Jaci’s Safari Lodge
Jaci’s Safari Lodge in South Africa is situated close to the Botswana border, in the 76,000 hectare, malaria free, Madikwe Game Reserve. The Lodge is ideally positioned overlooking an established and well used water hole under a grove of tamboetie trees, on the edge of the Marico River. The reserve has fantastic fauna and flora; home to 27 species of animals and over 340 species of birds. These include the ‘Big 5’ of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo as well as cheetah and the rare wild dog. Children of all ages are welcome.
Accommodation & Facilities
The safari-style accommodation at Jaci’s Safari Lodge features two private family suites, six luxury tented suites and two exclusive starbed suites. There is a main dining and bar area, decorated with African textiles in vibrant colours, as well as two pools that are heated in the winter and have child friendly steps and shallow ends. The two family suites consist of the Nare Suite and the Safari Suite. Both come with a private guide and vehicle providing maximum flexibility.
The Nare Suite is taken on an exclusive basis and can accommodate four adults and two children (or two adults and four children) in two bedrooms on the ground floor divided by a lounge area and kitchenette. Outside is a balcony and private pool that can be netted for safety. A stairway from the lounge area leads to an upstairs two bedded loft with single beds for children. This suite comes with the option to take meals at the suite or at the main camp. The Safari Suite is available on an exclusive basis only and can accommodate four adults and four children and consists of two chalets connected via a passageway. The first chalet has a ground floor master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, lounge area and kitchenette. There is a stairway leading to an upstairs room which sleeps two. The second chalet consists of a ground floor master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and interconnecting second bedroom which has its own bathroom facilities. The Safari Suite has a custom-built deck incorporating a central fire-pit and spacious seating area leading on to a partially covered ‘star pod’, ideal for stargazing, and a private swimming pool which can be netted.
The luxury tented suites are beautifully furnished with thatched roofs, low stone walls, suspended viewing decks and canvas roll-up panels. Each has an en-suite bathroom. Two of these rooms are large enough to accommodate extra beds for families who wish to be under one roof. The two Starbed Suites with rooftop extensions afford guests the unique opportunity of sleeping under the African stars.
Eating & Sleeping
Kids can have separate meal times and simple meals like chicken nuggets, spaghetti bolognaise, pancakes with Nutella, pasta, burger and chips etc. Children also have the option of taking the adult meals. Babysitting is available only during game drive times. The housekeepers look after children, will feed them and keep them entertained. There is no additional fee.
Wildlife & Activities
Madikwe Game Reserve has an excellent population of wildlife, which includes lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, black and white rhino, cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, zebra, kudu and wildebeest, as well as prolific birdlife. The Safari Lodge welcomes families and is renowned for its excellent, dedicated and trained family guides. Wildlife drives, and walking safaris in the early morning and evening are the highlight of a stay at Jaci’s. During the middle of the day guests can relax by the pool or sit in the hide and watch the wildlife and birds as they come to drink. There is a separate shorter ‘jungle’ drive that leaves the lodge later in the day for very small children and their parents. Please note that children five and under cannot participate on the standard wildlife drives (except if booked into the Nare or Safari Suite and they have their own private guide and vehicle). Guests can also spend time in the sunken Terrapin hide in the waterhole or at the Tlou viewing deck. Spending a night under the stars at the Naledi treehouse can also be arranged for an additional cost.
Specifically for children …
• Among the range of children’s activities offered by Jaci’s is tracking, making a plaster of Paris moulds from animal tracks, learning about different plants and their uses, visiting bat caves, and making hamburgers out in the bush.
• There is also a play house for kids with toys and activities to keep them entertained.