Located about 90 kilometres north of the town of Zeerust is Madikwe Game Reserve. Although it is currently the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa, it is one of the lesser- known parks, making it a hidden-gem.
Madikwe is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5 in 75000 hectares of pristine, malaria-free African bush. It is a true African Eden offering the discerning safari lover access to the big five, including black rhino along other rare species such African Wild Dog and Cheetah as part of its 120 resident mammal species and 350 recorded species of birds.
For a first-time taste of the African bush, or even if you are someone who has been drawn back to the call of the wild, then Jaci’s Lodges encompass the true safari experience.
Located in the park’s North West, Jaci’s Lodges is made up of two properties; Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Jaci’s Tree lodge. Both lodges offer guests the perfect destination for unrivalled game-viewing, unique accommodation options, outstanding service and tailor-made safari activities.
Accessible via car or small aeroplane, Jaci’s Lodges are a mere 3½-hour drive or an hour’s flight from Johannesburg. The flight into Madikwe airstrip is where the excitement starts, cruising over the countryside speckled with townships and farms, bushland and expanses of terrain for as far as the eye can see. Even from the air, wildlife can be spotted roaming bellow.
Jaci’s Safari Lodge
On arrival at Jaci’s Lodges you enter the main lodge building which has recently received an extreme makeover resulting in a bold, refreshed, upgraded and spectacular new gathering place. It features a spacious and elegant lounge, a glorious copper fireplace and bar, kitchen and dining areas, all proudly reflecting our trademark striking colourful decor and authentic proudly South African atmosphere.
Jaci’s Safari Lodge features two exclusive Starbed Suites, six luxury Tented Suites and two private Family Suites. Tented Suites have thatched roofs, low stone walls, suspended viewing decks and canvas roll-up panels, the six spacious tented suites let the outside in. For families there is the Nare Suite. Named after the resident buffalo bull that frequents the waterhole in front of it, this suite, which accommodates up to six guests, includes a private swimming pool and viewing deck overlooking the waterhole.
The large Safari Suite can accommodate up to eight guests, this suite is ideal for larger families or groups. The custom-built deck features a central firepit and spacious seating area leading on to a partially covered ‘star pod’, ideal for stargazing, and a private swimming pool.
For the ultimate African safari experience there is the Starbed Suite. Bushveld romance personified, these two new suites are furnished with bursts of colour and custom-made finishes, with rooftop extensions that afford guests the unique opportunity of sleeping under the African stars.
Jaci’s Tree Lodge
At Jaci’s Tree Lodge, guests are accommodated in custom-built treehouses that seem to float high above the ground. Guests can enjoy a magnificent accommodation experience with views into the surrounding riverine forest as well as glimpses across the Marico River. Jaci’s Tree Lodge blends into the overarching canopy of the surrounding bush and foliage, making for fantastic birdwatching in a natural environment. Due to its structure, on wooden stilts connected by raised walkways, Jaci’s Tree Lodge isn’t suitable for small children. Kids 13 years and older are welcome. Treehouse Suites are the only accommodation type here. Each of the eight treehouses are made from a combination of gumpoles and African rosewood.
In the main lodge, guests can enjoy the cosy fireplace, fully stocked bar and lounge, as well as our indoor and outdoor dining areas, and browse through our African curio shop.
Complementing the luxury in the lodges is the quality of the safari experience. To experience a truly authentic African safari in the splendid Madikwe Game Reserve is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure guaranteed to be forever etched in your memory. Comfortable open air 4WD game viewing vehicles allow you to immerse yourself in the surroundings, where you can look forward to an epic experience including the possibility of seeing the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino), as well as cheetah, African wild dog, hyena, giraffe and hippo – all sightings for which Madikwe is famous.
The game rangers and guides are highly experienced and a wealth of knowledge of the area, wildlife and even astronomy at night. Game drives take place in the early morning and then again late in the afternoon, prime times for animal viewing.
Morning game drives begin with the backdrop of the sun’s golden glow which blankets the horizon, the sound of morning birds fill the air in a symphony of calls, the smell of the bush in the air, a sweet mix of florals, rustic earthy scents and petrichor from the morning dew. This is when the animals begin stirring from the night before, settling into the day.
After a delicious lunch there is time for an afternoon game drive which will extend into the evening. The animals are now active again as the sun’s heat is cooling off. If you thought the sunrise was spectacular, then the sunsets over the bush in South Africa will take your breath away. Best experienced with a gin and tonic sundowner, this is a great time to get out of the vehicle with your guides, stretch the legs and discuss the day as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.
If weather permits, at night you will dine in the best bush restaurant you will experience. Enjoy fire-cooked meals under the stars, with authentic South African flavour and flair. As the fire crackles nearby, tables are lit by lanterns, allowing for an intimate safari experience that will be treasured for years to come.