Lunches on the deck at River House often double as a grandstand view of life along the Marico River. Imagine watching elephant swim and frolic in the river while you finish your starter. You could call it impromptu bush theatre at its best – or just daily life here at River House in Madikwe Game Reserve.
If you’re familiar with exclusive-use, two-bedroomed Owners’ House, River House is simply a larger version with three bedrooms – and the conversion of the study is easy to create a forth kids’ room. While the configuration is different, the contemporary European décor and homely atmosphere is continuous through the two houses, which are also just 300m apart. A wooden walkway along the river links the houses, should one party book both houses for a celebration or multi-generational safari. Yet, the houses are just as easily kept completely private for individual bookings, and each has its own dedicated chef, butler and full staff complement, along with a private game-drive vehicle, tracker and guide too.
Built around a courtyard and shaded by tall Tamboti trees – or Morukuru trees in the local Tswana language – River House fronts onto the pool with the river just beyond – so game viewing while you go for a dip is effortless, while remaining safely behind the game fence that protects the houses. Also riverside along the walkway is a private sala for various treatments. And by evening this sala easily transforms into a romantic, lamp-lit dining venue for two. Then again, virtually every meal at River House is enjoyed in a different location – all of them enchanting and unforgettable.
River House and Owner’s House are surrounded by a single protective game fence enclosing a lush area of bush and woodland that is safely accessible to guests. You can take a walk or a wander, knowing you are safe from dangerous wildlife. It’s a little like having your own private bush reserve to explore at leisure.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey
What we love
- Raw stone feature walls inside
- Sleeping under billowing mosquito netting
- Seeing aardvark on night drives and so much game by day
- Romantic gas fireplaces in the bedrooms and lounge
- Marico River views from the pool
- Enjoying meals in beautiful locations
- The enticing curio shop selling locally-sourced souvenirs
- All the community work by the Morukuru Goodwill Foundation
- The authentic conservation experience through Morukuru’s Safaris with a Purpose
Need to know:
- Check in is strictly from 2pm and check out no later than 11am, to enable housekeeping time
- Federal Air has daily flights between Johannesburg and Madikwe, or you can self-drive
- River House is one of three exclusive-use houses in the Morukuru Family collection in Madikwe Game Reserve.
- River House and Owner’s House can seamlessly be used by one party, or kept entirely separate and private.
- the house is game fenced
- the pool can be covered on request
- a child-minding service is available
- the study is easily converted into a kids room with 2 bunk beds to sleep 4 kids
- children under 16 can enjoy guided nature walks but are not permitted on Big Five bush walks
- the house is air conditioned
- Sleeps 10 (including 4 kids in bunk beds)