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“Forget the Kruger National Park, go here instead.”

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Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Forget the Kruger National Park, go here instead.”
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Firstly I'd like to thank the GM Hannes, Hostess Missy Kruger and all the staff a Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge for their amazing hospitality, attention to detail & going the extra mile to make the stay of 2 city slickers as comfortable as possible.

The experience surpassed my expectations, a truly world class game lodge and a once in a life time experience especially after seeing all big five (including four stunning cheetahs).

Accommodation: 10
Food: 10
Service: 10
Wildlife: 10
Overall Experience: 10

WILL I VISIT AGAIN? ABSOLUTELY!

ACCOMMODATION:
The accommodation and setting was nothing less than Meryl Streep’s' Out of Africa gone 5 star, not only is it private, clean and smell like nature the layout of the rooms afford those who don't travel light, enough space to not feel cluster phobic. The thatched roof makes it warm in winter and cool in summer; the sleep was comfortable to say the least and it was a real pleasure not seeing a TV in the room.

RANGER & TRACKER:
A special thank you to Greg Toplis and Lebo Tombo, without whom our game drives and wild experience would not have been as exciting or informative. Not only do these 2 bushwhackers work well together but their knowledge of both the environment and wildlife is nothing short of remarkable. I've yet to meet anyone as enthusiastic or hospitable as Greg or someone with eyes truly like a hawk as Lebo’s.

So if you're visiting the lodge make sure you ask for them by name.

FOOD:
This is what surprised me the most, not only was the chef innovative in conceptualising the menu the presentation was what you would expect from a restaurant outside the Arc de Triomphe (only slightly better) and the staffs’ attention to detail and execution of service was exceptional.

A mention must go to David, Lolo and especially Refilwe for all the effort and amazing dining experience.

PS: Try the spa treatment you won’t regret it.

Thanks Madikwe Hills PGL, see you soon!

Anton & Deon

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Anton M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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414 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

We stayed at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge in early April 2014 and found that it met all of our needs admirably.

As it was a special occasion we booked the honeymoon suite which was nice and roomy with a wonderful outside bath and shower that had a once in a lifetime view. The room had a lounge area, bed with mosquito net for the night, a large bathroom and smallish outside area with seats and a plunge pool. The plunge pool only had the sun for a limited part of the day so was a little cold, the bathroom fittings were a little dated - but perfectly serviceable.

Not being on honeymoon on reflection even with the outside bath and all the seclusion that the honeymoon suite offered we think that we would have opted for the rooms at the front of the lodge which would have we think had a better view to sit and watch during the times between the game viewing, they would have been lighter (the honeymoon suite had no real view other than from the bath (!!) and was little dark during the day for us. Of course if you were on honeymoon then the quiet environment may have been more suited to you and your wish (need ;-)) for privacy!

It did not bother us but the rooms have no TV, music facilities or WIFI. The WIFI in the bar area was very slow and almost not worth the frustrating download wait.

The lodge staff were professional and friendly throughout, sitting with you in the evenings which gave a homely feel. You could sit in groups or on tables for two if you asked which was no problem. Our package included local drinks, all local wines and beers so we had nothing to pay for come the end of our stay.

The food we thought was on the whole good with a starter, main course and dessert. You had to choose the main course (there was generally three or four choices) before your evening game drive and the rest of the evening meal was a set menu. It was fine but perhaps a little unadventurous/ambitious.

Transfers from Johannesburg took around 45 minutes by Fed Air plane which was efficiently dealt with. We waited a couple of hours for ours, the lounge was basic but not unpleasant with WIFI, cold drinks and snacks on offer should you wish.

The main attraction, the reason for the visit, was of course the trips out to see the game. Our ranger was Dwayne and our tracker was Samuel. Without doubt these guys made our trip. They were superb in every way. Samuel has super human eyes that can spot animals from a distance that I still struggle to comprehend. Dwayne with 15 years or more experience still seemed genuinely thrilled to see animals and birds that he must have seen many times before.

Dwayne also had a passion for what he did with an expert knowledge of the environment and all that was around. He went out of his way to make sure we viewed all that we could and that our drives exceeded our expectations with new experiences every single day.

Our gratitude once again to all the team at the lodge - but especially to Dwayne and Samuel for your expertise, your patience, your kindness and supreme professionalism. Thanks to you we have pictures and memories that have touched our hearts and our minds - and that will last a lifetime.

Room Tip: Honeymoon suite a little dark - maybe go for rooms 1 or 2 as they have better views
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank planetwalking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We have just returned from a 2 week holiday where we stayed at madikwe for 4nights, cape town 4 nights and mauritius 6 nights. The best part of our journey was staying at madikwe. I dont know where to start. We were greeted by Hannes, luna and missy with a welcome drink and cold refreshing flannels, which was a nice touch. Shown to our room had quick shower before high tea and our afternoon drive. The lodges were amazing and very spacious, we had room 7 with wonderful views and a beautiful big bathroom with outside shower. The food was fabulous, thank you to Andrew, gert and emmah who prepared and cooked such tasty dishes. We would like to thank catherine our housekeeper, all the staff that waited on us (so many to mention), and the gentleman who showed us to our room in an evening. everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly. A massive big thank you to our ranger Nicholas and Tracker Max, you guys were the best, always prompt to set off on time to the drives, very enthusiastic about your job, very knowlegable, and always willing to cater for us and ensured we got to see the magnificant 7, we really did enjoy spending time with you both and loved the morning coffee with amarula and muffins watching the sunrise and our evening drinks with nibbles watching the sun go down out in the bush. We cant thankyou enough. There was only one problem, we had to leave. I would definately recommend staying at madikwe. Thank you to Hannes, Neil, Nicholas, Max and the rest of the team for the best holiday ever. P.s I did leave with a tear in my eye, it felt like we were leaving our family. Take care. Vanessa and andy (kenneth)

  • Stayed April 2014
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Helpful?
1 Thank vanouveous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Madikwe hills is a beautiful lodge in a wonderful location but it surpassed by the service of everyone that works there. We were blown away by the attention and service from Hannes and the team. They went above and beyond to ensure we had a very special tour. Greg and Lebo were brilliant on the game drives and we had a wonderful few days both in the bush and at the lodge.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DJWHanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HannesMadikweHills, General Manager at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Dear DJWHanna,

Thank you very much for your kind review. It was such a pleasure to have you here on the special occasion!

Hopefully next time the clouds will stay away so that you can experience the majestic sunset!

Regards,

Hannes and the Madikwe Hills Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tasmania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2014 via mobile

We spent 3 nights at madikwe hills private game lodge and we were very impressed with everything about it! The accommodation, the meals, the staff and the game drives all exceeded our expectations!

We would love to recommend Dwayne and Samuel as the ranger and tracker to everyone! They were the best we have ever had, giving us the most memorable experience!

We are now planning our next trip and madikwe is on top of the list! If you want a great African experience, don't look any further!

Once again thank you to all the staff for making our trip a great experience!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TasmaniaScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HannesMadikweHills, Manager at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge, responded to this review, 13 April 2014
Dear TasmaniaScott,

Thank you very much for your lovely review! We are looking forward to your next visit!
Watch out for those noisy Tasmanian Devils!

Bush Greetings,

Hannes and the Madikwe Hills Family
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2014

My husband and I wanted to do something special for our anniversary and my birthday a couple of days later and as we have been to Madikwe Game Reserve before it was no difficult decision to go back there to celebrate our special day. Madikwe Hills was recommended by other guests on a previous occasion and we were lucky enough to find availability during the time we wanted to go. We were not disappointed at all. From the moment we have arrived everybody went out of their way to make our stay special. We loved everything, the food was exceptional and even though we ate way too much, the portions were just right, from the pan-fried yellowtail, cranberry panacotta, chargrilled gemsbok, eland sosaties on our game drive, impala steak, apple crumble, cranberry ciabatta, omelette with chorizo to the amarula with coffee during our morning drives. Gert, Andrew and Emmah definitely know what they're doing in the kitchen. Our room was huge with the most beautiful bathroom with outdoor shower and our own plunge pool. The bed was a bit too firm for me but it definitely would not keep me from going back. On our second night we informed the staff that we would prefer to have dinner at our room but during the afternoon drive we changed our minds as we had so much fun with our ranger Greg and the other guests. Although they have already set up everything beautifully outside on the patio with candles and the works, it was no problem at all. We even had another surprise waiting for us - the best bubble bath with rose petals and candles all over. This is not where it stopped, after dinner and desert, the staff came out and sang Happy Birthday to me with specially made cupcakes, truffles and fudge. It was really special. The game viewing in Madikwe is spectacular, apart from all the general game we saw a cheetah, lots of elephants, rhinos, one with a tiny, very curious baby rhino, lions - with three cubs playing, feeding on a blue wildebeest, 2 lions mating, wild dog, spotted and brown hyena, and lots of birds. Greg and Jerry knew just where to take us on each game drive. I can definitely recommend Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge and would like to thank Hannes, Neil, Ezelle, Greg, Jerry, Lebo, Catherine, Frans and all the rest of the staff for an amazing experience, we would have loved to be able to stay longer, maybe another time.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 8 as we booked last minute and did not have a view of a waterhole but it did not b...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wirnessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HannesMadikweHills, Manager at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear "Wirnessa"

Thank you so much for your detailed review! You either have a fantastic memory or you must have taken all the menus home in order to remember all the lovely dishes you enjoyed so muchl!

It is a pity that I wasnt here during most of your stay as I had to go to Johannesburg - great to hear that you had such a wonderful time here.

Next time we will put a comforter on the bed for you to make it softer - our mattresses are quite hard - good for the back!

Bush Greetings,

Hannes and the Madikwe Hills Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 April 2014

I had never been on Safari before and coming to Madikwe was everything I hoped for and more. Our accommodation at Madikwe Hills was fabulous, and the staff were so kind and many of them went the extra mile to make us feel special. the food was great and plentiful. We were lucky to come after the rainy week so our weather was perfect. Our Ranger Darrell and Tracker Samuel were very informative and made our outings exciting - We didn't get to see all the Big 5 but what we did see was amazing. Female lion and her 3 cubs playing (twice), elephants bathing together, and we had an exciting chase - Wild dogs after Impala. The leopards eluded us but that's okay - I'm positive there will be a next time!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ani512014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HannesMadikweHills, Manager at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear Ani512014,

You were indeed lucky with the weather! We had an unusual amount of rain during this year. Now it seems like winter is pouncing on us! Soon the hot water bottles and hand warmers will come out for game drive!

We are looking forward to showing you those elusive rosetted cats next time!

Regards,

Hannes and the Madikwe Hills Family
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Additional Information about Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge

Property: Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge
Address: Madikwe Game Reserve | North West, Madikwe Game Reserve 2865, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traversing over 75 000 hectares, Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge is situated on a hill, in the heart of the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. Ingeniously set amongst boulders and age-old Tamboti trees, the lodge offers visitors the utmost in luxury and hospitality, where you will find yourself enchanted by a world of intrigue and majestic beauty. Madikwe Game Reserve stretches all the way up to the Botswana border and is one the largest and most popular game reserves in South Africa. Once farm land, the Reserve has now been restored to its former natural environment with 86 mammals (from mice to elephant), 420 bird species (110 being rare) and 104 tree species. Predominantly grasslands and bushveld, intermingled with lone mountains and rocky outcrops, the Reserve is home to cheetahs, wild dogs, leopards, hyenas, lion, elephant, black & white rhino, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and various antelope. • Two 3-hour game drives a day (morning and afternoon) • 'Big 5' game viewing in state-of-the-art game-viewers • Tea, filter coffee and biscuits on morning game drive • Drinks and canapes on afternoon game drive • Bush breakfasts and dinners on request for larger groups MAIN CAMP • 10 Secluded glass fronted suites (±150m2) • Uninterrupted views of the African bush • Private deck with plunge pool • Air-conditioning • Fans • Fireplaces • Fully stocked mini-bar • Indoor and outdoor showers • Mosquito nets • Private lounge Little Madikwe (Family Friendly Camp) Little Madikwe comprises of a 2 Bedroomed Suite (±390m2). An additional 2 Luxury Suites (±150m2) can be reserved to form a completely private camp accommodating up to 8 guests. • Private deck and swimming pool • Air-conditioning and fans • Fireplaces • Fully stocked mini-bar • Indoor and outdoor showers • Mosquito nets • Private lounge, verandah and dining room • Private kitchen with personal chef - set your own meal time • Private game drive vehicle and game ranger - set your own game drive time • Personal butler/child minder • Entertainment centre • Satellite television and DVD collection • Various CD's and children's games • Small library FACILITIES IN MAIN LODGE • Lounge • Dining Room • Bar • Wine Cellar • Local wines • Terraced viewing deck with umbrellas overlooking waterhole • Swimming Pool • Library - stocked with a comprehensive selection of books • Internet Facilities - desktop with wireless internet connection available 24 hours • Satellite Television at the main building in the Lounge • Traditional Boma • Curio Shop Well stocked with books, clothing, safari gear, handmade knives, shoes, bags, jewellery, postcards and local arts & crafts. WELLNESS Set the mind at ease and embrace the energy of the bush. Experience Spafaris with soul of Africa. From our enchanting world, secrets are revived and re-created to bring you, for the first time, a unique spa concept based on a fusion o f ancient healing tradition, philosophies and rituals from Africa. To reconnect to nature, to realise, to recover and to relax... In holistic therapy, our body "energy" is the universal life force that governs personal wellbeing and vitality. The signature treatments are concentrates on establishing and maintaining a balance between our body energies. The new range Wisdom of Africa blended indigenous botanical ingredients from all over the continent of Africa, that natures mind, body and spirit. They give us an idea of African healing traditions and a chance to re-awaken, to touch the inner self again. Fully Equipped Gym The fully quipped gym at Madikwe Hills, with treadmill, spinning bike, rowing machine, fitness flyer, weights and bench, dumbbells and barbells and aerobic mats, allows guests to keep up with their fitness regime, or a place to release the guilt built up after indulging in mouth-watering delights. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Madikwe Hills Private Game Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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