Rhulani Safari Lodge

Feel the bliss on the edge of the thirsty Kalahari

Rhulani Safari Lodge

Madikwe, the fifth-largest game reserve in South Africa, abuts the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. This malaria-free reserve is home to the Big Five, threatened wild dogs and birdlife aplenty. In its western sector is Rhulani Safari Lodge, a secluded and luxurious retreat that invites you to do as its name suggests (Rhulani means "relax"). The lodge offers all you'd expect from a place of this calibre, including productive game drives led by guides who seem able to intuit the behaviour of the wildlife. Expect photographic opportunities around every corner, much laughter, wickedly good food and luxurious accommodation.

At the lodge

The hotel

This award-winning lodge has recently been renovated, so expect the best. Pass through the thatched central area into a bright lounge with plushy red sofas, dining room (separate tables and chandelier-lit), bar, veranda and pool area. Huge windows and folding doors open to the view. Meals are served in the dining room, on the deck beside a roaring fire or in the boma. Every corner has a view. There are also conference facilities and wi-fi throughout.

The rooms

Accommodation is in seven luxury chalets, each with its private, and unusual, plunge pool. All are air-conditioned and have fireplaces to keep you comfortable when temperatures drop. There's an en-suite bathroom with a large oval bath and both indoor and outdoor showers, a deck and a tea- and coffee-making station. The luxury family suite has two en-suite bedrooms that can accommodate two comfortable stretcher beds for children. The sofas in the lounge can also be converted into two single beds.

On safari


Take a guided game drive or foot safari, go birdwatching or watch the animals gathering at the lodge's waterhole. Gaze at the night sky. (Some 50 percent of the world's population can no longer see the stars, so take advantage of the clear skies here.) Have a massage while your children enjoy the playroom's games, DVDs or bug hunts. Investigate Madikwe’s conservation programmes and try your hand at rhino-notching, buffalo collaring or lion contraception. Or get married in the bush!

When to go

Madikwe by month


Season: Wet


Season: Wet


Season: Wet


Season: Dry


Season: Dry


Season: Dry


Season: Dry


Season: Dry


Season: Dry


Season: Wet


Season: Wet


Season: Wet


Madikwe Game Reserve lies on a transition zone with a mix of Kalahari thornveld, denser bushveld and open savannah areas providing the perfect habitat for an abundance of species including the famed Big Five, with both black and white rhino present. The not-to-be-missed wildlife specials for this region include brown hyena, sable antelope and gemsbok. However, the real highlight for Madikwe is its resident pack of wild dogs, providing exciting moments on the hunt.


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