Jacis Safari Lodge on the Madikwe
By the 1940’s the combination of chronic overgrazing and desertification had reduced the Marico district to a handful of struggling farmers and the poorest area in the province. Thus the Parks Board decided to create the MADIKWE GAME RESERVE, not only to conserve the fauna and flora but also to provide a more favourable environment for the local people. Operation “Phoenix” saw the translocation of 10000 head and 27 species of game into the newly fenced Park, the largest movement since Noah. The late Eric Chapman, together with Jan van Heteren, saw the potential and were the first investors establishing Madikwe River Lodge. Jan’s outgoing personality, operational experience and his exceptional ability as a Restaurateur, together with Jaci’s organizing skills and her outrageously successful decorational flair, soon made Madikwe River Lodge a much-vaunted destination. However, soon after selling their interest in Madikwe River Lodge they were both yearning to invest in Madikwe and start their own Lodge again - the idea of Jaci’s was born. After three long years of negotiation and planning with Parks they have been able to fulfill their dream.
Jaci’s has eight thatched rooms, each with a charming built in, en-suite hand-made rock bath with an outdoor “safari” shower, and fans to keep a gentle breeze flowing. Six of the rooms have twin beds and the seventh and eighth room has king size four-poster beds.
Each room has a hand made ceramic fireplace surrounded by a stone chimney. The deck in front of the room allows you to sit and enjoy the surrounding sights and smells of the bushveld - whilst watching the animals walking past to drink. The walls in the bathroom are built using natural rock and the bath was constructed on site. In order to create a “tented feel” the rooms have canvas sides. Children sharing with their parents are comfortably accommodated on camping stretchers in the rooms. Maximum 3 children per room.
Jaci’s is situated at an ideal spot overlooking an established and well used water hole, under a grove of Tamboti trees, on the edge of the Marico River. The main complex is different, open plan, curved around a huge anthill, under shady trees overlooking the water hole and on the banks of the Marico River. Meals come from an ultra modern kitchen, spotless, in full view of the dining area. Dinners are eaten outside around the open fire in the boma under the stars, or out in the bush on a “braai”, surrounded by nature. Upstairs there is a quiet reading space.
There is also a well-stocked ethnic craft shop. There are only eight double rooms in this “must see”, malaria free destination. Each one faces out over a dry river-bed which acts as a walkway for game on its way to and from the water hole. They each have a tented interior, walls of local stone and a cool thatch roof, for giving that special African bush feeling. A charming built in, en-suite hand-made rock bath with an outdoor “safari” shower, and fans to keep a gentle breeze flowing.
Between the early morning and evening there are game drives and walks, there is a cool swimming pool overlooking the river. Paddle your own canoe, lie in a hammock, sip an ice-cold drink, watch the birds, the butterflies and beasts, relax, unwind. The day, the place, the ambience is yours, in peace for a truly unforgettable African holiday.