Tuningi Safari Lodge, situated in the world renowned Big 5, malaria-free, Madikwe Game Reserve, proudly showcases this protected areas African success story in magnificent style!
Tuningi offers guests superior accommodation enhanced by an impressive Big 5 safari experience and personalised service in a friendly and relaxed environment.
The Lodge welcomes children and in doing so, avails them of the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature, wildlife and our delicate eco-system first-hand.
The Main Camp and Little Tuningi combined accommodate 16 guests in four spacious Luxury and two Family Suites, all of which boast breathtaking views from private wrap-around decks. The ‘Colonial African chic’ main thatched lodge offers a sumptuous lounge, a spacious dining room and a well-stocked bar with an impressive rim flow pool that overlooks a watering hole, all interlinked by a sweeping wooden deck that leads to the boma area.
Tuningi is not only a beautiful and luxurious lodge with remarkable safari experiences, but a welcoming retreat where you are made to feel comfortable enough to feel like a family member. The team of ultra professional and passionate staff are eager to please and will go to great lengths to ensure you have an outstanding safari experience leaving you with exceptional memories.
Tuningi’s exclusivity is emphasised by the limited number of rooms, allowing a total of only 16 guests at the Lodge at any time. Guests are accommodated in four Luxury and two Family Suites, all connected by wooden walkways, but separated from the next providing peace and privacy.
The Lodge has been designed in such a way that it can be divided into the Main Lodge and Little Tuningi which is ideal for families, intimate groups or VIP’s in search of utter privacy.
The African chic style of the Main Lodge is carried through to the elegant suites, all furnished in timber with with soft, warm colours giving the rooms a comfortable organic feel. The Suites have been carefully designed creating space by blending the interiors with the bush by utilising retractable windows doors wherever possible.
Each beautifully appointed spacious bedroom, with a comfortable lounge area, has its own gas fireplace that is lit (on the chilly nights) on your return from your evening game drives or when you retire to bed at night. Air-conditioning and ceiling fans offer cool respite in the summer months. The enormous bathrooms are a real treat at Tuningi… not only is there a fireplace, but an oversized bath with fabulous views and a private alfresco (outside) rock shower.
The private wrap around wooden decks on each of the suites offer the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush.
Without compromising on luxury, Tuningi has not forgotten the specific needs of families, which is why the Lodge was carefully designed for families, and caters for children of all ages.
There are two Family Suites – one at the Main Lodge and the second forms part of Little Tuningi.
These Family Suites are not only perfect for families looking for extra space, but offer all the same comforts and finishes of the Luxury Suites. They are made-up of two en-suite double bedrooms, with pull-out couches, and are joined buy a dining area, kitchenette and a living room with an expansive timber deck from where the surrounding beauty can be appreciated.
Every meal at Tuningi is the ultimate indulgence… varied, unique, beautifully presented and delicious.
Meals are served in the cosy dining room or in the unique boma perfectly set under an old Fig Tree overlooking a very active waterhole.
After a morning of sensational game viewing, guests are treated to a hearty brunch consisting of fruits, eggs, cheeses, and cereals – all freshly prepared and sumptuous.
Lunch too is enjoyed under the giant Fig Tree, where guests can relax and revel in the animals joining them at the waterhole – some amazing game viewing without even leaving the Lodge.
As night sets in, lanterns and candles are lit and the mood goes from bush to baroque. Guests return from their game drive to be presented with a bush extravaganza dinner, prepared by Tuningi’s Executive Chef, in the boma with a blazing log fire to keep them warm.
The boma is a truly memorable way to experience an evening under the African night sky. This is the only meal you will share with the other guests in camp. Here you will indulge in fine cuisine and superb wines, from the extensive cellar, while sitting near a warm, crackling fire. This is the perfect opportunity to reminisce, share and discuss the days sightings and experiences.
End off the evening with a sumptuous dessert and a nightcap before bidding farewell to the simmering fire to the calling of your suite.
If you are looking for an intimate evening of great food, wine and romance, where the sounds of the bush and a cracking fire are yours to enjoy alone with your partner, a Private Dinner is a must. This is the perfect escape for Mom and Dad while Tuningi’s professional child minders keep the kids entertained.
On arrival at Tuningi, families will be introduced to the chef and discus any dietary needs and preferred meal times for their children. Families with children have the option of meals in their own room or deck, and on special evenings the kids can help to create their own meals in a separate boma.
The main entertainment and reception area of Tuningi Safari Lodge overlooks an active waterhole that provides fantastic game viewing from the safety of an expansive wooden deck. The rim flow pool and comfy lounges give the lodge a sumptuous and welcoming feel.
The décor at Tuningi Safari Lodge is African-chic, with the main thatched lodge comprising of a sumptuous cosy lounge, a spacious dining room and a well-stocked bar and wine cellar.
These spaces are interlinked by a sweeping wooden pool deck and walkway that leads to a boma under an ancient sprawling Fig Tree, from which Tuningi derives its name. This boma deck is perfect for outdoor dinners around a blazing log fire, where you can see and hear the wildlife just a few feet away.
For guests who battle to divorce themselves from technology in the bush, they are able to watch satellite TV from the bar, and connect with the “outside world” with Wi-Fi in the lounge.
The ideal way for guests to catch up on some quiet time would be to select a book from the library and settle down in the lounge or on one of the outside decks to read, which is often highlighted by some game passing by.
Tuningi is family friendly through and through, and not only offers an endless array of activities to keep the kids entertained, but experienced baby sitters allowing some time-out for the parents.
GAME DRIVES & BUSH WALKS
Exclusive Safari Experiences in the Madikwe Game Reserve
Lion, elephant, buffalo, white and black rhino, leopard and the rare and endangered wild dog are just some of the unique sightings in the 75 000 hectare Big 5 Madikwe Game Reserve.
Tuningi Safari Lodge’s game rangers are highly qualified and have sound knowledge of the fauna and flora within the Madikwe Game Reserve and pass on this knowledge and passion to guests during their game drives and walking safaris.
Tuningi is one of the few five-star game lodges in South Africa that is family friendly and will enthusiastically introduce your children to the wonders of the wild, with careful regard for their safety.
MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES
Africa’s big game abounds in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Each day brings something different, as you explore the endless fascination of Africa’s wildlife in an open, state-of-the-art Land Cruiser with a roof for sun protection in the summer months. Whether it is a leopard on the hunt, lions roaring at twilight, dung beetles going about their business, or birds building a nest – all can offer an amazing experience!
Regrettably, due to safety concerns, children under 6 years of age are unable to participate in game-drives (shorter kiddies game drives can be arrange after breakfast).
With all the good food and leisure, why not exert a little energy and take a bush walk with your armed, and highly qualified ranger? There is no better way of getting closer to nature than on foot. You will be awed by the smaller aspects of the bush that are unveiled to you: animal tracks, dung facts, interesting insects, assorted trees, colourful birds and how they all come together in an intrinsic ecological web of life.
By law children under 16 and adults over 60 years cannot participate in these walks.
After an exciting game drive, guests can relax with a sundowner at the bar or soak up the sun next to the rim flow swimming pool, while enjoying even more game viewing at the active waterhole.
DIRECTIONS TO TUNINGI, MADIKWE GAME RESERVE
If you are coming from any of these major cities, here are the estimated driving times when there is no traffic:
Madikwe Game Reserve lies on the South Africa/ Botswana border. It is accessible from a few major South African cities/ towns within a few hour drive and only a 1-2 hour drive from Gaborone airport in Botswana.
These are the main gate entrances into the reserve:
Most of the lodges and camps on the western side of the park are accessed via the Wonderboom Gate while accommodation in the eastern and central part of the park is largely accessed via the Abjaterskop Gate.
ADDRESS: Madikwe Game Reserve, North West Province, Zeerust, South Africa
GPS CO-ORDINATES: 24°44’00′ ‘S /26°24’27′ ‘E
Madikwe is a Big Five game reserve covering some 75,000 hectares and is currently the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. The reserve was opened in 1991 and was part of the biggest game relocation programme ever staged. Operation Phoenix took place over six years and involved moving more than 8 000 animals into the Madikwe Game Reserve.
The reserve contains all the big five species – lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros, but it is the prevalence of cheetah and wild dog that has given the reserve its special reputation for the ‘Super Seven’. There are of course many other species within the reserve, including almost all antelope species as well as some 350 recorded bird species.
Madikwe also features a number of successful community-owned lodges, which are maintained by members of the local community. The lodges create employment and benefit local businesses, and all profits made are fed back into the community.
Madikwe is an area rich in heritage. It was named after the Madikwe or Marico River, and the nearby town, Groot Marico, is named after the river. Groot Marico was formed by the Voortrekkers in the 1850s but only proclaimed in 1948. Legendary South Africa writer Herman Charles Bosman made the area famous, often writing about Marico in his books, saying the area bore “the authentic stamp of South Africa”.
Mafikeng Road, the name of an historical road built in 1899 that runs right through Madikwe, is also the title of one of Bosman’s books, featuring a collection of short stories about a land populated with leopards and bluegum trees.
What to Expect
About 90 kilometres north of the town of Zeerust is Madikwe Game Reserve. It is situated against the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. It is roughly 3.5 hours in a car from Johannesburg/ Pretoria. Safari Lodges are mostly located around the eastern and western gate.
In 1991 the area was declared a reserve and 10 000 mammals were relocated from other National Parks. The park is home to approximately 66 large mammals and roughly 300 bird species. You will find all this flora and fauna in an area comprised of vast open plains of grasslands, woodlands, rocky outcrops and single mountains. The area is bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains.
Madikwe Game Reserve operators in a three- phase system. The North West Parks and Tourism Board, the local communities and the private sector are all involved: