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Hayley F
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

A little tired now...

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 06 Mar 2020via mobile
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.
Date of stay: March 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Reviewed 4 March 2020

Fantastic place to stay. Quiet peaceful and incredibly well run. The staff were helpful polite nothing too much trouble. All our game drives were spectacular you certainly get up close and personal with the animals and the rangers were informative interesting and went out of their way to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. Small jeeps small tracks and we even went completely off road to catch site of a small pack of wild dogs. Brilliant! I would highly recommend this game lodge. Thank you for the experience. We loved it.

Date of stay: February 2020
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Thank Janesaka
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.
Reviewed 28 February 2020

We stayed at the Thakadu River Camp in early Feb 2020 for 3 nights - our first safari and we were not disappointed. In fact the whole experience surpassed any expectations from arrival to departure. The staff at Thakadu could not do enough for you - greeted on arrival with warm cloths towels, bags and car taken away - lunch offered and all before we saw our room/tent. The tent was lovely - bed very large and comfortable. The bathroom area is rustic but in keeping with the whole environment. and the whole tent was very clean and spacious. We were in the furthest away tent (tent 12) which some people have commented is a problem and it is a short walk (c.3 mins) from the main dining area etc but it really was not a problem.

The game drives themselves were absolutely brilliant. I am sure all of the drivers are good but a special mentioned to Gery our driver - I think he would have stayed out all day if he could! He was so passionate about the animals and very very knowledgeable having had years of experience. We saw scenes we never imagined we would - with lions roaring, elephants trumpeting and wild animals hunting and catching their kill.

3 nights was the perfect number of nights for us (giving 6 x 4 hour long game drives). There was little time for anything else but focussing on the animals - it was perfect!

Highly recommend.

Room tip: Room 12 was furthest away but there are only 12 rooms in the whole place so none are really that far to walk.
Date of stay: February 2020
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank laddiechops
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.
Reviewed 27 February 2020 via mobile

Visited aha Thakadu River Camp in Madikwe Game Reserve in early January 2020 .. reserve flush in full summer greenery. Was surprised how green it actually was. Downside it made game spotting harder. Out Tracker was excellent and first day out saw all big 5. Temps were Easy bearable @ 32’ Accommodation was in permanent tents with air con. Sleeping was in super king size bed. Food was excellent but limited choice ( no issue here ) Staff there were employed on a community initiative they were pleasant and accommodating. If you visit it’s 5am start out in th bush for 4 glorious hours . Coffee and muffins end route and back for lovely cooked breakfast at 9am. Evening Safari starts shortly after 4pm beautiful time with sunset drinks in the Bush ..Highly recommended !!

Date of stay: February 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank 748michaeln
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.
Reviewed 11 February 2020

It was a special adventure in a marvellous resort. The staff was very welcoming, friendly and met all our needs. The guide was excellent and found great and interesting sites. It was an extraordinairy experience for the whole family !!! Thank you Thakadu River Camp staff.

Date of stay: February 2020
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Thank evar0ss
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.
Reviewed 11 February 2020

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.

Date of stay: October 2019
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Thank GoSafariSA
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.
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