Impossible to find the right words to describe our experience at Tuningi! OUTSTANDING! By far, the best experience we've ever had traveling to South Africa (2 adults + 11yeras old girl). We had 2 safaris adventure per day; one at 6am in the morning and one in the afternoon (catching both the sunrise and the sunset every day). Almost 7 hours daily of chasing animals in savannah and experience the wildlife diversity. The game drives were just spectacular, beyond description. Our safari guide Cornelius was excellent and taught us so much. Every single member of the staff tried their best to make our visit a pleasant one. The food was great, well presented, every dish was a piece of artwork. We stayed in a family suite, which was beautiful with an outside shower and spotlessly clean. Service at all times was outstanding. We had the most amazing experience there. Would definitely recommend a family safari here and will definitely be coming back!


We spent two nights at Tuningi. The lodge has a very appealing rustic luxury theme and is nestled into the surrounding bush. There is a busy waterhole in front of the lodge offering good game viewing opportunities. The food was great, the only complaint (if any) was that there was too much of it! Fantastic game drives, we saw "the big five" and "the magnificent seven" plus much much more in our two day stay. Kids are made to feel very welcome and little extras are provided for them.


The second visit following a wonderful previous holiday: would it live up to the memories, the expectation the long held dream? The answer was a firm and resounding yes.

Tuningi staff welcomed us as returning family, the accommodation, the lodge and staff were exactly as we remembered. First class and friendly. If there were no animals to be seen, this would still be a wonderful and fabulous place to holiday. Nothing was too much trouble, any question was dealt with immediately, nothing was left to chance in order to make the stay enjoyable.

Looking for tracks, following the prints, binoculars at the ready… and the animals did show up to the party, lion, cheetah, wild dog, rhino, jackals, elephants at the water hole to mention just a few. Cornelius was once again our guide, and his enthusiasm and knowledge was infectious and enviable. No question was too mundane, our wish list was the priority. The dawn coffees and sun-downers in the wild were fun and a great way to make friends with other guests.

Tuningi Safari Lodge offers comfortable surroundings, amazing accommodation, well trained staff (special mentions to Wilma and Lorraine) and all the time in the world to unwind, enjoy the animals at the water hole. Good food, drink, fabulous massages or simply sitting on your private balcony to experience the sounds of Madikwe.

Their website is accurate in what it describes, if anything, it doesn’t do it justice. Thanks to all involved.


What a very special place! This has been our sixth visit to Madikwe and our third stay at Tuningi - LONG MAY IT LAST! The first time we came to Tuningi we visited with my daughter, husband and three boys and this time, two years later, we were all lucky enough to return again together. We were greeted as old friends and the boys as family - goodness haven't they all grown?!! Tobi, aged four, couldn't wait to meet up again with "My man, Christo" and sit up front to help with the spotting. As ever, we had amazing and wonderful experiences! We came across (without the gory downfall) a pride of lion devouring a zebra and the four cheetah brothers chomping on a red hartebeest. Then, at the dam, we saw a six month old baby elephant get stuck in the mud and the rest of the herd coming quickly to its assistance. Phew, that was a relief! Then there were wild dog, rhino (black and white), giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, buck, monkeys, baboons, etc. You name it, we saw it...... except the leopard! That elusive animal is just making sure that we return! In between all this excitement we swam in the pool, we snoozed in our luxurious lodge and we gorged on fantastic food. Four days and nights of 'made in heaven' perfection for bush lovers like us. Magic Madikwe memories will again be stored by my three grandsons for a lifetime and hopefully Africa will be instilled in their blood! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you AGAIN and AGAIN to Christo & Wilma, Gavin & Heidi, and all the Tuningi staff. UNTIL NEXT TIME........... :o)


We spent the most amazing weekend at Tuningi Safari Lodge seeing unbelievable sightings with Gavin Tonkinson. Heidi is an amazing host and she runs a really tight ship, all the staff are so welcoming and friendly, you can see they have a true passion for what they do. The food was out of this world, always beautifully presented and exquisite. The rooms are lovely and spacious with fantastic views, the outside shower was a real treat and we loved the attention to detail. The waterhole at the lodge is always teeming with wildlife, we had elephant, buffalo and a lot of general game, you could easily stay at the lodge and sip away on a sundowner at the waterhole. Our game drives were extraordinary. We saw a pack of 19 wild dogs chasing a herd of about 100 buffalo at a dam where there was also a white rhino with her calf, in total, we saw wild dogs three times. We saw a pride of lions with two beautiful males and three cubs, whilst viewing them, the males and females starting roaring... it was AMAZING!! Gavin and Cornelius went out of their way by tracking a coalition of four male cheetah and what an fantastic sighting that was!! We would recommend Tuningi to anyone, whether you are a couple wanting a romantic getaway or a family or a bunch of friends, you will definitely have a GREAT time, it is a truly special place.


We were highly recommended to stay at Tuningi by some friends from Florida, and it was the best recommendation we could have ever hoped for! Tuningi was AMAZING from start to finish! The couples who run the lodge are phenomenal! The women are the hostesses and make sure the guests are very well taken care of, and the men are the game rangers. Gavin took us out on our game drives, and we saw all of the best animals!!! The accommodations are absolutely beautiful! The main lodge and the rooms are always spotlessly clean and the staff is extremely welcoming and helpful! The food is excellent with beautiful presentation! You can see lots of animals from your villa or when you are at the lodge or pools. We stayed in villa #8, which was the closest one to the further away pool, and the elephants came right up to our pool and put their trunks over the edge to drink out of it! This is unique to Tuningi and so cool to see!!!! We could not have asked for a better trip thanks to Tuningi, and we didn't have to worry about Malaria, which was a huge benefit! A huge thanks goes out to Wilma, Christo, Heidi, and Gavin! We cannot thank them all enough for their hospitality, and they made it an experience of a lifetime!!!!


We spent 3 nights in Tuningi. Loved the whole experience. Great accommodation - fantastic food.

Great couple run the lodge and nothing was too much trouble. Excellent game drives and great meals by the boma on our return from the afternoon drive. Would highly recommend it.


Tuningi is a wonderful lodge for an adventure in Madikwe. First and foremost, the staff is excellent: they were warm, welcoming, and attentive, perfectly so. The lodge is well-appointed and is nicely situated next to a water hole, and several times during our stay elephants came to drink and play in the water. The food was outstanding, and the lodge has a nice bar area in which to hang out with friends.

Our game drives were better than any we had experienced before - in one drive we saw wild dogs, a leopard, cheetah, a lioness and two cubs, a white rhino, and a brown hyena - and this was largely due to our exceptional guide. I can't say this strongly enough: the guides at Tuningi are highly skilled at their jobs. Ours was knowledgeable about birds, plant life, and especially with the animals and their behavior.

Finally, parents take note: Tuningi accepts young children, and the lodge is really(!) good at looking after them. There were nannies available during our game drives and dinner, and during brunch, there were individuals available to watch the kids while we ate. They also take the kids (and their parents) on what they call "bumbles", or safaris for kids. Our guide led us to two male lions for the kids to see, which was an excellent experience for them.

Thanks, Tuningi. We'll be back.


Just returned from an amazing trip to this beautiful welcoming, warm, friendly, beautiful lodge. Brought my kids back to Africa after a long absence away after immigrating to Australia and to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Wanted them to experience the "Real wild magistic Africa and connect to their roots" - Tuningi sparked their passion for Africa and rekindled mine and my husbands = we will definately return.

The whole experience was outstanding in every way. We were greeted back after each game drive with welcoming smiles and made to feel so at home. All the staff were super friendly and the service was outstanding.

The food was 5 star, beautifully presented and really delicious - my favourite meal was dinner served down a little wooden path to a boma down next to a watering hole where a fire was lit and the staff danced and sang and a whole herd of elephants came down to drink with their babies. WHOW.

This small intimate lodge gives you exceptional service in every way. The family "home" - little Tuningi, is absolutely perfect for a family. Two huge rooms with own on-suites and out door showers, divided by a huge lounge area with kitchen, leading out onto a wrap around deck looking out onto the wild bush. All natural materials - blending into the environment, pristine, wonderful. We returned after dinner one night to find rose petals and small candles leading to the bath where a bottle of champagne, roses and glasses sat on the floor. So romantic and personal (a congrats on our 20th wedding anniversary). Such a beautiful thoughtful gesture.

The highlight was our game drives with Cornelius. His super upbeat, friendly, enthusiastic and passionate nature and his drive to get us the best photo opportunity possible, saw us venturing out off the beaten path, though thick bush to get up close to all the animals. My most amazing experience was on the last day where we observed 2 lionesses with their month old cubs eating a kudu. Watching them at play and at rest right next to them was so so awesome. We followed them for ages as they waddled down the little dirt track until they headed into thick bush to rest. Amazing amazing - Cornelius you are the greatest - thank you thank you.

Thank you to Lorraine and Wilma too and all the beautiful dedicated friendly staff who looked after us so beautifully. A real treat - cant wait to return.

As we flew out on the smallest little plane where my husband had to share the cockpit with the pilot, we waved to Cornelius and to a wonderful exciting 4 days.


I wish we could have stayed longer. The experience was a once in a lifetime visit. The staff has an amazing way of being ultra professional, but making you comfortable enough to feel like a family member. The food was plentiful and very tasty and served presented beautifully.

The bedrooms are individual thatched huts with a bathtub large enough for two and an outdoor shower. The rustic decor is appealing. The rooms were extremely clean well appointed.

The Lodge location is perfect with a watering hole in view which draws lots of animals to observe while eating outside or lounging by the pool.

The main attraction are the safari drives. Words cannot express the beauty of the animals in natural surroundings. Our group was lucky enough to observe four cheetahs being reintroduced into the game reserve. Our ranger, Christo is first class, very knowledgeable and made our drives so much fun. He is extremely knowledgeable and has lots of energy that he commits to each drive.

All in all, I heartily recommend this lodge.


We went for 2 nights with a group of friends to celebrate my wife's birthday. What an experience!!! We have been to quite a number of game lodges in SA but Tuningi beats them all hands down. The chalets were surprisingly spacious and impeccably clean. The staff was very friendly and really made us feel special and welcome. The food was another surprise: 5 star in the bush! And on top of all this to find a herd of 20 elephant enjoying the water hole just in front of the lodge! What more can you ask for? A perfect African bush break. We will certainly return!


Tuningi is absolutely well worth a visit! Attention is given to every detail and we had a relaxed and most enjoyable stay. All rooms have views and the lodge has a waterhole with lots of animal activity. Excellent cuisine, great hospitality, professional service and enthusiastic and well informed game rangers. Our highlight was 2 lionesses and their cubs with a zebra catch. Birds are also in abundance this time of the year. Every staff member seem to love their job. It is an easy scenic drive from Pretoria. We have been to many lodges that was great, but Tuningi is a cut above and we can not wait to return!


We looked forward to our drives and safari experience and were not disappointed. Tuningi is in a first class position based on a sizeable well equiped lodge with lovely individual thatched bedrooms and large matching bathroom. The staff were friendly and helpful and our ranger ( guide) Chris was exceptional in his knowledge and wish give everyone the best exerience. On our 6 drives we saw a large variety and number of differing animals, birds and butterflies. It was truly a wonderful experience and well worth the 4 hour drive from Jo'burg. We will never forget it


We spent 2 nights at Tuningi and throughly enjoyed our stay, the staff are very friendly and helpful, the rooms are great and have tea and coffee for a plunger as well. Rooms are well appointed and spacious , the food was outstanding and attention to detail superb. The game drives were great even if a bit hectic. I would recommend Tuningi to anyone, Half the price of Jaci's and double the value.


I am glad to see that I am not the only one who has shed a tear when leaving Tuningi. Two months on and I still find myself longing to be back there having a sundowner and chatting about the days experiences. From the moment we arrived I knew that this was going to be special. The accomodation and setting is spectacular. Even when not out on the game drive there is plenty to see around the lodge or the waterhole. Amazing birdlife everywhere and the waterhole is a great spot to sit back and relax between drives, as you never know who will stop by. One of the highlights was the walking safari, it gives you a totally different perspective. If possible I thoroughly recommend it. The food is also fantastic, breakfast, lunch and dinner - all sublime.

But what makes Tuningi so special is the people. The rangers Gavin, Cornelius and Christo are all fantastic, their knowledge and respect of the wildlife is inspiring, and they will pull out all the stops to make sure you have a truly amazing experience. Whilst back at the lodge all your needs are looked after by a very professional friendly team. Heidi, Frans, Lorraine, Petrus and Rose you are all brilliant and made our short time in Tuningi so special with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you all so much.


My wife and I spent three nights at Tuningi in mid-November 2012. We were late arriving courtesy of Avis in Sandton, and the first evening drive had already left, but within moments of settling into our lovely room, we were being wowed by South African bird life, sitting on trees next to our balcony. After unpacking, we went down to the watering hole, where we saw Impala, Weaver birds, and an Elephant. I thought that was pretty good - I had no idea!

When the evening drive returned, we all settled down to supper, and watched as a herd of about 20 elephants visited the waterhole, then left, then returned, left and returned again.

All the food was excellent. I know South African food is always good, and Tuningi was no exception at all. The food was fresh, interesting, more than sufficient, well served - you get the idea.

The next three days were epic. The lodges at Tuningi are really lovely, but after the first evening, we were hardly ever in ours. There was so much going on at the water hole that when we weren't out on a game drive or eating, we were sat on the deck looking at the water hole, watching the animals coming to drink. The elephants, at times, were only feet from us. Other animals were much more cautious, but they seemed to realise that humans on decking weren't a threat, so there was always something going on. I took my kindle down to the deck, intending to read, but I never got through a page, the action was so continuous.

We saw all the animals you could want to see. Christo was our Ranger, and he worked intensely to show us everything, but he was never in a hurry to drag us away when there was something good to look at.

I took a walking safari one morning. Seriously recommended! Just being out there, in the bush, even though the wind was behind us, and the Ranger I was with (Stephan) was careful to quietly announce our presence every 100 yards or so, was fantastic. I was able to see a lot of things you'd never get to see in a Land Cruiser, and Stephan told me a lot about the natural history of the flowers, birds and animals that we saw, as well as explaining what native Africans used the various parts for.

All in all, a fantastic three days. I wish it could have been longer, but that might spoil it for our next visit!

Madikwe is a great park. It's big enough to have a complete Eco-system and all the animals, but small enough that you don't feel crowded by other visitors.

Wilma was the perfect hostess, and looked after us tirelessly when Christo wasn't taking us out on Game Drives. It's a long day - most of us spend 8 hours a day at work; while at Tuningi we spent 8 hours each day on game drives, and about a further 5 or 6 hours relaxing, watching animals at the water hold or the swimming pool (which has a drinking place for passing elephants - and they do! We saw them!) and a couple of hours eating. Long, intensive days (if you want them to be), but as we were only there for three days, we wanted to see as much as possible, and we did.

We'll be back!


We recently stayed at Tunungi for a relaxing breakaway. Heidi was a fantastic hostess who looked after us very well and made us feel at home from the time we arrived to the time we sadly had to depart.

Shortly after arrival we were greeted by a herd of Elephant drinking water in front of the main building, literally at arm’s length away from us below the deck.

All meals were beautifully prepared and served by well trained staff, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere. Possibly one of the best prepared Beef fillets I have ever had.

The rooms are all beautifully appointed with views over the bush veldt. A fireplace centred between the bathroom and bedroom, with a large oval bath as well as an outside shower providing options for both a romantic candlelit bath as well as an early morning hot shower outdoor with sunrise.

Gavin took us out on an amazing Game drive with the highlight being a pride of Lions first feasting on a kill next to a waterhole and then taking a kill away from two Wild dogs just around the corner from them.

Thank you to Heidi, Gavin and the Tuningi team for a very memorable breakaway.


This is the first time I've ever written a review of a holiday I've been on, but felt compelled to share this most amazing experience. From the moment we arrived at the Tuningi safari lodge we were met with smiling faces and the warmest of welcomes. The lodge itself is stunning. We stayed in "Little Tuningi" which is set back, a two minute walk from the main lodge. Please look at the website as the photos are a true reflection of the lodge itself. Little Tuningi is slightly more expensive but well worth it.

The main lodge overlooks an amazing watering hole which was visited by elephant and impala everyday. To sit with a glass of wine in hand just metres away from them was stunning.

Then we were introduced to "Cornelius" our safari ranger/guide. He really made our 6 drives truly memorable. His passion, knowledge and commitment to the animals was really infectious. On the first drive he managed to find two lion brothers who had recently been in a fight with each other, one still baring the bloody scars!. Then we came across a pride of lionesses and their cubs. Suddenly all their heads looked up as they spotted possible prey. They slowly stood a moved towards the bushes and lay looking patiently. We sat for about an hour as the sun went down just meters away from them. One lioness headed off into the bush alone but unfortunately came back without a catch and they headed back to the cubs. An amazing experience to see these predators in their natural surroundings.

All the drives were magical in their own way but the highlight was the last night when we came across a large lion laying between some bushes. Cornelius got us within 3m of him and as we sat there in awe of this magnificent animal he let out 3 bellowing roars which echoed across the hills. The most amazing thing I've ever heard!.

This was our first safari and is so addictive we are already planning our return next year. Whether its your first safari or you've been fortunate to have been before, Tuningi lodge has it all. A huge thanks to all the staff for making our stay beyond our wildest expectations, and a special thanks to Cornelius who allowed us to see things we never imagined.

We will definately be returning. Andy and Kate.


My husband and I have just returned from our stay at this magical place. I think the biggest compliment a traveller can give an establishment is crying when they leave and planning their next trip back. That was me when we drove out of the gates this morning! The only words I have are amazing, amazing, amazing!! From the moment we were welcomed into the front entrance until the moment we said our goodbyes it was a weekend that will never be forgotten. Nothing was too much for any of the staff members and everything was done with a smile and a real sense of actually wanting to help and wanting to make your stay perfect, which it was. We went there for my 30th Birthday and the staff went all out to make my birthday the best yet. A birthday cake which was super yummy, singing and a romantic turn down complete with candles, rose petals and champagne were just some of the little touches you receive without expecting it or even asking for it. They simply do whatever they can to make you feel special. From the amazing meals to the beautiful rooms and the excellent staff there is no other lodge tha I think will have the same soul and absolute uniqueness that Tuningi offers. Wilma and Heidi make you feel like they have known you for years. Friendly and warm beyond words. Frans makes the best cocktails and both him Dunhill and Rea will go out of their way to satisfy your every whim. Frans piña coladas are amazing! Gavin is one of the best game rangers/guides/trackers./miracle man we have ever had the pleasure of encountering (we have been on many game drives at various reserves). He actually tracked on foot I might add, a pride of lion!! Spectacular!! In my opinion there is no other lodge in Madikwe worth spending money on, this place is top notch!! Thank you to everyone at Tuningi for making my birthday unforgettable!! I cannot wait to return.


Well Alyson and i have just arrived back from our honeymoon and although all of our destinations including south africa and mozambique where fantastic Tuningi was just perfect. Not only was the accommodation exemplary and the service first class but Tuningi's real charm lies with the employees from Frans to Lorraine Heidi you have accomplished a brilliant workforce who really know how to create memories for life, well done. As for the rangers well they deserve a special mention. Christo thankyou so much for our walking safari the best day cheers! Cornelius you are a top guy and you should be very proud of the memories you have left us with, thankyou! Oh but the biggest thanks of all goes to our main man Gavin Thanks Gav you really made our adventure complete and we were very blessed to have you as our ranger and now as our friend. thanks again big man and we will see you 2013 with the kids!! be warned haha!!


There are not enough adjectives to describe what an amazing place this is! The food, staff, service and accommodation is incomparable, and the game viewing is plentiful, intimate and spectacular. Cornelius, our game ranger, totally made the holiday for us and went that extra mile for us on every game drive. I loved every second and cannot think of a single bad thing to say about this place (which is rare for me). If you are coming to SA and want the ultimate safari experience then this is the place for you!


We stayed at Tuningi for 4 nights in August 2012. For my wife, three daughters (aged 15, 13 and 10) and I it was the experience of a lifetime. For the benefit of those thinking of going I will describe the features.....

Accommodation: genuinely the most beautiful hotel room I have ever stayed in. The central lodge was atmospheric and the watering hole it overlooked attracted a herd of 40 elephants on our last day.

Food: Superb. As complex and carefully constructed flavour combinations as you would find in a top London restaurant.

Staff: were attentive, enthusastic and treated us like family. They were keen to provide activities for our daughters between the game drives.

Game drives: Breath-taking, exciting, amazing. There are simply not enough adjectives to describe the experience of seeing the animals so close. There were so many high points - the wild dog puppies, the pride of lions, the wild dogs hunting, the lion cubs, a herd of elephants and both types of rhino. Our guide, Cornelius, was fantastic. He tracked and found the animals we wanted to see; his knowledge of them was encyclopedic; his patience with us was endless; his enthusiasm for wildlife was infectious; and his eyesight was superhuman. He spotted a ostrich on the horizon that I could only just see with binoculars.

One of the best things about Tuningi and the Madikwe reserve is its exclusivity. Tuningi only has a capacity of around 20 guests and the Madikwe is sparsely populated with lodges so you get the best, up close views of the animals.

One tip: We went in early August (ie Winter). The days were warm and sunny, and the mornings and evenings about 5 degrees C, as we expected. We took warm sweaters to deal with this which would have been fine, but had not considered the wind chill of 25mph sitting on an open jeep. Take a ski jacket or other really warm coat.


Stayed at this lodge in September 2011, the bumble drives for the children were as good as the game drives for the adults. Treasure hunt safari style were laid on for the children - find the warthog tusk, dung beatle balls, etc. We drove ourselves in but I would probably invest in flying next time. We stayed in the 2 bedroom family unit that would easily sleep 5 if young children were on a put-u-up bed. It had a full kitchen and lounge area with a superb terrace. The lodge has 2 swimming pools which is a great idea to keep the children away from other guests who wanted to quietly relax. All staff were extremely welcoming and so pleased Visions of Africa recommended us to stay there! Also arrange a visit to the local school and find out what they need before you go. Would return year after year if we could afford it!


The setting is amazing, the rooms are the ultimate in luxury, the staff are attentive to all your needs and even those you are not aware of. The food was incredible, every meal is an event and there is nothing that they can't/wont do to accommodate any dietary requirements. The meals were innovative and exciting and are definately part of the whole experience. The staff were amazing and thoroughly engaged throughout the stay. There assistance in my proposal to my now fiance was invaluable and will be memory for a life time. To be frank the game viewing was average, whether this was seasonally affected i am not sure but what ever it lacked in quality game viewing it ad up for superb service and customer attentiveness.


stunning place, and staff, it all happens around the waterhole where there is a substantial deck where breakfasts and dinners are held under a huge FIG TREE. one day we saw black rhino, stunning elephant, Buffalo bulls(dagga boyz), hyaena in the thickets..and countless other antelope. its truly a feast for the senses! great birding in the area with resident black collared barbets and martial eagle in one tree spotted. food was exceptional with Heidi turning up the culinary volume in spades. I was lucky to meet the owner and brainchild behind the building and setting up of lodges at Madikwe and he and his family were taking a much needed break there. truly inspired. we tracked Black rhino the following early morning and had the most incredible sightings. I was a professional guide for many years and the thrill of the chase is a million times better than bumping around on a vehicle. although we did bump into a pack of wild dogs clambering down a kopje(knoll) just before sunset! superb superb superb. lovely staff, lovely owners, lovely marketing company SEASONS IN AFRICA!


From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, we were cared for with friendliness and true hospitality.

The surroundings were wild, but we slept in luxury. The watering hole by the lodge brought all manner of animal and bird to quench their thirst there. We sat quietly observing their habits. This after a very early start to the day. You could of course sit quietly in your lodge which looked across the fields - again full of animals to feast the eyes.

We didn't want to miss anything! We saw everything - including a peep at the shy leopard.

Morning hot drinks and sundowners were a treat! We will certainly go back again. A memory to be treasured for our 12 year old son - a boy's adventure come true.

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