We just lately spent 4 nights on safari in Madikwe Sport Reserve on the unimaginable Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Tree Lodge and couldn’t consider simply how superb this luxurious lodging in South Africa is. In our Jaci’s Lodges assessment we dive into what it’s like to remain right here, the weather we liked most and assist you determine whether or not you need to add it to your African bucket record.
South Africa is world famend for being the continent’s premier safari locations, with parks like Kruger and Sabi Sands bringing in tens of hundreds of tourists every year.
Anybody who has ever tried to plan a visit to Africa understands simply how overwhelming it may be. In a rustic the place safari firms are as plentiful as they’re various, narrowing down the record of which of them to go to generally is a daunting job.
In fact the favored parks are unbelievable, and if it’s your first time to South Africa they’re nicely price contemplating.
However why not do one thing totally different and get off the crushed path, all with out sacrificing any of the experiences you’ll come to count on from an African safari?
In any case, chat to any hardcore safari lover and also you’ll come to understand that the preferred doesn’t essentially imply one of the best.
Lesser-known Madikwe Sport Reserve is simply 4 hours from Johannesburg by automobile and packs an unimaginable punch, dwelling to the well-known Huge 5, uncommon wild canines, giraffes, cheetahs, antelope and extra
Nestled deep throughout the untamed great thing about Madikwe is Jaci’s Lodges, providing a rare safari expertise that effortlessly blends luxurious, journey, and conservation.
On our final journey to Africa we visited Jaci’s for a number of nights to benefit from the unrivalled luxurious and wildlife alternatives that we had heard a lot about from different fans.
From the second we arrived, we knew we have been in for a deal with.
Jaci’s Lodge Assessment – Our Epic Safari Expertise
By the point we had arrived at Jaci’s in Madikwe we had already spent two months in southern Africa, doing extra safaris than we might rely.
From the unimaginable bespoke Pangolin Photograph Safaris in Botswana to tenting within the sprawling desert of Etosha Nationwide Park in Namibia, we had jumped into each alternative to search out the proper African safari lodge each the place we went.
Our journey to Madikwe was set to be our final safari vacation spot, and honestly, we had fairly excessive expectations.
We’d seen the Huge 5, met loads of superb individuals and stayed in some very distinctive lodging.
But as we drove into the gates of Jaci’s Lodges, our dwelling for the subsequent 4 nights, we immediately knew we had arrived someplace particular.
So what precisely made it so fascinating? Learn on to search out out in our Jaci’s Lodges assessment.
QUICK FIRE – 7 Causes We Love Jaci’s Lodges
- Very trendy luxurious lodging choices throughout two properties
- All-inclusive stick with all meals, drinks and actions a part of your safari
- Two sport drives or strolling safaris every single day
- Jaci’s Safari Lodge is household pleasant, being one of many only a few safari choices in South Africa the place you possibly can carry your youngsters
- Jaci’s Tree Lodge is adults solely, in case you need a kid-free escape
- Sleep underneath the celebs on the Naledi Treehouse – presumably the good safari sleep-out ever
- Jaci’s deeply cares about their workers, and that is evident with their revolutionary Workers Trustee, the place crew members who’ve been with the corporate for greater than 5 years are gifted shares within the firm
However First – The place is Jaci’s Lodge?
Jaci’s Lodge is situated within the Madikwe Game Reserve, 4 hours from Johannesburg within the North West Province of South Africa and simply an hour from the Kalahari Desert in Botswana.
This sprawling reserve stretches over 750km², making it the fifth-largest sport reserve within the nation, and is dwelling to Africa’s well-known Huge 5 and an abundance of different wildlife.
Madikwe is thought for its distant, untouched wilderness, making it an ideal vacation spot for a singular and genuine safari expertise.
The reserve can also be malaria-free, so for those who’re involved about both catching malaria or taking anti-malarial medicine, you don’t have anything to fret about right here.
The 2 lodges at Jaci’s are discovered within the japanese part of the park alongside the Marico River, simply accessible through highway or air.
Methods to Get to Jaci’s?
Absolutely the best strategy to get to Jaci’s Lodges is to fly on a constitution flight from Johannesburg, which is able to take lower than one hour.
From the airport it’s about quarter-hour driving to the safari lodge.
Another choice is to organise a highway switch from both Johannesburg or Pretoria in South Africa, or from Gaborone in Botswana.
Flights and transfers might be organised instantly by Jaci’s when reserving your keep.
Alternatively you are able to do what we did and drive from O.R. Tambo Worldwide Airport in Johannesburg in round 4 hours.
The drive is easy following main highways (and most significantly, protected), though you possibly can’t belief Google Maps to get you there on essentially the most direct route.
If you happen to’re planning on driving to Madikwe with a rental automobile the crew at Jaci’s will ship you step-by-step instructions to observe.
One of the best ways to get round is to hire a automobile and discover by yourself! We advocate Rental Cars, which has the most important vary of autos for one of the best worth in the marketplace.
Lodging at Jaci’s Lodges
Jaci’s has plenty of totally different lodging choices unfold throughout two properties: The luxurious and extraordinary Jaci’s Tree Lodge, and the number of luxurious tented suites and 5-star villas in Jaci’s Safari Lodge.
Throughout our go to we stayed 2 nights on the Tree Lodge and a pair of nights within the Safari Lodge, altering round our rooms night time by night time to get the complete Jaci’s expertise.
Right here’s a breakdown of every place so you might have an thought of what they’re like and which one is finest for you.
Jaci’s Tree Lodge
Nestled amongst the cover is Jaci’s latest and most beautiful lodging retreat, the fascinating Tree Lodge.
Impressed by the secluded camps of the Okavango Delta, house owners Jan van Heteren and his spouse Jaci wished to carry this iconic fashion of luxurious to Madikwe and has managed to execute it fantastically.
The 8 Treehouse Suites at Jaci’s Tree Lodge department out from the massive frequent space on elevated platforms, giving the sense of floating above the earth and placing visitors within the lush world of riverside foliage.
We spent two nights on the Tree Lodge and completely fell in love with it.
The Treehouse Suites
Strolling down the elevated boardwalk you don’t fairly know what to anticipate on the Treehouse Suite.
And you then stroll across the nook, step onto your personal non-public deck, and all of the sudden are overcome with a sense of tranquility and awe.
The Treehouse Suite at Jaci’s Treehouse Lodge is a exceptional and distinctive lodging, providing an unparalleled reference to the African wilderness.
Perched excessive within the treetops, it supplies a fascinating mix of luxurious and journey.
The suite encompasses a snug king-sized mattress, elegantly designed interiors, and a well-appointed open-air en-suite lavatory with an indulgent out of doors bathe.
A big stone bathtub seems out over the viewing deck, and there’s no higher place to loosen up and soak with a drink from the minibar in hand than proper right here.
(It was so attractive that even Alesha, who isn’t actually a shower lady, jumped in after dinner one night time.)
There’s every kind of facilities right here, together with a protected, giant author’s desk with common energy retailers and an Amarula bar for night time caps, however the actual magic lies in merely drifting to sleep surrounded by the sounds of birds and antelope throughout you.
The Naledi Treehouse
Simply above the Terrapin Disguise is the Naledi Treehouse, one other one in all Jaci’s distinctive stays that’s assured to be the spotlight of your South Africa safari adventures.
This open-air platform is designed for these which can be in search of one thing particular by sleeping out underneath a blinding African sky, an expertise that can go away your family and friends again dwelling in a bout of envy.
READ MORE: Wish to take pictures of the celebs? Try our article with all of the astrophotography ideas you’d ever want!
Staying on the Naledi Treehouse for a fascinating night was higher than we might have anticipated, because of the Jaci’s workers that made the complete factor additional particular.
The platform is gorgeously embellished with a king-sized mattress, luxurious bedding and mosquito web (with two electrical blankets both facet to make sure you don’t get chilly when the solar dips), an out of doors ensuite, eating desk for meals and lanterns scattered round.
The cherry on prime although is the wood-heated sizzling tub that appears instantly over the watering gap! Discuss romantic!
We determined to skip a day safari drive to have the complete Naledi Treehouse expertise, and we’re glad we did!
The Jaci’s crew setup sundown cocktails and a fireplace for us over on the close by Tlou Deck, together with a non-alcoholic gin and tonic for Alesha, earlier than we headed again to the Treehouse for dinner.
Our scrumptious 3-course meal was introduced on to us whereas we sat on the deck watching animals come and go from the watering gap, and slightly cooler with extra drinks, sizzling water thermos and tea and occasional was additionally dropped off.
Consuming beneath the celebs was a wonderful expertise, and after we’d completed we jumped into our heated mattress to move out to the soothing sound of the wilderness throughout.
Regardless of being slightly fearful in regards to the temperature, we have been very heat and cosy within the snug mattress all night time.
Waking as much as the dawn filtering by the leaves and the songs of the birds was pure bliss.
If you happen to’re seeking to get pleasure from slightly journey in your go to to Madikwe we are able to’t advocate spending the night time within the Naledi Treehouse sufficient!
The Terrapin Disguise
The Terrapin Disguise at Jaci’s Tree Lodge is a captivating wildlife commentary room that’s widespread at high-end safaris round Africa. And for good cause.
Accessible through an underground tunnel, the concrete bunker supplies unimaginable wildlife viewing alternatives with an eye-level perspective that’s unattainable within the safari vehicles.
Slender openings wrap across the bunker just some centimetres above the water degree, that means you may get thoughts blowing photographs of animals consuming from the waterhole – an distinctive alternative for wildlife images.
Throughout our go to we noticed elephants, giraffes, zebras, impalas, water bucks, buffalo kudus and a wide range of birds come right down to drink.
However every kind of different animals are sometimes noticed there, together with lions and leopards.
The cover is designed to supply a serene and unobtrusive viewing expertise, permitting visitors to immerse themselves within the pure environment whereas observing the actions of animals of their pure habitat.
Whether or not you’re a seasoned wildlife fanatic or a images lover, the Terrapin Disguise presents a singular expertise at Jaci’s.
Jaci’s Safari Lodge
The unique Jaci’s the place all of it started – the legendary Safari Lodge blends high-end luxurious with an intimate environment, harmoniously set between the plains of Madikwe and the Marico River.
Once you first arrive on the lodge you’re greeted by the workers and led over the suspension bridge into the reception, bar and eating space.
This huge open-air room is a vibrant and alluring house with numerous couches to loosen up on, tables to get pleasure from a meal at and little nooks and crannies to cover away with an excellent guide in hand.
On the adjoining out of doors deck is the place a lot of the meals are served, climate allowing, beneath some towering bushes which can be usually teeming with monkeys and birds.
When you’re checked in you’ll be taken to your lodging, and Jaci’s Safari Lodge has fairly a number of totally different choices.
We stayed in two – a standard tented suite, and the merely breathtaking Starbed Suite.
If you happen to’ve stayed in a number of non-public luxurious safari locations chances are you’ll be accustomed to the glamping canvas tents which can be widespread round Africa.
Jaci’s Tented Suites take this design and amplify it to a brand new degree with their very own fashion of decor and high-end facilities all through.
There’s the king-sized mattress (or twin for those who’d want) that’s like sleeping on a cloud, with a sweeping mosquito web to maintain any bugs away whilst you doze.
The non-public ensuite comes full with a separate bathroom, his and hers sinks and a wonderful mosaic tiled bathtub.
An out of doors bathe tops it off with piping sizzling water and uninterrupted views of the sky.
Air con and ceiling followers are in fact put in to maintain the tent heat within the winter months and funky in the summertime.
For people who love an evening cap, or a cap at any time of day, there’s a full bar with complimentary Amarula and premium spirits that may be bought, in addition to a cooler with tea, espresso, snacks and different drinks.
And out the entrance there’s a big, non-public out of doors deck that appears out over the gorgeous bush.
These tented suites at Jaci’s are merely divine, and for a pair or two mates travelling on a smaller finances are nearly good.
The Starbed Suite
On our final night time at Jaci’s we have been shocked with an improve to the opulent Starbed Suite, which is by far the most important and most extraordinary lodging we stayed in throughout our total two months in Africa.
This unique suite covers extra sq. metres than our dwelling, with not one, not two however three(!) showers and two loos, a separate lounge space with copper fireplace place, monumental king sized mattress and a author’s desk.
There’s paintings and images prints scattered all through and an enormous deck with full privateness.
However the cause this suite bought the title ‘Starbed’ might be discovered upstairs.
In your non-public rooftop patio you’ll discover a luxurious mattress with mosquito web that on a transparent night time has unimaginable views of the Milky Means.
Company within the Starbed Suite are free to make use of the upstairs mattress and lounge chairs at any time when they’d like, providing a fairly distinctive expertise of sleeping underneath the celebs for those who’re not reserving in for an evening on the Naledi Treehouse.
The Starbed Suite is the head of luxurious lodging in Africa, and for those who’re in your honeymoon or celebrating an important day, you can not beat this lodging.
Different Suites on the Safari Lodge
Jaci’s has a number of different sorts of lodging at their Safari Lodge to fit your fashion and finances.
Safari Suite: A spacious and chic retreat retreat for the entire household after an enormous day of safari adventures. With room for 4 adults and 4 kids, there’s a big deck with fireplace pit, huge Grasp Bed room, twin beds within the kids’s room and loft for added visitors.
Nare Suite: The Nare Suites are perfect for households or small teams of as much as 6 visitors, offering ample house and privateness. It consists of two separate en-suite bedrooms related by a central lounge space, guaranteeing everybody has their very own house to loosen up. The non-public plunge pool on the deck is a refreshing deal with.
The grounds of Jaci’s Safari Lodge are completely beautiful, and regardless of which lodging you select you’ll certainly fall in love with the property.
There’s are two swimming swimming pools which can be open to all visitors, with one swimming pool being very secluded and the opposite in a extra open-air setting.
If you happen to wander on down subsequent to the river you’ll discover a wonderful path that connects the 2 lodges. Hold a watch out for every kind of birds and even antelope as you stroll.
However our favorite a part of the Safari Lodge is the Thutlwa Lookout.
The big, elevated out of doors lined deck on the entrance of the property overlooks the reserve, and you may get unimaginable sport viewing from the consolation of a sofa with drink in hand.
Some meals are served on the Thutlwa Lookout, which is a fairly magical strategy to get pleasure from an omelette and occasional, however you possibly can entry to the lookout at any time of day.
The Safari Sport Drives
In fact the luxurious lodging at Jaci’s is a serious drawcard and would doubtless be the principle cause anyone would guide a go to right here reasonably than one of many different lodges in Madikwe Sport Reserve, however we are able to’t write a Jaci’s Lodges assessment with out speaking in regards to the marvellous sport viewing alternatives on safari.
Jaci’s presents two sport drives every single day, morning and afternoon, with the skilled safari information selecting the place to go primarily based on prior animal sightings, recommendation from different guides and instinct.
Jaci’s Lodges has snug 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers in-built normal safari fashion with three rows of seats, no partitions and a roof that’s eliminated in winter and put in once more in the summertime.
Once you arrive on the lodge you’ll be paired with a knowledgable information and presumably a small group to get pleasure from sport drives with.
The guides share insights into wildlife behaviour, habitats, and conservation efforts, which tremendously enhances the safari expertise.
Some drives embody bush breakfasts or sundowner stops, permitting visitors to savour meals within the coronary heart of the African wilderness.
The flexibleness of itineraries accommodates numerous pursuits, and personal drives might be organized for a personalised journey.
Listed below are some pictures we captured on safari in Madikwe Sport Reserve with Jaci’s:
Conservation and Sustainability
Throughout our keep at Jaci’s Lodges we have been actually impressed by their unwavering dedication to conservation and sustainability.
It’s clear that they’re not nearly offering a exceptional safari expertise but in addition actively contributing to the preservation of the environment for future generations.
This isn’t only a case of greenwashing both. Quite a lot of the work they do is unsung, and it’s simply one thing they really feel is the suitable factor to do.
Naturally, being within the coronary heart of an exceptional wildlife sport reserve, one in all their most commendable initiatives is their involvement in nature and wildlife conservation, significantly within the essential struggle in opposition to rhino poaching.
Figuring out that they’re taking steps to guard these magnificent creatures is heartening, and through our go to to Madikwe we had the prospect to see various of those breathtakingly superior creatures.
READ MORE: Discover ways to select sustainable lodging if you journey with our complete information!
Their partnership with Pandae Inexperienced Options for full-scale recycling of glass, paper, and tin demonstrates their dedication to decreasing their ecological footprint.
Using non-toxic cleansing merchandise and facilities additional underscores their dedication to eco-friendliness.
Their emphasis on neighborhood employment and sourcing merchandise regionally not solely helps the native financial system but in addition strengthens their ties with the neighborhood.
Moreover, Jaci’s Lodge has a powerful vegetable backyard and has launched a hydroponic gardening system, guaranteeing that their meal choices are sourced as sustainably as doable.
And Jaci’s is now utilizing a hydrogen generator as a proof of idea to energy their Safari Lodge.
It’s the very first hydrogen generator ever utilized in an African safari lodge, and as of subsequent yr each their lodges will likely be utterly off grid.
Not solely is that this a sustainable strategy to energy the lodges, nevertheless it additionally signifies that South Africa’s load shedding points isn’t an issue for Jaci’s.
Jaci’s Workers Belief
In fact everyone knows that regardless of how nice the wildlife experiences are or how luxurious the lodging is, a spot is just ever nearly as good as its individuals. And that’s the place Jaci’s shines.
Each workers member we got here throughout, from the managers to the cooks, wait workers to upkeep crew, have been pleasant past perception and bent over backwards to make us really feel at dwelling right here.
You possibly can inform they liked their job and loved working there.
On our final day proper earlier than we have been leaving we have been chatting to Tristan, the gross sales supervisor at Jaci’s, and he advised us in regards to the Jaci’s Workers Belief. And all of the sudden all of it made sense.
When the house owners, Jan and Jaci, setup the enterprise he knew that the corporate can solely ever be nearly as good as its crew, figuring out that they play a vital position in each day operations, administration and maintenance.
In consequence he established a Workers Belief as an incentive and bonus for members of the crew to deal with Jaci’s Lodges as their very own.
The Workers Belief is an incentive for any worker who has been working on the firm for longer than 5 years to develop into a shareholder, and at present 27% of the corporate is owned by the workers.
This implies when the corporate is doing nicely, they’re financially rewarded for that by receiving annual dividends similar to any stakeholder in a big firm.
Many of the workers come from the close by villages and communities the place nice enterprise alternatives are laborious to return by, so this initiative empowers the crew and offers them direct motivation to assist make Jaci’s one of the best it may be.
It’s actually heartening to see the robust bond and sense of possession that the workers at Jaci’s Lodges share, and it amplifies their dedication to making a memorable expertise for visitors like us.
Our Jaci’s Lodges Assessment Conclusion – 9/10
Our keep at Jaci’s Lodges was nothing in need of extraordinary. From the second we set foot on this exceptional wilderness haven, we have been enveloped by a way of awe and marvel that solely grew with every passing day.
The lodge’s unwavering dedication to conservation, sustainability, and the well-being of their workers is not only admirable however deeply inspiring.
The unimaginable experiences, from thrilling safari drives in Madikwe Sport Reserve to tranquil moments within the treehouse suites, will perpetually be etched in our hearts.
Jaci’s Lodges is just not merely a spot to go to; it’s an expertise that touches the soul. It’s a testomony to the ability of accountable tourism, the place conservation, neighborhood, and luxurious seamlessly merge to create an unforgettable journey.
Our time right here left us with cherished recollections, a profound appreciation for nature, and a deep need to return.
Jaci’s Lodges captured our hearts, and we are able to’t wait to return sooner or later quickly.