Madikwe Safari Lodge is nestled along the hillside, with views over the plains to the Dwarsberg Mountains. Spacious and sophisticated, the suites are decorated in muted tones complimenting the surrounding landscape and each has a lounge and fireplace. Private decks and plunge pools ensure guests can soak up the ambiance of this reserve. Traditional main areas include viewing decks and warm spaces for relaxing between exciting game drives or savouring delicious meals.
There are three individually-operating lodges on the site: Lelapa (meaning ‘family’) Lodge welcomes guests of all ages, with specially-planned children’s activities and childminding. Its 12 Suites, respectful of the natural environment in their construction, epitomise contemporary African design. Each has indoor and outdoor showers, a fireplace and private plunge pool, with the four Family Suites also incorporating a second children’s bedroom.
Kopano (meaning ‘small gathering’) Lodge can be booked out on an exclusive basis and is well-suited to a get-together of friends or an older family (with children 16 years of age or more). The modern lodge, influenced by an African design aesthetic, comprises just four luxury Suites and reminds one of a traditional homestead. The Suites feature a fireplace, private plunge pool and viewing deck, while sharing a main lodge area.
Dithaba (meaning ‘mountain’) Lodge’s four Suites, on a hillside overlooking the expansive reserve, each provide a couple’s romantic retreat or, together, an exclusive home base for a friend group or family with children while on safari. (Children of all ages are welcome if a group is taking the entire lodge, otherwise it’s limited to 16 years and above.)The lodge’s design incorporating natural elements is uncomplicated, and each luxury Suite, with its own fireplace, plunge pool and deck, provides space to unwind.
Madikwe, one of the country’s top game viewing destinations and its largest private reserve, encompasses vast tracks of land, endless dirt roads and clear views over big game territory. Blazing sunsets close days coated in the greens and browns of Africa, and the sounds of the bush fall softly in your ears. Game drives head out early morning at sunrise, and late afternoon just before sunset in search of the many animal species which call this place home. No more than eight guests at a time share in a private and intensely personal safari experience in the company of their Madikwe guide. Alternatively, experience an optional walking safari and enjoy a totally different bush experience on foot, in the company of an armed field guide.
Rooms include private plunge pools, air conditioning, ceiling fans, fireplace, mosquito nets, outdoor and indoor showers, en-suite bathroom, free WiFi, TV, safe, minibar, hairdryer and toiletries. The hotel has an airstrip, helipad, spa, open top safari jeeps and highly trained field guides.
Madikwe is a family-friendly reserve in the north of the country, bordering Botswana. The terrain consists mainly of riverine woodland and low-lying plains, Tshwene-Tshwene hillock and rocky koppies, with the Groot Marico River in the east and views to the Dwarsberg Mountains in the west.
Over 8,000 animals of 27 species including the Big Five, cheetah, hyena and various antelope were introduced through the relocation scheme Operation Phoenix. The game is now well established and this reserve is probably the best for sightings of the highly endangered African wild dog. The reserve has the size required to allow the dogs their necessary roaming range. There are rewarding areas for birding, with around 350 species noted. By virtue of its proximity to the Kalahari, the reserve is endemic to animals absent in other parks: springbok, gemsbok and tsessebe populate Madikwe and the fearless Etosha lions take down super-size kills.
A typical day at the lodge would comprise a morning game drive (approx. 0530-0930 in Summer), followed by breakfast and the morning at leisure to relax or partake in other activities such as a bush walk, nature lecture, or village visit. Afternoon tea is served around 1600, after which the evening drives begin, returning round 1930 for the dinner. Guests can also partake in optional stargazing, the local rhino conservation experience and spa treatments.
Number of rooms
As well as being ideal for couples, Lelapa Lodge is very family friendly and can tailor safari timings and daily schedules to suit your children’s needs – please do not hesitate to request alterations if the usual schedule is not appropriate for you and your family. If you want to have a child-free safari, opt for either of the other two lodges which have an age limit of 16 years.
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