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Thakadu River Camp | Madikwe

Thakadu River Camp is an exclusive tented safari lodge located in the south-eastern corner of the world-acclaimed Big Five Madikwe Game Reserve. This upmarket River Camp is tucked away amid the dense riverine canopy that lines the banks of the Groot Marico River. And can sleep a maximum of 24 visitors in 12 luxurious canvas suites.

The suites at Thakadu River Camp are all built to blend in with the pristine natural landscape and give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the unprecedented beauty and peace that this secluded African bushveld destination provides.

Each superbly-appointed tented suite is equipped with a choice of two single beds or a super king-sized bed fitted with a mosquito net, an en-suite bathroom with shower, and a large sliding door that opens onto an elevated wooden deck overlooking the spectacular river frontage. Extra amenities include air-conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer, digital safe, and access to AC power (220 volts).

Being a family-friendly accommodation, four of the twelve suites at Thakadu River Camp are family units. The family units offer the same features as the standard two- sleeper suites plus an additional queen-size sleeper couch suitable for junior visitors under 12 years. A cot is available for infants aged two years or younger on request.

The wood-and- thatch main camp at Thakadu lies between the Groot Marico River and one of its tributaries and is decorated in the same polished Afro-centric style prominent throughout the tented suites. Its generous use of organic materials – like stone, wood, and metal – and earthy textures serves to highlight the authentic African hospitality and exceptional service you can expect to enjoy during your visit to Thakadu.

Here you will find an open-plan lounge, dining, and reception rooms as well as mini- conference zone, and a safe. The River Camp’s chilled bar and pool area is the perfect spot to while away another idyllic afternoon in this fabulous bushveld oasis.

There is also a firelit Boma where locally-inspired cuisine is served al fresco on fair weather nights as well as a Lapa set within a riverine glade from where you can soak up the mesmerising views of the lazily meandering river and the terrain beyond. Thakadu River Camp also has the capacity to host intimate wedding celebrations.

Naturally, Thakadu’s outdoor adventures are the focal point of a stay at this magnificent Madikwe-based River Camp with an itinerary that gives you plenty of opportunities to encounter this Big Five Reserve’s thrilling diversity of bird- and wildlife.

Activities include morning and afternoon/evening game drives in open 4X4 vehicles, top-notch birdwatching excursions, informative walking trails, and stargazing, in the company of accompanied by highly knowledgeable guides. For a more elite, in-depth experience, a private safari vehicle is available by prior arrangement.

Due to safety concerns, junior visitors aged six years and younger are not permitted on regular game drives. However, Thakadu does provide a special “kiddies game drive” as well offering a babysitting service. And if you feel up for some pampering, why not treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage in the privacy of your tent or on your viewing deck.

However, you chose to spend your time, a trip to Thakadu River Camp is sure to fulfill your wish to commune with Mother Nature without compromising on your creature comforts.

Thakadu River Camp is an ecotourism partnership between the Molathedi Community, African Hotels and Adventures, and North-West Parks which means the Molathedi Community directly and substantially benefits from this partnership.

Game Drive Times”:
  • Winter 06:00 and 15.30
  • Summer 05:30 and 16:00
Gate Times:
  • Winter 08:00 and 16.30
  • Summer 08:00 and 17:00


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Rates inclusive of 15% VAT • South African Rand • Subject to availability
Per Person
All meals and 2 Game Drives daily
Excl. Bed levy & Gate fee
1 Apr 2024 to
30 Sep 2024
1 Oct 2024 to
31 Mar 2025
8 Standard Tented Suite Single R7 295 R8 784
12 Standard Tented Suite Per Person Per Night Sharing
max 2 adult
R4 870 R5 855
4 Family Tent Single R7 295 R8 784
4 Family Tent Per Person Per Night Sharing
max 2 adult & 2 children under the age of 12 on a sleeper couch
R4 870 R5 855
Children under 12 yrs sharing R2 435 R2 935

Look at our Special Offers for SA Residents under our special offers section!

Baby-sitting facilities available at R300 per hour (maximum 2 children)

Sole use vehicle is available to facilitate families at an additional cost of R5 060 per vehicle per game driv / R5 820 from 01 Apr 2024
Each beautifully-appointed tented suite is furnished with an option of two single beds or a super king-sized bed draped with a mosquito net, an en-suite bathroom with shower, and a large sliding door which opens onto a raised wooden verandah overlooking the majestic river scenery. Additional facilities include air-conditioning, coffee and tea making amenities, a hairdryer, digital safe, and access to AC power (220 volts). 

The rates include

  • VAT
  • Luxury accommodation
  • Two game drives per day
  • All meals daily
  • Welcome drinks and teas & coffees at meals

The rates exclude

  • Beverages and items of a personal nature
  • Park Levies
  • Conservation levies

South African Resident PEAK Rates

Valid 01 May 2023 – 30 September 2024

Peak dates include public holidays, long weekends, and school holidays *subject to change*

8 – 11 August 2024, 20 – 24 September 2024
*Property specific block out dates / peak dates as noted in rate grid*

Room Type SADC Rate
Tented Suite
Maximum 2 adults
R 4 584
Family Tented Suite
(max 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years)
R 13 752

Terms & Conditions

  • Rate includes all meals and 2 game drives daily
  • Rates excludes any items not mentioned or that of a personal nature
  • Tented Standard Rates are quoted per person sharing per night (maximum 2 adults)
  • Family Tented Suites are quoted per unit per night (2 adults and 2 children under 12 years)
  • Rates excludes Gate Fee @ R180 per adult per stay, R80 per child from age 3 – 9 years old, Free under 3 years old
  • Free under 3 years old Conservation Levy @ R190 per adult per night, R95 per child per night from ages 2 – 12 years old,
  • Flight Landing Fee @ R240 per person per stay from age 10 years old, R 150 per child from age 3-9 years old, Free under 3 years old. 
  • Single rate is a 50% supplement of the sharing rate.
  • Children between the ages 6 – 12 years will pay 50% of the adultsharing rate.
  • Children over 12 are charged as adults.
Cancellation Policy
  • Within 4 weeks: cancellation policy with 20% Cancellation fees
  • Within 2 weeks: cancellation policy with 50% Cancellation fees
  • Within 1 week: cancellation policy with 100% Cancellation fees



Aha Thakadu River Camp certainly stands out from the crowd of standard game lodges, as it is ideally positioned in a transitional area which means it draws wildlife from two different, yet complementary, ecosystems.

The beauty of aha Thakadu River Camp is complimented by a team of dedicated and highly trained game rangers* who understand the fauna and flora within the Madikwe Reserve. These professionals are skilled in locating as many animals as possible in this malaria-free area.

Because comfort is paramount, this 24-bed camp, with its exceptionally private location, assures guests of a tranquil, relaxing experience.

*Madikwe Game Reserve is a private game reserve and does not allow ‘self-drive’ game drives.

Home to a tremendous diversity of fauna and flora, Madikwe Game Reserve is the ideal getaway destination! The Reserve allows guests to book exciting game drives and learn more about the area as they spot numerous species

You may expect to find the following animals in the area:
  • Black and White Rhino
  • Buffalo
  • Cheetah
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Wild Dog

Madikwe Game Reserve accommodation and camp is a superb open-vehicle safari destination where guests are accompanied by well-trained and informative rangers. On your visit to the Reserve, aha Thakadu River Camp offers a range of other activities for you to enjoy:
  • Birding
  • Boma dining
  • Game drives
  • Stargazing
Madikwe Game Reserve accommodation is available in luxury tented suites, as well as an inviting main camp area that offers guests an open-plan lounge, dining, pool and bar area to relax in after a day of game viewing.

Besides indulging in the elegant luxury and warm, personal service of aha Thakadu River Camp, guests can experience the essence of nature by joining us for a range of activities*, designed to ensure the ultimate African adventure!

*Children under 6 years can join us for a 1.5-hour game drive especially for them after breakfast, as they cannot be permitted on standard game drives. Parents are welcome to join.

Wake up in the true splendor of Madikwe River Camp, situated along the Botswana border, and start your day amidst nature. Our game drives are led by highly trained rangers with a vast knowledge of the fauna and flora in the area.

Guests have the opportunity to enjoy early morning as well as evening game drives where the chances of spotting the Big Five, are high. Both morning and evening game drives offer completely different opportunities and sightings.

Please Note: Madikwe Game Reserve is a private game reserve and does not allow ‘Self-Drive’ game drives

Game Drive Times:

Winter 06:00 and 15.30
Summer 05:30 and 16:00

Gate Times:

Winter 08:00 and 16.30
Summer 08:00 and 17:00

Get an early start to the day and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that accompany the dawning of a new day. Depending on the time of year, morning game drives depart at different times.

Please book here and check with the reception with regards to departure times.

Expect to see everything from elephant and rhino to lion and giraffe during morning game drives. Leopards are a bit more difficult to spot but should you wish to find this well-hidden creature, evening game drives are your best bet.

As the sun sets, an entirely new game viewing experience presents itself. Once again, depending on the time of year, departure time will differ. Evening game drives offer a host of wildlife: hyena, lion, jackals, leopard, birds of prey and much more.


aha Thakadu River Camp offers game drives where professional and informative rangers will gladly assist with educating you about various bird species you may encounter.

The great variety of habitats, from forests and rocky hills to open grassland and dams, provide the perfect setting for a magnificent diversity of bird species throughout the game reserve.

Birdlife at Madikwe Game Reserve comprises migrants and permanent inhabitants.

Early morning and late afternoon drives are the best times to view wildlife and birdlife through Madikwe Game Reserve.

Hear the sounds of a wide range of birdlife and have your camera and binoculars on hand.

  • Meyers Parrot
  • Kori Bustard
  • Yellow Throated Sandgrouse
  • Temminck’s Courser
  • Burchell’s Courser
  • Bronze Winged Courser
  • White Stork
  • Pied and Arrow Marked Babbler
  • Desert Barred Warbler
  • Harlequin Quail
  • Kurrichane Buttonquail Thrush
  • ChestnutbackedFinchlark
  • Rufousnaped Lark
  • Natal Spur Fowl
  • Pale Chanting Goshawk
  • Walhberg Eagle
  • Martial Eagle
  • Black Breasted Snake Eagle
  • African Fish Eagle
Take the R21 to Pretoria, then north to Polokwane.
After the Zambezi road turno­, take the N4 toward Rustenburg.
Once on the N4 take the R556 Sun City/Pilanesberg turno­. Follow the signs to Sun City/Pilanesberg.
Pass Sun City for approx 5km, you will come to a 4way stop.
Turn right at the 4way stop onto the R565 towards Derdepoort. Follow the road for approx 9km and turn left to Bapong/Mabeskraal.
Continue straight (through Mabeskraal village). For approx 35km and you will get to a 4way stop at the end of Mabeskraal village.
Turn right to Derdepoort. After 26km the tar ends and a gravel road begins.
Continue straight for about 26km, you will pass through Molatedi village. Once through the village, you will see a sign to proceed over the bridge, crossing the Marico river.
Proceed for about 7km to enter Madikwe Game Reserve via the Molatedi gate. The gate will be staffed by a member from the North West Parks.
Please turn right once through the gate and follow direction boards to Thakadu River Camp. Please keep to the reserve speed limit of 30 kph. Be aware of animals passing over the road.


D53, Thakadu Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve, Molatedi,

Morning and afternoon/evening game-drives in open game-viewing vehicles, bush sundowners and drink stops on the Reserve, visits to hides. Regrettably, due to safety concerns, children under 6 years of age are unable to participate in game-drives (shorter kiddies game drives can be arranged after breakfast).

Game-rich country with Big Five (black & white rhino), elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard) cheetah, wild dog, hyaenas, hippos, kudu, springbok, eland, red hartebeest, giraffe and impala, A paradise for bird watchers.

Thakadu River Camp is a wholly-owned Community-based Tented Safari Camp within Madikwe Game Reserve, which is located in the North West Province of South Africa. Thakadu is easily accessible by private charter or the daily Madikwe Shuttle into Madikwe Eastern Airstrip just 45 minutes from Thakadu through the reserve. Thakadu River Camp is 3 and a half hour’s drive from Johannesburg on the N4 via Sun City.

Federal Air operates a daily flight from Johannesburg International Airport to Madikwe Airstrip, departing at 11H15 and returning at 12H30. Private air charters fly directly to Madikwe airstrip, 25 minutes from the lodge. Morukuru Lodge is easily accessible by two-wheel drive vehicle on good roads. The driving time from Johannesburg is 3.5 hours on good roads.


Maximum 2 adults

The 5-star accommodation in Madikwe comprises 12 x Tented Suites that boast a strong Afro-Asian safari ambience and viewing decks overlooking the Marico River. These spacious tents offer every comfort and luxury with features including air-conditioning, hairdryer and power 220vAc.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Coffee & Tea Station
  • Hair Dryer
  • Patio
  • Safe
  • Shower
Maximum 2 adults & 2 children under the age of 12 on a sleeper couch

Children are welcome in any of the 4 x Family Rooms, as these tented suites each have an extra queen-size sleeper couch
Baby-sitting facilities available at R 225 per hour (maximum 2 children)
Sole use vehicle is available to facilitate families at an additional cost of R4500 per vehicle per game drive

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath
  • Coffee & Tea Station
  • Hair Dryer
  • Patio
  • Safe
  • Shower

Rates  are 

  • Per Person,
  • All meals and 2 Game Drives daily
  • Excl. Bed levy and Gate fee
  • Third Person Sharing: Not applicable

The rates include

  • VAT
  • Luxury accommodation
  • Two game drives per day
  • All meals daily
  • Welcome drinks and teas and coffees at meals

The rates exclude

  • Beverages and items of a personal nature
  • Park Levies
  • Conservation levies

Children Policy

  • Children: 0 - 5 years of age
  • Stay free of charge only when sharing with two full paying adults, meals charged on consumption
  • Children: 6 - 11 years of age
  • Pay 50% of the adult sharing rate when sharing with two full paying adults
  • Full adult rate applicable if occupying their own room
  • Children: 12 years and older
  • Occupy their own room and pay full adult rate

Where a child shares with 1 adult the adult sharing rate applies.

Where a child shares with 1 adult the double rate applies. Children staying on their own in a room will pay the prevailing single or double rate.


R150 per hour – 1 Child

R225 per hour – 2 Children

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will only be accepted in writing

  • If a booking is cancelled after confirmation, a 20% cancellation fee will apply.
  • 45 – 30 days prior to arrival 25%
  • 29 – 15 days prior to arrival 80%
  • 14- 1 days prior to arrival 100%
  • A 10% admin fee will be retained for cancellations made after the card has been charged.

Standard Rooms: Maximum 2 adults
Family Rooms: Maximum 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 12 on a sleeper couch

Please note Madikwe Game Reserve Gate Times:

Opening Time: 06:00 am
Closing Time: 21:00 pm

Summer – October to March
Rainy season with hot days and warm nights.Temperatures 25°C – 40°C.

Winter – April to September
Dry season with generally warm days and cold nights.Temperatures 0°C – 25°C.

Need Assistance ?

South Africa +27 14 004 0056 / 014 004 0056
Business Hours
Mon – Fri (09:00 - 17:00)
Sat (09:00 - 13:00)
Time Zone UTC/GMT +2 hours
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What sets us Apart !

Ideal for family or small groups
Rich biodiversity of game
Large elephant population
Over 350 bird species
Effortless road and air access

Why Book With Us

Personal inter-action
Lodges with high standards
Stay in control of your booking
Most special deals by far
Secure payment process (SSL)
South African based
Superior knowledge
Expert advice
No booking fees

Best time to visit

The best time to visit malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve is during March and November, when temperatures are lower.

Madikwe Entry Fees

Once-off payment
Paid directly by clients
Rebuilding and Recovery levy
  - R115
pppn (optional)
Gate Entry Fees
  - R200
 per Adults per STAY
  - R100  per Child  (3-8 yrs)
Conservation Levy for International Guests
  -  R450 per Adults per DAY
  -  R225 per Child  (2-12 yrs)
 -  Free under 2 years
 Conservation Levy for South African Resident Guests
  -  R225 per Adults per DAY
  -  R115 per Child  (2-12 yrs)
  -  Free under 2 years
• Bed Levy
  - ZAR 10 pppn from age 1 year old    
SUBJECT to change without notice,
Guests GCC are payable at the lodges and
will be added to guests' bills
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Once-off payment
• Paid directly by clients
Flight Landing Fee
  - R280 per person per stay from age 10 years old
  - R180 per Child (3-9 yrs)  
SUBJECT to change without notice
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