Honeymoon in Madikwe

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Sep 29th, 2004, 02:20 PM
  #1
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Honeymoon in Madikwe

Hi

I am planning to go on honeymoon to South Africa next Oct/Nov for 2 weeks, and we want to do a 4 day safari, 3 days in cape Town and then maybe 5 days drving the Garden route, incl. a couple of days on the beach. I should be able to sort out flights and Cape Town but I'm looking for good suggestions on the safari bit.

I am interested in a 3/4 day safari in Madikwe reserve. Important considerations in the choice of lodge are: small no. people per drive (preferably 6 or below), personal but not overbearing service, good cuisine (drinks not important as we are teetotal), adults only camp, flight transfers available from Jo'burg, knowledgeable guides but who also know when to give you free time, lion sightings, outdoor plunge pools.

Can anyone recommend a good lodge that is not outrageously expensive but meets most of the above criteria? We want a reasonably luxurious lodge but not one where the VIP service is oppressive, it has to be friendly and informative as well. Guess the safari budget will be around £200pppn. I have heard good things about Etali Lodge, has anyone stayed there?

Also if anyone can recommend a good safari company that can organize the trip or provide a suggested itinerary, that would be really useful as well.

Thanks
John
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Sep 29th, 2004, 06:56 PM
  #2
 
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John,
If you enter "Madikwe" in the search in this forum, you will find some information about different lodges in Madikwe. We are going there next June (after Sabi Sands) and I checked out a lot of lodge web sites and so did Roccco (but I think he has decided not to go to Madikwe). There are several new lodges, but it is hard to find someone that has stayed at these lodges yet. I am considering Madikwe Hills which looks really nice and is the sister property to Leopard Hills in Sabi Sands. I am also considering Madikwe Safari Lodge which is the new CCAfrica lodge due to open this November, and has a very good low season rate (it will consist of 3 small camps and supposedly one of those camps is only for adults). Etali also looks good, and Mateya looks great (but expensive).
As far as getting there, you can fly from Capetown to Johannesburg, then take a scheduled charter to Madikwe. Or you could fly from Cpt to Sun City, then get a land transfer from Sun City to Madikwe (about 2 hour drive, I think).
I guess you are thinking about going to Madikwe (instead of Sabi Sands) because it is advertised as malaria free?
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Oct 1st, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Brandywine,

I take it you have not yet been to Madikwe, although please advise if this is incorrect. Nevertheless, do you have a sense of how it compares to and/or contrasts with the private reserves in Kruger such as those in Sabi Sands? For example, is the wildlife viewing different/better at one versus the other? How about the landscape, climate, etc? On balance, we would prefer an area that is malaria-free. However, we don't want to compromise too much for that. Thanks.
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Oct 1st, 2004, 10:37 AM
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mtea:
No, we have not been to Madikwe, and it seems to be hard to find anyone on this forum that has been to Madikwe. This will be our first trip to South Africa, and we are definitely going to Sabi Sands (before Madikwe), so personally, we are not willing to give up Sabi Sands and its great reputation for game viewing, but we also wanted to try a different area, and hopefully we will see the wild dogs in Madikwe. We will be in Sabi Sands and Botswana, so we will have to take malaria precautions anyway.
It appeared to me that perhaps JSCChan wanted a malaria free area, but I'm not sure.
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Oct 4th, 2004, 03:29 AM
  #5
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Hi

THanks fo rthe advice. Yes partially one reason why I like Madikwe is malaria free but also the prices are much lower than Kruger. For example Etali are offering 3 nights plus various spa treatments for R5,850pp (total!), which you could easily pay per night in Kruger. In fact it seems too good a deal to me and I am worried that they have a lack of visitors for some reason or other that I am not aware of. I guess I really am looking for somewhere that has good levels of game in a comfortable lodge for a decent price.

Also saw Forrest Lodge in Phinda mentioned - is this an option?

THanks
John
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