realizing that a huge herd of elephants tiptoed to the waterhole without any of us hearing them. We watched in amazement as we sipped our delicious wine while watching them sip water from the hole. Another day we saw (from the deck) an angry male ele huff and puff and chase off his whole herd along with a herd of zebra, antelope and warthogs. We also watched animals as we showered outdoors!
The suites are the most beautiful, comfortable, cozy place we have stayed in - completely private to one another, spacious, and the bedroom part is surrounded on three sides with glass. The layout of our room, outdoor shower and deck/plunge pool and the attention to detail is the best I have ever seen. The bathrooms are gorgeous and bathtubs were always filled with bubbles when we returned from our night drives. The rooms also overlook the water hole and are immaculately clean.
I had a massage treatment by Pumi that was fabulous and topped off my birthday celebration!
Our game drives were great. Most notable was a pride of lions vocalizing to another group. We were right next to them and it literally vibrated our vehicle. We saw a huge variety, all the big 5 except for leopard, and were lucky to catch the wild dogs. Delicious drinks to warm our bellies were waiting for us when we arrived back to roaring fires at the lodge.
This was the most amazing holiday with our son and girlfriend and we are so grateful for everything that all the staff did to make this time so special. Jamala is magical and we will be back as soon as possible!!

Room Tip: We saw 2 rooms (ours and our son's) and they seem to all be good. All very private the way they...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank K J
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, 23 August 2013
Thank you so much, this is certainly a very through and generous review. I love that you have picked up on some of the smallest details and are so complimentary about our staff, lodge, surroundings and cuisine. Thank you.
As usual our private waterhole right in front of the main building is such a draw card for so many animals. Even though we live here, it still takes our breath away seeing Elephants almost daily and we relive the joy that guests experience when they smell, feel, hear and are excited by these large animals mere meters away. The same way you described the Lions vocalising, seeing the endangered Wild Dogs, the descriptions of what you saw and the interactions between species including Zebra and Warthog. That is what our passion is about, letting you into our world. A world of great animal wonder in a luxurious surrounding tempted with great gastronomic delights.
Often just the first taster of what becomes a continued return to Africa and all it's natural beauty. Thank you once again, you in turn have made us grow in confidence with your appreciation. We certainly look forward to another opportunity to host you in your annual Safari adventures. Our fondest regards to the entire family. Rod, Nico, Lucky and all the staff at Jamala Madikwe.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

We recently had the pleasure of visiting Jamala Madikwe yet again. Suffice to say that the service, the food, the ambiance and the game viewing just gets better and better (how can one improve on perfection you ask? Well the team at Jamala Madikwe consistently do!!). We are always made to feel like royalty (whether it was our first time or subsequent visits) and nothing is too much trouble or effort. The game viewing was superb yet again culminating in us seeing a leopard kill right at the entrance to the lodge! Wow!

Thank you Rodney, Nico and your entire team. Words cannot describe how amazing your lodge is and given that I am in the industry and have access to over 32 beautiful lodges at any time, I really do love enjoying my time at Jamala Madikwe - simply spectacular! I continue to highly recommend Jamala Madikwe far and wide!
PS The new spa is wonderful! Definitely worth a visit!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jacky_Humphries
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, 23 August 2013
Hi Jacky, I am so pleased the experience has been fantastic and even more so on your repeat visit and am confident it will continue to do so on subsequent visits. The whole experience of superb accommodation, mouth watering cuisine and exceptional game viewing all needs to be on par reflecting just what the Jamala Madikwe experience is. You certainly were very fortunate having the Leopard interaction so close by. Even living here in the reserve, that is still an exceptional experience. Thank you too for the Spa recommendation and affirmation. It has been one of the best new introductions we did this year. Guest (like you) have loved the experience and the addition of this service. There almost is no time left for sleeping now.
I look forward to another visit in the near future again.
Rod and the entire team at Jamala Madikwe.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

We first went to Jamala in December 2012! It was a heavenly safari experience - no words can do it justice! Rodney, Nico and his team are wonderful hosts and make you feel so welcome, as other reviews have mentioned, nothing is too much trouble. We loved it so much that we returned with friends in February 2013 to celebrate two of our parties birthdays, it was just as good and did not let us down. Infact they surpassed expectations and went above and beyond to make the weekend very special for all of us! You do indeed go there as guests and leave as friends! I would highly recommend Jamala and plan to return soon.

The villas at Jamala are incredible. They are spacious and luxurious and we were incredibly looked after during our stay. Special memories include bubble baths & bed turndowns with treats following our evening game drives.

The food is of the highest quality and its beautiful presentation reflects the love and passion that goes into each and every meal Nico creates. Above all, the food is absolutely delicious and unlike anything else we have experienced before. The ambience, attention to detail and care to guests is absolutely unique. We have stayed in Madikwe many times and this is definitely our favourite lodge of all.

I can't wait to go back again!

Room Tip: They are all wonderful.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Angeweener
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, 23 August 2013
Thank you so much for this lovely review and we cannot wait to welcome you back. You have also spread the word and introduced us to more of your fantastic friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We love guests that love being in the bush and it is always an absolute pleasure to host you and your family and friends. The waterhole as usual, does not disappoint. Game viewing has been so special and for those who follow the visual imagery on our social media pages, you will know what I mean. The African Wild Dog has provided so many great photographic opportunities around the waterhole of late. Nico's early morning shot of the Lions hunting, slinking past the villas was a great hit too. The Elephants... well today was yet another spectacular day.
We hope you will be pleasantly surprised by the new look and feel of Jamala Madikwe. I will keep the rest as a surprise. The cuisine has continued to evolve and we expect to have the publication date soon to Nico's much awaited cookbook. Mouthwatering I can tell you that much.
We look forward to seeing you again in the near future and thank you again, such positive feedback just pushes us to perform even better.
Rod and the entire team at Jamala Madikwe.
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Additional Information about Jamala Madikwe

Property: 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 (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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