Madikwe River Lodge

View of the River from the bridge


Madikwe River Lodge is situated in the North Eastern part of Madikwe Game Reserve overlooking the scenic Groot Marico River.

About the Lodge: 

This 3-star lodge is ideally positioned on the banks of the Groot Marico River and surrounded by lush riverine forest.  

crossing the bridge to the main dining area

A wooden bridge connects the car park to the main lodge building, which houses a small curio shop, two seating areas, steps leads up to the TV and games room. The large fireplace that heats both the lounge and dining area, and the tea and coffee station. 

Madikwe river Lodge coffee stationEarly morning coffee at the coffee and tea station

The split level wooden deck leads to an outside seating area with views of the river and another wooden bridge takes you over the river to the boma. There is a swimming pool next to the wooden deck....

wooden bridge leading from main lodge to bomastunning view from the wooden bridge leading from main lodge to boma

Just off the main building along a gravelled pathway is a lovely rock pool.

Wi-Fi is free and available in all the rooms and the restaurant. 

Rock pool at Madikwe River LodgeThe relaxing Rock pool

Food & Drinks:

Meals at Madikwe River Lodge, are served in a number of venues; the cosy dining room, the larger dining room or in the boma. 

Breakfast with Charles at Madikwe River LodgeBreakfast with Charles in the cosy dining room with a warm fireplace going
dinner in the dining room at Madikwe River LodgePicture of the large dining area taken from the TV lounge

Meals are served either buffet style or off a set menu with two choices as a main meal. All our meals were tasty and well-presented, you will never go hungry.

All drinks are for your own account except for the ones on game drives.

lunch at Madikwe River Lodgelunch in the large dining room over looking the river
creme brulee at Madikwe River Lodgecreme brulee
Tea time snack at Madikwe River LodgeHigh tea snacks served before afternoon game drive

Our best was a lovely boma dinner of eland steak, wors, pap, a good variety of salads and vegetables then a delicious cheese cake to top it off.

Boma dinner at Madikwe River LodgeBoma dinner with a wide choice to choose from
Jen getting warm by the boma fire
Happy faces- the staff are always smiling and happy to help

Everyone in our group enjoyed the boma dinner and had a great time.

Madikwe River Lodge Boma dinnersoup being dished up during our boma dinner

Madikwe River Lodge has a lovely bush venue where we had a wonderful bush breakfast. They also do bush dinners... 

Our Bush Breakfast at Madikwe River LodgeOur Bush Breakfast at Madikwe River Lodge

Accommodation at Madikwe River Lodge:

Perched on the river bank are 16 thatched chalets; they are nicely spaced on either side of the main building. 1-9 on the left and 10 to 17 on the right…there is no number 13.

Chalet number 1 at Madikwe River LodgeChalet number 1 at Madikwe River Lodge

All the chalets are split level with a separate lounge with a bar fridge/ tea and coffee station which leads onto a private balcony with views over the Groot Marico River.

Inside view of chalet

The bedroom has either twin beds or king size beds, en-suite bathroom, with bath and shower overlooking the river, ceiling fan and hairdryer. 

Inside one of the chalets
Madikwe River Lodge chalet bathroomchalet bathroom

We had some fruit and a complementary bottle of water in our room on arrival, which was a very nice touch.

The honeymoon chalet is on the far end of the pathway, it has everything that the other chalets have plus an outdoor shower.

The out -door shower at chalet 17 at Madikwe River LodgeThe out -door shower at chalet 17


There is always something to photograph in and around the lodge.

Green Wood Hoopoe-image taken in Madikwe River Lodge gardenGreen Wood Hoopoe-feeding its young in the nest-image taken at River Lodge
Vervet Monkeys-image taken from the bridge at Madikwe River LodgeVervet Monkeys-image taken from the bridge at Madikwe River Lodge
Lions lying on the bank opposite our chalet 17 at Madikwe River LodgeLions lying on the bank opposite our chalet 17 at Madikwe River Lodge
African Finfoot- image taken at Madikwe River LodgeAfrican Finfoot- image taken at Madikwe River Lodge just past our chalet

Game drives.......

Caroline and Julian at the back with Sandra & Wolfam in front of them
Young Giraffe behind its mom-image taken while on game drive at Madikwe River LodgeYoung Giraffe behind its mom-image taken while on game drive at Madikwe River Lodge

There are two game drives per day - an early morning and a late afternoon, both drives will stop for either a coffee or sun-downer break in the bush.  

Our coffee stop with Charles while at Madikwe River LodgeOur winter coffee stop with Charles
Jen and Gabarone at a coffee stop with an elephant in the back ground

Some of the viewpoints will provide excellent opportunities for sunset or sunrise photographs...

Another stunning viewpoint-Guys View

Sightings on our 3-night stay:

We had some good game drives with our guide Jerry and we met some very nice people from Germany, England and Scotland at the lodge.

The other Madikwe River Lodge vehicle in the background watching the lion
Chris and MandyChris and Mandy with the cheetah
Lion eating on his kill

We saw lions with a kill and lions with cubs on another kill, brown hyena, a pack of wild dogs, white rhinos, elephant, spotted hyena and most plains game.

Our second safari to River Lodge

the cheetah looking right at us in perfect lighting

On our second trip we had Charles as our field guide and you can read more about our experience with him here.  

We have stayed at 12 of the Madikwe lodges and Madikwe River Lodge is one of our favorites. In order for your safari to be enjoyable a few things need to come together such as:

  • Food
  • Property layout
  • Staff member's attitudes, such as chef, GM, owner.   
  • Comfort on the game viewing vehicle
  • Safari field guides (this is the big one!) and you can read more about our good, bad and ugly field guide experiences at Madikwe. 

Just because a lodge is 5-star does not mean that everything will be 5-star! Some of the 5-star lodges did not provide tasty food and some of them had terrible field guides.

We enjoy lodgeswhere there are efficient, humble people who go out of their way to please their guests, especially wildlife photographers who have special requests.

Our third safari to River Lodge

Lioness on a buffalo kill

After our third safari to the lodge we wrote an article in our newsletter about our experiences at the lodge, which you can download here

Our fourth safari to Madikwe River Lodge

always carry your camera with you- this mom kept bring food to her baby

On our fourth visit we were interviewed by Gaborone, the person who does the marketing for the lodge, and you can read our interview here.  

Our fifth safari to Madikwe River Lodge

On our fifth safari to the lodge (yes we love visiting this fantastic lodge!) we spent time at an elephant carcass and saw both lions and hyenas feeding on it.

Lioness on elephant carcass
The next day the spotted hyenas where on the carcass

You can read our fifth-visit trip report here.

Thank you to Cynthia (the acting GM) and her team - we look forward to seeing you all soon!

For more information on Madikwe River Lodge or to make your reservation please contact the lodge as follows:

Telephone: +27 (0)14 778 9000

Fax: +27 (0)14 778 9020


Follow MRL on Facebook

Return from Madikwe River Lodge to Madikwe Game Reserve

Return from Madikwe River Lodge to K2K Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Please leave us a comment in the box below.

To make a safari rental booking in South Africa, Botswana or Namibia click here

"It's 768 pages of the most amazing information. It consists of, well, everything really. Photography info...area info...hidden roads..special places....what they have seen almost road by road. Where to stay just outside the information. It takes quite a lot to impress me but I really feel that this book, which was 7 years in the making, is exceptional."            - Janey Coetzee, founder of CAROK (Camps and Roads of Kruger)  South Africa

"Having a passion for the region itself and having to know about all dynamics, water holes and ideal roads for a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa

"Mario and Jenny take you to places that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money"  -  Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA

"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both."         - Don Stilton, Florida, USA

"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France

"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, BC, Canada

"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography"  -, USA

Manyeleti Big Cat Safari

Photo Safaris on a   Private Vehicle - just You, the guide & the animals!