Guest Blog: A Family Adventure in Madikwe

South Africa, renowned for its spectacular safari and world class lodges, is a brilliant place for teens. Guest blogger, Agatha, shares why the Molori Safari Lodge, located in the heart of Madikwe Game Reserve is a perfect option for the ultimate family adventure in Africa.

My adventure in Madikwe started with a short private charter from a small airport in Johannesburg to the air strip on the reserve. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Jerry, who quickly whisked us to the beautiful Molori Lodge where we would spend the next few days discovering the splendour of the African safari. We were welcomed at Molori by the friendly staff singing traditional African songs and from that moment, I knew the lodge was something special. It couldn’t be more stunning, the rich wood interiors are complete with unique furniture made me start to wish I lived there permanently.

Obviously, the main reason we were staying in Madikwe was to experience its world renowned safari, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The knowledgeable guides took us all over the park, seeking out the best spots to observe the animals in the park’s peaceful surroundings. I remember Jerry choosing a place for us, fifteen meters away from a watering hole, where we were just in time to catch a herd of elephants charge towards us, a rather amusing yet extraordinary sight.

The game drives were utterly unique, and each was different from the last. We were lucky enough to catch a pride of lions try and take down a herd of impalas who were completely unprepared for the ambush. Even though I was only there for a short amount of time, what I observed in Madikwe was unforgettable. Molori delivers on so many of those extra special personal touches. Each night, a note would be left on each family member’s bed with a little saying written on it, I particularly remember one quotation which said “I hope you have an experience that alters your life, because after Africa, nothing will ever be the same.” I can safely say that I came home with a different perspective of the world we live in.

Although game drives were the main event, the lodge itself and the people there really made the experience even better than I could have imagined; the safari is completely tailored to you and what you want and nothing is an inconvenience. With the average stay being around 3-4 nights, each family will experience around 8 drives which is the perfect duration to catch sight of all the ‘big 5’. The Molori lodge is a small and secluded lodge with only a few other guests present at any one time which means each party has a private guide all to themselves. The guides all have an extensive breadth of knowledge making for an enriching experience drive- who knew a group of zebras was called a dazzle?! The drives are so captivating that I found myself asking questions that I had never even considered before I went.

The cuisine at Molori is excellent. The chefs prepare a different style of food for each meal, I had a delicious hot chocolate and freshly baked muffins before each morning drive at 5:30 am and a mouth-watering traditional barbecue under the stars in the evening. Meals are often set but the staff were happy to accommodate picky eaters like me! During down time in between meals, we spent time relaxing on a lounger by the large infinity pool, or, the more adventurous amongst us took part in the lodge’s many activities such as cooking with the chefs, stargazing and unwinding in the spa. There was not a spare moment to feel bored there.

I must admit, the Madikwe Safari experience was easily the best vacation that I’ve ever been on. My family were so equally awestruck by the experience that we now have an entire wall in the house adorned with photographs of the trip.  The whole experience was so magnificent that I can guarantee when you return, you will also vouch for the adage that in fact, after Africa nothing is the same.

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