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“Safari Experience of a Life Time”

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Jaci's Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 March 2013

We stayed 5 nights at Jaci's and we shall never forget them! To set the scene, one morning we awoke to the amazing sound of a lion's call, close to the camp (no worries since they have an electric fence--so that was only a thrilling experience). As one of our fellow lodge-dwellers from the UK put it, Jaci's was "five-star camping." And truly it was. Luxury tents, super cool interior, but freezing cold at night and for showers in the morning. Jaci's makes a fire in your room before you return from dinner, they have electric blankets, and in the morning before the rides they awake you in your room with hot tea. All wonderful-- and all necessary if you're there in the winter (we were there June-July). And definitely don't leave food in your tent/room because yes, the cute little monkeys will enter to feast during the day when they open up everyones' tents. To the staff: enthusiastic and welcoming. The meals: cozy and delicious. But one cannot rate Jaci's as a hotel alone, since the game rides (we did 10 total) were an essential part of the experience. Our guide David was rather shy, but we all really liked him because he knew everything about the animals and area-- and we appreciated his being even-keel while being surrounded by certain members of the Big Five and their brethren. : ) We saw dozens of different types of animals, including those that are rather rare, such as Wild Dogs. We haven't been to Masai Mara, but various fellow game riders said there were fewer animals running around everywhere than in Kenya (which they described as an almost zoo-like experience), but that this was better in many ways because the animals were more elusive/in their natural habitat-- and that we saw more variety here. (A quick footnote re Madikwe: I was newly pregnant while we were on vacation in South Africa and we chose Madikwe vs. Kruger because Kruger is malarial, but Madikwe thankfully is not.) BTW I've attached two photos-- I took hundreds so it's impossible to choose, especially of the many close-ups of the animals, but I selected an elephant charging a pack of lions since it was an incredible scene. In sum, a highly recommendable experience at Jaci's and at Madikwe... you must go!

Room Tip: Be open-minded about staying in the tent rooms and you'll have a very memorable experience--surr...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Yvette S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2013

Thank you for your great review, we really appreciate every word. All of us here at Jaci’s Lodges really enjoy what we do, and we are always happy to share our beautiful corner of the world with our guests. Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the many amazing reserve’s in South Africa, with so much less to worry about-having minimal traffic and being malaria free- and thus we are really happy to know that you felt looked after by all the departments at Jaci’s Lodges. Good food and good game viewing are indispensable ingredients for a truly memorable safari experience.
It is fantastic to hear that during your stay at Jaci’s Lodges ,we were able to exceed all your expectations on your game viewing . Our guides are very proud and eager to share the layout of their “home” with its Fauna and Flora to our guests in the best possible way in order for our guests to take home the most wonderful memories anyone could ever think off, due to their passion.
As everyone know, Every lodge is different and unique in its own way and want to give their view on the Bush experience to the guests . Here at Jaci’s Lodges we like to keep things “down to earth” concerning detail. We love to show off the Bush inside the lodge- so no “refined hotel look”. We strive to give our guests the best experience and special memories during their stay, its all about the bush experience.
We are very proud with each of our chalets that are comfortably designed, each on the fence line giving the opportunity to view wildlife in their coming and going from the room’s deck.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back and make your next safari adventure just as memorable as the first, if not better.

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162 - 168 of 211 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2012

We just returned from Jaci's Safari Lodge and had a great time. Thomas, our guide, was the best. We saw more animlas than we ever expected thanks to the knowledge of Thomas. Each game drive was informative and rewarding. Thomas knew where to go, and has amazing eye sight to catch animals we never would have seen. He was great with the kids... and the kids keep saying that they really enjoyed Thomas.

The room was fantastic. With eight rooms and two suites you get real personal attention. We never needed to ask for anything... everything was taken care of. The meals were great. When we returned from our morning game drive we have a great brunch. When we came back from our afternoon drive the evening meals were fantastic. Thanks everyone at Jaci's who made the trip so special!

Room Tip: The suites are nice... but all rooms are large and should be enough for your stay. But, if you are...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Dean C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2012

Thank you for the kind words of affirmation and appreciation! It is good to know that the effort we put into all the different departments are noticed and treasured by our guests, and we would love for every single person who passes through our lodges – young and old – to feel as special and cared for here at Jaci’s as you and your family did.

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Reviewed 24 October 2012

Our 2 night stay Jaci's Safari Lodge turned out to be one of our most memorable trips. We have stayed at many game farms and this one proves to be one of the most authentic experiences. The rooms and decor remain true to the surroundings. Although not my taste, the rooms were comfortable and had a wonderful bush ambience.
Jaci's strengths lie in their commitment to service excellence. The service makes up for what it lacks in decor. The staff, from Wilkins, Millicent, the gregarious chef to our game ranger Paul made us feel at home in their 'home'. The special attention paid to the children was incredible.
Our game viewing was top notch. We managed to see all the game we wanted to see. Paul was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Food in general was far superior to other lodges.
We will definitely return for another adventure.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Nadiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2012

Many thanks for such a great review! Service excellence is something we continuously strive for, and thus we are really happy to know that you felt looked after by all the departments of staff. Good food and good game viewing are indispensable ingredients for a truly memorable safari experience, and everybody knows if the children are happy, the parents are happy, so it really motivates us to know that our efforts are paying off as far as these aspects are concerned. We look forward to making your next adventure as memorable as the first!

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Reviewed 17 October 2012

Jaci's is a wonderful lodge in a unique part of Africa. In my experience, ask anyone from outside of the Continent about game parks in southern Africa, and they will invariably mention Kruger or the Okavango Delta, which are obviously amazing parks. However, few people, outside of those in-the-know, will mention Madikwe, and this is too bad because the park would be a wonderful addition to any tour.

If you happen to make it to Madikwe, Jaci's would be an excellent choice. The chalets are overly spacious, comfortable, and well-appointed. The main lodge is a great place to relax and unwind from a day of game drives, which are managed very well by the lodge's guides, who are knowledgeable and highly proficient at tracking all of Madikwe's beasts. The food was top-notch, and the service left nothing to be desired. You won't be disappointed with Jaci's.

Room Tip: They all seem excellent.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank mapagr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Thank you for your glowing review. Madikwe is a very special game reserve with minimal traffic and malaria-free. All the guides communicate sightings so their guests can have the best experience possible. The chalets are comfortably designed, each on the fence line giving the opportunity to view wildlife from the room’s deck. At Jaci’s you are our guests and we will look after all your needs.

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Reviewed 9 October 2012

What a 1st Class treat: we cannot recommend Jaci's highly enough.

Whatever that x-factor in hospitality is; our hosts Jaci, Jan, and their team have it.

It's about 5-6hrs straight drive from OR Tambo but worth the effort.

Beautiful setting, lovely rooms, wonderful freshly prepared food : presented and delivered by a thoroughly professional and dedicated team - all set within a Reserve that has a truly inspired and positive attitude toward conservation.

Both the catering and the service across the board were exemplary.

We arrived in Jo'burg v-early after an overnight from Heathrow with Virgin, hired a 4X4 and headed north for the Botswana border to Madikwe, taking in a B&B overnight in order to arrive fresh next day (see other Reviews).

Primarily there for a Photo Workshop with Pat & Roger de La Harpe (search Africa Imagery - what a great decision we made), and guided by Sello Manyama (aka Thomas), it was a full-on three days with wildlife experiences to match (see their website Blog).

If one could scrape around for criticism, this meant we had less time to soak up fully the ambiance of Jaci's lodge - next time, we stay a day or two longer, for sure.

The boring but essential stuff:

- SatNav is a must for "off-piste" driving (I bought an SA Map from TomTom and took my own)

- Post Code navigation is a waste of time - always use GPS Lat/Long and BUY a back-up map.

- Buy a DC/AC invertor for the vehicle so you can charge assorted batteries while you drive.

- Whatever your needs, hIre a vehicle fit-for-purpose. Don't skimp on this if you're a fly/drive traveller: a 4x4 earned its keep for us once or twice.

- If you have DSLR photo kit with half-decent lenses, buy a monopod.

- Practice you mono-focussing in case Auto Focus fails (mine did!)

- Binoculars are invaluable, even 8x25; good for night sky viewing too.

- When I return - I will buy a 2nd camera body to take, fitted with a shorter zoom for those moments when long was just too long. (used camera will be fine; after all, it's the glass on the front that counts).

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ColinC-RG10UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2012

Thank you for your wonderful review. We are pleased to hear that your found our hospitality and staff exemplary. Thank you also for the tips that you included, it is definitely a good idea to learn your camera’s functions before arriving. It does mean that you can get a lot more out of our photographic safari. Our Photographic Safaris do however cater for all skill levels, so if you get stuck, the professional photographer will always be on hand to help. Our photographic safaris are action packed, as workshops are done between game drives to assist participants to process their photos and evaluate the pictures and also look at each others pictures. It is great fun.
Binoculars are also great for viewing the large variety of birds in Madikwe. We hope to see you both again soon - next time to enjoy the ambience of the lodge and just relax!

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Reviewed 14 September 2012

We stayed at Jacis as part of a safari & beach trip to Africa. The whole experience was wonderful for myself & family, consisting of husband & 3 children, 18, 13 & 9. We pretty much saw everything we wanted to apart from the elusive jaguar. Our guide certainly went all out to enable us to see as much as possible, including a pride of lions with very young cubs. I only wished we had stayed longer, 2 nights was not enough, was a little rushed. The food was amazing, catered for all needs & a wonderful standard. The rooms were beautiful we were in the Safari suite. Only slight criticism was it was cold, but I guess that was the time of year it did mean that eating at night was not as leisurely as we would have liked, we needed to get warm. I would recommend this lodge it was very special, we would love to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank CA49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2012

Our guides strive to meet their guests’ requests- animals, birds, trees, stars etc , although the elusive leopard likes to challenge the guides! At least a three night stay is recommended to allow guests to experience the lodge- relax by the pool, sip G&T’s in the hide and enjoy a massage. Winter mornings and nights are quite fresh with the days clear and sunny. Guests are provided blankets and gas heaters to keep warm. We look forward to your return to Jaci’s.

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Reviewed 2 September 2012

We recently stayed for a week at Jaci's Safari Lodge. The game reserve, the guides, the lodge itself were all amazing. We saw a huge amount of animals, including a fantastic night drive that featured turning on the light in a field and being surrounded by 9 Rhinos. For the last 4 days or so there was a herd of elephants that were hanging out around the lodge and its sister "Tree Lodge." They spent a lot of time along the small ravine below our rooms and the main lodge and we could sit on our deck or at tea and watch them. My son saw them swimming in the water hole and tributary along the walking path.

The lodges also have an elevated "hide" above a watering hole, with a bench and also a big 4-poster bed. We slept out there one night and watched a lovely ghostly procession of elephants and giraffes. A few intrepid and sleepless souls have seen all the "big five" in one night.

Our guide was wonderful, very knowledgeable and good humored. As far as I could tell the location of Jaci's is much better than many of the other lodges in the park because of its proximity to the river and a watering hole. It seemed that many of the other lodges were sending jeeps down to our general vicinity.

The great thing about Madikwe is its relative density of tourists. Unlike Kruger or some other parks, they only allow 3 jeeps at any one time at a sighting, and in many many cases, we would be the only jeep at a sighting, and we would often go for hours without seeing another one. We also went offroad as needed to follow a pride of lions or pack of dogs, etc. There were lots of animals and we only penetrated a small portion of the reserve.

Jaci's goes to lengths to have special dinner experiences, alternating the location from the lodge, to their outdoor "boma," to a beautiful and elaborate set-up in the bush. The staff was very friendly and relaxed.

Overall we had crazy-high expectations for this trip, and we are experienced and fairly high-end travelers. The game reserve, and Jaci's exceeded all my expectations. Thank you!

Room Tip: All the rooms are the same - as pictured. We didn't stay in the two family suites
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank SunFlight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mocca M, Manager at Jaci's Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 October 2012

Thank you for your fabulous review. It is fantastic that during your week stay at Jaci’s and Madikwe we were able to exceed all your expectations. We agree Madikwe is an amazing reserve with spectacular game viewing, a night in the hide is a unique experience to observe nature during the nocturnal hours. We are glad you were able to enjoy the surprise of a variety of dining locations and look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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Additional Information about Jaci's Safari Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £634 - £1,597 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Jaci's Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jaci's Lodges promise personal attention to detail from effervescent staff each indivdually committed to outstanding service and united in assuring you enjoy an suburb African Safari with memories to be cherished. Jaci's Safari Lodge with only 8 "tents" and 2 exclusive suites -features eclectic combinations of vibrant colour, earthy canvas, stone and shaggy thatch. Enjoy fire cooked & starlit meals - heaven indeed!... Complimented with daily game drives in expansive madikwe, conducted by knowledgeable and attentive guides your wildlife sightings and memories will be unforgettable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jaci`s Safari Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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