The property is named after Queen Mateya, who according to legend brought about the end of a long drought. She journeyed to the land of Queen Modjadji, the Rain Queen, and presented this queen with a beautiful necklace in exchange for the return of rains to her realm. Sadly, Queen Mateya did not survive the voyage home, but the theme of royalty prevails in this grand safari lodge! With just five suites, Mateya offers a high level of exclusivity.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Lodge is approximately four-and-a-half hours by road from Johannesburg and from Pretoria, or guests might prefer to fly in from Joburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport. Madikwe has its own airstrip and a member of staff from Mateya will meet you there and drive you to the Lodge, which is just 10 minutes away.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The Gabbro Hills are the setting for this beautifully designed property, which is constructed from stone, timber, and thatch. The lounge defines opulence, with its comfortable soft furnishings, collection of artworks, and palette blending natural tones with subtle splashes of gold. The library is equally splendid and contains an excellent assortment of African literature from the 1800s on. There is also a television, a DVD player, and some wildlife DVDs. Guests may enjoy fine dining in the Lodge’s dining room, which has a long table flanked by upright chairs and lit up by chandeliers. Alternatively, you might opt to tuck in to delicious food and drink on the property’s deck, all the while enjoying amazing views over Madikwe! The curio shop stocks some delightful handcrafted items as well as essentials, while the boardroom is very well equipped for a conference. Guests in need of a little R ‘n’ R need only head to the spa, which offers a full range of wellness treatments, while those who like to keep fit are well served by the gym.
Guest accommodation at Mateya consists of five suites, all connected to the communal lodge via exceptionally neat stone pathways. The style of the suites is similar to that of the main areas – everything is very plush. Each suite boasts a four-poster double bed, bedside chests of drawers and lighting, a good-sized wardrobe, comfortable seating, intriguing art and artefacts, and a cosy fireplace. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins with mirror, a walk-in shower, a bathtub, and an open-air shower too! Sliding doors in the bedroom open out onto a private deck incorporating a plunge pool. This is the perfect place to keep cool in between activities. The deck also has some comfy chairs, so come nightfall you can wrap up warm and perhaps indulge in a little stargazing before bed.
Mateya offers the classic safari activities – game drives and guided walks. Drives take place during early morning and late afternoon, in custom-made vehicles that include binoculars, storage pouches, warm blankets, and flasks for hot coffee! Madikwe is one of South Africa’s largest game reserves and boasts all of the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant.
It is also one of the best places in the country to view wild dog! Other predators and herbivores often spotted on drives include cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, and hippo. The bird count is very impressive and there are plenty of insects and reptiles too. The guided walks offered by the Lodge are a great opportunity to get to know the area really well and the guides are happy to accommodate any special interests. They are also able to fill you in on the cultural heritage of tracking, which is a fascinating theme!