Jaci's Lodges: About


Imagine a place where you can wake up to the sun rising above acacia trees, witness a cheetah pursue a zebra across the savanna, and enjoy a gourmet dinner under a dazzling star-sprinkled sky—all in the same day. Imagination is something the owners of Jaci’s Lodges never lacked. When Jaci and Jan van Heteren first came to the Madikwe Game Reserve in the 1990s, it was little more than degraded farmland. But they saw the promise, and years later, this reserve bursts with life, sheltering creatures both great and small in its diverse foliage. With the luxurious environs of Jaci’s Lodges as your hearth, delve into the magnificent South African wilderness—and let your imagination run wild.


  • Seek out the “big five” in the Madikwe Game Reserve, and hear your expert local guide bring the wilderness to life with colorful folktales.
  • Get involved in conservation efforts on a specialized safari, helping to microchip rhinos, collar elephants, and collect material to protect the reserve’s most vulnerable creatures.
  • Sleep under the sky on a romantic rooftop deck, and awake to the chatter of monkeys and birds in the treetops.
  • Capture stunning photographs of elephants, giraffes, buffalo—and with luck, thirsty lions—from your vantage point in the Terrapin Hide, a submerged lookout built at the edge of a watering hole.
  • Gather for a delicious South African meal in an enchanting lantern-lit boma, and sway along to traditional rhythms with local staff.

Why We Love This Lodge

Located in one of South Africa’s largest wildlife reserves, this welcoming safari lodge is committed to incorporating sustainable practices in its day-to-day operations. Efforts range from repurposing greywater and providing biodegradable toiletries to supporting anti-rhino poaching activities in the reserve.

But what truly stands out about Jaci’s Lodges is their commitment to their staff. Through the Staff Trust Initiative, employees who have been working at the lodge for more than five years have the opportunity to become shareholders in the business. The shareholding is held in a trust, and eligible employees receive their portion of the dividends at the end of each year—an economic incentive that empowers and uplifts staff members, their families, and the local community.

Lodges Features

  • Two lodges offering 18 atmospheric suites, from deluxe tented bedrooms to custom-built treehouses
  • Inviting main lodges, each with a central fireplace, interactive kitchen, and fully stocked bar
  • Spacious shared decks for leisurely wildlife viewing and outdoor dining
  • Large boma with barbecue facilities and a firepit, where guests can enjoy meals and spontaneous dance performances
  • The Terrapin Hide, a unique submerged viewpoint for photographing wildlife
  • Range of photographic services, including rental of photography equipment, photo editing tutorials, and a media room with printing facilities
  • Babysitting services and children’s recreation area
  • Outdoor gym and swimming pools
  • In-room spa and massage services
  • Gift shop with a selection of local handicrafts
  • Limited Wi-fi at the main lodges

National Geographic Exclusive

Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic expedition. At Jaci’s Lodges, guests can enjoy access to the Terrapin Hide “star bed”—an elevated, canvas-sided sleeping area built at the shore of a popular watering hole. Here, photography enthusiasts can rest while they wait for animals to stroll down for a drink, then grab their cameras and climb into the Terrapin Hide viewpoint to snap remarkable shots of the wildlife at eye-level. National Geographic guests will also have full access to the on-site photography studio to edit and print their images.

Go with Nat Geo

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