Rooms: 6: 2 double, 4 twins/kings all with en-suite bath and shower.
Prices: From R3,150 pp sharing.
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Meals: All meals included plus two game drives a day.
Directions: From Pretoria take N4 to Zeerust, then R49/47 towards Madikwe. At Madikwe turn right at the Wonderboom Gate, The Bush House is signposted 1 km from entrance. Federal Air Flight also flies to the reserve daily.
GPS: S24 46" 00' E26 10" 24’
Sue and her husband Gordon stayed here as guests in 2006 and decided they didn’t want to leave… so they bought it, along with its history. The Bush House dates back to 1940, when this otherwise barren bushveld afforded no more than cattle farming and citrus fruit orchards. In 1987 it was bought out by the government and incorporated into what became the 75,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve. Operation Phoenix, the relocation of 10,000 animals into the reserve, created one of the finest conservation areas in Africa, where rare species occur naturally and over 340 species of birds have been recorded. To complement the wildlife, Sue and Gordon have built an underground hide looking out at mouse-eye level onto the watering-hole - seeing a herd of elephants this close up is really exciting! The lodge retains its structure as a farm building but has been refurbished on the inside. The bedrooms come with your own private patio. Dining is a relaxed affair, with everyone eating together and in downtime guests can explore the grounds’ nature trails on foot, leaf through one of the many David Attenborough books in the lounge, indulge in some savoury or sweet nibbles for afternoon tea or hang out on lush lawns overlooking the water-hole, which regularly refreshes all of the big five (plus wild dog). Having practically tickled the trunk of an inquisitive elephant on the afternoon drive we returned to sundowners in the company of four rhinos and three lions quenching their evening thirst. Ah, the magic of Madikwe!