A photographic hide with a difference

Written by: Jon Bryant

In mid-October I returned to South Africa. It was an unexpected trip at short notice, but I was so excited to be returning to, what is without a doubt, my favourite country for wildlife photography.

This was my second stay at Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe. Jaci’s is a family owned lodge that has a very personal approach, and the hospitality is second to none. Jaci’s comprises of two lodges – the main lodge and the tree lodge. On my first stay and this subsequent trip I stayed in the tree lodge. I’ve stayed in a few different lodges in South Africa and I have to say that Jaci’s tree lodge is probably my favourite. The rooms are incredible – they are luxurious and have a bathroom and outdoor shower to die for. Coming from northern Europe where we just don’t get the heat to have outdoor showers, it was a revelation.

The lodge is built on stilts and there are walkway passages amongst the trees between the rooms and the main lodge area. This gives you a real feeling of being in the African bush, and there are some interesting animals to be seen within the lodge itself. Most notably, bushbuck, banded mongoose and vervet monkeys.

But that’s about where it starts and ends in terms of wildlife within the lodge as Jaci’s is fenced. This makes it ideal forfamilies. It means that parents and children are free to roam; whether that be to the star bed lookout or to one of the swimming pools to relax. As Madikwe Game Reserve is also malaria-free, it is a serious contender if you are considering a family safari experience.

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