Bordering Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve takes in the Dwarsberg Mountains in the south and the Kalahari Desert on the horizon. But it’s the population of African wild dog within the park that it’s mostly known for: the reserve has been a home to the endangered species since they were introduced here in the 1990s.
Among the vast, rugged landscapes, a wealth of other wildlife can also be spotted. A total of 66 mammal species — including the Big Five — and over 300 species of bird live in the 75,000-acre reserve, which lies a four-hour drive from Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Built in 1995, Tau Game Lodge is situated within the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, overlooking a natural water hole that attracts an abundance of animals from the opposite bank. Game drives are run twice a day, giving guests the chance to glimpse the creatures beyond the lodge’s surroundings.
Tau Game Lodge has been revamped throughout the years to add a touch of luxury, without compromising a genuine bush feel. Each of the 30 thatched chalets boasts an outdoor shower under the night sky. For guests wishing to unwind after a day’s safari, the Tau Spa Oasis offers rejuvenating treatments, from hot stone massages to a range of Africology treatments. Elsewhere, the curio shop displays a mix of traditional ornaments, handcrafted jewellery and safari gear.
A Cubz Club programme offers children a mini safari experience, complete with a backpack, Tau T-shirt and specially designed animal checklist. There’s also a playhouse area for arts and crafts activities, as well as a jungle gym.
For business trips, a conference venue holds up to 150 guests, or can be subdivided into three separate smaller halls for meetings and events.
The lodge also runs a non-profit organisation — The Tau Foundation — to help fund community projects, including renovating school facilities and erecting fencing at local schools. Guests also have the opportunity to plant a tree in the reserve with the Tau Tree Fund project — run by the lodge’s rangers — and have their name marked on a plaque in the main lodge area.
Need to know
• 30 thatched chalets
• Tau Spa Oasis
• Convention centre
• Curio shop
• Kids’ club, playhouse and jungle gym
• Weddings in the African bush
• Planting a tree in the reserve