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.
The first safari for our young family (boys 8 and 10 years old - a good age to take them), and we all had an excellent time. The highlight of Thakadu River Camp is the hospitality. From Nathan’s warm welcome, all the staff could not do enough for you. The food is very fresh and flavoursome and allows you to sample lots of traditional South African delights. Joyce was particularly brilliant and was very pleased when you selected her selections.
The location of the pool was fantastic- we saw zebra, a huge herd of elephants down for the daily wallow in the mud, kudu crossing the bridge, river monitor etc, etc. Our accommodation was big and comfortable, though could do with a bit of updating/maintenance here and there.
Satis our game guide was hugely knowledgeable and went out of his way to make sure we had a good experience.
Finally, the game - there are huge concentrations of elephants, lots of lion, rhino and buffalo and we were lucky enough to see leopard too. We also saw brown hyeana for the first time. Highly recommended from us.
The tented Longfellow is charmingly memorable! Great view from our veranda on which we had plenty of monkey visitors. Food was ok, the Saturday show (local music & dances) was great, and the best thing was watching the elephants at the river from our pool, just before getting on a drive with our awesome ranger (Seebu, probably spelled differently). Warmly recommended!
I agree with all other positive reviews. It's very nice - comfortable tent rooms with private bath, deck, good bed. Clean. Air conditioning, which is wonderful. Lovely touches like small tokens left on your bed with a candy. All the guides we traveled with were great. You don't need to worry that you are not going to see all that can be seen. The whole park works together to ensure people can see the animals. The park is well managed and you have lots of time to be with the animals up close but safely. There isn't a lot to do at the lodge besides go out on safari and there aren't tvs. The only wifi is in the main lodge. You can't really hike anywhere because of the wild animals, snakes, scorpions, etc in close proximity. Not sure that makes it a wonderful place for children. There is a small pool. There is a small gift shop there but no shopping once you enter the park. It seems like a more adult experience lodge. The staff is wonderful and Very Accommodating to people's individual needs around food and whatnot. The food is very good - beyond what I expected even after being told it was very good. Gourmet. Soup course with the dinner, which is a tradition I love. Drinkable water from the taps. Overall I recommend the lodge with no reservations. That said, you need to remember you aren't in the States anymore when you are there. Things can happen, like power outages from thunderstorms, but the staff make all things seem easy to manage.
Thakadu River Camp is a community owned establishment within Madikwe - all the staff are stakeholders and the result is a great experience. Great food, super tented accomodation (with all mod cons) and really friendly staff who just can't do enough to ensure that you have a good stay. Main restaurant and pool areas are perfect for relaxing between game drives - a good place for a first time safari experience.