Home Travel Exceptional Rockfig Lodge Madikwe 

Exceptional Rockfig Lodge Madikwe 

Exceptional Rockfig Lodge Madikwe 

Set on a hilltop overlooking the undulating plains, Rockfig Lodge Madikwe in South Africa’s Madikwe Sport Reserve is the right juxtaposition of luxurious, model, and authenticity.

South Africa has some actually well-known recreation reserves – say the title Kruger Nationwide Park and guests instantly know what you’re speaking about. When an invite by Phoenix Collective seems in my Inbox to go to the lesser-known Madikwe Sport Reserve, I settle for immediately. Sharing a border with Botswana, this jewel within the North West Province is much more engaging – it’s sized at a powerful 290 sq. miles, is house to The Massive 5, is malaria free, and with no day guests allowed, there are fewer autos per sighting. 

The sleek new Cessna 208B EX Caravan on Madikwe’s Western airstrip. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
The modern new Cessna 208B EX Caravan on Madikwe’s Western airstrip. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

My journey to journey the 930 miles between Cape City and Madikwe Sport Reserve commences on a Tuesday morning with an Airlink flight from Cape City Worldwide Airport to OR Tambo Worldwide Airport in Johannesburg. To get from town to the bush, I go for a flight with Federal Airways, the place their service excellence begins the second you arrive. With a complimentary meet and greet at OR Tambo Airport, I’m handed over to Dumi, who drives me to the unique Federal Airways lounge, the place I wait in supreme consolation for my flight to depart. Taking to the skies in one of many new Federal Airways Cessna 208B EX Caravans with captains Divan and Louise on the controls, I’m mesmerized by the sight of crimson earth from my vantage level at 11,000 ft, dotted with lush greenery as they descend to land the plane at Madikwe’s Western airstrip.

The main area at Rockfig Madikwe. Photo courtesy of Rockfig Madikwe
The principle space at Rockfig Madikwe. Photograph courtesy of Rockfig Madikwe

I’m collected on the airstrip by Sincere, my Discipline Information throughout my superb 3-night keep on the family-owned Rockfig Lodge Madikwe. The drive via the reserve takes round 20 minutes, relying on what’s encountered alongside the best way. I’m welcomed on the reception space by the bubbling Neo, who palms me a refresher towel and leads the best way to the eating space. To my proper, there’s a dam the place a cacophony of sound emerges – the Cape Weavers are nesting within the surrounding bushes, and the males look beautiful of their yellow plumage and orange faces.

Each Villa has a lounge and dining area, should guests wish to have their meals delivered. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
Every Villa has a lounge and eating space, ought to visitors want to have their meals delivered. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

Following a tour across the lodge, Neo hundreds me into the golf cart to take me to my spectacular Villa, named Tshukudu, which suggests Rhino within the native Tswana language. The crimson brick partitions are adorned with gorgeous black-and-white rhino pictures, paying homage to those endangered animals. Interiors are the handiwork of Liezel Lambinon Interiors, who was the perfect candidate for bringing her shopper’s imaginative and prescient to life, given their skilled relationship spanning greater than a decade and a variety of accomplished tasks.

The interiors at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe are by Liezel Lambinon Interiors. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
The interiors at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe are by Liezel Lambinon Interiors. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

“My shopper made contact with me halfway via the development section concerning the items below improvement,” Liezel tells me. “They considerably diverged from the traditional African Bush architectural model characterised by thatch roofs. These items featured face brick exteriors and inexperienced tin roofs – a departure from the customary aesthetic. His intention was to experiment with a contemporary colonial idea. He entrusted me with the directive to train inventive liberty. In alignment with the architectural model, my goal was to conceive a design that subverted expectations.” 

The clean lines in the bathroom create a modern feel. Photo courtesy of Rockfig Lodge Madikwe
The clear strains within the lavatory create a contemporary really feel. Photograph courtesy of Rockfig Lodge Madikwe

Liezel continues: “I opted for a up to date inside characterised by clear strains, enriched with heat and coziness via using pure woods and leather-based. Accentuating choose furnishings items and vanities with metal components infused a contemporary contact and imparted a masculine ambiance. The incorporation of textured materials on all upholstered items contributed to consolation, whereas the combination of modernized African patterns and colours complemented the general aesthetic.”

The most delicious cheesecake for dessert. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
Probably the most scrumptious cheesecake for dessert. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

The meals at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe is completely scrumptious. Cooks Lesego and Robert make sure that all dietary necessities are catered for, and there’s a nice selection of meals for even the fussiest diners. My first evening’s dinner consists of mozzarella cheese balls, rooster & couscous, and essentially the most delectable vanilla pannacotta with vanilla ice cream and fruit. The second evening has smoked salmon with avocado & mango salad for starters, beef fillet with child corn & mashed potato, and the morish cheesecake to conclude my meal. A boma dinner is on the playing cards for the third evening, and sitting outdoors below a blanket of stars with the splendidly aromatic aroma of a barbeque is the quintessential approach to finish the day. 

A pale chanting goshawk with his prey. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
A pale chanting goshawk along with his prey. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

Twice each day recreation drives type a part of a keep at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe, and the scene is ready for unbelievable wildlife sightings, beginning off with a cheetah named Felix. He’s having a bit snooze after he savored a well-earned meal, which he caught himself. We discover a troop of banded mongoose, interested in our presence. A pale chanting goshawk stands proudly on the very high of a lifeless leadwood tree, making for an exceptional {photograph}. 

A very tired male lion. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
A really drained male lion. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

Rapidly, we hear a growl, and Sincere tries to pinpoint the place the sound is coming from. “They should be within the block,” he discloses. He waits and listens. There it’s once more. The 2-track results in essentially the most majestic male lion, sitting to my left. “Aah, the honeymooners,” Sincere says with a wry smile. The male appears to be like exhausted – he has a minimize on his lip and doesn’t appear in the slightest degree within the feminine when she begins flirting with him. She will not be delicate in her intentions – she flicks her tail, indicating to him that it’s now or by no means. He begrudgingly capitulates after which collapses from sheer fatigue.

It's a privilege seeing African Wild Dogs. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
It’s a privilege seeing African Wild Canine. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

A conservation success story, Madikwe Sport Reserve has thriving numbers of wildlife, amongst them the world’s most endangered mammal, the African Wild Canine. Seeing the interplay between a pack on safari is a uncommon privilege, particularly once they’re resting within the shade of a tree as they’re often on the transfer, trying to find their subsequent prey. 

An elephant cooling down. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
An elephant cooling down. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

Rockfig Lodge Madikwe was based by the late Andrew Walker, whose love for the bush began when he was a bit boy. His childhood in Zimbabwe was spent enjoying and exploring the bush and studying about wildlife. Household holidays noticed him taking his household on safari, visiting Kruger Nationwide Park, and endeavor tenting holidays in Botswana. “Andrew was eager to seek out a possibility within the bushveld,” Rockfig Lodge Madikwe CEO Warwick Frost tells me. “When he heard a couple of new reserve being rehabilitated from previous farmlands that had been overgrazed with a serious give attention to conservation, he knew he needed to be a part of it.”

A buffalo, which forms part of the Big 5. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
A buffalo, which kinds a part of the Massive 5. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

“The plan was that the reserve would restrict the numbers of tourists,” Warwick continues, “Making certain that the vegetation and animals have time to ascertain themselves and basically thrive. North West Parks Board didn’t need self-drive, particularly to permit the land to get well. They set a restricted variety of leases with strict guidelines concerning a variety of visitors and autos, and Andrew was fortunate sufficient to be one of many members and signed a lease in 2000.”

Sunsets are incredible. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
Sunsets are unbelievable. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

The preliminary plans had been for Andrew to construct a industrial lodge, however he began out with a household home and the cliff platform the place the rock fig tree is located that the lodge is called after. Many household holidays had been loved within the bush, which made Warwick fall in love with wildlife and Madikwe. Andrew reconsidered the concept of making a industrial lodge and began planning the three new villas. Constructing began in 2017 and the primary visitors at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe arrived in direction of the top of 2018. 

A cheetah sighting at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe. Photo by Heléne Ramackers
A cheetah sighting at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe. Photograph by Heléne Ramackers

Restricted by their lease, the lodge is small and unique, with solely 4 villas, every with its personal host and one in all them being the previous household house, which is now known as Inkwe Personal Household Home. Warwick explains: “Madikwe has a lot to supply – the world is malaria-free, which means it’s safer for youngsters. Children can stay up for our distinctive digital safari – the expertise provides budding wildlife lovers the chance to discover the wonders of wildlife via the lens of only a telephone digital camera. The Flora and Fauna are astonishing, the reserve boasts The Massive 5, Wild Canine, and cheetahs. The plains, mountains, and cliffs make for a gorgeous panorama. Solely certified recreation rangers are allowed to drive within the park, and the principles are actually strict with a ranger counsel implementing them. There are not any self-drive visitors, which means you wouldn’t have further autos at sightings or within the park. All in all, this offers an distinctive expertise for anybody that visits the world.” 

How To Get There

Attending to Rockfig Lodge Madikwe, visitors can decide to fly with Federal Airways, guide a highway shuttle switch, or self-drive. Flights take roughly 1 hour and highway transfers 4h30. The reservations crew at Rockfig Lodge Madikwe will guide your lodging and organize your selection of journey.

Federal Airways revolutionized the idea of shuttle flights to Africa’s breathtaking luxurious safari lodges within the ‘90s. Forging strategic partnerships with trade leaders within the luxurious safari sector, the FedAir model has grow to be synonymous with delivering an unparalleled and seamless journey expertise. 

With two major choices – shuttle companies to opulent safari lodges, and constitution companies to locations of selection within the area, FedAir’s repute as a premier supplier of air journey is unequalled.


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