Me and my dad stayed at the Madikwe River Lodge for 2 nights, after driving over from Johannesburg via the longer route with good roads (Joburg-Rustenburg-Zeerust-Abjaterkop gate). The drive was 390km and took us 4,5 hours.
The bonus of this route is that you enter the game reserve in the west and still have to drive about 33km through the reserve to get to the lodge, so it's basically another game drive!
It's gravel but we managed without any problems in our dinky Kia Picanto rental car.
1 WARNING: There are a few very nasty large pits in the road where you least expext them: the short parts that are asphalted! We were driving too fast, didn't notice and got launched of our seats.
The logde was easy to find and we were welcomed with drinks by the very friendly staff. Check in was efficient and the lodge has a very homely feeling, not posh. The location next to the river is great. You can watch the masked weaver birds build their nests over the river all day.
We got cabin number 17, at the far end of the lodge, which has the absolute best view over the river flowing out into the reserve. We saw lots of birds, baboons and even an elephant passing by from our deck.
Our cabin was very nice: Split level, spacey, nicely decorated and a bathroom with bath next to the window and outside shower, wonderful!
The staff was super friendly and we enjoyed great meals. 1 dinner was served outside across the river around at large camp fire with the staff singing and dancing.
Also be sure to check out the wonderful massages by a professional therapist. Very reasonably priced and very good!
We got 4 game drives during our stay:
1 in the morning at 5AM, after a quick cup of coffee/tea and some yoghurt.
1 in the afternoon at 4:30PM after the high tea was served at 4PM.
I thought both game drives would last 3 hours, but we got back closer to 4 hours each time!
The game drives where truly awesome. Ranger Benson was very knowledgable and told us a lot of interesting facts. We saw so much wildlife within a few feet of our jeep: A herd of +60 elephants with lots of little ones, a pride of lions playing in the afternoon sun, giraffes right next to the road, a solitary African Buffalo taking a mud bath, a whole pack of African wild dogs, White Rhinos, cameleons that walked over my hands, birds in every color, a crocodile, tons of Gnoe, Impala, Springbok and Zebra...it's hard to know where to look!
Benson also took us to see the reserves 4 new Cheeta's in their temporarily enclosure. they'll be released into the reserve at the end of this month to join the 2 Cheeta's already out there. Magnificent animals to see.
The only thing we couldn't find on our short stay here where the elusive leopards, but benson sure tried!
Would love to come back for another stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Madikwe River Lodge is positioned in the heart of Madikwe Game Reserve and offers attractive comfort in sixteen split level suites with an outdoor dining boma located on a central Island,accessed by a wooden bridge,this luxurious Lodge invites guests to enjoy the sights & sounds in mother Africa's land of brilliance. Surrounded by 75 000 hectares of malaria-free African sand veld.Each suites is individually decorated to create a rich African feel,and offers en-suites bathroom with a full range of guests amenities as well as a private wooden viewing deck overlooking the river. Madikwe Game Reserve, is world of breathtaking scenery and endless African bush. At Madikwe River Lodge the guided game drivers and trails are thrilling to be a part of with Africa offering you and incomparable experience in the wild. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Madikwe River Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve