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Three is the magic number at Madikwe Safari Lodge, which consists of three separate lodges for families, couples and private hire respectively, making it pretty much perfect for all-comers.
Madikwe is an ideal safari destination for families thanks to its relative accessibility from Johannesburg and the absence of malaria, and Lelapa Lodge, with just 12 suites, is designed specifically for families. The suites have one room for parents with an additional bunk room with fun animal décor for the little ones. There is a shared bathroom, a spacious deck area with sunloungers and a plunge pool. The main area at Lelapa and the separate Eco-house are something of a children's paradise, with a dedicated team on hand to entertain younger guests at all times. There's a lawn for the children to play on, an excellent list of activities such as stargazing with telescopes, a supervised pets corner (although this being Africa the 'pets' are snakes, lizards and spiders), pizza or t-shirt making, game drives and tracking with an expert guide and, should all else fail, a sitting room equipped with DVDs. The restaurant serves kids' favourites but also good quality grown up grub come the evenings and the brand new swimming pool and waterhole for onsite game viewing complete the picture.
Neighbouring Kopano Lodge (kopano means 'small gathering' in the local dialect) is a more intimate - and adult - affair, with just four suites featuring private pools on private terraces and an elegant public area. For added romance an additional treehouse room will be completed soon.
Finally, Dithaba (meaning mountain) is a lodge designed for private hire that enjoys a lovely elevated location overlooking the plains and with just four suites so perfect for a family or group of friends to take privately.
Activities from the three lodges include traditional 4x4 game drives to the see the large populations of game in Madikwe including buffalo, leopard and black rhino in increasing numbers. Adults and children over 12 can also enjoy expertly guided walking safaris after which Madikwe Safari Lodge's onsite therapist can come to your suite to give massages.
A lot of lodges claim to be family friendly but for a genuinely fun and informative safari experience Lelapa at Madikwe Safari Lodge is hard to beat, but what's so clever is that thanks to Kopano the place also works for couples and even honeymooners.
Isabel, Original Traveller