Mention Jaci’s Lodges and most travel agents will know of the property. It is a fan-favourite amongst Australian travellers and the travel trade. But do you know about Madikwe Game Reserve where Jaci’s Lodges are located?

Madikwe is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5 in 75000 hectares of pristine, malaria-free African bush. It is a true African Eden offering the discerning safari lover access to the big five, including the Black Rhino along with other rare species such as African Wild Dog and Cheetah.

For a first-time taste of the African bush, or even if you are someone who has been drawn back to the call of the wild, then Jaci’s Lodges encompass the true safari experience.

Located in the park’s North West, Jaci’s Lodges consists of two properties; Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Jaci’s Tree Lodge, along with the unique Starbed. Both lodges offer guests the perfect destination for unrivalled game-viewing, unique accommodation options, outstanding service and tailor-made safari activities.

Accessible via car or small aeroplane, Jaci’s Lodges are a mere 3½-hour drive or an hour’s flight from Johannesburg. The flight into Madikwe airstrip is where the excitement starts, cruising over the countryside speckled with townships and farms, bushland and expanses of terrain for as far as the eye can see. Even from the air, wildlife can be spotted roaming below.

On Safari

Image Credit – Kate Webster

The quality of the safari experience at Jaci’s Lodge is second to none. To experience a truly authentic African safari in the splendid Madikwe Game Reserve is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure guaranteed to be forever etched in your memory. Comfortable open-air 4WD game viewing vehicles allow you to immerse yourself in the surroundings, where you can look forward to an epic experience including the possibility of seeing the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino), as well as cheetah, African wild dog, hyena, giraffe and hippo – all sightings for which Madikwe is famous.

The game rangers and guides are highly experienced and have a wealth of knowledge of the area, wildlife and even astronomy at night. Game drives take place in the early morning and then again late in the afternoon, prime times for animal viewing.

Morning game drives begin with the backdrop of the sun’s golden glow which blankets the horizon, the sound of morning birds filling the air in a symphony of calls, the smell of the bush in the air, a sweet mix of florals, rustic earthy scents and petrichor from the morning dew. This is when the animals begin stirring from the night before, settling into the day.

After a delicious lunch, there is time for an afternoon game drive, which will extend into the evening. The animals are now active again as the sun’s heat is cooling off. If you thought the sunrise was spectacular, then the sunsets over the bush in South Africa will take your breath away. Best experienced with a gin and tonic sundowner, this is a great time to get out of the vehicle with your guides, stretch the legs and discuss the day as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.

If weather permits, at night you will dine in the best bush restaurant you will experience. Enjoy fire-cooked meals under the stars, with authentic South African flavour and flair. As the fire crackles nearby, tables are lit by lanterns, allowing for an intimate safari experience that will be treasured for years to come.

Lodge experience

Image Credit – Kate Webster

On arrival at Jaci’s Lodges, you will feel the luxury of the gorgeous safari-style accommodation but be pleasantly surprised at how it blends into the surrounding bush. Bold colourful décor oozes the vibrance of the South African people which works in harmony with the natural woods and stone structures.

The main lodge building has received an extreme makeover resulting in a bold, refreshed, upgraded and spectacular new gathering place. It features a spacious and elegant lounge, a glorious open fireplace and bar, and kitchen and dining areas, all proudly reflecting our trademark striking colourful decor and authentic South African atmosphere.

While not on game drive experiences, time spent at the lodge can be as eventful or relaxing as you choose. Lunch time between the morning and afternoon game drive allows time to relax and savour the morning’s drive, discuss with other guests your sightings or simply enjoy the facilities of the lodge.

There is a pool for relaxation and escape from the heat of the sun in summer. Sitting areas are scattered around the lodges where you can relax and enjoy the surrounding bush, read from a selection of books or even take an afternoon nap.

For those guests who still want to see more wildlife, venture to the Terrapin Hide, which is a submerged photographic hide with a water-level viewing window in the Jaci’s Lodge’s waterhole, or enjoy lunch on the large viewing deck overlooking the waterhole.

The dining experience

Image Credit – Kate Webster

If you think the rooms and game-viewing experience are spectacular, wait until you sit down for a meal at Jaci’s Lodge. You won’t go hungry, as guest packages include early morning coffee, breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Breakfast and lunch can be served in the main lodge or with a side of more wildlife viewing up on the deck by the waterhole. Evening meals can also vary from bush dinners, boma dinners or dining in the main lodge.

The locally sourced food is fresh and delicious, with desserts often a crowd favourite. There is a fully stocked bar and beverages in your room as well.

Overall experience

Image Credit – Kate Webster

Jaci’s Lodge at Madikwe is perfect for clients who are limited on time, due to it’s close proximity to Johannesburg. It also offers a less busy game viewing experience than some of the other National Parks. Consider Madikwe and Jaci’s Lodge for your clients before looking at the busier areas.

For more on Jaci’s Lodges visit,

To book your clients on a trip to Madikwe, visit

For more on South Africa, check out the Focus on South Africa feature.

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