We are a South African Middle Aged couple and luckily the Lodge has excellent specials for S.A. residents making it affordable for us otherwise these lodges are generally aimed at the overseas market which is tragic in many respects but based on business and profit principles, I guess one has to accept it.
The road from Abjaterskop gate to the lodge, 34 km in total, is totally and emphatically easily drivable in a standard car. I drive a luxury marque sedan and found there are only 2 or 3 areas where you need to be slightly cautious. It took us 45 minutes there, adhering to the 40km speed limit the entire time and enjoying our own private game viewing opportunity and 35 minutes when returning home.
The lodge is very remote but the signposting is good.
The lodge grounds are immaculate, and truly eco friendly in the heart of the Bush.
The welcome at the lodge was first class and the warm towel and drink was most welcome. Godfrey was efficient and made us feel like the only guests they had seen for a month. We since met Bertus and Karien the Husband and Wife general management team. They have been in the hospitality business for over 20 years and still have a tireless passion for there work.
The lodge itself is more spacious than it appears on the Internet pics. Lots of cozy chairs and areas to park off and not be bothered.
The 2 swimming pools will be wonderful in summer and the rock pool would be a great place to relax and cool off.
The chalet was totally comfortable and felt spacious even though we have stayed in many larger chalets. We had Room 1 which has an extended deck overlooking the River and on the opposite side a natural path animals take to drink in the River.
On arrival, we were soon accompanied by a family of vervet monkeys, one who was cheeky enough to steal an apple out of our room in what seemed like a spilt second.
That same evening I watched a bush baby romping in the tree tops outside our chalet and was amazed at his agility and the distance he could jump between branches. I took my own powerful spotlight which was a must do. My partner subsequently found 2 of them in our room on her return from dinner having some fun.
The lowered bath in the bathroom allowed you to view the surroundings, the monkeys at play and the tame bushbuck that grazes calmly around the property.
A real treat is the large family of relatively tame Banded mongoose that have made MRL there home. They gladly pose for photos and some of the braver ones accompany you for Brunch or dinner hoping to get some crumbs. Recently Animal Planet has made a documentary about this particular family.
The game drives were excellent. We had Werner for all 4 days, a young man who had been at MRL for over 2 years and he was very accommodating in trying to make the game drives interesting and varied. We saw everything except the elusive leopard. We tracked Lions on 4 occasions and watched the courtship routine of 2 mating pairs. It was fun walking next to the river to view the hippo at play at quite close quarters. He had advised us it was safe as the bank was too steep for the Hippo to attack us. He had a lot of information on hand about the diverse animals we saw and the flora as well and I learnt a lot even though we are relatively knowledgeable about the African wild and the Bush.
There were always drinks and tasty biltong, nuts and dried fruit on the Afternoon drive and Coffee and Rusks on the Morning drive. Even when we stopped Werner was glad to impart some information about the Trees or dung heaps in the area including factual information about a 1000 year old Leadwood tree.
The brunches were excellent with good variety and more than enough food.
The dinners were ‘nouvelle cuisine”, i.e small portions. Although it is probably not that good to have a massive dinner before retiring to bed I thought the main course on the 2nd night was extremely meager. Advertised as Lamb Chops on a bed of potatoes and accompanied by vegetables was 1 single lamb chop on a single slice of potato and fried butternut… However there is still enough food as a rule as the High tea also offer Savoury and sweet snacks. Just don’t save yourself for supper!!
The Mini Bar prices were so amazingly absurdly expensive I decided to write them down. The craziest one of all was a 250ml Bottle of wine for R70, this is about 600% profit. The Lodge bar prices are also 30-40% higher than what you would pay in a 4 or 5 star city hotel would charge. I made a comment to the General Manager but he steered clear of debating the point other than to say there prices are set by a higher authority. I have reviews on other places and in Asian resorts it is becoming a tendency for Hotels to charge reasonable Mini bar prices so as to eliminate people taking there own drinks into the room anyway.
PLEASE GUYS!!, there is no excuse or justification for these prices and believe me, even all the foreign dollar and Euro paying guests who were paying a whack just to stay there, were making negative comments.
Overall however, a great experience and certainly we are aiming at doing this again, but will make sure I take plenty of my own mini bottles of wine.
- 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:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U. and Cancelon so you can book your Three Cities Madikwe River Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Madikwe River Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve