A couple of weeks ago Shane, Nina James and I decided to take a couple of days off to spend in the bush. We wanted to go somewhere that was private and a tad luxurious. We had never been to Madikwe before, but we had been told by quite a few of my friends that it is such a nice reserve to visit, so I started my search there. Let’s just say there is not a shortage of awesome looking places to stay in, but we settled on The Etali Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve, not only because it sounded amazing, but also because it welcomed kids, which quite a few places don’t.
What is also awesome about Etali is that there are only 8 units on it’s grounds, so there will never be hordes of people staying there, which means you get a lot of personal attention and the staff is beyond accommodating and nice, they really add a lot to the place. Well them and the fact that there are no fences around this lodge, so all the animals, including the lion can walk right past your room’s private deck, at any given time. It’s amazing!
All the rooms also have private heated plunge pools, so while you’re relaxing outside, wading around your pool like a lazy hippo (or whatever you think your spirit animal is, whatever that means), your view at any given time will consist of a combination of animals, from buck and giraffe, to elephants and zebra, to buffalo and baboons to all of the above and then every now and then a pack of lion will saunter past like they own the place, which they pretty much do, unless the elephant are in town, then they back off. It’s very very cool, you feel kind of special that you get to be so close to them, alone. If that makes sense.
We got to spend 3 lovely days at this place, we saw so many amazing animals on our game drives and from our deck and we almost saw 3 lions take down a lonely zebra whist we were eating our breakfast, I kid you not. It was exhilarating and scary at the same time. I was rooting for the zebra.
This place also serves great food, every meal was good. You know how sometimes some places may have 5-star accommodation, but 2-star food or vice versa? Well not here, we ate like Kings who like food, a lot.
We also made some lovely memories, which I’ll never forget: Nina James’ first swim, she loved it! Shane and my first ever game drive in the rain, it was ridiculous and amazing at the same time. We laughed hard at being slapped in the face by rain and wind. The light afterwards was beautiful though and nothing can beat that after rain nature smell, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
I think we need to see more of our lovely landscape and I’m so keen to do exactly that. If any of you can recommend any places that you’ve stayed at and loved, then please let me know, I’d be keen to look them up.