Urgent question re: Madikwe game-viewing

Old Jul 10th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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Urgent question re: Madikwe game-viewing

My husband and I are senior citizens, about to finalize the plans for our first South Africa trip in March, 2010. I know from reading this board that the game-viewing in Kruger is considered superior to that in Madikwe. But what does this really mean? Will we not see animals on any of our 7-8 game drives? Will we be disappointed on 50% of the game drives? Will we have to drive for 2-3 hours to spot one lion? Is Kruger superior for quantity of animals, ease of sightings etc. I hope you get the idea. We have to make the decision between Kruger and Madikwe shortly. Because of our age, and the number of meds we already take, we are leaning toward a non-malarial area for our safari, but we don't want to be disappointed.

Thanks, Judy
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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You should have very good game viewing in Madikwe, it is not the same density as the comparable private reserve areas outside of Kruger but it is still excellent, especially for a first safari.

I was there in March 2006 so same time of year and found my report, hopefully this link works http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...e-botswana.cfm

I saw 21 species of mammals with a 4 night stay and almost everyone will see 4 of the Big 5 -- lion, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. Leopard have become much more frequently sighted now then when I was there but are still far harder to see than the other 4. That is a primary difference with the Sabi Sand outside of Kruger where leopard sightings are very common. Madikwe is also quite good for African wild dogs with a little luck.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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We've been twice to Buffalo Ridge (mentioned in PredatorBiologist's thread referenced above.) Not only is the camp wonderful, but we've had very good game viewing as well.

Both of our stays have been later in the winter than his (ours have been in August and early September) so everything has been much drier. Madikwe, unlike areas like Sabi Sands, is much more open, with hills and rocky outcrops rather than the deeper thicket one sees at Sabi. Because of the vistas (and most of the lodges are built on ridges or hillsides) one can see more signs of human presence than around Kruger - the lights of Gabarone in the distance from Buffalo Ridge, or power line rights-of-way. However this didn't distract us too much - the story of Madikwe as a restored former farming area, and the community ownership story at Buffalo Ridge are both pretty compelling.

From a practical viewpoint, Madwike is way easier to get to from Joburg than Sabi/Kruger; roughly half the driving time from, say, the airport. That means you can leave the airport in the morning and still get there for afternoon game drives.

We've only seen one leopard and no cheetahs at Madikwe compared to many leopards and a few cheetahs at Sabi Sands; on the other hand we've seen dogs at Madikwe and none at Sabi. But you'll see lots and lots of wildlife, so no concerns on that front.

Here are a couple of photos from Madikwe, just to illustrate...

Hornbill couple - http://gardyloo.us/africa2J%20056.JPG
Lion couple - http://gardyloo.us/africa3J%20009.JPG
Sundowners at the dam - http://gardyloo.us/aug2021j%20096s.JPG
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Hi there,
when you mention Kruger do you refer to Kruger National Park, or Sabi-Sands which adjoins Kruger National Park???

Kruger National Park can be self drive; however in Sabi-Sands and Madikwe it is not possible to do any self-drives at all.

Kruger National Park and surrounding areas are classed as malaria areas and Madikwe advertises that fact that they are situated in a malaria free area.

There is no guarantee to seeing any particular species of animal in any of the reserves regardless of what the advertising blurb claims.
Madikwe and Kruger are quite different in their structure, habitat and appearance.

Madikwe has not been established as long as KNP, but is does have an attraction for me.
It is possible to see all of the “Big 5” in both places, however if you are looking to see Leopard you will have to be very fortunate.
I have only seen Leopard in Madikwe twice out of 30-40 game drives there. Both times they were very short sightings. The Leopards are very shy in Madikwe as it used to be farmland and they were persecuted by the farmers before the reserve was established.

Which ever you choose I am sure you will have great time.

All the best

Maurice
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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I was at Madikwe Reserve, Madikwe Hills Lodge for 5 night in May of 2007. Here is a link to my Fodors trip report for it and the two other safari camps of that trip -http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4&tid=35016274
I would not say Madikwe is any easier to get to than to Sabi Sand Reserve camps. Both about a hour flight out of JNB. Madikwe Hills Lodge is a gorgeous facility and I highly recommend it - as a safari camp. But the game viewing is about 3 stars at Madikwe Reserve compared to 5 stars at Sabi Sand Reserve.

You will see animals on every game drive. But I never saw a leopard there. And the elephants were very skittish and so were the guides to get close to them, long story. I saw very few lions. Their off road game driving is severely limited by special rules they follow. Having said that, if Madikwe is the one and only safari you make, you will think it is great.

FWIW, we are not "spring chickens" either. This Sept will be out sixth Afirican safari since 2005. The toughest part are the two long flights getting to/from. We live in California. We take anti-malarial medications, Malarone or doxcycline with no problems. Check with your doctor.

regards - tom
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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My comment on access was if you come by car, not by air.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Having been to both Kruger and Madikwe, I would choose to return to Kruger if I had to pick one, However, that is not because we didn't enjoy our time in Madikwe. We did! We stayed at the Bush House, and found the accommodation, staff, guides and food to be excellent. We saw plenty of game - wild dogs, ellies, lion...but no leopards or cheetahs. However, we were only there for four nights over New Years. I would not hesitate to return. I prefer the scenery in Kruger (the lights of Gabarone take away from the experience in Madikwe somewhat!) and you can't beat Kruger for the sheer volume of animals (we saw three leopards on the day that we arrived in Kruger!). My husband and I are both in our fifties and have taken mefloquin and malarone several times with no difficulty, so I wouldn't make having to take the meds the basis of your decision. Instead, have a read of the above trip reports and make a decision based on the parks themselves. Robin
PS. I would not drive to Madikwe - we did and despite being given a very specific route by the Bush House and advice on where to stop for petrol and lunch, we just missed a rock-throwing incident in a village which delayed other guests who were to have arrived shortly after us. They were advised (by police) to take a three-hour detour, resulting in them arriving late and missing an afternoon game drive.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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Here is my description of our visit to the Bush House - please keep in mind that it was written for family and friends back in Canada (we were living in Cape Town for a year at the time of writing) who haven't been to Africa and so there is much detail that experienced African hands may find boring. I see I was mistaken in my earlier post - we did see cheetah - I had forgotten! Robin

Luckily, we had two days after returning to Cape Town before departing on our trip to the Madikwe Game Reserve. A day earlier and, thanks to the food poisoning, three of us wouldn’t have been able to board the plane to Johannesburg. As it was, we were very relieved that it was a smooth flight. We left Cape Town at 6:30 a.m., traveling on Kalula Airlines, British Airways’ answer to West Jet. The airline’s colour scheme of lime green was evident everywhere – the plane, the seats, the uniforms – and three of us, who still looked a little green, fit right in. The two-hour flight afforded wonderful views of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains and Groot Karoo. The Orange River, which we had admired in November on our visit to Augrabies Falls, was clearly visible as it meandered its way through the desert. Arriving in Johannesburg, we picked up our rental car and, after receiving advice on the safest (not the fastest – different priorities here!) route to the game reserve, we headed northeast. Not yet out of the city, we missed our exit and were forced to leave the freeway and go back the way we had come. We were startled to see a large, bright red sign on the exit ramp which read “Hijacking Hot Spot!” Oh good! We were quite relieved when we were back on track. Police outposts along the highways were even more evident than they are around Cape Town.
The four hour drive to The Bush House, our accommodation in the Madikwe Game Reserve, was much like our drive to the Kalahari. As we went north, it became flatter, hotter and drier. Termite mounds appeared, and vegetation became scarcer. What there was is known as bushveld – mostly thorny acacia bushes. As we passed through several small villages, we felt, for the first time, that we were truly experiencing small town, rural South Africa. We had to avoid people, chickens and goats on the highway. We saw no other whites. We made two stops along the way, for lunch and to refuel, both at places recommended by The Bush House. They had advised us to avoid stopping anywhere else. Upon arriving around 2:00 p.m., we were greeted in the parking lot by two staff bearing lemonade and chilled washcloths. An auspicious start! It was mighty hot! They asked if we had any trouble in the villages, which we hadn’t. We were puzzled by the question, and learned later that residents in one village had been throwing large rocks at passing cars. We had wondered why there were brick-sized rocks on the main street, which we had been forced to swerve around. Two couples, who arrived at The Bush House the same day we did, but left Johannesburg later, were advised by police to detour some 100-km around the village, causing one of them to miss the afternoon game drive. We realized we had been rather lucky to emerge from the village unscathed.
From the parking lot, we were able to see The Bush House’s waterhole, and we were excited to see our first game – zebra, blue wildebeest, warthogs, and a giraffe. We watched in amusement as the giraffe splayed its legs so that it might have a drink. We were informed that high tea would be served at 3:00 p.m., and that we would depart on our first afternoon game drive at 4:00 p.m. We were impressed that, within an hour of our arrival, all of the staff was addressing each of us by name. We struggled to reciprocate! We settled into our rooms and knew that we were in South Africa when we found our beds draped in mosquito netting. Tea, which was served on the open veranda overlooking the waterhole, was a feast – sandwiches, quiche, meat pies, cheese, cold meats, salads, and milk tart for dessert. Those of us recovering from food poisoning ate more than we should, and came to regret it once we had spent a little time being jostled about in the 4WD.
Tom, the ranger who would lead us on all of our game drives, had over 20 years experience in Madikwe and Kruger, and was a wealth of knowledge. For the next four days, we shared our open safari vehicle with Tom and one other couple, Bruce from Johannesburg, and his wife, Beate, originally from Germany. The other six Bush House guests rode in a second vehicle with Francois, another ranger. There were two four-hour game drives a day, at 5:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tom would knock on our doors at 5:00 a.m., we would throw on some clothes, and then have a quick cup of tea or coffee on the veranda before departing on the morning drive. We would watch in amusement as, before every drive, Tom would load his rifle and place it carefully on the dashboard in front of him, where it was always within reach. He assured us that he had only had to use it twice – to fire warning shots at a bull elephant and a male lion. Around 7:30 a.m., Tom would stop the vehicle in some shade by the side of the road, check for predators, and then lay out a tablecloth on the hood of the vehicle, and serve us coffee, tea and rusks. Tom admitted that his tea sessions had been interrupted more than once by uninvited predators, and always advised us to be wary when we went in search of a suitable bush toilet. When we returned to the Bush House around 10:00 a.m., we would be greeted in the parking lot with tall glasses of orange juice. Quick showers to rid ourselves of much dust (white T-shirts had a definite reddish tinge!) and many layers of sunscreen were followed by a sumptuous brunch. We came to look forward to the omelets and the delicious muffins and croissants. Graham and I savoured all the tropical fruit. We spent the middle of the day much as the animals did – trying to stay cool. For the four days we were in Madikwe, daytime temperatures hovered around 50oC in the sun and 40oC in the shade. We had a siesta, lazed in the swimming pool, or lounged on the chairs under the trees on the lawn, both of which overlooked the waterhole. There was always something of interest at the waterhole, even in the heat of the day. The first couple of hours of the afternoon game drives were insufferably hot, but things always seemed to improve after we took a break midway, and enjoyed sundowners (gin and tonic go very well in the heat!) while watching the spectacular sunsets. After returning to camp around 8:00 p.m., we were met in the parking lot and offered a glass of sherry (how civilized!), and then we would once again head to the shower to rid ourselves of more dust and sunscreen. After dark, the parking lot and paths through the camp were illuminated by torches, making us feel as though we were on the TV program Survivor. A candlelit dinner was served on the veranda or around the boma (outdoor fire pit) at 8:30 p.m., and the twelve guests and two rangers sat around a long table and compared adventures. It was a very congenial group, and we looked forward to those evenings. After dinner, we would sit by the floodlit waterhole until we could no longer keep our eyes open, and then we collapsed into bed. We returned to our rooms to find the beds restored from our mid-day siestas, the mosquito nettings in place, our towels replaced for the second time that day, and our rooms cooled to a comfortable temperature, the air conditioners having been run briefly in our absence. We were spoiled!
The game drives were spectacular. It is difficult to do justice to what it was like to drive around the 75,000-hectare reserve in an open vehicle, with no other vehicles in sight, full of anticipation, and then spot and move within metres of some of the most exciting animals and birds that South Africa has to offer. Tom knew from experience where many of the animals could be found, and he was in constant communication with the other rangers, both Francois and those from other lodges in Madikwe, so we likely saw much more than we would have had we been self-driving as we did in Kgalagadi (not an option anywhere in this reserve). We hung on for dear life as we were pitched about in the 4WD, bouncing our way along the very rough dirt roads, often “going bush” and abandoning the road altogether to track, or get a closer look at, wildlife. We crossed over fallen trees, rode over small boulders, and often had to duck to avoid being decapitated or attacked by the thorny vegetation. In four days, our vehicle had three flat ties. No surprise there! It was great fun!
On our first afternoon drive, Tom drove us around the southern part of the reserve, a section of dense, thorny vegetation, and the most likely area to spot wild dogs. Wild dogs are the most endangered predator in South Africa. They look a lot like a jackal, with a slender, very blotchy black, white and yellow body, large rounded ears, long legs and a bushy tail. As we searched for the dogs, we saw herds of red hartebeest, impala, zebra (it didn’t matter how many we saw, we never grew tired of seeing them), blue wildebeest (grotesque creatures that look part cow and part horse, with a cow-shaped head and body, horse-like mane and tail, and buffalo-like horns!), and kudu, several pairs of steenbok (think Bambi!), an eland (the largest antelope – very impressive!), and five huge, mean-looking male buffalo. It is buffalo that are responsible for most human deaths in the African bush, and we could well believe it. After sunset, using spotlights, we saw our first bush babies in a tree, tiny, very cute primitive monkeys, with huge, round eyes. We were thrilled to see our first elephants. The bulls are massive and, as we crossed the reserve, we were struck by the devastation caused by the elephants. There were fallen trees everywhere, including large ones that had been snapped like twigs. In winter, when there are no leaves or grass, the elephants knock down trees to expose the roots, an elephant delicacy. On our way back to The Bush House, we went crashing through the bush in pursuit of a pair of cat eyes. We didn’t find the cat, but we did suffer our first flat tire. We felt somewhat vulnerable standing in the dark in the middle of the African bush, particularly after having spent the day pursuing big predators. Thankfully, Tom, having had much experience, can change a tire with impressive speed. Tracks confirmed the next morning that the eyes had belonged to a leopard. Laura was annoyed that another leopard had managed to elude her. Returning to The Bush House, we found two massive rhinoceros and several warthogs awaiting us at the floodlit waterhole. As we sat watching them, Graham admired the starry desert sky.
The next morning, we once again went in pursuit of the elusive wild dogs that had been spotted in the area a week earlier. Tom found many tracks and a site where the dogs had killed an impala, but we weren’t able to find the dogs. We were lucky to see six more buffalo, as they are rarely sighted. We saw many zebra, impala, red hartebeest, wildebeest, elephants, and steenbok. Tom changed another tire. On the afternoon drive, Tom decided that it was time to give up the pursuit of the wild dogs and head north to the more open savanna grassland and desert sections of the reserve, where most of the game is found. We passed a warthog family (think pig with warts all over its face and a long tail held erect when running – very silly looking!), with three tiny babies, which were very cute. We saw a bachelor herd of kudu, beautiful, powerful antelope, greyish brown in colour, with sides clearly marked with six to eight white, vertical stripes. We sat within a few metres of two giraffe pairs, each with babies that were less than six months old. Tom kept a wary eye on two huge white rhinoceros, as we admired their offspring at close range.
The highlight of the day came late afternoon at a waterhole. As we sat by the water’s edge, a herd of eighteen elephants, including three that were less than a year old, (if they can walk under an adult, they are less than a year old), came charging towards the waterhole, trumpeting in excitement, having smelt the water from some distance away. We were thankful that we were not in their path. We watched in amusement for almost an hour as the elephants cooled off by filling their trunks with water and mud and tossing it on themselves with amazing accuracy and dexterity. It was so unbearably hot sitting in the full sun that we would have loved to join them. To the north, over Botswana, we were privy to the most spectacular lightening display. We kept hoping that the dark clouds would drift our way and provide some relief from the scorching sun, but no such luck. As we admired the lightening and enjoyed sundowners, word came from another ranger that there were two lions nearby. We quaffed our drinks and drove to a nearby mud hole, where two lions, a male and female, lay prostrate in the cool mud. As we approached, the male showed little interest, barely opening its eyes. We admired its long, black mane and huge paws. The female was more alert, gazing about, but certainly not in the least bit perturbed by our presence. We were taken with her regal pose and penetrating stare. We sat beside them for awhile, hoping that they might set off on a hunt, but they didn’t move. Lazy creatures! Already late for dinner, we returned to The Bush House, surprised to find the dinner table decorated with hats, streamers, and poppers. We had completely forgotten that it was New Year’s Eve. The spectacular lightening provided entertainment (but no rain or relief from the heat!) all though dinner, but was surpassed by the staff, who sang (in Tswana, another of the eleven official South African languages) and danced for us at the end of the evening. We have concluded that there isn’t a black in South Africa who doesn’t sing and dance beautifully. Amazing voices and what rhythm! Knowing that there would be a knock on our doors at 5:00 a.m., none of us stayed up to greet the New Year.
The next morning, the only evidence of late night revelry was that the water for the tea and coffee was a bit late arriving, and the other couple didn’t show up for the morning game drive. We had Tom to ourselves. It was a beautiful morning – clear and a cool 30oC (funny how 30o now felt cool!) Heading north again, we passed two enormous bull elephants and an ostrich pair with thirteen offspring. Tom, who usually remained quite calm, was very excited when we spotted a black rhinoceros, which are far less common than white rhinoceros, having once been on the verge of extinction due to poaching. Black rhino are rarely sighted, and we were lucky to have a good look at it before it disappeared into the thicket. Although Tom radioed the sighting to the other rangers, he thought it unlikely than anyone else would see it as black rhinos are very shy creatures, and it would likely remain hidden in the vegetation for the rest of the day. We passed herds of red hartebeest, kudu, zebra, impala, and wildebeest, all protecting young. This day would become known as “rhino day” as we saw many white rhinoceros in addition to the rare black rhino. Tom took us to the den of a brown hyena, where the female eyed us warily as we admired her three playful pups. We saw our first baboons, ostriches, gemsbok, and a slender mongoose being dive-bombed by two lanner falcons. We enjoyed tea in the company of several elegant giraffe.
In the afternoon, we traveled north in search of four male cheetahs that the other Bush House group had spotted that morning. In one area, there were so many white butterflies it felt as though we were traveling through a snowstorm (but much warmer!). We stopped many times to admire giraffe, and passed many more white rhinoceros, red hartebeest, wildebeest, impala, and zebra. Tom used the cheetahs’ tracks (easy to spot in the dust and easy to distinguish from other cats because they are the only cat that does not have fully retractile claws), and those of the vehicles who had followed them in the morning, to track the animals. After much circling through the bush (an adventure in itself!) and receiving guidance by radio from rangers who had seen them in the morning, Tom spotted one of the cheetahs lying in the shade of a bush. It took us a minute to locate the other three in the grass, despite that fact that they were within a few metres of us and each other, making us realize how easy it would be to get into serious trouble in the bush. Like the lions, the cheetahs completely ignored us, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to gaze at such beautiful creatures at such close quarters in the wild. Our day was made, although more excitement awaited us. Late afternoon, we came across a herd of elephants with three babies. We soon discovered that one of the females was, as Tom put it, “an elephant with attitude,” and after raising her trunk and sniffing us, she brought her ears forward in warning, trumpeted, and then charged. Tom fired up the vehicle, and we raced away, with the elephant in pursuit. For such big beasts, they can run. It was very exciting! On the way back to The Bush House we searched rocky outcrops for leopards, but to no avail. We did catch many scrub hares, rhinoceros, wildebeest, impala, and elephants in our spotlights. We also saw barn owls and a spotted eagle owl, two of the many birds we saw on this trip.
On our last morning, Tom was determined to find the wild dogs for us. He took us to a special section of the reserve where animals are kept in quarantine (before being sent to other reserves), and showed us a wild dog, so that we might know what we were searching for. It was a beautiful animal. Tom is a purist, and didn’t believe that seeing one in captivity is the same as seeing one in the wild, but we were happy to see one at all. It was the only one we were to see. It was a great morning nonetheless. Once again we saw many zebra, wildebeest, impala, and rhinoceros. We had two more close encounters with elephants. The first time, we had traveled for a couple of kilometres on one of the roughest roads in the reserve. As luck would have it, about 150 metres from the junction at the end of the road we encountered two massive elephants. Since there was no way we were going back the way we had come, we were forced to sit and wait for them to move off the road, with Tom watching them warily in case they took a sudden disliking to our presence. They didn’t and, eventually, they moved off into the thicket, allowing us to pass. It was amazing how effortlessly they could trample through such dense, thorny vegetation. Later, as we traveled down a narrow dirt track, ducking and leaning in to avoid the branches overhead and the thorns on either side, we rounded a corner and startled a female elephant and her young. Not a good thing to do! Without trumpeting a warning, she charged, causing Tom to throw the vehicle in reverse, and back like a lunatic down the road. Fortunately, the beast didn’t come very far, otherwise we would have been forced to throw ourselves on the floor of the vehicle to avoid being hurt by the vegetation, which Tom would have had no time to worry about. Such excitement! Graham admitted later that being charged by the elephants was definitely a highlight of our time in the reserve. Later in the morning, Tom received a tip that there was another cheetah nearby. We were fortunate to have a second opportunity to sit next to such a beautiful animal in the wild. We admired its sleek body, long legs, impressive claws, and beautiful spotted coat. After brunch, we bid a fond farewell to the wonderful staff of The Bush House, and headed reluctantly back to Johannesburg, passing through the villages without incident. As with Kgalagadi, we left The Bush House feeling very fortunate, and believing that we had experienced another holiday of a lifetime.
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Old Jul 11th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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Thank you all so much. We have definitely decided on Madikwe, after reading the trip reports cited on this thread. Now we need to pick a lodge. PredatorBiologist recommends Madikwe Hills and Buffalo Ridge (should we do the same thing, stay at two lodges?) Canadian_robin liked thje Bush House. Our TA suggested Madikwe Safari Lodge, but someone on Trip_Advisor mentioned an ant infestation.

Any help in making the decision would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Judy
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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I would stay at one lodge, the game area is traversable from all lodges, so why go to the trouble of moving midway through your stay.

I'll throw i a recommendation for Makanyane, just to muddy the water's further.
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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If you're there 5 nights or less, I'd stay at the same lodge.
And I'll vote for Madikwe Hills Lodge, beautiful huge rooms, lodge and view over a small valley and water hole. But it is the only lodge I've been to in Madikwe Resereve. Is the whole, total, Reserve open to all lodges? I.e, there are no private game drive areas in Madikwe, right?

regards - tom

regards - tom
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 06:59 AM
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We have been many times to both Sabi and Madikwe. Yes, game viewing is a different experience at each location...but game viewing has been different each time in each place anyway.

We've seen almost too many ellies at Madikwe...and they were not skittish, just several breeding herds with little bitty ones. You don't want to tangle with Mama! Lots of lions...males and prides. Very few on a visit to Sabi. But certainly more leopards in Sabi...no Cheetah.

It just all depends on timing no matter where you are. We just love being out, and anticipating what's around the next bend!

I must put in my 2 cents for Mateya in Madikwe. It was spectacular in every way. It was worth the little extra because of the privacy and the exquisite lodge. I keep reading people say it's too expensive, but we got a great special rate...in August. And, while I too have seen the lights of Gaborone and it's not like they are shining through your window!! You have to be in the right spot to even see them way at a distance....come on!
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 10:22 AM
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atlga
I support your recommendation regarding MATEYA!
People who say it's too expensive have obviously not compared rates of other lodges which offer almost the same level of service/experience - which by the way is hard to find!

Singita's GM went over to Mateya to experience the place himself because he wanted to know what it is they do differently to make people feel home away from home in an environment which can be hardly matched by any other lodge without kind of intimidating luxury just providing a level of personalized service making MATEYA a destination in itself.

When even Singita got the shouts - then that says something.

Think of the boma itself.........or the cutlery/china/sets one gets - different from meal to meal. Not to mention the dinner table! And Innocent's meals - Philip's guiding and Shai's fun! And Susan being down to earth in a manner that some "joe average" is lacking ;-)

The rack of 6000ZAR is nothing - compared to other lodges which are far below Mateya's standard.

Whenever our route leads us to JNB and we have a couple of nights: One can find us nowhere but in Mateya!

SV
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