Another great looking lodge in Madikwe...

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Aug 26th, 2004, 01:15 AM
  #1
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Another great looking lodge in Madikwe...

http://www.etalisafari.co.za/Default.htm

Other than Jaci's Safari & Tree Lodge, I did not even know that Madikwe existed before a couple nights ago! Now, it appears as if there are at least a half dozen great looking places. As a matter of fact, I haven't seen any AVERAGE looking places, only top notch venues.

I do like the fact that Etali has a Wellness Center (cannot believe that I have turned into a Yuppie, while still retaining a lot of Anarchist tendencies), offers private plunge pools, a great looking location (I do not care for views of "plains", as to me that only means that they were not able to secure a better and higher placed location with views for miles or a riverfront location) and great looking cuisine. I am concerned that there price is going to be higher than Jaci's Tree Lodge and 40-50% higher than CCAfrica's Madikwe Safari Lodge. Etali is one of these sexy lodges that does not like to place their tariffs on their website, but by visiting tour operators websites, Etali is listed at 3,950 ZAR pppns, and that is a full 1,200 ZAR ($180 USD) pppns more than CCAfrica's lodge. I will try to negotiate, but I doubt they will drop more than 10%.

So far, here is the list of very nice looking lodges that I believe are worth consideration in Madikwe:

1. Mateya (looks on par with Singita)

2. Madikwe Hills (also looks on par with Singita, from the good people that also brought you Leopard Hills)

3. Etali Safari Lodge (not as fancy as the top two mentioned, but with a Wellness Center and private plunge pools, it is not far behind)

4. Jaci's Tree Lodge/Jaci's Safari Lodge (this place seems to really have an excellent rapport with their guests, and I can appreciate that, as that is really a crucial part of an excellent safari experience. Unfortunately no private plunge or wellness center)

5. Madikwe Safari Lodge (CCAfrica). This lodge may very well leapfrog ahead of the next two and the price is incredible considering that the rest of South Africa is out of control. Not too many nice lodges are left for what amounts to under $375 pppns. I do love the fact that they have a separate camp for adults traveling with children. I'd rather have Puff Adders in my camp than children!
I also like that fact that there is a pizza oven, private plunge pools, internet access and I am pretty sure that CCAfrica uses the guide & tracker system, while I get the impression that Jaci's camps only use a guide on night game drives...great if you have four eyes and three hands, but not so good, otherwise!

6.Impodimo Game Lodge. This place looks very nice and the price is very good at only 2,250 ZAR pppns ($336.60 using current exchange rates). However, no private plunge pools, wellness center, internet access, and other amenities that the top lodges are featuring. I do like the fact that the owners are onsite managing the lodge, as I think this makes a big difference in service.

*For extreme bargain hunters, there is a place that is under $225 pppns, and it looks nice enough: http://uyaphi.com/NWthebushhouse.htm

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Aug 26th, 2004, 01:29 AM
  #2
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One benefit of being an insomniac is that I get immediate answers from Southern Africa!

Etali Safari Lodge already has gotten back to me, about 30 minutes after my enquiry, with rates of 4,200 ZAR pppns.
Thanks, but no thanks. I'll get my wellness center pampering at Bushmans Kloof, for 40% of the tariff.

While Jaci's is a proven winner, I am leaning towards Madikwe Safari Lodge (CCAfrica), which is about $175 USD pppns less expensive. And that reminds me that I must bug them for a discount should I elect to stay also at Phinda Forest.
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