The Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge… the name says it all! If you are looking for super-lux safari, this high-spec property must take one of the top spots on your to-visit list. And Madikwe Game Reserve is, of course, a beautiful location. Highly recommended by YZ!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Royal Madikwe is located in the Reserve’s western region. Most guests opt to get to the Lodge via shuttle flight from Johannesburg International Airport followed by a short road transfer, though private charters and road transfers all the way from Joburg or Sun City are available too. Alternatively, you can self-drive! However you make the journey, a warm welcome awaits you.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal areas of the Lodge are found in a timber-framed thatch-roofed two-storey building with lovely views over the surrounding wooded plains. On the lower level, the lounge contains some very comfortable chairs and sofas around a glass-topped coffee table – and there is even a fireplace, perfect for when the weather turns cool! Additional seating is arranged on the upper storey of the structure, for when you fancy a little time to yourself. Back downstairs, the dining room adjoins the lounge and provides a very social space for travellers, featuring a long communal table. The décor throughout uses muted and earthy tones, very much inspired by nature – a few tree trunks are incorporated into the design! There are a few deck areas for further relaxing and taking in the views, as well as a spacious swimming pool.
Guest accommodation at The Royal Madikwe consists of five options. These are: Luxury Double Suite, Luxury Twin Suite, The Honeymoon Suite, The Emperor Suite, and The Royal Villa. All are air conditioned and very well appointed, featuring tea- and coffee-making facilities, a well-stocked mini bar, a safety deposit box, an iPod docking station, and free Wi-Fi, as well as complimentary hairdryer, bathrobes and slippers! The Luxury Double Suite is 46m2, while the Luxury Twin Suite is 43m2. The Double boasts a king-size four-poster bed, whereas the Twin has generously proportioned twin beds that are easily configured as a double. Both suites have a seating area with fireplace, a private veranda with comfy furniture, a plunge pool with sunloungers, and en-suite facilities including a bathtub and indoor/outdoor rainfall showers. Opposite is a popular path for wildlife, so guests can enjoy spotting game!
The Honeymoon Suite is positioned close to a productive waterhole. This option is 44m2 and has a romantic four-poster bed, as well as all the features of the Double and Twin. The Emperor Suite is a massive 105m2! This too has all the Double/Twin features, as well as a sunken lounge and satellite television, and it is located near the waterhole. As the Emperor is so huge, it functions well as both a particularly sumptuous suite for couples and a family unit, providing sufficient space for two young children. Families with two to three children of any age are well accommodated in The Royal Villa, total size 159m2. This villa has to be among the ultimate in super-lux safari accommodation, with all the features of the suites plus TV and DVD player, wine cooler, dining area, kitchenette, and private game drive vehicle. Just…wow!
Activities from The Royal Madikwe are just as impressive as the accommodation. The Madikwe Reserve has really come into its own as a safari destination following Operation Phoenix fifteen years ago. In 1991, more than 8,000 animals of 28 different species were brought to the Reserve – lion (leopard were here already), elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, oodles of other herbivores, and African wild dog. Today these species thrive and it is a joy to observe them in Madikwe during game drives! Vehicle safaris take place during dawn and dusk. The Royal Madikwe offers bush walks too, for guests to enjoy all the small things in the Reserve. Lots of local entertainments are available, such as drumming lessons, Zulu dancing, and marimba band – please let us know if any of these appeal, as they must be booked in advance! Finally, after a busy day, guests can take time to appreciate a look through the Lodge’s GPRS telescope.
Guests are invited to learn about the constellations and clusters of the heavens from the Lodge’s resident astronomer, who is very knowledgeable and happy to answer all questions! The same is true of The Royal Madikwe’s guides, who really enhance travellers’ experience of the Reserve, both on game drives and on bush walks.
Children of all ages are welcome, though there are age restrictions for safari activities – youngsters aged under 5 years are not eligible for game drives, while guests must be aged 16 years and over to take part in bush walks. However, there is a fab kids club that includes daily bush bumbles, so the little ones need not feel left out! If you are aged over 60 years, you must provide a medical fitness certificate stating you are well enough to brave the bush on foot. Massage treatments are available.