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Jaci’s Lodges is managed by Jan, responsible for Management and Marketing.
R7390 - R54380/night
Suitable for 2-8 people

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Jaci’s Lodges Safari suite - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
— Jan: “I think what makes it so special is the fact that you don’t need video games or television. The bush is the best video game in the world.”
Interview By:

— How did you end up opening a safari lodge in South Africa?

Jan: “My father was a Dutch hotelier, so I grew up in the hotel business. When I first came out of school I opened a few restaurants in Pretoria, but as early as 1994 I got the option of buying a share in a game lodge in Botswana. I had grown up in the bush, but it was the game lodge in Mashatu Botswana that allowed me to experience life in the bush again and I completely I fell in love with it.”
Jaci’s Lodges Safari suite - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
— Jaci’s Lodges Safari suite

— What in your opinion is so special about Jaci’s Lodges and Madikwe?

Jan: “I think the interesting thing is that Madikwe is an amazing game reserve — but apart from that it is also Malaria free. As we were living there with our three children, we decided that we were going to be a very family-oriented lodge. Until then nobody was really welcoming children in the bush under the age of 12. Maybe that’s what made Jaci’s do so extremely well.”
Jaci’s Lodges Nare suite - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
— Jaci’s Lodges Nare suite

— And that is your philosophy?

Jan: “Yes, absolutely. That’s what we have always been about. We wanted to share the experience with everybody else, including children. Children just soak up the environment and are very close to nature. Our children at 3, 4 and 5 years old can tell me the differences between every birdcall and all the other animal noises.

At the end of the day, I think what makes it so special is the fact that you don’t need video games or television. The bush is the best video game in the world. Our children have never been bored and I think that is just inspirational. That’s what makes it all so fantastic.”
Game drive at Jaci’s Lodges - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
— Game drive at Jaci’s Lodges

— What is life like in the bush?

Jan: “Life here at Jaci’s Lodges has something special because you become very social with the people around you. At Jaci’s we have about 55 staff, so we are a small community. If any of us has a barbecue, we all have a barbecue. If there is a birthday party, we all join in. It is a very special relationship you have with the people because it is so personal and so honest. We spend a lot of free time with each other.

We go on game rides, go fishing or have a sundowner in the afternoon. Sometimes we sit with elephants, sometimes with lions and sometimes just with ourselves. And every time it is special, it is different.”
Jaci’s Lodges tree lodge - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
— Jaci’s Lodges tree lodge

— Are there any memorable experiences you had with guests during a game drive?

Jan: “I’ve been going on game drives for a long time and I’ve never seen the same drive. Every one is unique. The best thing I remember is when I took a family out in the bush together with my own family. Their little girls and my boys just gelled very well which was amazing.

Anyway, we all ended up at a waterhole and my children wanted to go for a swim, so the children all ended up in the water – in this brown, muddy water. They were as brown as anything and just loved getting muddy. The mother just looked at me and said, ‘I’ve never seen them so happy.’ To me that was very special.”
Jaci’s Lodges tree lodge - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
— Jaci’s Lodges tree lodge

— What’s a typical day like at Jaci’s Lodges?

Jan: “The big game viewing takes place early in the morning and late in the afternoon. We have an early morning wake-up at 5 o’clock and meet to have a cup of coffee and cereal, or hot porridge in winter. Then we go on a game drive and come back about 3 hours later to have a nice breakfast or brunch.

People then like to sit around the pool and relax, read or play some games. At 4 o’clock we all meet again to have tea and coffee and a small snack before we go on the late afternoon game drive. We stay out until it gets dark, so you can actually see some nocturnal animals as well. You might see the bush baby, or hyenas, and of course we’re always hoping for the elusive leopard that is more active at night than during the day.

At night we sit around the fire, have drinks and delicious food from the barbecue. That to me is why you’re on safari.”
 - Jaci’s Lodges, in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
 
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