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“Beyond our wildest dreams ... the safari & the lodge”

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Madikwe Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Beyond our wildest dreams ... the safari & the lodge”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

My wife and I along with our 12 year old granddaughter cannot stop raving about our amazing experience at the Madikwe Safari Lodge ... the entire staff, the other guests, the 5-star food & beverages, the luxurious accommodations, the twice daily safari drives with our unbelievably knowledgeable and experienced (and funny) tracker/guide Billy. Our valet Isaac was wonderfully and sincerely attentive to our every need ... without being intrusive.

We got to see all of the Big 5 ... several times each. Our photo ops were unending. We were paired with a couple from Bonn, Germany and their delightful 11 year old daughter ... each of whom was fluent in English and tolerated my German (as a second language). Lisa (their daughter) and Gabby (our granddaughter) got to bake cookies together one afternoon ... and 'the girls' were our backup safari guides, taking photos and poring through the 'Safari auf Deutsch' book that showed all the English and German names for the wildlife we encountered. We missed nothing!

My personal favorite, aside from all of the Big 5, were the beautiful and intelligent Geldschnabel (Gold Beaked) Toucans, hovering around the main lodges open dining area ... helping themselves to a grape or two from time to time ... and ever-present on the safari drives. By the end of our stay, the words 'Geldschnabel Toucan' were rolling off our tongues with ease ... and accompanying laughter.

Frankly, there was not a single flaw, mishap or negative incident throughout our entire 4-day stay.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank TravelFoodWineGolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We (my daughter & myself) recently spent a magical 3 nights at Lelapa lodge
I can honestly highly recommend this lodge - the team were awesome and made us feel special all the time - especially my little girl who was treated like a princess!
The rooms are lovely with private plunge pools and endless views of the bush
The food was fantastic- staff friendly and accommodating
Game drives were our highlight and viewing surpassed my expectations. Billy our ranger was knowledgable, friendly and really great with my daughter.
Loads on offer to keep kids busy - although we didn't have time as we were out on drives or relaxing
Well worth a visit - I wish we'd stayed an extra night!

Room Tip: Wifi not in the rooms but in the main area
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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Thank Peta_Dixon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
263 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

My family & I spent a great long weekend at Kopano Lodge which is very small and private. The suites are large and bright with a fantastic deck and private plunge pool which we unfortunately did not get to enjoy as the weather was very cold, but we really enjoyed the fireplace in the suite which was lit in the evening when we were at dinner. The staff, especially the housekeepers were brilliant - leaving messages on the chalk board every evening and seeing to everything from a choice of different pillows when my daughter found hers uncomfortable to running a stunning bubble bath for us one evening together with rose petals and candles! The food was outstanding and the dinner in the boma one evening was really special. The game was plentiful and I was particularly excited to see wild dog. A great touch were the blankets and hot water bottles on the early morning game drive which were such a great idea as it was really cold. I would definitely recommend Madikwe game reserve as a malaria free option when looking for game lodges.

Room Tip: The suites are quite far apart and the walk from the main area to the last suite is a bit of a dista...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank lulu008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

The Madikwe Game Reserve is West of Pretoria, bordering the Botswana / South Africa border. AS far as game reserves go this is still fairly new (20 years) however, it provides a wonderful game experience plus the accommodation is superb.

I flew in directly from the Sabi Sands Game Reserve on a new service provided by Unique Air and my ranger met me at the airstrip. The air strip is only 10 minutes away from the lodge.

The lodge (Lelapa) is made out of flat stone and has a sense of class & style without being ostentatious. The public areas comprise of a loving decking area overlooking the bush where lunch and dinners are sometimes serviced, a nice bar/lounge area with a large open fire place, a boma, an indoor dining area and a gathering lounge area. All the furnishing seamlessly blend in.

The rooms are a slight walk away from the main area which is good as they are private. From your room and your private deck with plunge pool you can't see the other rooms. The comfortable king bed, lounge, open fireplace making it a wonderful place to relax and enjoy. So it doesn't matter if you go in winter (Jun-Sept) or in Summer (Nov-Mar) you you can enjoy it.

The bathroom is large with separate shower and a stand alone bath, but the best is the out door shower. Showering under the night sky is a wonderful experience.

The staff were the best. Clive the sommelier, was very passionate about his wine (and his bubbly) and the game rangers (Andre and Joe) had similar passion for showcasing the bush to guests. I saw wild dog on the hunt which was amazing.

The property is well suited to couples and is an ideal getaway. However, the property does have another property called Kopona which comprises of only 4 suites so great for families or those travelling with friends. If you take the whole Kopona you have your own chef and game ranger.

I have been luck to stay and quite a few game lodges and this one I can highly recommend.

Room Tip: You can either road transfer to Madikwe from Johannesburg (about 4-5 hours) or you can fly in. Unles...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank kudurider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014

My husband and I flew into Madikwe with the FedAir shuttle flight from Johannesburg. It was amazing to see giraffes along the runway as our small plane landed. Our ranger Michael W. aka "Michael Jackson" was waiting and drove us straight to the lodge from there. We stayed at the Dithaba Lodge, and were happy that the pictures online perfectly matched what we saw. One thing we didn't know initially was that on the first night we were the only guests at our lodge. We were able to have a perfectly intimate dinner setting (think the Bachelor minus the fake drama), and the food was amazing. Just fyi, they will feed you well, and feed you often. Take advantage of the gym in a bag you get in your room so you don't gain a few during your stay. The Dithaba lodge is more private with only 4 rooms. It's an intimate setting, fireplaces in the room, bubble baths, cute chalkboards you can leave notes for your housekeeper. We felt very well taken care of with luxury in the wild.

Now for the Safari, we had an exceptional viewing, even our guide Michael was thrilled with how much we got to see in 5 days. Some of the highlights were: a leopard with an impala (antelope) 30 feet up a tree in the middle of the day, all of the Big 5, 4 cheetah brothers hunting at sunset, two separate packs of wild dogs, tons of elephants / zebras / giraffes, and the star being a female lion feeding her 6 baby cubs a giraffe that she took down herself!

A couple things to note that we liked about Madikwe compared to other places like Kruger. There are no self driving tourists, leave that to experienced guides. The guides are able to drive off road with ok of the ecologist. It's not a drive through zoo. You can go quite some time without seeing any people. We had lions walk through our lodge the first night we were there, so do abide by the rules and stay in your lodge at night when you're not with a guide. The closest town is some drive away, so at night from the viewing platform you can see an amazing array of stars like nothing else. The guides actually ask you and do whatever they can to have you see what you want while you're there, within reason of course.

This was a once in a lifetime amazing experience for us. We would highly recommend this lodge for anyone who wants to go to a safari in South Africa.

Room Tip: Dithaba lodge is further up the hill. You can walk to the other Kopono and Lelapa during the day...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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2 Thank TracyR013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2014

Wish we could've stayed for longer! Our family absolutely loved Madikwe Safari Lodge. What an experience and adventure. The staff could not do enough for us. and the kids were always entertained. Our ranger, Michael, was fantastic, and had such interesting facts and stories to tell about the animals. The rooms were also lovely. Already planning our next trip!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lawson4312578
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

What a perfect end to our South African holiday. We had such a great time at the Lodge. The food and presentation was wonderful. The staff were very attentive. Elaine was always checking up on us and other guests. The sommelier introduced us to some great wines, I have a better appreciation for South African wines. Keba and Ruth would took great care of us and the kids. I really appreciate the kid's program that they have, it helped past the time and keep the kids occupied. The girls enjoyed making cookies and servicing at tea to the other guest. Our ranger, Billy was also wonderful with a great sense of humor as well as knowledge of the animals. My daughter commented she would come back because he is 'so funny'. The next time I plan another trip to South Africa I would have no hesitation on choosing Madikwe Safari Lodge.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RGK23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Madikwe Safari Lodge

Property: Madikwe Safari Lodge
Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Madikwe Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The rich red timbres of the African earth are reflected in the warm tones of Madikwe Safari Lodge. Cradled between rolling hills, overlooking game-filled plains intersected by the Marico River and framed by the Dwarsberg Hills, just 20 suites are clustered in three intimate camps. With circular fireplaces at the heart of every suite, and big glass doors to blur the boundary between inside and out, Madikwe embodies the warm, bold heart of this spectacularly rugged corner of Africa. Spacious wooden decks embrace inviting plunge pools, and book-filled shelves in quiet corners entice and captivate, while large pizza ovens add a fun twist to meal times. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Madikwe Safari Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve

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