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“On Safari with Jan”
Review of Jaci's Tree Lodge

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Jaci's Tree Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 April 2014

Searching for a Safari experience on the net is overwhelming, so many different places, experiences and prices. We were in luck, a long time friend that I had flown with in the USAF and later for an airline spent time in South Africa at the Embassy and married a South African. A number of years ago he struck up a friendship with Jan who was setting up a lodge in Madikwe. Larry highly recommended Jaci's even though he was not really unbiased. We had some difficulty booking (our fault) and ended up booking through an agency, go straight to Jaci's website to book. Jan, originally from Holland, is a professional having run restaurants and hotels prior to moving up to Madikwe, he knows and insists on top service by all of his staff. Being our first trip to Africa and the wildlife viewing experience, I cannot compare it to other operations but I can assure you that the lodge, rooms, food and service are absolutely first rate. We were lucky to have Thomas as our guide, I cannot say enough complimentary things about this native South African gentleman. We spent six to seven hours a day for three days with him and each adventure was more fun and, more importantly, more educational than the previous one. He learned early on that I enjoy trying to identify animal foot prints and went out of his way to show and explain the myriad of prints that we saw. The rooms are very spacious, comfortable and well accommodated but you are not going to have a 60" flat screen TV in your Tree House and that is not why we were there anyway. The staff have a vested interest in the success because after a period of time they become owners, a real incentive to making your guests happy. Sollie and Virginia do magic in the kitchen and even cooked Bobotie for me for our last brunch. Disclaimer: because of our goofing up the reservation process, Jan did not know Cathy and I from Adam so we were treated just as all of the other guests. For a Safari experience, I could not recommend it higher. It goes without saying that Thomas provided us with a delightful watching experience from Wild Dogs chasing down two Waterbok (they did not get them), an angry young bull Elephant in musk and on the prowl, to a majestic male Lion courting his latest sweetheart. Fantastic!

Room Tip: There is a fitness center but we did not visit it.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rkobernik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

It is absolutely wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. The staff here at the lodge do have a vested interest in the property but more importantly a passion for what they do and they always strive to give guests the best possible experience. I think Africa has stolen a piece of your heart and I hope we will see you back at Jaci's one day.

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75 - 81 of 138 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2014

My husband and I had a fantastic 3 day break. The service was exceptional. The staff were warm and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. The rooms are large with very comfortable beds and great outdoor showers. The food was great and the wine list had a very good selection of wines. When we checked out we discovered that our car had been washed. A wonderful place to relax.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank viv123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2014

Thank you for your review, we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay so much.

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Reviewed 15 March 2014

I recently spent two nights at Jaci's Tree lodge with my teenage son who was visiting South Africa from New York. Although we now live in the UK, we have lived in South Africa previously and visited several 5 star game lodges in the past. I would not rate this as a five-star experience at all. The rooms and the game drives were acceptable, however the service is poor and the food is way below a 5 star rating. There are far better game lodges in South Africa, at this price. We certainly never had the same experience as many of the reviews we had read on Trip Advisor about this lodge (perhaps the main lodge is better than the tree lodge).

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank WendyLou W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2014

I am deeply sadded by your review as I personaly asked you several times during your stay if you were enjoying yourself and everything was to your satisfaction , each time you replied you were happy and everything was fine / ok .if you had discussed with me or (or any of my staff member ) the specific of your dissatisfaction ,each and every one of us would have done everything possible to meet your expectation.
Thank you for pointing out we are not 5 star lodge and we wholeheartedly agree .we market and advertise ourselves as such on our website nor any of our marketing colaterol – jacis pride itself on offering a genuine bush lodge experience , including all of lifes little luxuries along with friendly service ,professional staff and south African inspired fire cooked meals – all aimed enhance the bush atmosphere we want our guests to experience .You can be assured we will discuss your comment with all department concerned as we always strive to ensure our service and standard are exceptional
Thank you for your review –our guests feedback is always appreciated and acted upon

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Reviewed 12 March 2014

From the moment we walked through the door, the service was exceptional. We were made to feel special and nothing was too much trouble. The food was marvellous and served in different places each night. The singing inspired and beautiful. The rooms private and indulgent, the outside shower invigorating. We saw the big 5 in the first 2 days, our guide was fantastic. All in all I have always wanted to visit South Africa, I will never forget Jaci's.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Susan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Wow, What an amazing response! Thank you very much.
It is such a great honor to know you had chosen Jaci’s and that we not only met your needs, but did everything we could to make you feel comfortable and at home. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the items such as outside shower being so close to nature, singing of staff and fabulous food.
We too hope that you return to Jaci’s one day, soon!

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Reviewed 6 March 2014

Exceptional in every way. True hospitality and service by the very friendly staff. The game drives are amazing. The park is small but has everything you'd like to see. The rooms are beautiful - very private. 8 rooms in total connected by a walk way. Room has super comfortable bed, huge tub (filled with bubble bath for us after a rainy evening game drive - wonderful surprise), outdoor shower (private) and a balcony that allows great wildlife watching mid day. A GREAT part of our stay was the food cooked by Virginia. She made me special gluten free/dairy free food for every meal, snack and high tea. Out of this world. Never had such service. Truly delicious. Additionally, I absentmindedly left my diamond rings on the desk during a morning game drive. I was so relieved to find them exactly where I left them. This speaks to the quality and dedication of the staff. This was perhaps the best travel experience I've ever had. You'll be blown away.

Room Tip: They're all the same - you can't go wrong. Some comments aren't for the tree lodge. Ther...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank BarbaraP101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2014

Wow, What an amazing response! Thank you very much.
It is such a great honor to know you had chosen Jaci’s and that we not only met your needs, but did everything we could to make you feel comfortable and at home. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the items such as out outside shower being so close to nature, and the hide. bubble bath ! Where of a more perfect to spend your quite time but there, getting to know and see nature in another level, its an incredible spot,

We too hope that you return to Jaci’s one day, soon!

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Reviewed 21 February 2014

This review comes very late (3 months after my visit) but my memories are no less vivid. Jaci’s Tree Lodge is now firmly imprinted in my memory bank for all the right reasons.
As a solo traveller, initially I was a little apprehensive at the thought of staying in a ‘room in the trees’ all by myself. I needn’t have worried. The rooms are accessed via solid wooden walkways and torches are available after dark. My room was huge, as was the wonderfully comfortable bed, beautifully decorated in natural, earthy colours. To pick up on points in previous reviews, the safe box is exactly the same size as in all hotels! No, there is no telephone, and I admit this was a concern for me before I went. But my cell phone worked fine most of the time, so it wasn’t a problem. For emergencies there is a loud-hailer in each room, which I gather would wake up the whole camp! Oh and by the way, reference a previous reviewer’s criticism, when I saw one pretty little bug on my bed I just had to smile. Who hasn’t had a spider or a wasp in their own home? We were in the bush for heaven’s sake!
The main lodge was fabulous – huge and airy and again beautifully decorated. We ate outside most evenings. Nothing to beat relishing great food and wine under star-filled African skies. And wow, the food was amazing. Virginia and Micha, the chefs, deserve special mention! As do the rest of the staff. Warm and generous-hearted, nothing was too much trouble for them. They made me feel so welcome and so at home. What, I wonder, did a previous reviewer mean when they described them as ‘over-friendly’? Might I suggest this particular person was somewhat ‘under-friendly’!
So yes, the lodge was beautiful in every way. Gorgeous surroundings, an enchanting path leading to the small swimming pool area with decking and sun loungers in a heavenly place surrounded by trees, where you can spy shy, tiny duiker wandering through. Not to mention the hide, right next to a huge water hole, where elephant, zebra, and other game come to hang out. Wonderful to be able to continue the game-viewing experience throughout the day, even when not on the official game drives.
As for the game drives. No two drives were the same. You never know what you’re going to see at any given moment. The landscape is stunning. Red rust roads and small silver trees, long grasses and wide open spaces. I fell in love with the Leadwoods – strange, ‘skeleton’ trees that stand starkly against a backdrop of pinky-purple skies. This is a place where creatures both hidden and seen make you feel their presence and power. I had an awesome guide in Roel who always seemed to instinctively know the right places to go, and even how to avoid the rain! Coffee stops in the mornings and sundowners in the evenings. Special memories of a rhino wallowing blissfully in mud, elephants taking a mud bath, lions mating, lions sleeping, lions drinking. Rare wild dogs out on the prowl or just asleep. Zebras fighting, jackal clubs playing, a black mamba slithering through the undergrowth. Just when we thought no animals were about, a waterhole teaming with wildlife – zillions of zebra, wildebeest, red hartebeest, impala, warthog, kudu – not to mention two male lions sleeping nearby in the sun. ‘Safari’ is too small a word for such a huge experience – food for the soul, where I felt completely at one with the landscape – such a privilege! So many more memories, but these will have to do – I’ve gone on long enough! Go to Jaci’s Tree Lodge! You could not choose a better place. I can’t wait to go back!

Stayed 7 nights, solo, 2nd-9th November

Room Tip: If you're on your own, ask for one nearest to the main lodge
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank LeeuMeisie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2014

We are beyond pleased to hear that your stay here made you feel so comfortable and at home, for that is a big goal of ours. Our rangers are very hard working at keeping their knowledge up-to-date and will be pleased to hear of your positive response.
Amazing pictures to remind you of an incredible safari with the animals of Africa is a must, and we are glad to know that you got the pictures you wanted.Emergency hooter of course and wifi available for cellphone signal . Our chefs are very proud of their food and make only the best for our friends that come and stay with us.

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Reviewed 17 February 2014

Spent the valentines weekend and can only wax lyrical about the accommodation, service, food and game drives.

The food and wine were exceptional, large private well decorated rooms unbelievable comfortable and ideal for a romantic weekend, service was amazing with every possible whim catered for (including) a large bubble bath for valentines evening).
Paul the guide was fantastic and very knowledgeable.
This was our first time here but defiantly not our last.
Check out the video of the rooms. http://youtu.be/4PhBL8EzeGs

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EmmannuelM, Manager at Jaci's Tree Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2014

Thank you for your positive review – it is sincerely appreciated by all of us at Jaci’s Tree Lodge and we are happy that we could live up your valentine to that which we are most proud of – the friendly service of our staff and guide Paul Please do visit us again .
We will check the video
-
we would love to welcome you back home !!!

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Additional Information about Jaci's Tree Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Jaci's Tree Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
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 supurb African Safari with memories to be cherished.Jaci's Tree Lodge, with breathtaking raised walkways & only 8 “tree houses” eachhidden amongst the ancient riverine trees, ensures the ultimate, luxurious forest hideaway in the african bush veld.… complimented with daily game drives in expansive madikwe, conducted by knowledgable and attentive guides your wildlife sightings and memories will be unforgettable. Perfect for romantic safaris, weddings, or just to escape the urban jungle...we look forward to pampering you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jaci`s Tree Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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