Jaci´s Safari Lodge


Jaci’s Safari Lodge and its sister, the Tree Lodge, are located in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, at a four hours’ drive or one hour flight from Johannesburg. The reserve is highly regarded by safari connoisseurs.


With a size of approximately 75,000 hectares, Madikwe is one of the largest private game reserves in Africa. Moreover, it boast the “Top Ten” of African wildlife: wild dogs, both the black and the white rhinoceros, hippopotamus, lions, leopards, spotted and brown hyenas, read more » cheetahs, giraffes, buffaloes and more than 400 elephants.


Needless to say that countless other species inhabit the Madikwe. Large herds of eland and oryx antelopes, springboks, red gnus and more than 340 bird species call the Madikwe Reserve home.


The friendly couple Jan und Jaci van Heteren have fulfilled themselves their African dream: They opened two luxurious but heart-warming and unpretentious lodges in the Madikwe Game Reserve, the Safari Lodge and the Tree Lodge.


Opened in 2000, the Safari Lodge was built in an idyllic location in a Tamboti tree grove on the banks of the Marico River. It is a wonderful spot that includes a water hole attracting plenty of wildlife.


The Safari Lodge’s main building has an old termite mound standing sentinel beside it. The comfortable lodge offers eight double rooms as well as the exclusive Nare Suite, which accommodates between two and four guests.


Each room features a wonderful view of the dry river bed, which countless species use as the local highway on their way to the water hole. Settle down comfortably and enjoy the show.


The rustic interior reflects Jaci’s wonderfully unique taste and love for details. Natural materials, reed-thatched roofs and canvas walls lend the fine units a natural and almost open-air flair without compromising comforts.


The culinary delicacies are prepared in the ultramodern kitchen, which opens onto the restaurant. The specialities are frequently served in the boma under the vast African sky.


On an especially fine night, the dinner may also be prepared on the open fire in the boma or beneath the sparkling stars at a traditional bush braai in the midst of nature.


Upstairs of the lounge, an idyllic reading room provides a quiet corner to retreat to and a small souvenir sells handpicked regional arts and crafts.


The newest addition to Jaci’s is a fully equipped fitness room, located within walking distance between Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Jaci’s Tree Lodge. The same location has been chosen for the new children’s playground, which commands a stunning view of the river bed.



Jaci’s ”Children Safari Programme“


What makes both of Jaci’s lodges so unique is the Children Safari Programme. One of the few lodges in South Africa to offer such a service, children are not only highly welcome at Jaci’s but may even participate in a specially designed safari programme.


Both the exotic location and the tailored programme ensure an entertaining and educative safari that is thoroughly enjoyed by both kids and their parents.


Children under the age of twelve share a room with their parents, sleeping on a comfortable extra bed. The special children’s package includes a day-care service and the participation in a Jungle Adventure.


Animal observations for children up to the age of seven are conducted with a personal guide. The Jungle Drive is designed to meet the interests, the age and the concentration span of the young guests.


Kids between eight and twelve are encouraged to take part in the regular safari activities with their parents.


Dinner for children up to twelve is served at 6 pm. The young ones are taken care of by a babysitter, allowing mummy and daddy to set off on an exciting night safari.


The little ones fast asleep, the parents may enjoy their dinner at the “childfree” boma. Additionally, Jaci’s offers tailored safari-programmes for children between three and twelve at an extra charge and a minimum of two participating children.


Specially trained guides teach the children traditional handicrafts, show them how to track animals and play detective games, intensifying the children’s knowledge of the African Bush – a unique opportunity in South Africa!


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The Jaci’s Safari Lodge suites’ interior design gracefully bridges the gap between rustic and elegant, reflecting Jaci’s unique taste and fascination with details. Natural materials, like thatched read more » roofs and canvas walls create a link with the atmosphere of the surroundings.


Harmony is the keyword at the Safari Lodge. Everything is infused with an authentic African bush feeling. The en-suite, wonderfully decorated bathrooms are equipped with an impressive, hand-made rock bathtub and an outdoor safari-shower.


Indubitably, the highlight of the lodge is the Nare Suite, meaning buffalo in the language of the Tswane. The magnificent creatures can be regularly sighted at the water hole. Offering supreme comforts and luxuries, the Nare Suite is as impressive as the buffaloes.


Originally built as a home for Jaci and Jan, it provides room for up to four adults in two bedrooms. Both rooms feature canvas walls and large panorama windows, allowing the sounds and atmosphere of the bush to drift into your dreams.


The Nare Suite offers every conceivable luxury: a lounge, a private pool, outdoor dining terrace and even a private kitchen, in which meals are exclusively prepared for guests lodged in the Nare Suite.


Indulge in an extravagant African wilderness holiday! Guests staying at the Nare Suite have a private 4x4 with a guide at their disposal - an exclusively unique safari adventure you will never forget!


Six of the other suites have twin beds, two are equipped with king size beds. Up to three children may stay in their parent’s room. Each room features a fireplace providing crackling warmth on cold days.


Enjoy the wonderful experience of sitting on your private terrace, listening to the sounds and sucking in the fragrant air of the wilderness. With a bit of luck, you might see an elephant herd pass by or monkeys fighting over a ripe fruit.


Jaci’s Lodges are special and excel in bridging that gap between providing supremely luxurious accommodation combined with a natural and rustic ambiance. A place to feel completely at home at!


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Life at Jaci’s revolves around the safaris, which are of the highest standard and participant numbers are always kept low. Guides, rangers and trackers are all very well trained and turn your safari read more » into a memorable experience.


Enjoy a refreshing and relaxing dip in the swimming pool before setting off on an afternoon game drive. The swimming pool commands a good view of the river bed, enabling guests to observe the wildlife even while cooling off.


Or simply chill out in a hammock while reading a good book, nipping at a cold drink or watching the colourful birds around you. Let your thoughts fly and your spirit run free. Any holiday at this magical place is special!



Facts on Madikwe & Jaci’s


In the 1940s, as a consequence of overgrazing and long-lasting droughts, the agriculture of the Marico district was severely affected and the remaining farmers faced an existential crisis.


Traditionally, Marico had been the poorest area of the province. With future perspectives dropping to an all-time low, the Madikwe Game Reserve was created by the local authorities. By protecting endangered flora and fauna, the government aimed to provide the local population with a stabilised environment and new means of income.


“Operation Phoenix” describes the probably largest resettlement of animal species since Noah’s Arc. 10,000 wild animals of more than 27 species were relocated to live in the newly fenced-off area protected within the Madikwe Reserve.


The first pioneers who recognised the potential created by the newly founded reserve were Jan van Heteren and Eric Chapmann, who invested big money into the creation of the Madikwe River Lodge.


Jan’s charismatic personality, his entrepreneurial skills and great gastronomic talent were perfectly complemented by his wife Jaci’s organisational talent and great decorative taste. In no time, the Madikwe River Lodge became widely known and a popular holiday destination.


After selling their shares of the Madikwe River Lodge, the couple felt a rekindled desire to invest into the Madikwe Reserve by building their own lodge. The idea of Jaci’s Safari Lodge was born.


After three long years of negotiating and planning with the park administration, they were finally able to put their plans into action. Jan was able to draw upon the help of contacts made through a restaurant project in Pretoria and Jaci had experience managing a lodge in Mozambique.


Work started and despite some heavy rainfalls that occurred in the initial building phase, Jaci’s Safari Lodge managed to open by April 2000. Today, a motivated team offers guests top-class service, superb cuisine and a well-stocked wine cellar – all in a stunningly beautiful setting where wildlife abounds.


The result speaks for itself and the success can be measured in the number or returning guests, often in the company of friends. In reaction to the increasing demand, the total bed number was almost doubled in December 2002 by opening Jaci’s extravagant Tree Lodge.


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