Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
At a Glance
A very exclusive experience with only 5 villas
Fantastic views of game visiting the waterhole in front of camp
Enjoy delicious freshly prepared food from Nico Verster's kitchen
Madikwe is home to the full range of African environments: rocky koppies to open savannah, and a great array of game
Cool off after a morning game drive in your private rim-flow pool
Incredible game viewing from the comfort of your own private deck
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best game viewing is from May to the end of September. Summer (November to March) days can get quite warm (up to 28-32 degrees on average) but it is a dry heat. Summer rainfall, normally in the form of thunder storms are usually in the evening, however, the African climate is still always unpredictable. Autumn (April to May) days can still be warm but the evenings cool down. Average day time temperature 22-28 degrees. Evenings 10-15 degrees. Winter (June to August) days are warm (temperatures in the mid-twenties) evenings and early mornings very cold with average early morning temperatures 5-12 degrees. It very rarely rains at this time when the bush is golden and dry. Spring (September, October) days start getting hotter, evenings and mornings could still be crisp but not as cold. A very slim chance of rain.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Jamala Madikwe or take a look at our itineraries to South Africa
Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge is situated in a quiet corner of the Madikwe Game Reserve. Set beneath a canopy of age-old leadwood trees, with a bustling waterhole directly in front of the lodge, guests can enjoy a hub of wildlife on their doorsteps.
Jamala Madikwe is a luxury safari lodge in the heart of one of South Africa's most renowned wildlife reserves. Owner managed, and with just 10 guests staying in five luxury villas, the emphasis at Jamala is on luxury, high levels of personal service and above all exclusivity.
The main lodge is comfortable and spacious. A large deck spreads across the front of the property with leadwood trees rising up through the deck surface, providing wonderful shady spots from which to enjoy the game visiting the waterhole below. Inside, high beamed ceilings span large lounge and dining areas. Comfortable armchairs and sofas are positioned in front of open fireplaces which help to ward off any evening chill. There is a well stocked library in the lounge area, and for those keen to indulge, there is a small spa to enjoy a massage or other treatment. New to Jamala this year is also the impressive Watch Tower from which to enjoy a perfect view of the waterhole or gaze out across the bushveld. Private dinners can also be arranged up here on request.
Each of the five free-standing villas has been carefully positioned to make the most of the cooling breezes and to enjoy spectacular views of the landscape and the Jamala waterhole in front of camp. The villas consist of a spacious bedroom with separate lounge area and expansive decks, perfect for enjoying a romantic dinner. En-suite bathrooms have outdoor rain showers, and each villa enjoys private rim-flow pools.
Dining is an important part of the Jamala experience. Award wining chef Nico Verster serves up some real gastronomic treats, best enjoyed on the deck beneath the African sky.
Each of the five freestanding villas has it's own private rim-flow pool, expansive wooden deck perfect for enjoying sundowners whilst watching the activity at the waterhole, and a private outdoor shower. From the interior the villas have expansive views of the waterhole and open savannah. They have a lounge with a fireplace, a dining area, walk-in dressing room, complimentary minibar and coffee/tea facilities and air conditioning.
Lounge and library with fireplace, Wifi access throughout, Curio shop, Spa and Gym
Louisa Ross-Taylor (Staff)
Arriving at Jamala was a real treat as there was a huge herd of about 20 elephants drinking a at the watering hole in front of the main area so it was wonderful to be able to sit down and watch them bath, drink and play.
We were so well looked after during our stay and the staff arranged lots of little extra surprises (which I will keep to myself) which really did make our time in the Madikwe. Our suite was so comfortable and it was great to be able to relax by the plunge pool in the afternoon with a book and watch the game wander past towards the watering hole to drink.
We had some fabulous game drives during our time at Jamala and we're lucky enough to see an old battle warn male leopard chilling up a tree, lovely herds of elephant and a real highlight for me was being next to a big male lion who was checking out his territory and roaring to his brother - a sound which really does go straight through you.
Mr Tom Floyd (Guest)
Heaven on Earth!
My wife and I spent 4 nights at Jamala Madikwe on our honeymoon. Jamala is exactly what you imagine a 5 star lodge to be, however it is the unexpected that makes this place so special and magical. I am not going to write about all the finer details because I would hate to ruin any surprises for future guests, you are just going to have to trust me. The owners Nico and Rodney are the most fantastic hosts and it is clear that they have a huge passion for making sure all their guests not only have an amazing time but also make the whole experience so unique. You can see that they get so much satisfaction out of making their guests happy. When they said to us nothing is too much trouble so please just ask for anything I knew they really meant it. I have stayed in many great hotels all over the world and I can honestly say this stands out as one of the best. The attention to detail makes such a huge difference. The lodge overlooks a watering hole so you when you are not out on game drives you will see huge amounts of activity while sipping a beer or having yet another superb meal, which brings me onto the food...it is quite simply unreal!!
I would like to thank our guides Daniel and David for our game drives and the wealth of knowledge they shared with us. Also thank you to Lawrence and Happi who looked after us so well, while constantly smiling.
As for the game viewing in Madikwe; it is second to none. We saw 4 of the big 5 on our first drive and we saw a lovely sighting of Wild Dog at their den one evening, which was really special. The 5th of the big 5 was the leopard, which we saw on our last afternoon drive. To watch a leopard up a tree as the African sun was setting left both of us speechless. We managed to see over 25 different mammals in 4 days.
What you notice about the reserve is that the guides will share information about sightings and they all seem to get along very well. I know many of you might think this doesn't work because it means sightings become very crowded, which is true in other much larger parks. However because the amount of lodges are regulated it means you will not often come across lots of other vehicles and because it is very well managed it makes the experience much more intimate.
I really do urge people to go and see this beautiful place and stay at this stunning lodge, I can assure you that you will leave will such happiness and joy that you have experienced this true African gem!
Eliza Walker (Staff)
Jamala Madikwe is in my opinion by far the most magical, luxurious and romantic camp to be found in South Africa. From the moment you walk in you are treated like complete royalty and Rodney and Nico are the most charming and attentive hosts you could possibly hope for. Each of the 5 villas is gloriously spacious, with it's own private plunge pool for cooling off in after morning game drives. Whether you are a bubble bath person or an outdoor rain shower person you will be able to game view even as you bathe and unwind.
As you walk into the lodge through the front entrance the chances are you will see wildlife straight ahead of you as the deck and lounge look out onto a waterhole that is directly in front of the lodge and must be the most bustling waterhole in the Madikwe. If you can drag yourself away from the incredible guiding on game drives then you needn't worry yourself too much about missing out as you may well see just as much whilst relaxing with a gin and tonic on the deck. The night before I arrived there had been a real hullabaloo in camp as the wild dogs made a kill then the lions came to steal it off them and then the hyenas joined in! During the day I spent at the lodge the waterhole was visited by elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest , impala, kudu and warthog and whether you are viewing them from the deck or from the specially built watch tower you really do feel like you are seeing them at ease in their natural habitat rather than intruding on their daily lives.
The food prepared by award winning chef Nico Verster will really blow you away and afternoon high tea before the game drive is a real treat.
Game Drives & Bush Walks
The Madikwe Game Reserve is an incredible 'Big 5' wilderness area. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, white and black rhino, and the critically endangered Africa wild dog are just some of the amazing sightings you can enjoy in this 75 000 hectare reserve.
South African Birding
The Waterberg is home to an incredible diversity of bird species. Besides residents, migratory species move through during the rains and the escarpment cliffs are home to the world's largest breeding colony of the critically endangered Cape Vulture.
The Jamala Madikwe Waterhole
Jamala Madikwe's waterhole in itself, makes staying at this lodge worth it. During the dry season the game flocks to this permanent water source. There are few places where you might have your best game-viewing on your private deck, this is one of them!
Location & directions
Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
Jamala Madikwe is set in a corner of the non-malarial, 75,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve in the North-West Province of South Africa.
How to get there
11-hour flight from London to Johannesburg. Scheduled flights to and from Madikwe Game Reserve are available, twice per day from Johannesburg. These flights are operated by national carrier Federal Air. Flight duration is approximately 1-hour. Alternatively it is about a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg.
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