Nestled in the heart of the Madikwe game farm only 3-4 hours from Johannesburg, you find yourself in an authentic bush hideaway with people as warm as the weather. It will never score 5/5 on the star rating but in my opinion should be given all 5 on the basis of its simplistic luxury, great hospitality and Eco friendly charm. Voted one of the best Eco lodges in the world, it does not have any electricity (light is provided though oil and innovative solar lamps) nor running water (water is provider from the local bore hole) but provides you with a natural and honest view of what it is truly Iike to live in the African bushveld.

More information here.

The Next Experience

The Bush Experience provides an authentic view of the wild African bush and the next trip will be scheduled for Sunday, 24 October to Friday, 29 October 2021.

We will be staying in family owned and run, rustic and intimate, unfenced eco-friendly Bush Camp at the very heart of the fourth largest conservation area in South Africa, complete with open fire cooking, no electricity, safari showers (with hot water) and raised wooden cabins to sleep in.

Please come prepared to be challenged, to get involved and to provide active and engaged feedback!

How it Works

We ask all attendees to contribute £845 towards the Back to Basics Foundation. The Foundation funds all accommodation, reserve entrance fees, 2 game drives per day (3-4 hours each), 3 meals per day, snacks on the game drives and transfers to and from OR Thambo.

The Foundation does not cover the cost of flights or transport to OR Tambo, the National Park entrance fees, any alcoholic or soft drinks, branded merchandise or curios (the camp stocks a reasonable selection of beers, wines, spirits, fizzy drinks, mineral water, branded clothing and curios which can be purchased on site – cash only) or any additional nights that you plan to stay in South Africa.

All additional funds raised will be re-invested in to local projects within the communities that the Foundation operates in, supporting local schools, hospitals and conservation efforts.

There are only 16 places to fill so if you are interested in being a part of this, or know someone who should be invited, then please contact us asap.

Alternatively if you would like to make a one time gift or sponsor someone close to you to come on our Experience then please check out our Foundation page.

Where we will be staying

P1140710There are 10 cabins in total and the lodge. The cabins are comfortable and well laid out with big canvass canopies providing much needed ventilation during the days and at night. The ablutions are short walk away and all though authentically basic, provide you with some really lovely luxuries such as a regular toilet (on top of an improved hole in the ground) and fully functioning showers (bucket and pulley system). You get fresh linen and towels every couple of days and can purchase cold drinks,beer and wine on the premises.

The place is fenced for elephant but any other wildlife is welcome and there is a local buffalo who may came in to camp for a visit. Because of this, you will be asked to stay indoors from 10pm and there is a night potty for emergencies.

What we will be doing

P1140721It will take between 3 and 4 hours to get from OR Tambo to Madikwe depending on the traffic and road conditions. On arrival, we will settle in to our respective cabins and then meet for lunch. 4:30pm we will head out for the first game drive.

The game drives are twice a day, once in the morning at 5:30am and in the afternoon at 4:30pm. Each game drive will take between 3 and 4 hours depending on how much the bush has to offer.

We will eat together 3 times a day and snacks are provided on the game drives (dinner at night includes a pudding). The food is traditional South African fare cooked to a high standard either over an open fire or using the small but functional outdoor kitchen. Our personal favourites include: the bobotie, traditional braai with pap and cabbage, the peppermint crisp tart and the granadilla cheesecake.

10pm is bedtime but this won’t feel early as you are up at 5am every morning, spending 7-8 hours on game drives. throw in meal times, showers and couple of hours every day to read and reflect, it makes for very full days.

Experience do’s and don’ts

  • P1140878don’t pack the mosquito spray – they don’t have any Mosquitoes so you will be safe,
  • don’t pack the swimming costume – water is a precious commodity here so there is no pool or bath (all though it is a great place for tanning),
  • do take enough cash to tip the staff, to pay for your drinks and to purchase any goodies such as the solar lamps or branded merchandise,
  • read the materials that we send you beforehand (and that means everyone who is going so there are no surprises when someone sees the shower for the first time),
  • pack a fleece and scarf for the cold mornings and evenings (all though they do provide some very fetching blankets which double as rain protectors if you need them),
  • walking shoes are not a must as you are in the truck on the drives but a hat, your sunglasses, a handheld fan and some sun protection would be wise,
  • unless you have any special dietary requirements, don’t bring any food as you will need to lock it up or leave it in the fridge so the squirrels don’t eat it,
  • don’t plan a list of “must see” animals and just enjoy whatever the bush offers up,
  • don’t forget to pack the camera for those incredible bush moments,
  • don’t expect to connect the iPad, laptop or mobile phone while you are here – they do have limited connectivity but power is a luxury and charging phones and cameras are on request only,
  • lastly, come with an open mind to enjoy the experience as it is meant to be – a back to basics, unique, unadulterated and natural experience in a wild and enchanting environment.