Along the mighty Marico River in Limpopo – a province more often than not in the news for stories of political ineptness and blatant corruption (of morals, for one) lays Thakadu River Camp a beacon of all that is true, good and inspiring.
Standing testimony that hard work, resourceful planning and a clear vision can make a difference in the lives of the folks who need it most. A wholly owned, community-based Tented Safari Camp in the Madikwe Game Reserve was the vehicle of choice to uplift the Molatedi Community and Thakadu River Camp is the proud result. The Tented Camp, located on the banks of the Marico River, is an ecotourism partnership between North-West Parks, the Molatedi Community and the operator, African Hotels and Adventures.
Julienne du Toit comments in her blog dated 14 December 2010 and titled Village of the Blessed that “Madikwe Game Reserve is a strange and wondrous anomaly in the world of conservation. It was not created because the land was ecologically valuable (although all land really is). Instead, it was created from old farmland because economists calculated that wildlife-based tourism would generate more jobs and income than agriculture.”
And so it has been, creating in the process a wealth of opportunities and as result a platform upon witch confidence as well as competence can blossom. Best of all, the addressing of a gender equality imbalance has been an unexpected yet extremely welcome result of the fruitful collaboration. A local councilor explains:
“From being dependent on their family or men, the women now are mostly self-sufficient. In the cities, they struggle to pay for rent, for transport, for food, to look after their children. But if they work in the park, they get food and accommodation for free, plus their salary and often, tips. There is training available for them. “
Today the Molatedi Community is proud to own an asset in the form of a commercial lodge as an ecotourism product within the Madikwe Game Reserve. The Thadaku River Camp was officially opened on 11 August 2006.