At Jaci’s Lodges we believe in the power of family, our lodges are proudly owner and family run. Since way back in 1994 Jaci and Jan van Heteren, who have raised their own family in Madikwe, have been welcoming and catering for families of all sizes with children of all ages.

There is something immensely unique & special about embarking on an authentic South African safari with your family. Witnessing the awe and amazement of a child who spots their first cheetah, who learns the names of countless “goggas”, who becomes our field guide’s “right hand man”, is a indeed a special and rewarding experience.

We are passionate about our beautiful country and it’s people, our spectacular wildlife, breathtaking vistas and striking landscapes. Sharing this with you and your family is what it’s all about. We hope to welcome you to Jaci’s Lodges soon!

Children’s photographic safaris

Our Children’s photographic workdshops & safari’s are unique to Jaci’s Lodges and hosted by well known photographers, David Rogers & Andrew Aveley.

The aim is to have fun while learning basic photographic skills from David or Andrew, with a strong focus on creativity with no rules (what child does not love to hear this?) Says David: ‘We are going to explore new ways to see, and will play with paint, feathers, leaves, sand etc to create textures and layers. This will not just be about getting the perfect image – it will be about tapping in to the new and fresh ways that children see and process images. What an adventure!”

Andrew Aveley

David Rogers

Family-friendly accommodation

When we say “children of all ages”, we really mean it! From the ages of 0 to 120 years, you are welcome at Jaci’s Safari Lodge!

With a choice between Jaci’s Safari Lodge or either the exclusive Nare or Safari Suite, you can choose accommodation suited to your family requirements or budget.

Our exclusive Nare & Safari Suites are perfect for the ultimate South African safari family getaway. Each with features such as a private pool, viewing deck, your own private field guide and game viewing vehicle, it simply does not get better that this! Our Nare & Safari Suites are ideal for families with mixed age and very young children, as you have your own private guide & vehicle for each suite. Your younger children are welcome to experience the game drives with you, as the vehicle and guide are yours, you can change the game drives to suit your family’s timing and requirements – making the drives shorter, departing slightly later etc.

Children 6 years & above are accommodated at Jaci’s Safari Lodge on stretchers sharing the room with their parents & are welcome on both the evening and morning Game Drives. These 8 uniquely designed “tents”, give you the real “camping out” feeling, but also don’t leave out any luxury comforts including under floor heating, huge beds, luxurious Beautiful Earth eco-amenities, baths big enough for two (or more), private outdoor “jungle” showers and air-conditioning.

Children aged 0 – 5 years can be accommodated at Jaci’s Safari Lodge on request, however evening & morning game drives are not available.  *Terms and conditions apply.

If your children are over the age of 12, you have the choice between Jaci’s Tree Lodge and Jaci’s Safari Lodge. Jaci’s Tree Lodge has 8 treehouse style rooms built within the riverine forest – with raised walkways to bring out the Tarzan & Jane in everyone! You’re never too old to enjoy the thrill of spending the night high above the ground in our stilted suites at Jaci’s Tree Lodge.

*Children ages 3 – 5yrs do have the option of the mid-morning “Jungle Drive” departing approx 11.30 am and lasting approx 45 minutes, Mom & Dad are welcome to join. For children 0 – 2yrs Jaci’s offers childminding on request. This optional babysitting service is only available during morning / evening game drives and evening dinner at a cost per child, per occassion.

Family game drives

At Jaci’s Safari Lodge, we offer twice daily (evening & morning) family game drives. Your Jaci’s field guide will invite you on an adventure into the African bush, where in addition to the renowned lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino, you may be rewarded with sightings of hippo, giraffe, endangered wild dog, both brown and spotted hyena, cheetah & much, much more.

While all children aged 6 to 12 years staying at Jaci’s Safari Lodge are accommodated on drive with their parents, small children under 5 years, are not.

Private family safari vehicles are only available when booking the Nare or Safari Suites at Jaci’s Safari Lodge – when staying in one of these Family Suites, children of all ages are welcome to join their parents on the evening & morning game drives.

“Jungle Drives” – for the little ones under 5 staying in the “tents” at Jaci’s Safari Lodge – are available upon request and depart daily at approximately 11am and last between 30 to 45 minutes. These drives need to be booked in advance and are charged at an additional cost per child, per drive.

Fun and Games

Children love Jaci’s Safari Lodge – they especially love the idea of “camping” in a tent! One of the things they comment on most are the bugs; they love the variety and are enthralled by these creepy-crawlies.

Our staff and field guides are fantastic with children, including them in their daily duties (which is fun as there is always something to be done), as well as going go out of their way to accommodate the needs of both parents and children whenever possible.

The games room at Jaci’s Safari Lodge is a simple addition that buys tired parents time off. With foosball and a selection of board games, the games room is sure to keep even the most active children entertained for hours.

Note: Jaci’s Lodges is fenced off from the reserve, but it is still the responsibility of the parents to be mindful of potential dangers, as Jaci’s Lodges is situated in a wildlife “Big Five” area.

Meals for fussy eaters

Jaci’s chefs understand that children can be fussy eaters, especially when it comes to trying new tastes and foods away from home. Our chefs will meet you and discuss with you and your children what they like, what they don’t like, and what they might like to try.

Our child-friendly menu includes firm childhood favourites like spaghetti bolognaise, huge hamburgers, make your own pizza, sweet potato chips and lots of crunchy vegetables (to keep mom happy), all made from scratch using fresh ingredients.