Madikwe Safari Lodge
Three stylish lodges to suit every traveller's taste
Madikwe Safari Lodge
The three lodges of Madikwe Safari Lodge sit in South Africa's north-western region amidst a diverse habitat of Kalahari thornvelt, native woodland and open savannah. As the name suggests, they are located within the eponymous Madikwe Private Game Reserve, easily accessed from Johannesburg by an hour's flight or a four-hour drive if you're feeling adventurous. Each lodge offers an exceptional standard of hospitality and all are tailored to suit different tastes and safari-styles. The largest of the collection, Lelapa Lodge, specialises in family accommodation, but couples are also welcome. A little more luxurious and with highly personalised service, Dithaba Lodge is ideal for a large group or family, and then there's Kopano Lodge, an intimate space that's specially designed for couples or small groups and has just four chalets.
At the lodge
The main areas of each of Madikwe's lodges all have an attractive rustic-yet-modern design and are intimate, understated and chic. The central lounges have built-in sofas strewn with pillows, and large wood-burning fireplaces are carved into the walls. Each also makes clever use of stone and wood and foldaway windows or accordion glass doors maximise the views. Meals are often served outside outside on large, shady wrap-around decks that gaze across the tree-line or onto a flood-lit waterhole.
The main distinction between the lodges are the number of guests that can be accommodated in each. Lelapa has 12 rooms in total including four family suites, equipped with a second bedroom, furnished with bunkbeds, and stocked with games. Dithaba has 4 large suites, sleeping just 8 guests and you can expect spacious lounges and wood-burning stoves in each. Kopano has 4 chalets with curved glass windows and double doors leading onto a deck perched above the canopy. But whichever lodge you choose, expect chic, understated rooms, comfy mattresses, big bathrooms and private plunge pools.
Knowledgeable guides conduct activities twice a day and all of them have an intimate understanding of this special ecosystem. The highlight of Madikwe is the chance to see the Big Five (and the not-to-be-overlooked wild dogs, cheetah and hyena) but the beauty of the reserve is its multi-faceted safari experience and you shouldn't miss out on experiences like bush walks or birdwatching. At Lelapa, guides are great at engaging the little ones with kid-friendly drives and activities that incorporate different games revealing the fun of nature and the nature of fun.