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“Two nights in January”
Review of Thakadu River Camp

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Thakadu River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Thakadu is much closer to the main centres (Johannesburg and Pretoria) than the other well-known lodges in Madikwe as it is on the South East corner of the reserve. We spent two full days at the lodge and went on 3 game drives and saw a great variety of animals- elephant, lion, wild dog, rhino, brown hyena, zebra, giraffe.......... and many birds.
Our ranger, Patience, was very knowledgable and could not do enough to help make this a memorable stay.
The food was great and the portions not over-the-top. The service throughout the lodge was courteous, efficient and smiling.The tented accommodation gave a feeling of being very close to nature (soothing bird and animal sounds at night) and cool at night in the middle of summer so we did not have to resort to using the airconditioning.
An important plus was, because the camp was well protected by an inconspicuous electric fence we were free to walk between the main lodge and the tents at night and were not required to be escorted by a ranger- although this was provided for guests if needed.
The game vehicles were relatively new, well maintained and comfortable. unfortunately we had two flat wheels (with only one spare) on a game drive but managed to borrow a spare from a passing Toyota.
A few minor negatives- there is a charge for WiFi connection where the norm these days is for it to be free specially for people who merely want to pick up their e-mails. The access road was not great- luckily we had an SUV.
We look forward to a return holiday at Thakadu

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Pikap39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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252 - 258 of 360 reviews

Reviewed 29 December 2012

Thakadu River Camp delivers a one-of-a-kind world-class experience. In my opinion, a place this special should not be so easy to get to.

When you arrive at the lodge, you are greeted with warm washcloths. Everything is correctly and beautifully done. Management and staff have many reasons to be very proud - Especially since proceeds go into the nearby community that owns this property.

Let's start with the most important thing, the game drives. We saw four of the big five. We were only missing the leopard, but came very close. We saw such an abundant collection of wild animals on all of our game drives. My 10-year-old and 14-year-old boys had a wonderful time.

These are the most luxurious tents. They have hot and cold running water, telephones, even air-conditioning. The cabins feature a private porch, a gracious foldout sofa, and the centerpiece is a massive bed. Despite being a bit jetlagged, we slept incredibly well.

Each meal was lovingly prepared and beautifully presented. The lodge has many beautiful places inside and out. The bar, the pool, and huge fireplaces are very comforting after long game drives. Thakadu River Camp exceeded our expectations in every way.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank George H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2012

We had a very unpleasant experience at Thakadu. We ruined the under carriage of our car on the dirt road getting there. it is DEFINITELY a route only for a 4 wheel drive, despite what they say. Also, children are not allowed on game drives. And they did not forewarn us. I would certainly never return.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Dora W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2012

Had a wonderful 3 night stay at Thakadu in September. Excellent game viewing (big 4 of the 5 spotted - we never managed to find a leopard but it wasn't for lack of our game ranger trying). The tent is spacious and a lot larger than i'd expected, comfortable and I particularly enjoyed the balcony, felt like you were alone in the bush. Views out onto the river a dream as we watched a herd of Elephant pass by. The food was very good but more importantly the staff excellent. Nothing was too much trouble and this always makes the difference. My only two complaints would be, 1) lack of ice on arrival (there's no fridge in the tent which is not a problem, but water and ice bucket would be a nice touch), and 2) more importantly the road in. You really need a 4x4 as the road was very bad, worse than we expected and not recommended for low profile vehicles.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Janettej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2012

One word: amazing! Only 11 tents so it's all very personal and intimate. And when I say tents, I mean really nice, well decorated tents with a king size bed and a nice bathroom. The great thing about sleeping in a tent is the sounds of the bush at night and in the morning. The food is excellent and the staff is very friendly.

The game drives are the best we've experienced so far. It's a private reserve so the ranger can go wherever he wants, including off-road, which he did a few times to end up face to face with lions, elephants, buffalo's and cheetahs. Lucky, our ranger, was very knowlegdable and always trying to find the best game sightings for us. The afternoon drinks on the savanna with the magnificant colors and sunsets will for always be in my memories.

Room Tip: From room 7 to 11 it is quite a walk (8 min).
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank con_wen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2012

From the moment we arrived, we felt like we were at home! The personal touches and attention by all the staff members was amazing. We were the only guests for our first night stay and were very spoiled! When new guests arrived, everything was just as good.

We decided on Thakadu as it is a fabulous initiative - a community run lodge. And this definitely shows - the staff are proud of what they have, and work very hard to maintain their excellent reputation!

We celebrated our 2 year anniversary and they made such a great evening of it for us. We were surprised with a huge bubble bath, Champagne, indigenous leaves and seed pods (keeping with the bush theme) and candles everywhere - pure magic. This was followed by a delicious 5* Boma Braai.

Game drives were great, but our guide (Tshepiso) was the cherry on top! He ensured we had the best drives possible - sightings, stories & fun drinks stops.

The food was impeccable. The lodge is in a great location and has an amazing view of the Marico River (lots of animals around). The rooms were well decorated, spacious and very comfortable.

There is no request too big or too small for the friendly staff of Thakadu River Camp. If you are considering to go to Madikwe Game Reserve, this is the lodge to go to!

Room Tip: There is quite a distance to walk to the higher numbered rooms - but well worth the walk!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JeneceAfrishots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2012

This was my first experience of the bush and what an amazing experience, when we arrived we were met with wet facecloths and a refreshing drink and then we were shown to our tents, they were spotless and very comfortable.

The 2 game drive were fantastic and the evening we spent there around the campfire was also to the highest standards including some wonderful singing by the the very hospitable staff.

Well worth every penny and I will definitely return

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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Thank jhdub
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 #13 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £315 - £416 (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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