Luxury Safari

A concept like “luxury safari” seems contradictory, since “safari” means being out in the bush, in the natural habitat of wild animals, whereas “luxury” implies the best of what modern man has become accustomed to.  South Africa has a number of fine game reserves, one of which, Madikwe Game Reserve, is known for combining “luxury” with “safari”  – as a matter of fact, you can expect nothing less than a “luxury safari” at this reserve.

As far as the “luxury” part of luxury safari is concerned  Madikwe has at least 14 Five Star safari lodges scattered across the reserve. Rest assured: What you will get, will be equal to the high rating. Some are small and exclusive, hosting 15 guests or less; others can host op to 25 guests and a few go beyond that, hosting 50 – 200 guests. Typically a safari lodge will have a main lodge where people get together and then a number of units where the guests stay. These thatched units are quite separate and private.

The units at Madikwe are all very luxurious. They ooze a typical African ambience, without lacking any of the Five Star luxuries. Guests walk out of their chalet onto a private wooden deck with a view over the Great Marico River or a water hole where one can expect to see the animals gather to drink water; a private plunge pool on your own deck is just what you need to cool off. The main lodge is where meals are served and where guests can cool off in a big swimming pool. You can hardly get a more truly African facility than a “boma”, which originally meant a livestock enclosure or a stockade, a place of safety, used by indigenous African people. Nowadays camps in Madikwe nature reserve all have “bomas”,  where guests can enjoy their evening meals under the clear African skies, enjoying the ambience of fires in fireplaces.

Most of the lodges also offer spa and wellness treatments; some even have wellness centers where guests can recover their strength and get relief from the stress of the rat race. A wide variety of treatments are available and these are administered by therapists who know what they’re doing .

Some lodges have clusters of units dedicated to groups like families or corporate groups. Little Madikwe Hills and Little Thakadu, secluded from the main camp, are good examples, , each one having the luxury of its own chef and game ranger.
In general, all of the lodges cater for families and have special activities exclusively for children.

Most lodges have conference venues with all facilities needed for this type of activities. Being only 45 minutes from the Gauteng metropolis, some of these safari lodges have actually become popular as wedding venues.

As far as the “safari” component of “luxury safari” is concerned, you will not be disappointed. Madikwe Game Reserve is the 5th biggest game reserve in South Africa and as many as 15,000 animals live there. This multitude of wild animals are represented in many different mammal species. Chances are excellent of seeing the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, African elephant, black and white rhino and African buffalo); there are also 55 other mammal species in the reserve, and guests can also expect to have regular sightings of the fastest animal on our planet, the cheetah, as well as the highly endangered African wild dog. Many grazers (like blue wildebeest, blesbok and springbok) and browsers (like the stunning kudu and bushbuck) will also be viewed. During the night game drive you have an excellent chance to come across the shy Cape pangolin (ant eater), the fascinating porcupine or a lesser bushbaby.
Ever heard about how a porcupine can defend himself against predators? You have a good chance of witnessing this!

And don’t forget about the birds – 340 different species live in Madikwe – what more can a birder ask for! This diversity is possible due to the variety of habitats and eco systems.

Guests are treated on two game drives each day as well as safari walks. In all cases they are accompanied by knowledgeable game rangers. A special privilege of going on a guided game drive is the fact that game rangers are allowed to leave the road following animalsFree Articles, like a scarce pangolin crossing the road. Madikwe is exclusively reserved for guests staying in one of the safari camps – no day visitors are allowed. This exclusivity means that guests will not be crowded at special sightings.

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