On the far Northern border of South Africa lies a luxury safari lodge, Tau Game Lodge, in malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. We travelled over 360 km with the Isuzu D-Max 250 double cab X-Rider from Johannesburg to experience what the 4th largest game reserve with 27 major animal species in the country has to offer. The reserve is bounded by Botswana in the north, the spectacular Dwarsberg Mountains to the south, and the Marico river to the east.
We were impressed by the comfort of our luxurious chalet overlooking the waterhole which attracts incredible sightings at close range. We had elephants, crocodiles, waterbucks, wildebeests, Impalas, zebras, and even white rhinos drinking right outside our doorsteps.
The décor and furnishings of Tau Game Lodge are Africa-inspired and the rooms are equipped with both air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Thirty luxury thatched chalets are spread out in U-formation on either side of the lodge, offering excellent views of animals approaching the water from the opposite bank. All Chalets have views of the game approaching the waterhole.
Each chalet ensures privacy with its own viewing deck, en-suite bathroom and open-air shower. The more spacious deluxe chalets with comfortable seating areas, can accommodate parents and children wishing to share the same room. The sliding doors allow for spectacular views of the breath-taking beautiful tranquillity of the rugged surroundings of the diverse bushveld. The family suite and family unit are both consisting of two bedrooms which are semi inter-leading and share a comfortable lounge.
The Lodge was designed to reflect the natural surroundings and makes use of the natural resources wherever possible. The main body of the Lodge has a curio shop situated at the entrance of the lodge and is one of the first lodge features one will notice on arrival when walking through to the reception and entrance hall.
There is also an infinity pool located in close proximity to the game viewing lounge, with stunning views of the amazing wildlife passing through from the Big 5 to the smaller antelope and birdlife. Tau also has the relaxing plunge pool situated at the main lodge area, for those guests who prefer to sit around the pool and enjoy their drinks with a spectacular view of the waterhole.
The food was great, and chef delivered beyond what one might expect in the bush. The lodge also caters for vegetarians – and of course, I enjoyed the venison. Just before 6am safari drives, coffee and delicious muffins are provided. Then at the end of the mornings and evenings safari drives, the rangers set up drinks and snacks for guests.
We did two game drives per day over a period of three days. The rangers are top tier – we found them very professional, knowledgeable, friendly and patient. On the drive back to the lodge after dark the universe opened up and a true connection to heaven and earth was observed.
Most of us do not notice the daily and yearly changes in the sky because, frankly, we no longer have to bother! Our ranger gave us a lesson on positions of objects in the sky and helped us understand the positions and motions of the moon and the stars.
The lodge also features spa that offers guests deep relaxation and rejuvenating treatments. On entering the spa, you are transported into another world – a calm sanctuary that reflects the soul of Africa with its natural surroundings enhancing your experience. A range of massages are offered to reduce tension and relieve the cumulative effects of everyday stress. This serene environment is aimed at assisting guests to unwind in the natural and tranquil surroundings.
Furthermore, the lodge offers an adventurous alternative with its wedding venue. Although there is no formal chapel, the lodge’s thatched roof has served the purpose on many occasions, while wildlife witnessed the wedding from the far side of the waterhole.
Tau Game Lodge is child friendly, offering special kiddies drives for children below 6 years of age. From 6 years onwards children are allowed on the adult safaris subject to management discretion, please enquire about child rates and policy.
The lodge is ideal place for a safari holiday. Four-legged companions are guaranteed while COVID-19 rules are strictly adhered to.
Madikwe, a South African private game reserve created in 1991 from 75,000 ha of farmland, which had been extensively degraded by overgrazing, was chosen as the site of Operation Phoenix. The government-sponsored, biggest-ever game-relocation programme in Africa involved re-stocking and conserving flora, as well as wildlife which had long since disappeared from the region.