Why Choose Etali Safari Lodge For Your Luxury African Safari

Published On: July 7th, 2024By Categories: EXPERIENCE, FOOD, LODGES AND CAMPS, SAFARI

Why Choose Etali Safari Lodge?

After a while searching on the internet, luxury safari lodges start to look similar. The rooms look stunning, the food looks delicious, and there are lots of great photos of lions and other African animals.

So why should you choose Etali Safari Lodge over other lodges for your vacation?

Etali Safari Lodge Is Located In The Amazing Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is a fantastic destination for viewing wildlife: game drives are designed to maximize animal sightings, the reserve is not too crowded, and it’s easily reachable. Check out our post about why Madikwe is a top safari destination.

Madikwe-Etali-Cheetah cubs


Etali Offers An Immersive Wilderness Experience

The style of the Etali Safari lodge is luxurious, functional and minimalist, designed to focus you on the bush. The chalets have large decks with stunning views into the reserve. The dining decks face the busy waterhole so that you can enjoy watching wildlife even when you’re not on game drive. You experience 2 game drives per day, and if you’re keen to go on a third drive in the middle of the day, that can be arranged too.

Etali Offers Amazing Game Drives

And speaking of game drives, Madikwe has a huge diversity of wildlife with intimate sightings that are limited to 2 or 3 game vehicles. Etali’s game viewers are open on the sides and covered with canvas on top, to protect you from the elements. We use trackers, who sit on a special seat on the hood or bonnet of the game viewer. Having a tracker gives you “hawk eyes” during your drive, which maximizes your wildlife encounters.

If you want to see a lot of different types of wildlife, Etali Safari Lodge is the place to go.

Madikwe-Etali-Giraffe at sunset

Etali Offers Great Wildlife Viewing Even When You Don’t Feel Like Going on a Game Drive

Etali is located in a prime position in Madikwe Game Reserve. Because of its location in the northeast, there are a lot of animals that regularly visit Etali’s waterhole and use the game paths that are directly in front of the chalets. Three of the chalets overlook the waterhole itself. Etali’s waterhole regularly provides legendary sightings. We have seen all of the Big Five at the waterhole, and in the dry season (June-July-August-September) especially you can see elephant herds queuing up and waiting their turn to drink.



Etali Offers Unparalleled Service

If you value great service, come to Etali. Every staff member does their best to ensure that our guests’ stay is everything they hoped for and more. We have a high number of repeat guests, and we believe that our staff is the primary reason why.

Our culture is focused on the guests’ experience. Etali’s founder and owner, Koos Potgieter, created the “Etali culture” 20 years ago when he built and started the lodge. He lives at the lodge and runs it, ensuring that we continue to meet and exceed our guests’ expectations.

Etali Offers Privacy and Relaxed Luxury

At Etali, you can relax and unwind with your partner, friends or family. We are an intimate, 16-bed boutique lodge. Our chalets are built into a small rocky hill (called a “koppie” locally), and are spaced and angled to maximise privacy.

We are not formal at Etali. This is an easygoing place where you’ll feel at home. There’s no dress code, there’s no pressure.

Etali Offers Delicious Cuisine And Also Caters For Any Dietary Requirement

Etali’s chefs make wonderful meals and love to spoil our guests. Our chefs do their own shopping weekly or more frequently if needed, to ensure that they have the right food for our guests and so they can see the quality of the food and select what looks the best. It’s a great system that allows Etali’s chefs to use the freshest ingredients and to produce delicious meals.

This also allows us to cater for all dietary requirements and preferences.

In fact, Etali has also been operating a Kosher kitchen since 2004 when Mendel Kaplan visited the lodge and asked its owner Koos to consider a Kosher offering. It started from there and Etali has been hosting kosher guests for the last 20 years. Our chefs and staff regularly receive Kosher training.


Etali Accommodates People With Mobility Challenges

The wildlife sightings of the bush should be accessible to all. The main lodge and one of its chalets are wheelchair-friendly. We regularly host guests who make use of wheelchairs and they are able to have a fantastic wheelchair-friendly safari experience.

Etali Offers Complimentary High-Speed Wifi

Life doesn’t stop whilst you’re on holiday. Sometimes you want to send messages or photos to friends and family back home. Sometimes you need to hop on a video call for work or respond to some emails. The lodge has high speed fibre wifi throughout—in the chalets and in the main lodge area, including the wellness centre. If you need or want to stay connected, you can.

Etali Supports Local Communities

Etali employs about 30 staff at the lodge itself. Almost all of the people working at the lodge, including managers, waitresses, guides, trackers, spa therapists, chefs and housekeepers, are from communities around Madikwe. Their jobs support themselves, and also their families and extended families.

Many of Etali’s staff have been working at the lodge for more than 10 years. Having grown up in the area and been in Madikwe for so long, they are intimately familiar with the area’s fauna and flora.

We are proud to say that many of our employees have started in less skilled positions and—through their motivation and with Etali’s support—have increased their skills and now work at the lodge as managers, guides, trackers, and chefs. The lodge prides itself on giving opportunities and helping people to find and develop their skills in areas where they excel.


Etali Moment

We hosted a group that booked the entire lodge for their exclusive use. They are an amazing family and we had such fun hosting them. The family has Indian roots and Chef Joseph decided to prepare a curry dish for them. That’s a serious challenge—to prepare an iconic dish for the culture that created it. The chefs knocked it out of the park, making the most delicious “bunny chow” (a local curry dish usually made with beef or lamb (not bunnies!) for those who haven’t had it—highly recommended). The guests went for seconds and were delighted.


Come visit us and make your own Etali Moments!

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