24 August 2016

MADIKWE MAGIC

I returned to the rugged landscapes of the Madikwe Game Reserve bordering Botswana, with a short, but very sweet two-night stay at Jamala in July! 

Our one hour flight from Johannesburg was so short we barely unbuckled our seat belts! There’s nothing quite like landing on seventy-five thousand hectares of prime, pristine wildlife reserve in a light aircraft on a crisp winter's day!

After a warm greeting we headed to our secluded chalet, surrounded by savage beauty. Five carefully-considered, freestanding villas embrace the lie of the land with a palatial style that makes one feel like royalty! Tradition and eccentricity are tastefully united in an unbeatable ambience run by seamless staff. Owner-run and managed by Rodney Steyn, a stickler for detail, whose personal service is the cornerstone of this bijou. Special touches are the order of the day here!

The lodge’s crowning glory is undoubtedly its active watering hole which is the ideal spot to settle in on a 'sofa safari'! Within two hours of touch down we were visited by a parade of thirsty elephant at the popular spot! It was as though they remembered me from my previous visit - not impossible with these mammals’ memories!

The wild terrain is identified by a tapestry of landscape, from bushveld to peaks and plains, all within striking distance of one another. This malaria-free sanctuary offers a kaleidoscope of wildlife, including three hundred bird species and an impressive Big Five population. We were privy to wild dog and mating lion sightings, among other great game viewing!

Food is another focus at Jamala. Their award-winning chef, Nico Verster, is the reason for their ‘Best Safari Cuisine in Africa 2014/2105’ title. Our expectations were exceeded and evident on our belt buckles! Their shared areas are sociable and if you fancy some quiet time their library is beautiful!

Well deserving of its name, after two visits, I feel I’m qualified to say that Jamala is the ultimate place to explore this prolific reserve!

 

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