The Legend

In the northern reaches of the place now known as Southern Africa, there ruled a kind and caring queen, her name, Queen Mateya. In these parts there was a terrible drought. The queen was informed by her messengers of the powerful Queen of Modjadji (the one that controls rain). Queen Mateya decided she should seek out the Queen of Modjadji to ask her to bring them rain so that her people should suffer no more. Queen Mateya commanded her work-smiths to make the most exquisite necklace that she would give as a gift to the Rain Queen.

Upon Queen Mateya’s journey through the wild lands of Africa to find the Rain Queen (there was no email or internet let alone telephones then) she set up camp in the area now known as the Madikwe Game Reserve and built a kraal from stone and other materials she found in the area.

After many months Queen Mateya found the Queen of Modjadji and presented her with the exquisite jewel encrusted necklace. She then left on the long journey back to her kingdom. The rains had already begun in her kingdom, the fields were rejuvenated and Queen Mateya’s people were happy once again.

Unfortunately the legend goes that Queen Mateya never made it back to her people, and the Queen of Modjadji was never relayed the information of the wonderful life saving rain she had created.

Mateya Safari Lodge now stands testament to this legend, built essentially from materials found in the Madikwe Game Reserve by a most caring, kind, and ecologically sensitive team of individuals. It is here that you will find the very essence of nature

History of Mateya

The Madikwe region has been witness to human settlements and struggles for tens of thousands of years. Several Stone Age and Iron Age sites are located on the reserve. Artifacts discovered at the Marico River date as far back as the Early Stone Age, between 250 000 and a million years ago.

More recently, Madikwe was the site of African tribal migration and thereafter European colonial settlement. Indeed, the complex and dynamic human struggles that have shaped the historical and cultural heritage of present-day South Africa have all, in some way or another, been experienced and contributed to upon the land that is today one of the most beautiful nature game reserves in the world. In fact, it was here that Sir David Livingstone, the famous discoverer, first met and later married Mary Moffat.

It is more fitting, in the context of the Mateya Safari Lodge, to highlight this historical instance of harmony and romance, for therein is a metaphor for the programme of human and ecological development which today is shaping the prosperous future of this beautiful stretch of land.