Thakadu River Camp

Thakadu River Camp

D53 Thakadu Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve 2838 South Africa
Traveller (522)
Room & Suite (64)
Dining (30)
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About

4.5
#1 of 1 campsite in Madikwe Game Reserve
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
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Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
River View
Family
Languages Spoken
English, Afrikaans
Property amenities
Free parking
Pool
Free breakfast
Massage
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Secured parking
Pool / beach towels
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Kids' meals
Special diet menus
Room features
Air conditioning
Safe
Telephone
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Complimentary toiletries
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms

Location

D53 Thakadu Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve 2838 South Africa
Getting there
Sir Seretse Khama Intl Airport
Lanseria Airport
194.2 km
See all flights
607Reviews28Q+A100Room tips
Traveller rating
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Detailed Reviews
Michael Raddall wrote a review Jan 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa524 contributions62 helpful votes
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Thakadu River Camp is great for couples or families and very good value for money compared to the other lodges in the Madikwe Game Reserve. The staff are very friendly and helpful and go out of there way to make your stay is as comfortable as possible. The tents are fantastic and built in the thick undergrowth of the bush so you really feel like you are close to nature. With the tent blinds open you have views all around you complimented with the sounds of Africa and a fresh breeze circulating through. We found the food very healthy and extremely tasty, hats off to the chef. We had Ranger Jerry on our vehicle after a recommendation from a friend. He was fantastically passionate and full of energy on the first game drive and then somehow lost his interest and mojo on the next few game drives, which was a bit disappointing as a rangers energy plays a huge role in your overall experience of a bush getaway. We also feel the lodge should be stricter with game drive times as we had to wait half an hour for a family who weren't on time for the drive. Also the lodge needs to be firmer with noise levels on the vehicle, again we had a family making so much noise for the whole game drive, which defeats the purpose of why you chose a safari holiday in the first place. We did still see the Big 4, but no leopard as leopard sightings are generally rare in the Madikwe Game Reserve. The lodge has a fantastic pool with great views where you can enjoy a cocktail and watch the elephants come in and drink. All in all a wonderful weekend away and excellent value for money. I would highly recommend a stay here.
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Date of stay: December 2019
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hayley F wrote a review Mar 2020
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom204 contributions112 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I find this one of the more difficult reviews to write as I do genuinely want people to support community lodges in Africa. However, I also want to ensure people make an informed decision based on fact rather than emotion. After all it costs a lot of money to stay in Safari Lodge. Thakadu is set in a beautiful location and has a viewing platform overlooking the river. This is truly beautiful and we spent many hours watching elephants and antelopes visiting the river. The rooms are more than adequate but like the rest of the lodge, they are now looking tired and in need in of some TLC. For us this doesn't matter so much, but for others wanting to visit, it does look quite shabby in places. The food was ok, but it was nothing special and service was painfully slow, so much so, we decided after one day not to go to lunch as it took just too much time. We were lucky to have Billy as our ranger and he truly is one one the best rangers we have ever had. We have done thousands of game drives and he is up there with best. Sadly, right now game viewing is quite poor in this area. The cheetahs are up north and as such to far away to have any viewings, the female cheetah up north has just given birth and as such is off limits and the wild dogs have been put in a boma up north to stop the lions killing them. Whilst other lodges in the north of the reserve have plenty of sightings, without Billy, the sightings here would be dismil in comparison. We visit Madikwe on a regular basis and have stayed at many lodges within. The variety and numbers of animals seen here fell far short of other places we have stayed at. The staff were quite indifferent and there was an absence of any real warmth or atmosphere here. I hope that some of these things can be rectified as I wish any community lodges every success. However, I also believe that unless shortfalls are highlighted, things don't change and hence the difficulties in writing such reviews. Even though it is cheaper to stay here, I don't think we would return again. I do however, wish them every success in the future.
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Debz F wrote a review Aug 2021
Gauteng, South Africa8 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A very special long weekend at Thakadu. A big thanks to Patience and her team at the lodge. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. They went out of their way to ensure our trip was memorable including a delicious 21st birthday cake for my daughter. The lodge is lovely, we enjoyed games of scrabble inside next to a roaring fire as well as out on the deck next to the pool overlooking the river. The tents are well appointed, warm and toasty in the cool August evenings with huge comfy beds and a turn down service with pillow treats. The food was tasty, the freshly baked rolls are a must as are the muffins on early morning game drives. We were fortunate to have Billy as our ranger (we loved his sense of humour and his way of straight talking ) and had some really incredible sightings, too many to mention. Billy's knowledge of birds has to be highlighted and his ability to see animals on trees in the dark, while driving and holding a flashlight is extraordinary! We recommend Thakadu and cant wait to return.
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Date of stay: August 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Tents are spaced fairly far apart. If you don't like walking ask for the closer units. Keep...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Gal_C wrote a review Aug 2021
Pretoria, South Africa69 contributions40 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I stayed at Thakadu in early August. We had an incredible stay. Our unit was #5 and it was well appointed and clean. There were thoughtful touches everywhere like the after dinner treats left on our pillows. When we arrived back from our evening game drive the room was warm and cosy despite it being a chilly night. The lodge itself only has 12 rooms which means an intimate atmosphere where each guest is treated like royalty. Dinner was amazing and we had to compliment the chef on his preparation of the eland steak.

Down to the game viewing. All I can say is that it exceeded all expectations I had. Vincent was a great knowledgeable guide and we ended up seeing the big 5 all within the space of a few hours, not to mention a leopard which was within a couple of meters of the lodge. Highly recommend!

NOTE: the gate entrance as indicated in google maps is closed. You therefore need to enter the reserve via Molatedi gate.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GoSafariSA wrote a review Feb 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa52 contributions7 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
They have their own gate to get to the lodge and the last 30km is a gravel road so in the rainy season it will be better to have a high clearance vehicle especially for the last few kilometers. But this is definitely worth the drive, once you are at the lodge it is great. The luxury tents are well equipped and spacious the main lodge area is also spacious and open and the deck looks out over the river and we sat for hours watching elephants drink and play in the river.
The game viewing in Madikwe is good so the game drives where great. Thanakdu is definitely worth a stay for two or three nights.
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Date of stay: October 2019
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ingrid B wrote a review Dec 2023
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Amazing place to stay, a total experience. I loved sleeping in the tent which is very comfortable and clean, with good privacy, loved hearing the sounds of nature. The game drives were always interesting, fun in beautiful nature, I loved seeing the animals living in freedom. The guide did everything to make our stay special and he tried to cater to our wishlists of animals (the leopards were not cooperative though😉). Food was delicious and very creative with great combinations of tastes, staff was very kind and hospitable. Everyone did everything to make this stay memorable.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: November 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Deidre C wrote a review Jun 2021
Johannesburg, South Africa5 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a memorable family getaway at Thakadu River Camp celebrating my husband's fast approaching 50th birthday. Thank you to the staff for the thoughtful birthday cake and traditional singing on our day of arrival - a special touch that we cherished.
The lodge is beautiful and the tents are spacious and nicely decorated.
Food - 10/10
Our game ranger, Gery, "is the bomb"! We got to see lion on almost every game drive and also saw a rare sighting of wild dogs and cheetah. Thank you, Gery, for an awesome bush experience!
Safety precautions during "Covid" times are adhered to and the staff were friendly and accommodated all our requests.
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Date of stay: June 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
TravellingBlur wrote a review Oct 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The location is great and you can view lots of wildlife from the deck and from your tent. The service was exceptional and the meals really good. We had children who swam in the pool. The only downside was the size of the extra beds for the children (The sleeper couch was to narrow to accommodate two children). I would recommend the lodge and would consider going back.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: October 2020
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Laura C wrote a review Jul 2023
17 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The experience at Thakadu was incredible! Words can not truly convey what my family and I felt. The staff were professional, extremely attentive, loving, and warm. To celebrate mum's birthday, which was a few days before we arrived at Madikwe, the staff purchased a cake and sang traditional songs and did traditional dances. It was unexpected, beautiful, heartfelt, touching, thoughtful, and ever so special.

The accommodation was luxury. We received turn down services in the evening, with sweet extras (usually fudge). We had tea, coffee, and hot chocolate making facilities in the room. The room also had heaters (greatly needed in July, South Africa's coldest month), a separate bathtub, and shower.

The food, including the afternoon tea, was 5 star quality and delicious.

The game drives were incredible! We saw 4 of the big 5 almost immediately! From the moment we entered Madikwe and when we arrived at Thakadu, we saw elephants and giraffes. On the game drives at 6.30 am and at 3.30 pm we had opportunities to see other animals. I especially enjoyed seeing the cheetahs.

I would highly recommend Thakadu for the safari, luxury accommodation, and amazing staff team. We immediately felt welcome and at home.
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Take a torch with you! Sometimes, there may be power cuts. We experienced several. Some were...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Meander785188 wrote a review Jan 2023
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Thakadu really had it all; from the tent experience to the top notch food and all the animal sightings, our money was well spent. We'd go back in a heartbeat. Thank you to Gery, our Ranger, who took our experience to a whole new level with his eagle eyes and experience of the park, we saw the Magnificent 7, within 3 days. Thank you for an unforgettable trip.
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Date of stay: January 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from kpbarnhoorn
Landshut, Germany1 contribution1 helpful vote
1. August is probably the coldest month in SA. Although Madikwe has moderate winters, morning and evenings can be fairly chilly. Definitely long pants, beanies and scarfs recommended. On the vehicles ponchos are available, but dress warm. Layering recommended. Even in Africa 3 degrees is cold 2. Days cam be very pleasant. Spending time at pool on the deck; - yes. Swimming for the brave. 3. Small curious shop available. Payment in Rands. Cards accepted. Normal SA restaurant prices. 4. Re plugs; can 't say. SA 2 prong plugs similar to continental Europe.
Answer from GoSafariSA
Johannesburg, South Africa52 contributions7 helpful votes
Hi, it may be a bit of a rush but you will be able to leave by 9:15am. Chat to the lodge so you can check out and settle your bill the night before and arrange a breakfast pack because you will not have time for breakfast. Let your ranger know as well so he can make sure to get you back in time. What time of the year are you planning to go - in the winter months the game drive leaves a later.
Answer from Ivana S
Naples, Italy22 contributions13 helpful votes
The tents are closed tight and also have doors, as the structure is partly built in bricks. Be careful as the monkeys are super fast at sneaking inside the tent, they are always after the sweets and sugar sachets.
Answer from Ivana S
Naples, Italy22 contributions13 helpful votes
We drove ourselves to Takadu river lodge but l know a trusted shuttle service that l can recommend. They operate in Johannesburg and take customers to Madikwe, Pilanesberg and Kruger. They pick you up from the hotel or the airport. I have used their service several times. Contact Alan Bilbrough - African Journeys
AngiSouthAfrica wrote a tip Mar 2024
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa30 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Relax and enjoy the people as much as you enjoy the location."
Read full review
Heather W wrote a tip Jan 2024
United Kingdom5 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Rooms 11 and 12 are a 6 minute walk from main area but have elephants and hippos below"
Read full review
MATODZI TOURS wrote a tip Dec 2023
Johannesburg, South Africa1,779 contribution4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The road accessibility and road sign has to be improved."
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Kimm Bishop wrote a tip Sept 2023
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Anyone thinking about safari then definitely go to Thakadu river camp!! The service , the food & the camp including All Staff is superb!!"
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Laura C wrote a tip Jul 2023
17 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Take a torch with you! Sometimes, there may be power cuts. We experienced several. Some were only for a few minutes, while others lasted a couple of hours. "
Read full review
Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Madikwe Game Reserve area.
PRICE RANGE
R 3,992 - R 6,690 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
thakadu river camp hotel madikwe game reserve
LOCATION
South AfricaNorth-West ProvinceMadikwe Game Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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THAKADU RIVER CAMP - Campground Reviews & Price Comparison (Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Thakadu River Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Thakadu River Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Thakadu River Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Thakadu River Camp?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Thakadu River Camp?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Thakadu River Camp?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Afrikaans.
Does Thakadu River Camp have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the river view available here.