What a terrific time! We always dreamed of going on safari and this was certainly a dream come true. Thank you for catering to our every need and giving us the vacation of a life time.

Jeanne, George & Elizabeth - USA - July

Game Drives

Apart from the unique surroundings and comfortable, well-appointed accommodation, twice-daily safari game drives into the 75 000-hectare Madikwe Game Reserve are the main drawcard at Jaci’s Lodges.

Safari game drives take place when the likelihood of sightings is at its highest – early morning and late afternoon. Winters are dry and evening temperatures may drop to 0°C, while the wet summers are characterised by daily highs of up to 38°C. Game drives take into account these shifts in temperature to ensure that guests are in no discomfort while out on a drive.

The morning drive leaves after a light breakfast at first light, while the later drive usually departs around 3pm to 3.30pm, depending on the season. Each drive lasts for three hours on average, but if a spectacular or unusual sighting is made, it could last longer.

Guests are allocated one of Jaci's Lodges qualified and experienced game guides on arrival. The guide remains with the couple or family for the duration of their stay so that they develop a rapport.

Over and above a wealth of knowledge on local fauna, Jaci’s guides have accumulated a wonderful repertoire of anecdotes and interesting snippets of information on local flora, geology, history and geography – all of which is guaranteed to make your African safari game drive fun and informative.

A two-way radio system keeps the guides in touch as they traverse the vast expanse of thorny, scrubby terrain that is Madikwe. This adds to the variety of animal sightings, although a strict protocol is enforced to ensure that a fresh lion kill, for example, doesn’t become instantly overcrowded with excited tourists.

Only three vehicles are permitted at a time per animal sighting, and subsequent arrivals remain out of range, only approaching once the initial vehicles have left the scene. This system works well in Madikwe and prevents commercialisation of its wildlife resource.

Jaci van Heteren says: "We are there for the wildlife and we need to respect their territory."

A fleet of rugged Landcruisers – with tough 14-ply tyres and suitably elevated seating – offers premier game viewing along Madikwe’s main and off-road trails. On morning drives, guests are provided with blankets and hot-water bottles to ward off early morning chills – a most welcome example of the attention to detail that guests constantly encounter at Jaci’s Lodges.

The guides who provide the link between guests and the thousands of animals living in Madikwe are all professional game guides who have a minimum of three to four years of experience in the field, on top of their Field Guides Association of Southern Africa-accredited qualifications. Many of Jaci’s guides have had long tenure in the world of wildlife, and one in particular has two decades under his belt.

Guests can relax in the knowledge that guides not only collaborate to ensure that visitors are exposed to a variety of game species, but are also equipped and trained to deal with medical emergencies, thanks to regular medical training.

If you haven’t experienced one before, a safari game drive can be a pretty bumpy affair, especially when plunging off-road to see something really special, like a leopard kill or young cubs at a hyena den. However, one soon adjusts to the rugged ride and it’s not long before your eyes become focused on the middle distance where animals are likely to be spotted.

Morning drives include a halfway stop for hot chocolate, coffee or tea and home-baked rusks, while the late afternoon drive includes a stop for drinks and snacks to take in an unforgettable African sunset.

Options after your game drive include an alfresco shower, an indulgent full-body aromatherapy massage, or a wallow in one of the lodge’s inviting pools. Make your enquiry now to stay at Jaci's Lodges.

Jaci's Lodges offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience and luxury getaway. View the Big Five and unwind in true African style


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