Located in the Madikwe Private Game Reserve an hour’s flight (or three and a half hour drive) from Johannesburg, the lodge can also be accessed easily from Botswana’s capital, Gabarone, around 30km away. Madikwe Hills lends itself to couples and families, including multigenerational travel. Each of the 10 suites come with private deck and plunge pool (the Honeymoon Suite has an outdoor bath) from where passing elephants, rhinos and other animals can be viewed. The two-room Little Madikwe comes with a fully qualified chef. Groups of six or eight can be accommodated in Little Madikwe and nearby rooms 9 and 10.
Madikwe Hills safari guides speak of the Big 7 – the Big 5 plus cheetah and wild dog. All Madikwe Hills safaris have a driver and tracker (seated on a special seat in front of the vehicle). The lodge provides dawn and dusk safaris with just six people per vehicle so that all guests enjoy a ‘window’ seat. The reserve’s 31 game lodges work together to ensure maximum guest experience. Only three vehicles can park at each animal sighting, staying up to 20 minutes before moving on to let others have a turn. All safari drives in the 700sqkm reserve are guided – no self drive is permitted.
Madikwe Hills is part of the ‘family and friends’-owned Seasons in Africa portfolio. It supports the Molatedi children’s creche just outside the reserve and soft-toy rhinos for sale are in support of the Bopa Monyetla creating opportunities project. Income from each toy sold is split three ways – to the person who made the rhino, anti poaching and Bopa Monyetla. Utilised mainly by the local market but available to all guests, last minute specials or short-term rates are bookable four weeks from arrival.