Hotel Review: Morukuru Family Madikwe

Hotel Review: Morukuru Family Madikwe

The luxury accommodations offer walking safaris, private staff such as a chef and a butler, in-suite massages and more By: Tim Johnson
<p>Guests at Morukuru Family Madikwe can participate in safaris, including walking safaris, to spot animals. // © 2018 Tim Johnson</p><p>Feature image...

Guests at Morukuru Family Madikwe can participate in safaris, including walking safaris, to spot animals. // © 2018 Tim Johnson

Feature image (above): The Farm House at Morukuru Family Madikwe // © 2018 Tim Johnson


Related Content

For another accommodation option, check out Madikwe Safari.

The Details

Morukuru Family Madikwe
www.morukuru.com

In the land of lions, leopards and other fearsome creatures, traveling on foot is a rare occurrence. Yet, I did it: I climbed down from an open-air jeep onto the dusty South African soil in the Madikwe Game Reserve, joined by three guides holding large rifles.

After a brief safety talk — which included instructions to stay in a straight line and to make sure I have a guide both in front of and behind me — we descended toward the Madikwe River on a reddish-brown path. 

At this level, down near the ground, the senses are heightened.

With the idling motor of the jeep absent, I could hear the birds chirp and squawk all around me. Moving one step at a time, we stopped to appreciate the smaller things, including the scat of several African beasts, such as cape buffalo and elephant.

Then, rounding a corner, we spotted something truly terrifying, but it wasn’t a big cat. Rather, it was an insect that looked straight out of “Indiana Jones:” an armoured ground cricket, complete with alien-like, bulging eyes and a girded body. My guides held it close to my face, explaining that in this harsh environment, this fearsome little creature will do anything to survive. This includes squirting a foul-smelling blood from its exoskeleton and even vomiting all over itself.

The walking safari was offered by Morukuru Family Madikwe, a series of luxury properties set inside the Madikwe Game Reserve. I was staying in the Farm House property. Though rooms within the Farm House are available as single units, groups often book the entire place, which is set around a courtyard and fire pit.

A staff of eight (including a chef, a butler, a wildlife tracker, a private guide and more) for the Farm House ensures that everyone has a tailor-made experience. And guests are encouraged to feel at home, from indulging in an in-suite massage to enjoying a big lunch under a tree on the lawn. 

I partook in all of the above before heading out in the jeep again for a game drive on my last night. After spotting elephants jousting with their giant tusks and stopping to sip a gin and tonic as the sun set, we took one last spin across the savanna in search of lions.

And it happened within seconds: We spotted a lioness ahead of us. I was told that she had cubs nearby, and she seemed to be tracking some prey while protecting her little brood. Wading into the tall grass, she slinked stealthily toward a bat-eared fox, who immediately bolted in our direction, running directly under our jeep. The lioness was hot on his trail, peeling off to the side just a split second before colliding with us.

Still savoring our once-in-a-lifetime moment, we made our way through the darkness, back to the Morukuru Family Madikwe. A hearty, gourmet dinner awaited us. And later, I would enjoy the deep soaking tub back in my suite — the perfect place to contemplate a remarkable day.

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations
>