My daughter spent Christmas again this year in Africa. She was sadly missed by all of us, but had a spectacular time. Lucky her… here she gives us some details and some photos of her experience:-
It has private land so you are able to look at animals without any of the other lodges vehicles – which is an incredible privilege as you get to see them for so much longer and so much closer. The overall experience is incredible and I couldn’t recommend this enough! It is the most fantastic holiday! A truly magical place, with stunning sunsets and that African red dust that gets under your skin.
We were staying in one of South Africa’s premier game-viewing destinations, the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve which is home to the “Big 5” (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard), the rare African wild dog (called “Makanyane” in the Tswana language) as well as cheetah, giraffe, hyena, and a host of other game species. The birdlife is also spectacular, with over 360 bird species being found in the reserve. This beautiful and diverse African wilderness encompasses 75,000 hectares of widely varying terrain. From rocky peaks, across open grasslands, to verdant valleys, each area, with its own distinctive inhabitants and it provides visitors with an unforgettable safari experience. Ideally situated in South Africa’s North West Province, access to the reserve is simple and direct. We drove a mere 3.5 hour Johannesburg, but the alternative is to get a 45 minute flight there.
Established in 1991, Madikwe Game Reserve was developed as a three-way partnership between the South African government, local communities and the private sector. Prior to the establishment of the park, the region was used for cattle farming and agriculture. However over the decades, much of the vegetation had been extensively degraded and the outlook for the area was pessimistic. A land feasibility study was carried out and it was found that wildlife based tourism would be the most viable (both economically and environmentally) form of land use in the region.
The primary objective of Madikwe Game Reserve is to stimulate ecologically sustainable economic activity in the vicinity, thereby benefiting the local communities through employment and business opportunities. A direct result of this objective is the conservation of biodiversity in the area.
We had the most amazing sightings and saw so many wonderful animals. I could just spend my whole day watching all the incredible creatures – especially the elephants (also my mother’s favourites!). No drive is ever the same, and there is always something to see!
The Wild dogs (Makanyane):-
Goes without saying:-
The rooms are glass – which make you feel as if you are outside amongst all the animals – there was an elephant outside our room and we could sit there watching it for hours in the safety of the room – yet were so close to the amazing animal. All the rooms are utterly beautiful and have views of the river – the most amazing view to wake up to every morning!
A night of your stay at Makanyane, (if you are able to forego the luxury of your suite), you get to spend a night in their Star View Sleep-out Hide – where you can sleep under the stars. You get the thrilling experience of falling asleep surrounded only by flickering lanterns and listening to a lullaby of roaring lions, crying jackals and laughing hyenas. A really incredible as you can hear all the animals around you, while just staring up to a the sky which is covered in stars – definitely a night to remember!
The best food I have ever tasted! So much food – you’ll never have one point of your trip when you are hungry. So delicious – a huge array of different food – all sorts of different styles, african, curries, salads, fish!
I can’t imagine ever eating nicer food!
The staff are all so friendly and will help you out with everything and anything and they make you feel as if you are family! The guides are incredibly knowledgable about every aspect of the African Bush and make you feel entirely at ease whilst putting your life in their hands!