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I am just returning from a three day stay at Tuningi Lodge in the Madikwe. An interesting trip - lovely lodge, very cold (and windy at times), the first game drive on which I took no photos at all, a couple of firsts: a lion kill and an amazing waterhole. I will update as I sort my photos... (And yes @Game Warden - I will add a lodge review)
1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Tuningi Safari Lodge, Madikwe, South Africa 2) Website address if known: http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/lodges-in-south-africa/madikwe-game-reserve/tuningi-safari-lodge/lodge-luxury-suites/ 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). July 2017. Low season. R5500 per person per night 4) Length of stay: 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? A few details in my trip report. Ease of access from JNB, very comfortable lodge for a friend on first safari. Used website and TA reviews for info (no mention of it on Safaritalk!) 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Via an agent, Jacqui Sive of Lodge Trackers. It is possible to book direct via website and in doing so it appears that you can avoid the single supplement applied to 2nd and subsequent single rooms in a booking. I feel comfortable mentioning this as I continued to book via the TA but the lodge have done nothing to correct the apparent error in the two months since they were informed about it. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 6 8) To which countries? South Africa (5 times) and Kenya 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Nottens (Sabi Sands), Kambaku River Sands (Timbavati) 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? Yes. It does however have a lovely waterhole (lit at night) which provided a steady stream of good sightings. 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 4 double and 2 family (16 beds total). NB Children of any age can stay and can go on game drives. Generally OK with this but on occasions noise and running around disturbed animals at waterhole and other guests. 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Room 2. Good view over main path taken by animals to waterhole. Private. Only downside a faint hum from the generator at night. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Very comfortable. Including gas fire and Nespresso coffee machine! 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Good variety and vegetarian options. Enjoyable although the bona BBQ wasn't exceptional quality 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Available without notice. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables and guides not present. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? N/A 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open Toyota 4 WD. 3 rows for guests, 3 individual seats in each row 19) How many guests per row? 2 (unless larger family group) 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? 3 - 3,5 hours. Not very varied during my stay. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Don't think so. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Private park (large) Comparable vehicle density with Sabi Sands 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? N/A 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. Yes but relaxed and didn't feel pressured 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Lions (yes) Wild Dogs (no) general game - a bit sparse 27) How was the standard of guiding? Average. Guide only on vehicle (no tracker), tended to team up with another guide from Tuning when tracking on foot leaving guests in the vehicle. Although allowed to use the whole Madikwe we tended to drive the same small area in an (unsuccessful) search for a leopard over several days. In my opinion it would have been better to have admitted defeat earlier and concentrated on 'smaller' sightings which can be equally interesting. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? This concern didn't reach the threshold for a complaint. 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes - excellent lodge staff. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes but can't recall details. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Like this
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