Madikwe Game Reserve in northern South Africa is just a 4.5-hour drive (or an hour’s charter flight) from O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg. Linda and I went to explore the area by spending a few nights at two of the game reserve’s luxury lodges. We stayed at Madikwe Safari Lodge and Jaci’s Safari Lodge, enjoying the cuisine, game drives and atmosphere.

Madikwe Game Reserve is malaria-free, so it’s great for families or visitors who don’t want to take antimalarial medication.


About Madikwe Safari Lodge

Madikwe Safari Lodge is made up of three separate private lodges, offering 20 luxury suites in total. Groups can either be accommodated at the main lodge or one of the other two lodges: Lelapa Lodge, Dithaba Lodge or Kopano Lodge.

The main lodge is for families, super child-friendly, and just beautiful. The two smaller lodges (Dithaba and Kopano) are next door, set on a hill, and is suitable for groups, exclusive-use or for those who want a holiday without kids.

Madikwe Safari Lodge – At a glance

  • Attention to detail in décor, food, service
  • Hornbills like to hang around the dining area to steal food (adorable!)
  • Rooms are open-plan (there’s only a door on the loo) and compact
  • Beautiful deck with a deep (!) plunge pool
  • Outdoor shower
  • Kids have their own play/educational room that’s at the far end of the lodge
  • Great game drives, also nice little steps for older clients to get into the vehicle


About Jaci’s Safari Lodge

With a total of 10 rooms, this vibrant and eclectic lodge is perfect for small groups. As you enter the lodge, you have to walk over a swinging bridge, a great surprise and “wow” factor.

Jaci’s Safari Lodge – At a glance

  • A colourful style, a different take on a safari lodge’s interior design
  • Attentive staff, and great cuisine
  • Vervet monkeys abound (especially in the restaurant area)
  • Next to the river (we saw elephants drinking)
  • Large shared swimming pool
  • A hide for photographers

Game drives at Madikwe Game Reserve

At Madikwe Game Reserve, they saw the Big Five and everything in between except for the shy leopard on early morning and late afternoon game drives. The guides were amazing and we would both highly recommend Madikwe Game Reserve to our MICE clients.

Contact us should you have any queries or questions about Madikwe Game Reserve or South Africa.