Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is a prime Malaria-free safari destination, bordering Botswana in the North West Province of South Africa.

It is a great alternative to a safari in the Kruger National Park, and is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa.

Covering 75 000 hectares of bushveld, Madikwe Game Reserve is most certainly a Big Five safari destination, and home to 66 mammal species and more than 300 species of resident and migrant bird life.   Famous for it’s sightings of Wild Dog and other animals, Madikwe Game Reserve hosts an incredible diversity of animal species living in a combination of bushveld and Kalahari thornveld.

The field guides of Madikwe prefer to focus on the “Top Ten” rather than the Big Five. So, in addition to boasting more sought-after African species such as lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino (both black & white), malaria-free Madikwe is home to hippo, giraffe, wild dog, hyena (spotted & brown) as well as cheetah.

Of these, the cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena and black rhino are the most endangered species.

Good news for visitors to Madikwe is that highly endangered African wild dog packs are flourishing in the reserve.

This Game Reserve is justifiably proud of its founding group of six wild dogs, introduced to Madikwe in 1994. The dogs’ journey during the past 16 years has been a challenging one, with many dying due to territorial clashes, lion attacks and rabies outbreaks.

Despite the odds, Madikwe has stabilised resident clans and even introduced new wild dogs from other reserves to strengthen the dogs’ gene pool. Today, there are three hunting packs here.

Madikwe’s location close to the edge of the Kalahari Desert means there’s an overlap of a number of species, offering visitors greater viewing diversity.

The reserve supports a number of large antelope species, such as eland, gemsbok, sable and nyala, to name but a few. Smaller buck species such as springbok, oribi, duiker and klipspringer also abound.

There are many animals to be seen during the day, while some species are active under cover of darkness and are likely to be seen on a night drive.

Madikwe Game Reserve accommodation

Madikwe Game Reserve is not highly populated with lodges, such as in other safari areas, giving you an exclusive and highly personalised safari experience.

With mainly 5 star and 4 star lodges offered in this area, the choice luxury accommodation caters for couples, Honeymooners or families travelling in small groups.

Madikwe Game Reserve is Malaria-free and therefore ideal for families travelling with small children, or for those who simply prefer not to enter a malaria area.

Many of the lodges offer accommodation to cater for a large family travelling, giving you exclusivity and flexibility during your safari.  These lodges offer accommodation for up to 10 travellers, and are ideal as a family getaway or a group of friends who wish to enjoy the excitement of a safari on a private basis. View our recommended selection of Madikwe Game Reserve Lodges

A mere 3h 30m – 4 hour drive from Johannesburg makes Madikwe Game Reserve easily accessible from Johannesburg, and is easily combined with a visit to Cape Town, being a mere 2 hour flight away.

Game Activities at Madikwe Game Reserve

Guest are taken on day and night game drives in open safari vehicles on a daily basis, with optional bush walks available.

As no day visitors are allowed at Madikwe, only residents at a lodge may enter the reseve

How to get to Madikwe Game Reserve

Self-drive:  As Madikwe Game Reserve is only an approximate 4 hour drive from Johannesburg, this makes it an easy self-drive destination.  We will arrange your hire vehicle, give you directions, book your accommodation – and off you set on your Safari adventure.

Road transfers: Should you prefer to have a guided transfer, this can be arranged.  All our road transfers to and from Madikwe Game Reserve are conducted on a private basis

Flight transfers: Federal Air offer daily return flights to and from Madikwe Game Reserve. This short and comfortable one hour flight is the most popular choice with travellers


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