A Guide to Madikwe Hills Safari Lodge
Madikwe Hills is a 5-star safari lodge based in the Madikwe Game Reserve. The lodge is built into a “koppie” or rocky outcrop and overlooks an open plain with a watering hole that animals come down to drink. Whether you are dining, sitting on one of the swings on simply lazing about in the pool on the front of the deck, you can savor this special site and start your bush detox!
As it was our 10th anniversary, we kicked things off with a spa treatment! The Spa is set into the bush with views over the plain which made for a very relaxed and enjoyable experience. Our room (1) was spacious with magnificent views over the plain and conveniently located to the dining area. What really makes these rooms so special is the plunge pool where you can sit and watch the game whilst cooling off from the hot sun and hold a cold beverage in your hand!
The food was excellent and during lunch on the first day I probably had one of the best Impala steaks I have ever had! The atmosphere is pleasant and the staff all very friendly and helpful.
The highlight of this lodge was most certainly the game experience. We were led by the head game ranger, Trevor and Sydney his tracker. A good bush lodge experience is always made by having an expert and knowledgeable guide together with a tracker who assists in finding all the best game viewing experiences! After joking around a bit and setting them some hefty goals to find some rare animals we set off to see what was out there. First stop was a pair of male cheetahs! I’ve never been that close to cheetahs, so it made for some great picture taking and the added bonus was that we had them all to ourselves for the first 30 minutes. We trundled around after that for a bit and then caught up with a pride of Lion taking it easy by a watering hole. During our sundowners, we learnt all about the anti-tracking units in the area, tree’s, birds and the diversity this park has to offer.
The next day it got even better. We set off for a short drive to wait for the sun to rise and then set off on foot to track some white Rhino that we had seen in the vehicle. Walking in the bush always takes things to another level and raises the adrenalin especially when you are shown fresh Leopard and lion prints! We eventually found the Rhinos who had a baby which was really special. After that we took a slow walk back to the game vehicle expecting to be done only to bump into a Black Rhino! White Rhinos are fairly skittish and on hearing anything will generally run away, Black Rhino’s on the other hand are curious as to what is out there and any sounds or unusual noises, they will search to see what it is. This obviously gets the heart pumping a notch or so higher especially when you have little to no substantial ground cover or trees to climb! The plight of these animals is always a concern so to see these beautiful creatures on foot was a once in a life time experience!
Giles opened up Checkout Travel (Club Travel Fourways in those days) in 2003. He has travelled around the world, worked and operated in different facets of the travel industry and is passionate about researching and implementing new products and technologies. He completed his MBA in 2020 which has been successfully applied to many facets of the business. Giles is an avid cyclist, loves camping with his family and this adventure junkie’s best travel destination is South-East Asia. The next tick on his bucket list is to complete a journey across Bolivia’s remarkable salt flats. Giles is a director of the company as well as heads up the sales and marketing of Checkout Travel.
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