Tau Game Lodge (Tau meaning ‘lion’ in Tswana) is in the far north-western corner of malaria-free, Big 5 Madikwe Game Reserve. The vegetation here is less dense Kalahari-thornveld, easier for game spotting. The main lodge and luxury safari chalets all look out over the vast waterhole where a pageant of wildlife comes to drink at all hours of the day and night.

  • Excellent views over the waterhole for game-viewing
  • Game drives in open safari vehicles with canopies for extra comfort
  • Each luxury thatched chalet has a viewing deck for 24-hour game watching over the busy waterhole
  • Very child-friendly with gift packs, special safaris and activities for the little ones
  • Family-friendly safari lodge offering activities for all ages and good value for money
  • Exclusive bush trail within camp

Tau is one of the larger lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve. It offers 30 spacious and luxurious chalets, looking out over the waterhole. There are also deluxe chalets available which are positively huge and offer 5-star luxury, outdoor shower, comfortable lounge areas and two separate bedrooms. Tau is an ideal safari choice for families and friends travelling together.

The lodge is African-style and natural finishes have been used wherever possible. The result? A lodge that is at one with its natural surrounds.


Tau is great for families with children and there are dedicated children’s playground and activity centre with child-minding services. Children receive a little Tau backpack and T-shirt with age-appropriate toys and activities for them as a welcome pack – we were impressed by this. The lodge is fenced and safe for children.


The lodge offers daily open vehicle game drives with expert guides. Binoculars are available for rent. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the main lodge boasts a full-size snooker table, and there is also a TV room with comfy couches for those who cannot miss their favourite weekend sport.

There is a short but fascinating eco-trail through an area of natural bush within the lodge boundary, where some interesting items are strategically placed and explained by means of little signposts. It doubles as a nice relaxing walk through the bush or a short birding walk.

The Main Lodge

This safari lodge is one of the early Madikwe lodges and was built in 1995. It's double-storey with a sumptuous lounge, bar and dining room which open out towards the waterhole, the heart of the action. Breakfasts and lunches are served here or on the pool deck. Dinners are usually served in one of the open-air bush bomas or the thatched Lapa. On clear evenings, the stars are spectacular – and look close enough to reach out and touch.

Community Projects

Tau is very involved in community and ecology outreach programmes. The Tau Foundation focuses on youth education, helping to provide better local school facilities and assisting with university bursaries to promising scholars. The Tau Tree Fund aims to involve guests by growing and planting precious indigenous trees.

Getting to Tau Game Lodge

By road: Tau is an easy 4 hours’ drive from Johannesburg. Road transfers can easily be arranged. Tau Game Lodge is a 2-hour drive from Sun City and 28km from Gaborone Airport in Botswana.

By air: Scheduled flights connect OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International with Madikwe airstrip. Charter flights and helicopter transfers can be arranged.

Our take on Tau Game Lodge

If you don’t mind the bigger size of this malaria-free safari lodge, Tau Game Lodge may be one of the best child-friendly safari lodge options in Madikwe. We liked the kids’ welcome packs, the activity centre and play area for younger kids, the TV and snooker table for older kids, the large pool, massive grounds and gardens.

Also, we liked the fact that the lodge looks out over an active waterhole so that you can sit on the deck and enjoy your book or your drink while keeping an eye on the animals that come down to the waterhole to drink. For these reasons, we rank Tau among the best lodges in Madikwe.

  • Luxury accommodation and three meals per day
  • Two game drives daily in open Land Rovers, guided by experienced rangers, sundowner drink
  • Airstrip transfers (if scheduled flights booked through Tau)
  • Welcome backpack and goodies for children
  • Special game drives for 3 – 5-year-olds
  • Madikwe Game Reserve entrance fees
  • Government Bed Levy (approx. R10 p.p. per night)
  • Transfers to and from the lodge
  • Telephone/internet use, curio and bar purchases
  • Spa facilities
  • Gratuities and laundry
  • Convention Centre Venue Hire
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