Recently graded as 5-star, is the only tented camp in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. This luxury safari camp, which opened in 2006, is owned and run by the local Molatedi community and is one of only two such schemes in South Africa. Thakadu, which means Aardvark in Tswana, is set on the banks of the Marico River and offers an exclusive and exciting safari experience. The Big Five roam Madikwe’s breathtaking wide open plains against the dramatic backdrop of volcanic intrusions, the Inselbergs. The area is home to an extraordinary variety of animals, flora and fauna.

The lodge has been built incorporating environmentally-friendly methods of waste and water management and no major trees were removed in the construction of the lodge.


The camp's twelve tented suites are all extremely spacious and styled in luxurious Afro-Asian design. Each tent is located within the riverside canopy overlooking the Marico River. A sliding door opening onto a private deck from which guests can view the wildlife in and around the river.


The main tented camp is beautifully placed between the main river and a tributary. It has a tranquil atmosphere and comprises an open plan lounge, dining and reception area, an outdoor pool and a bar area, offering views of the gully and river to the north.


Madikwe Game Reserve has over 13,000 animals in its 76,000 hectares and is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Black and white rhino roam the reserve, along with buffalo, lion, leopard, elephant, wild dog and cheetah. The only animal you won't find is the mosquito - Madikwe is 100% malaria-free. Thakadu’s rangers offer both walking and open vehicle safaris, and have an intimate knowledge of the area.


Thakaku River Camp is 100% owned by the local community and the lodge is part of an ecotourism partnership between North-West Parks, the Molatedi Community and the operator, The Nature Workshop. The community owns a 45-year lease to operate the lodge with traversing rights across the reserve, which provides substantial benefits to the local community. An extensive training programe has ensured that the staff – including the chef, the head ranger and assistant manager - come directly from the community that  owns the lodge These benefits are made visible through the level of service and warmth of Thakaku's staff.


Children are welcome at Thakadu. Four of the tents are family units, with pull out beds for children. There is a 50% discount for children aged 3 – 12 sharing with parents. Children's game drives are available for those aged 5 and under, as well as babysitting services at extra cost.


Thakadu is on the eastern side of the Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West Province of South Africa, close to the Botswana border and Gaberone. There is a 45 minute daily air transfer which departs OR Tambo Johannesburg airport and costs approx £475 per person return. A one-way road transfer (3½ to 4-hour) costs £395 for up to 3 passengers.

Want to know more?

Call our Travel Specialists for a chat with our experts. They'll share their first-hand insights so you can find your perfect holiday.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

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  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
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  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
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