We are offering a 4 days extension to our Best of Africa: Chobe NP and Timbavati/Kruger Park. The base trip runs June 24 and concludes in Johannesburg on July 4.
This extension begins on July 4 and ends on July 8 and include one night in Sun City and three (3) nights at Jaci’s Tree Lodge in Madikwe Private Game Reserve.
Extension Cost = $2,499
We picked Madikwe because:
- Unique wildlife that includes black rhino, white rhino, wild dog, brown hyena, lions, leopards, cheetah and ostrich.
- Unique ‘Terrapin Hide’, a water level observation room located at the lodge.
- Off-road tracking: In Madikwe, we will be able to leave the road to track predators. This allows amazing viewing of lion, leopard and other predators.
- Our lodges are inside the reserve. As a matter of fact, it’s at a popular water hole, so you are assured of hearing elephant, lions, etc. as they announce their presence at the water hole. Imagine having morning coffee while watching zebra drink right across from you.
- Proximity to Johannesburg – The transfer from Madikwe on departure is by private coach and is only a four-hour drive. Along the way, you will see several local villages and rolling farmlands that will give you a better sense of true southern Africa.
Madikwe Game Reserve – We want to share a few word on the Jaci’s Tree House Lodge and Jaci’s Safari Lodge. The owners are a married couple named Jaci and Jan. They are the original owners and have been very careful about having the right staff, the right ‘feel’ for the lodge, etc. We can attest the staff is wonderful and the lodge and rooms are beautiful. The two lodges are adjacent and both have access to viewing of the water hole via the elevated hide or the new low angle Terrapin hide.
Both lodges at Jaci’s feature vibrant colors and African themes. Jan tells me Jaci is in charge of decoration and we feel she has done an awesome job. While bold, the room and main lodge is very tastefully appointed. A stay at a Jaci’s lodge is a real treat. Rooms have both a bath and a shower, with the private shower having an open view of the stars above.
We love this lodge, but we go on safari for the wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve has a broad variety of terrain. Madikwe Game Reserve are vast open, nearly moonscape regions with iron laden red soil, steep hills with views of the valley below and regions of more classic African ‘bush’. This variety of settings allows for a variety of wildlife and viewing vantage points. Madikwe Game Reserve is unique in that besides elephant, giraffe and zebra, we will be able to see a few species not often seen on safari. These include black rhino (very endangered and known to be much more aggressive than the more common white rhino), white rhino, brown hyena, cheetah, brown hyena, ostrich and springbok.
While on the subject of Madikwe’s wildlife, we want to especially mention the male lions of the area. The lions of Madikwe have blood lines originating from the Kalahari which is both east and north of Madikwe. Kalahari lions are known for two things: a) size – the lions tend to be much larger than the lions of Kruger National Park area and b) their manes – the Kalahari lion is distinguished by their huge black mane, which is both impressive and incredibly photogenic.
Logistics of this extension:
- As noted previously, this safari will begin in Johanneburg upon our arrival back into Johannesburg (JNB) from Timbavati/Greater Kruger.
- We will provide ground transportation from JNB to our destination. Driving is preferred on this particular extension for several reasons including:
- The optional charter flights into Madikwe provided by FedAir are expensive
- Weight limits on the charter are very strict
- The driving distance is reasonable
- The drive offers a chance to view a slice of rural South Africa life. We pass farmlands and drive through several villages offering unique photo and viewing opportunities.
- July 4 – From JNB we will drive approximately 3 hours to the resort town of Sun City, which is known for golf courses, casinos, fine dining and …. the entrance to Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve. Time permitting, we will have one game drive in Pilanesberg.
- July 5 – The next morning, we will take the short 1 hour drive into Madikwe, arriving in time for lunch and settling in before our first game drive.
- July 6, 7 – We will have two game drives. In addition, you will have 24 hour access to both the elevated hide and the water level ‘Terrapin Hide’ at the water hole adjacent to the lodge. These hides differentiate Jaci’s from any other African lodge we are aware of and can yield some truly amazing images.
- July 8 – On the last day of our safari, we will begin as other days with a morning game drive followed by brunch. Following brunch, we will drive back to Johannesburg in time for folks to catch their scheduled flights home. Like the drive out to Madikwe, we will make sure we budget time to allow some photos along the way but be back in plenty of time for your flights.