We stayed at The Bush House during the Easter weekend and what an amazing time we had!
I travelled here with my wife and 7 year old son and couldn’t have asked for a better "family friendly lodge" in all of Madikwe. I had started getting good vibes about the place when I was communicating with Sue to secure my booking at the lodge. Just a day before, I was about to travel, something prompted me to check the weather at Madikwe and the forecast was horrific. It was showing the heavy showers for next 3 days. My 1st reaction was how will we able to spot the animals in that kind of weather and since it was too late to change the booking, whether The Bush House team will agree to change the booking dates. I messaged Sue and she was extremely kind enough to postpone our travel dates without charging us extra money for changing the dates at the 11th hour. Came Easter, 2021 long weekend and we started our road trip to the Madikwe game reserve from Johannesburg. I have to mention here, the road to reach the reserve and in particular, to reach The Bush House is very good (Unlike some other major game reserves in SA, including Sabi Sands). We reached The Bush House an hour before our check in time of 1400 hrs but we still got our room without any delay. Lizelle, the lodge manager was very welcoming and briefed us about the daily schedule, as is the norm at all the game reserves. The reason we chose The Bush House for this trip was because it’s family friendly and they have an underground hide overlooking the MOST ACTIVE WATERHOLE, I have ever seen in any of the umpteen game reserves I have been to. Lizelle wasn’t even finished briefing us about the daily schedule and came the herd (Or memory 😊) of 25+ elephants to quench their thirst at the waterhole. We sprinted towards the underground hide and got some really amazing shots of elephants and zebras from there. I have to admit this hide gives a whole new dimension to the animal viewing. One has to see it to believe it. The hide is so well managed by The Bush House team. It has got everything one needs – A fridge stocked up with drinks and water, insect repellent, bean bags for cameras, lights, flash light, carpeted floor, chairs and a screen to close if one ever feels threatened by any of the wild animals. At one point the elephants and warthogs came so close to us that we could have actually stretched our hands and touched them. That’s how amazing this hide is.
The families with children are especially going to enjoy the place as it has got so much stuff for kids to play. Right from the board games to cards to cricket to football to rugby to what not. The availability of all this stuff for kids takes a lot of burden away from the parents, as the kids can keep themselves busy for hours. The garden is big enough for the kids to play cricket or soccer and we made it a point to have at least a couple of games of cricket every afternoon. Also, since the lodge is fenced, the parents can leave their kids in the garden without worrying about their safety.
Now coming to the game viewing. The game viewing is simply breathtaking at Madikwe. Apart from the regulars like lions, rhinos, buffalos, hyenas, jackals, giraffes, elephants and the antelopes, we managed to see the cheetahs and the wild dogs as well. Seeing the wild dogs killing an impala was amazing. Our ranger Patrick was very knowledgeable and ensured we got to see as much varied wildlife as possible. The reserve in itself did not seem crowded which took the game viewing experience to the next level (Possibly, the lesser number of visitors was because of the COVID pandemic).
The food at the lodge was really nice and Lizelle was very careful in ensuring all our dietary requirements are met. We never had to remind her once about our dietary requirements. She ensured we get what we had requested for. Also one thing which really stood out about Lizelle was that she addressed every child with her/ his name which, in my opinion, gives a very nice personal touch to the entire customer service experience. Keep it up Lizelle!
Apparently, the lodge has a private nature trail which we unfortunately couldn't do due to the lack of time but hopefully will do it the next time.
Last but far from the least, The Bush House gave me a huge surprise by arranging a birthday cake for me during one of the game drives. We took a break for the sundowners during our afternoon safari and Patrick (Our game ranger) had brought a nice chocolate cake for me. Celebrating the birthday in the African jungle in the midst of sprinting impalas and giraffes looking at us behind the tall trees was an unforgettable experience. A BIG thank you to The Bush House team for making my birthday so memorable. I would definitely like to visit this place again. Highly recommended.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC