Safari at Tau GameLodge (Malaria free)

Our Travel Vlog/Video

Our Travel Video

Safari at Tau Game Lodge

Whenever one thinks of Africa, wildlife Safari is the first word that comes to mind! That indeed was our primary intention of this visit : to see the amazing african wildlife in its natural settings. Most african Safaris happen in malaria infested zones which means one has to take malarial prophylaxis for the enitire duration plus a few days. These have unpleasant side effects especially on young kids. So we decided to search for malaria free safari zones/National parks. South Africa has some of the most impressive malaria free national parks/game reserves. We chose Madikwe Game reserve close to Botswana border ( 5hrs drive from Johannesurg) and booked 2 nights (2 days with 4 game drives each 3-4hrs in duration). We visited Addo national Park near Port Elizabeth/Eastern Cape before heading to Madikwe. Addo NP was a fantastic full day self drive Safari and was a good introduction to the wildlife in bush. But there are limitations since one cannot go offroad. Madikwe was the real safari experience where the guide tracks the animals on 4x4 vehicle and literally creates roads in the bushes to get a close glimpse of those animals. We took a rental car from Avis and drove from Joahnnesburg after an overnight stay (we flew from Port Elizabeth to Joahhnesburg).

Tau Game lodge is mid range (from Safari lodge standards) but quite expensive. This is true for any private game reserve accomodation. The game drives start at morning 8AM after an expansive buffet breakfast and continue till 11.30 or 12PM depending on the game sightings. Afternoon game drives start at 4PM after a nice tea/snacks and continues till 7PM or so. On return we had good vegtarian dinner on the first night; while there was a BOMA night the next day which means open air seating, wood fired food including an assortment of grilled local vegetables along with a small local dance program. For the whole duration of the stay a guide is assigned. He also acts as the driver and the game tracker!

June being the winter in south africa, it is super cold early mornings. The lodge provides leather bags with heated water to keep us warm along with blankets. We also had jackets and woolen caps for extra protection. This made for cozy game drives. June is not super busy in Madikwe and except for one game drive we didn't have to share the vehicle with anyone. The whole Toyota Land cruiser for us! This also meant our guide had freedom to discuss with us and prioritize which games to track. Our guide was Declan. He was very knowledgeable and passionate about this work and in the end was able to get us excellent sightings of 4 out of the 5 from big 5 group (we saw Elephants, Lions, Rhino and the Cape Buffalo but missed Leopard) along with Cheetahs, Wildebeests, Giraffes, variety of antelopes, warthogs and birds.

We saw two huge male lions, a male lion and female lion procreating, we tracked and followed a lioness with cubs which were adorable. Rhinos were abundant and we spotted cubs as well. We spotted some really huge male rhinos (2 tonnes + ) Elephants were numerous and waterholes were prime spots to see them. Antelopes were numerous too. On our last game drive of the stay, our guide went all guns and was able to track a pair of Cheetah brothers! The sight of these amazing cats so close to our vehicle was unforgettable. Native birds were colorful. Overall the game sightings were excellent!

See the angry elephant in action in the travel video above!

Tau Game Lodge

Tau Game lodge is mid range (from Safari lodge standards) but quite expensive. This is true for any private game reserve accommodation. The rate include accommodation in excellent, spacious and luxurious chalet and all meals and afternoon tea/snacks. Our room had views of the watering hole where all kinds of animals would congregate including a variety of antelopes, elephants, Rhinos and even Giraffes. There were also a few Nile crocodiles on the banks of the watering hole. We are vegetarians and food was one of our worries when we booked the trip. We intimated the lodge in advance and they were able to accommodate us with limited but tasty vegetarian offerings. Breakfast was really good and the dinner on Boma night was wonderful.

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