- Malaria-free Madikwe Safari
- Five-star luxury
- Lots of activities for children
- Pool overlooking waterhole
Five-star lodges that welcome children of all ages are relatively rare, so this one is a real find. Located in the western sector of the Madikwe Game Reserve in a tranquil valley, this lodge provides luxury and adventure in equal measure, with a special programme designed to keep younger members of the party engaged throughout their stay.
Tuningi has a unique, flexible design that caters for up to 16 guests in luxurious surroundings. The lodge blends indoor and outdoor spaces using retractable doors and windows wherever possible. The family units comprise two double bedrooms with adjoining living and dining area, plus very large bathrooms with beautifully appointed baths, outdoor rock showers, fireplaces and private wraparound wooden decks. The rim flow pool overlooks a waterhole frequently visited by elephants and other game. The pool, and bar area are interlinked by a sweeping wooden deck, leading to a boma under a spreading, ancient fig tree from which the lodge gets its name. It is here that guests can enjoy a traditional outdoor eating experience under the African sky.
‘Little Tuningi’ is part of the main lodge, but can be booked as standalone accommodation for six guests making it ideal for family groups. It consists of one separate luxury suite for two guests and one double family suite for four guests. It also has a lounge, dining room, kitchenette, wraparound deck, private pool and mini outdoor boma.
Designed with families in mind, children can experience African wildlife with their own special game drive after breakfast, armed with workbooks to tick off things they’ve spotted. A thoughtfully put together list of other activities includes treasure hunts, clay modelling and making plaster casts of tracks, all focused on keeping the younger members of the party occupied. To give parents time off in the evenings, experienced nannies are on hand.
For adults and older children, game drives take place in the morning and late afternoon, accompanied by experienced rangers. Under sixes are not permitted on these drives. Home to the big five, malaria-free Madikwe also offers a chance to see the critically endangered African wild dog.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019