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“Very nice reserve, but no value for money”

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Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Milano
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Very nice reserve, but no value for money”
Reviewed 26 January 2013

First day attention and food was very good. We were very disappointed on the second day. We were the only guests in the lodge and it seems that no one was left in charge. Food was low quality (it had been cooked hours ago, before it was served to us, and for instance the started that was supposed to be a hot plate has served cold from the fridge). We talked to the manager the other day, but nobody gave any explanation to what had happened.
It is a pity, because the place is very nice, but our overall experience could have been much better.
If you drive there, make sure you get very good directions because it is not very easy to find the reserve, and it is a very long drive. Would advice to take a private transfer instead.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ZAP9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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English first
Almere-Haven, Flevoland, Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

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!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Prauw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

We stayed here for 3 days and attended five game drives..saw a lot on the first one itself and was wondering what we will really see more on the other ones. but each drive was unique with a highlight of its own (including a live kill by the lions). Our ranger Jerry was very good and his confidence made us feel safe in the wild. The lodge itself is also quite nice and the staff is very hospitable. The chef tried his best to take care of our vegetarian dietary requirements

Room Tip: We heard that room 17 is best located, though we could not get that room
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AshishKhandelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 December 2012 via mobile

The people at the lodge were very kind! Especially the guy who took us on the game drive! There is one game drive at 5:00am in the morning and another on at 4:30 in the afternoon the are 3 hours each! I think they should give you less meals at lodge! But other then that my stay was excellent!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Champpuu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2012 via mobile

We are from Australia and this place was awesome. The lodge is luxury. The staff are friendly and very helpful. The safari driver was the best, really knowledgeable and made the experience even better. We were lucky enough to see the BIG 5. Would love to go back someday.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Beukes_27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thanks for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Krefeld, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2012

In Sept. 2012, i.e. in early spring, we spent three days at Madikwe River Lodge. We were lucky to get bungalow #17, which is the last one towards the "drift" (river crossing). From our patio we had the most amazing wildlife sightings, including elephants, rhinos, baboons, all sorts of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, all of which came very close. The bungalow itself was clean, well decorated, with a nice bathroom with a wide window towards the river. The shower was outdoor only. The game drives with Jerry, the ranger, were a great experience: we saw the big five, including the very shy leopard just 5 yards away, African wild dog (very rare) and hippos, zebras, giraffes, impala, wildebest, etc. etc. etc.. But Jerry also showed us the diverse birdlife in Madikwe, ranging from ostriches to eagles, hornbills and owls, plus many more.
The only minus was the mediocre kitchen - the food was ok, but not great. But actually that did not matter. Ideal stay is three days, gives you enough time to see the wildlife. Afterwards it could get repetitive.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kuno W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmedabad, India
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2012

We stayed for 2 nights in September and it was really awesome...The lodge on excellent location and all the chalets are right on the river...Rooms were spacious with adequate space and a big deck just outside the room on the river...you can enjoy a lot of game while just sitting on your deck..Our guide for all the game drives was good ...we managed to see a lot of animals like elephants ,giraffe,lions,wild dogs,white rhinos ,kudus impalas etc and the ever elusive leopard...We saw a lot of wild dogs right from our room deck which was the highlight...the food was very good they specially arranged and made veg meals for us..which was very kind of them specially the chef...we couldnt keep thanking him...had a lot of fun and a great place for staying...amazing rom service and very helpful people...go for the room no 17 which is the last and the best for viewing we stayed there...

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aniruddh799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nick V, Internal Marketing Liaison Officer at Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge, responded to this review, 9 April 2016
Thank you for the positive feedback, we apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge

Property: Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge
Address: | P.O. Box 17, Madikwe Game Reserve 2876, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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 
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Also Known As:
Madikwe River Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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