Thakadu River Camp
Thakadu River Camp is a 24-bed tented camp in Madikwe Game Reserve designed by Chris Rightford and Dave Gurney.

Thakadu River Camp is a wholly-owned, Community-based Tented Safari Camp in the MadikweGame Reserve. The Tented Camp, located on the banks of the Marico River, is an ecotourism partnership between North-West Parks, the Molatedi Community and the operator, African Hotels and Adventures.

The community has a 45-year lease to operate a commercial lodge with traversing rights across the Reserve. The concept is unique in South Africa in that the community owns the development, with substantial benefits accruing to the community itself.

The beauty of Thakadu River Camp is that it has a team of dedicated and highly trained rangers who possess an immense understanding of both the fauna and flora within the reserve and are skilled in locating as many animals as possible, but obviously there can be no guarantee.

Thakadu River Camp stands out from the crowd of standard game lodges, as it is ideally positioned in a transitional area enabling it to draw wildlife from two different, yet complementary, ecosystems. Thakadu is also located in a malaria-free area, just an added comfort afforded to you by Thakadu River Camp.

Privacy and comfort are paramount and this 24-bedded camp, with its exceptionally private location, assures guests of a tranquil, relaxing experience. Pamper yourself with a spa massage treatment which can be enjoyed on your personal deck, or on the camps main deck, both overlooking the stunning reserve.

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the few reserves in southern Africa, which is malaria free. Located in South Africa along the Botswana border and 20 kilometres from Gaborone, the Reserve lies within a transition region between lowveldbushveld and the Kalahari thornveld. As a result the region is host to an incredible diversity of species from both ecosystems. Geographically the region has enormous volcanic intrusions known as Inselbergs, wide open plains and the riverine environment along the Marico River in the east of the reserve.

Gate Times

Winter: 08:00 – 16:30
Summer: 08:00 – 17:00

Additional Info

Game Drives

Wake Up Call: Summer 05h00

Tea / Coffee: Summer 05h15

Morning Drive: Summer 05h30

Afternoon Drive: Summer afternoon tea 15h30 and depart at 16h00

Wake Up Call: Winter 06h00
Morning Drive: Winter 06h30
Afternoon Drive: Winter afternoon tea 15h00 and depart at 15h30


Summer – September to April
Rainy season with hot days and warm nights.
Temperatures 25°C – 40°C.

Winter – May to August
Dry season with generally warm days and cold nights.
Temperatures 0°C – 25°C.

Meal Times

Breakfast: 09h00 to 10h00
Lunch: 13h00 to 14h00
Dinner: 19h00 to 21h00

Bar Times

Open: 07h00
Close: 23h00

The Community

The Batlokwa Boo Kgosi Traditional Community of Molatedi Village originated from a place inside the current Madikwe Game Reserve known as Tshwene-Tshwene around 1886. The arrival of white settlers in the area and their demands for taxes prompted the community to move to an area outside the control of the settlers. At the time of the move from their ancestral home around Tshwene-Tshwene, they were led by Sebolao, (Rangwaneakgosi – meaning paternal uncle) the paternal uncle of Mfoloe, who was still a youngster. The name Molatedi came about as a result of this community promising their brother, Gaborone that they would follow him from their ancestral home around Tshwene-Tshwene into Botswana. However they decided to move to the eastern side of the Marico River and settled in 1886 in what is now the Molatedi Village, and where they have resided ever since. Gaborone moved to the present site of Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

Mholoe ultimately took over the reins of traditional leadership from his paternal uncle, and in turn passed the reigns of leadership to his eldest son, Tlhageng. By the time Tlhageng came of age he was already recognised by the government of the time as the kgosi or traditional leader. During the term of KgosiTlhageng there was little infra-structural development embarked upon by the community or by local government. KgosiTlhageng was succeeded by his eldest son Mokgatle Stephen Matlapeng (affectionately known as Topoti and the father of the current Kgosi) in 1968.

During his term as Kgosi he established Tlhageng Primary School, the Local Clinic and the Traditional Administration Offices. He passed away in 1983 after an unsuccessful brain tumor operation at Garankuwa Hospital. He was succeeded by his younger brother LeserwaKagiso John Matlapeng, who acted for a period of sixteen years for the present KgosiBafshoeFransMogalenyanaMatlapeng, who was officially inaugurated on the 1st May 1999.

Numerous programs covering skills development, empowerment and training have started during the reign of KgosiBafshoeFransMogalenyanaMatlapeng. The involvement of various institutions and organizations including Mafisa Consulting facilitated in unpacking and structuring the business opportunity for community development in Madikwe Game Reserve as offered by North-West Parks & Tourism Board. The concept and idea of a community lodge was presented and Sebolao Development Trust was formed as a legal entity representing the community of Molatedi. The Trust is made up of members of the community. The trust has also engaged the services of Potchefstroom University to assist with the training of trustees regarding their roles and responsibilities.

Today the Molatedi Community is proud to own an asset in the form of a commercial lodge as an ecotourism product within the Madikwe Game Reserve. The camp was officially opened on 11 August 2006.