Dithaba & Kopano | Madikwe Game Reserve


Personal Impression

Dithaba and Kopano Lodges were recently acquired by Lion Sands and they have done a remarkable job on these lodges. The main lodge, Lepala is too big and spread out. I probably will never use Lepala. However, there are two really lovely small sister lodges here with only four rooms each and they are Dithaba and Kopano. Dithaba and Kopano are next door to each other so if you are in a large group it is still possible to eat all your meals together at one lodge. These lodges are even more contemporary than most of the Lion Sands properties but in a very earthy almost in a Santa Fe style.

wild dogs

The Game

Located in Madikwe Game Reserves this reserve was voted “best game” by the family safari participants July, 2013.  We had amazing sightings and they do go off-road for the big five animals and wild dogs.  We saw a pack of 18 wild dogs in 2013 and it was amazing. Located on the border with Botswana and the Kalahari desert, Madikwe has animals you will not see in the other game areas. Some of these animals are the brown hyena, jackal, ostrich, cheetah and many of the massive Kalahari Lions. The reserve also has the best general game of any property we visited on our family safari in July 2013. Elephant, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, and Cape Buffalo. Madikwe had too many lions and they reduced their lions significantly and it has improved the reserve greatly even the cheetah is making a come-back. Off-roading can be an issue as there are some areas they cannot go and they must have permission first, but we went off-road as much if not more at Madikwe than we did in Sabi Sands. There is SO much land here that it can entail driving further distances to see the great sightings.


Each lodge only has four bedrooms. The rooms are identical at both lodges. The rooms feature a wood burning fire place that is lit for you each night while you are at dinner. The rooms are uniquely designed in a wrap-around configuration that is hard to photograph. There is a large, very comfy bed. The bathrooms are fairly large with double sinks, large tub with candles and a walk-in shower. There is also a large deck with a giant outdoor shower shown in the picture below.

shower bedroom deck

Public Areas

The public spaces here are very interesting. With only eight people per lodge, there are a lot of little nooks and crannies that you will not find in a larger lodge. There is a very intimate feeling about these two lodges, like you are in a home not a lodge. The kitchen table is a country pine table with windows all around just like you would find in a home. At Dithaba, they have an upper viewing deck with some seating with an incredible view over the reserve a nice place to sit in the afternoon and soak in the view. Some pictures below from both lodges.

lodge pool dining

lodge staff clive

The Food

Breakfast is continental but with eggs cooked to order. They have a combo brunch/lunch menu at lunchtime which was kind of interesting. Dinner was always wonderful starting with some great soups. The food here was excellent and we had great service.


WiFi is available in the public areas.

Website: Dithaba Lodge

and Kopano Lodge