There is something magical about the Madikwe Game Reserve. Its beauty leaves you in absolute awe!
The Weekend Magazine was privileged to spend some time with the team at Jaci’s Tree Lodge situated near the Molatedi Gate of the reserve. On arrival my soul knew I was in for a real treat.
We (Martin & I) were welcomed with smiles even though we were late for our evening game drive having put our faith in Google which became a periodic connectivity issue (rolling my eyes at technology). “Don’t worry about a thing” were the words I remember. Just go and enjoy your adventure. I didn’t need to be told twice, we grabbed some warm clothing and jumped with both feet onto the back of the vehicle and off we went.
After many years visiting the Madikwe area I knew what spectacular sightings awaited us. I felt sue that Martin would be left in absolute awe with the sheer variety of flora and fauna the park had to offer. Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, White Rhino and a plethora of antelope greeted us within the first hour.
MAGIC is all I can say my soul beaming with joy!
Ending off our exciting drive we stopped for our sun downers which of course Jaci’s does oh so well!
The location romantic and the air crisp, what more could you wish for on a weekend adventure?
By the time we headed off I was feeling rather peckish, not knowing what lay in stall for us at dinner!
Returning to the lodge we were yet again greeted with smiles and a lovely hot towel scented with peppermint to wipe the dust off our hands and warm the lids of our eyes. Delicious aromas wafted through the air engulfing our nostrils for the feast ahead.
The main lodge area is tastefully decorated with bright bold colors, comfy couches and a centered fire place offering guests some needed warmth during the winter month's, a well stocked bar situated to the left of the area calls the thirsty traveler for a delicious assortment of local and international beverages.
Being vegetarian always leaves me wondering if I would be satisfied with the serving.
Let me tell you I was fed oh so very well!
Dinner started off with a delicious Sweet potato and cumin soup which on such an icy evening warmed our inner. Martin joined me on the mains (creamy butternut risotto) which the chef personally came and inquired as to our dietary requirements.
After dinner we headed to our room. It was like stepping into a dream, a warm heated room with luxurious fittings vibrant warm colours and a kings bath which was carved out of stone ( the invitation of which was sealed for both my nights stay).
The tree house –like- chalets are tastefully decorated, leaving nothing out of place and offering all the comforts of home.
As I was dosing off there was a familiar sound echoing nearby….. I shook martin awake saying … DO YOU HEAR THAT? It was a lone hyena calling into the night. The eerie calls sent tiny shock waves of excitement through to our very core.
In other words my first night in Madikwe was spectacular!
I had already risen the next morning before our wake- up call eager for our morning safari!
Making our way through to the main area a delicious aroma of Arabian coffee a selection of teas awaited us, in addition hot oats and fruits where on offer.
If you have not visited Madikwe in the winter months let me warn you, it is bitterly cold in the mornings and thankfully Jaci’s take special care and attention in providing the guest on a game drive with a hot water bottle wrapped in a soft blanket (nothing better to warm the hands, and in my case lap).
Our ranger FJ was extremely knowledgeable and attended to each and every question myself and the other guests had to ask. His passion, experience, enthusiasm and ebullience ensured each drive in his care provided us with an insight to our wildlife adventure.
In short Jaci’s Tree Lodge & the entire team at Jaci’s ensured our stay, comfort, wildlife experience and culinary delights were met to perfection.
I will be sure to revisit and hopefully in the near future experience Jaci’s other lodge (Jaci’s safari lodge).
A big THANK YOU to Justin from African Secrets Management for orchestrating the entire trip, to Marisa Donovan (General Manager at Tree Lodge) and your exemplary team and of course to Jaci Van Heteren for her gracious hospitality, your passion is seen and felt at your Lodge!
Article by Tyrone Spinner
Images Courtesy Martin Reed & Tyrone Spinner
Contact Jaci's By phone
Central Reservations Office: (Office Hours are South African time)
+27 (0)83 700 2071
+27 (0)83 419 1334
Jaci's Safari Lodge Manager:
+27 (0)83 303 0885
Jaci's Tree Lodge Manager:
+27 (0)83 276 2387
+27 (0)86 517 5780