Madikwe Safari Lodge combines traditional and modern styles to provide a luxurious safari experience for families, groups of friends and couples alike. The property is divided into three separate lodges - Lelapa (meaning ‘family), Dithaba (meaning ‘mountain’) and Kopano (meaning ‘small gathering’). Each has its own open-plan lounge and dining area, creating the feel of a small, exclusive lodge. High thatched ceilings, stone fireplaces and rustic wooden furniture is complemented by African artwork, comfortable sofas and traditional-style lanterns to form a rustic atmosphere, with trees used as pillars to reflect the surrounding bush wilderness. Set in the heart of Madikwe Game Reserve, you’re well-placed for exploring the area’s diverse wildlife and outstanding scenery.
All suites are housed in thatched villas and feature an en suite bathroom, lounge, dressing area and a large private deck with outdoor shower, plunge pool and views across the reserve. Wood-burning fireplaces offer comfort on cooler nights, while air conditioning and ceiling fans keep rooms cool. Further amenities include safes and hairdryers. Suites at Dithaba Lodge are set further up the mountains, offering the best views over the plains, while those at Kopano Lodge have a more private, exclusive feel. Meanwhile, Lelapa Lodge offers adjoining Family rooms, with Wi-Fi available in communal areas.
The lodge is situated in the 750 square kilometre Madikwe Game Reserve, which lies four hours northwest of Johannesburg, bordering Botswana. Malaria-free, it’s one of the country’s largest reserves and has a mix of habitats; from woodlands and grassy plains to rocky hills and mountains. Between 1991 and 1997 over 8,000 animals were released into the reserve, and it’s now home to the ‘Big Five’, wild dog, springbok, hyena, ostrich and 300 bird species.
Food and Drink
Meals can be taken in the dining room, out on the deck, in the boma area or within the wilds of the bush. Dishes are simple, wholesome and tasty, and special dietary requirements can be catered for, as well as children. Romantic private dining experiences can be arranged, or dinner can be a social occasion with guests eating around the large communal dining table.
Children of any age can stay in the family-friendly Lelapa Lodge, and at Dithaba Lodge if booked exclusively. Guests must be aged 16 or over to stay at Kopano Lodge. Game drives aren’t available for children aged under two, but those aged two to five can join late morning family safaris. A variety of fun, educational activities are offered at the Eco House, including painting, drawing and model making. Cooking classes, star gazing, animal identification and dung tracking activities are also offered.
Suites at Kopano Lodge offer a more intimate and exclusive bush experience for guests aged 16 or over only. Those on their honeymoon will appreciate the privacy and seclusion of the suites, as well as the beautiful views. Couples can enjoy massages in the comfort of their room, as well as romantic candlelit dining in a private location surrounded by the bush.
Facilities and Activities
A qualified therapist can pamper you with a relaxing treatment in your suite, including massages, facials and hand and foot treatments, as well as special treatments for children. There’s also a souvenir shop on site. Wildlife lectures are held regularly so you can learn more about the variety of animal and plant species in the reserve, while at night you can study the stars using the camp’s telescope.
Environmental and Social Responsibility
Madikwe Game Reserve is jointly run by the state, the private sector and the local communities to ensure local people benefit from wildlife conservation and tourism. The camp works with Pack for a Purpose, encouraging its guests to bring items that are needed by the local community; particularly the area’s schools, with Henna Pre-school, Obakeng School and Injonjo Creche all benefiting from the scheme.
This lodge is one of the most stylish options in Madikwe and offers a fantastic safari experience. We’re particularly impressed by the setup for families, with lots of fun activities to help children learn about wildlife.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.