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“Surprisingly Good value for money”
Review of Thakadu River Camp

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Thakadu River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 August 2012

As the title says this was quite an unexpected pleasure. It was highly personalised and the staff were attentive and quite friendly. The river camp's tented style room was a unique experience for us but was very luxurious complete with heated blankets, separate full size bed for kids, and canopy bed for adults, all the amenities like hair dryer, lotions, handtowels (the softest EVER). The decor was fantastic and the terrace overlooked the jungle. Its quite safe as the room is high on stilts keeping the animals away (also it is fenced). In winters there is ample fireplace warmth while dining and there are boma dinners (outdoors around a central fireplace). They catered properly to our food needs (halal) as well as for our 3 year old son. The food was amazing.

We booked a private vehicle for an all day safari with a ranger named Patience who cut her leave short because we had specifically requested for her based on previous TripAdvisor reviews. So a big thanks to her. And it was quite worthwhile as we had an extended safari, and learnt quite a bit from her and the lunchtime picnic was quite fulfilling (in the middle of the jungle!).

Just a note, this is a community run project and thus not as commercialised as other lodges. Its also 5-star standard in my view. All the profits go to the uplift of the community participants and villages.

Reaching there is a rough drive as the roads can get quite gravely. Its easy to miss the Thakadu River Camp sign (but just remember to turn before the bridge). We went there in a rented car and a 4x4 is recommended. As the hotel if they can arrange transport if you dont drive.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank SabaSiddiqui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 July 2012

I went with friends there during school holidays and we had the time of our life.I can safely say it is the best lodge in that part of South Africa. Everything you can think of its there and they go out of their way to make sure that everyone has the time of their life.I would not mind going back there the way i had the time of my life.It was my first time seeing and being close to wild animals and it was awesome.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank marcellomj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2012

Having had to make a last minute plan due to a change in other arrangements, we were fortunate to find an opening due to a cancellation.
It is difficult to find a game farm with the Big 5 that caters for kids under 12; ours are 4 and 6 years old!
Three and a half hours from Johannesburg and we arrived at Thakadu, which seemed fairly average upon arrival, but it did strike me that the service was attentive and friendly, so it was off to a good start. Maybe being a bit of a travel snob who likes being pampered when away from home, I was very worried about our accommodation, a tent!
Well imagine my surprise when I saw this "tent"; a luxurious canvas covered structure that can certainly stand it's ground when compared to the more permanent structures. I must say the whole "camping thing" was a hit with the kids!
From here on in the service can only be described as perfect; not in your face but always aware of your needs. What impressed me most was the manner in which our kids were treated, almost like we were at a family member's house with lost of living aunts & uncles running around to make sure the kids are happy.
Game drives were always eventful and we saw a wide range and 4 out of 5 of the Big 5; pity about the Leopards being so shy. The Wild Dogs were a big hit.
Here I have to single out our game ranger, Patience, who did her name justice in all ways. She is one of the most knowledgeable rangers I have ever come across, from animal behaviour, tracking, tree & plant knowledge, bird species, navigation by stars an the list goes on and on. She also does a game drive aimed specifically at the younger visitors where they are shown some of the wonders of nature. This was quite an experience.
It is also interesting to know that Thakadu is owned by the community of Molatedi and is operated by Tourvest and what ever your take on this may be, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
We will certainly be back

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank DeonBotes63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012 via mobile

It's a nice place with outstanding service. However, food options are limited ( quality is ok ) for the amount of money you pay.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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2  Thank The_Egyptian_Couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012 via mobile

It's a nice place with outstanding service. However, food options are limited ( quality is ok ) for the amount of money you pay.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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Thank Dineandtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

Brilliant service from everyone at Thakadu! Very nice reception when you arrive. Small personal touches made all the deference! We had such a memorable anniversary. Game drives were fantastic, the massage was brilliant and the food was exceptional. Such a peaceful setting!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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1  Thank CandLR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2012

Thakadu is a tented camp and the Four Seasons is a hotel - enough said. This is 5 star and well worth the trip. The food, service, setting the moist wash clothes after game drives and tents (with A/C no less) is superb. The highlight however was our guide, which is part of the package, 2 drives each day, none less than 3.5 hours took us to see what there was to be seen, including the rarely seen Black Rhino. Better yet was our guide - "Patience", a local woman who is a highly skilled ranger and whose eyesight for the large and small was extraordinary. If one didn't know better we would have thought she had placed some creatures were they could be found later. One such instance after sunset says it all - as we moved down a dirt road Patience spotted a 3 cm long Chameleon on a branch by the side of the road, which was a follow-up only minutes before to spotting a Bush Baby on a tree at least 20 metres off the road in a tree - all this while driving and moving the spotlight around. I've been on safaris before and never have I seen a guide with such a collection of skills - be warned that if you get into a discussion about birds or stars you better know them well as Patience or you might get ashamed. Be forewarned that the drive in is a dirt road that last 20+ kilometers, but you can drive 60-80 kph on that road without issues.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thakadu River Camp

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £377 - £468 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Thakadu River Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Thakadu River Camp Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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