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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Jamala Madikwe Lodge to Re-Open with New Experience

Jamala Madikwe is set to re-open in October 2023, after a complete rebuild of the main lodge area following a fire December (2022).

Rising from the ashes and currently under construction at the main lodge, is a new building comprising of a large new triple volume entrance, stylish new lounge and bar, dining room, sofa safari, curio shop, gym, spa, as well as a new swimming pool and deck.

There will also be an additional second level to capture the incredible views of the Jamala waterhole and the Dwarsberg mountain range. The rebuild is taking place on the exact footprint of the original buildings to reduce the impact on the surrounding bush.

Owner Rodney Steyn says that the intention is to have as little waste as possible. ‘Building debris and rubble from the fire is being recycled and used in the foundations, and all the burnt steel have been taken off site to be recycled. Sadly, two of our iconic trees were lost in the fire but all remaining trees are being conserved and screened from the building site.’ He added that more trees are being planted around the main deck to create a green canopy for the numerous bird species and insects found around the lodge.

Fortunately, the five guest villas with private pools, which received a full bathroom revamp in August last year, were not affected by the fire. 

One of the main improvements of the rebuild is the lodge kitchen, which has been re-designed by General Manager and Executive Chef Nico Verster. The kitchen will continue building on the celebrated cuisine offered at Jamala Madikwe and with the additional spaces on the deck and the upper floor level, exciting new dining venues and experiences will be on offer.

The new lodge interiors that Nico and Rodney are proposing will encapsulate a similar look and feel as before, keeping its old-world charm set in a brand new building with vast open decks and views to the famous waterhole. 

Thanks to the unique position of the lodge overlooking this very active waterhole, Jamala Madikwe’s renowned ‘Sofa Safari’ remains one of its greatest assets. Another investment in the lodge is a new waterhole camera, which already enables popular wildlife platforms such as Wild Earth to live-stream footage of game sightings and interactions onto its App and DSTV channels.

In terms of electricity, the goal is for Jamala Madikwe to move over to a more renewable energy system during the course of this year. ‘We are looking to expand on our commitment to a greener operational system and lessening the ongoing effects of the erratic load shedding. The test unit should be installed in the park next month, and we are all eagerly awaiting the trial run results’, Rodney says.

Commenting on the impact that the fire has had on Jamala Madikwe, Rodney says that he has been humbled by the solidarity and support from the travel community, the employees of Jamala Madikwe, as well as guests.

‘Reopening the lodge is not merely about reconstructing buildings or restoring inventory and services, it is about rebuilding dreams and restoring faith. We have the unique chance to reimagine Jamala Madikwe.

To learn from our past experiences and to create something even more extraordinary that will hopefully transform ourselves into a beacon of inspiration for others. We are very excited about starting a new chapter in our journey and sharing it with our guests when our opening commences in October.’

Allie Hunt, the owner of Inspiration Places expressed her support to Rodney, Nico and the team: ‘Jamala Madikwe is a valued, long-standing member of Inspirational Places, and it really is an iconic luxury safari destination.

The closure of the lodge has been challenging of course, but we are very encouraged by feedback from the recent trade shows We are Africa and Indaba and look forward to even greater support for Jamala Madikwe once the lodge re-opens.’

For Reservation enquiries, contact Judy Veldman Tel: +27 79 474 1817, or email:


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Comments (25)

Sep 21, 2022

We just booked our QATAR 🇶🇦 HÔTEL yesterday for 2 différent short stars of 2 nights and 3 nights for the Final… . Not exactly cheap but ok price for 4.5 Stars luxury and in Doha Center City! Thanks and Good Luck everyone! Vamos MEXICO!


Sep 30, 2022

Wow! Stunning! Hilton seems to be taking Africa by storm. Just a couple of years back, they opened the first ever in Eswatini.


Oct 24, 2022

Wonderful event and topics discussed, hopefully we see the manifestations in our African airline businesses in the nearest future. Kudos to you all.


Nov 10, 2022

Hi, I'm Lucy. Please how do I embark on my travel/ tour business. I am newbie and help..


Nov 18, 2022

Prices in the Sol Torremolinos Don Pablo are the same than two weeks ago.


Dec 04, 2022

Good location astounding but the staffs are rude and they make me wait so long for the service. They charge me more than what is on the website and did not refund me the manager is not helping with the issue


Dec 15, 2022

WoW. Amazing Review. 👍


Jan 07, 2023