Madikwe Game Reserve

Covering an area of 75.000 hectares, Madikwe surely is a formidable game reserve. This game reserve drmatically gained popularity in recent years due to its easy accessibilty from Johannesburg and the fact that is concerns a malaria free area. It is a first class safari destination with gorgeous scenery and a huge variety of wildlife. On this page you will find an overview of Madikwe's top attractions.

south africa madikwe game reserve

Madikwe is a so-called private game reserve: day visitors is not permitted to visit the park and you can not travel around independently. You may only enter the park when you have a reservation for one of the beautiful lodges (of course you do drive yourself from the entry gate to the lodge you are staying in). Once you have arrived at your lodge, there really is nothing to worry about: a stay in a private lodge always includes meals and activities. So you can be sure to get the most out of your days on safari. You will go searching for the abundant wildlife accompanied by qualified rangers in open 4x4 safari vehicles. Naturally, there is a good chance you will be able to spot the complete 'Big 5', but Madikwe is best known for its incredible chances of seeing rare wild dogs in the wild.

It takes approximately a half-day drive getting to Madikwe from Johannesburg, or a short 45 minute flight by charter flight. Many travellers choose to drive to the park themselves, as a charter flight seems rather expensive. Please do bear in mind that many people tend to forget that a rental car will remain untouched when staying in a private game lodge as these are places where you only make safaris with qualified game rangers. It is definitely worth reconsidering whether you should drive yourself, or book a charter flight to Madikwe.

Madikwe was established in the 1990s after the South African government decided that, besides Kruger, the country needed another large wildlife area. And so it happened: 27 large farms were merged into the 75,000 hectare area the park now covers. To further stock the game reserve with game a massive operation was launched (called 'Operation Phoenix') the biggest wildlife relocation program that has ever occurred. In six years time more than 8000 animals of 28 species (including elephants, buffalo, lions and cheetahs) were brought into the park. In less than ten years time, Madikwe Game Reserve became a first class safari destination.


Our insider top tips in Madikwe Game Reserve:

Go wild!


madikwe south africa safari

Madikwe is a very convencient place to see lots of wildlife in a short amount of time. If you have little time for travelling around South Africa (for example when you are travelling for business purposes), or when you are travelling with you children and therefore wish to stay in a malaria free area, Madikwe is the ideal destination to see all that South Africa has to offer safari-wise. Madikwe Game Reserve is home to more than twenty safari lodges, so there always is one that suits your wishes and expectations (and budget). Whether you wish to stay in a traditional bush lodge, or want to indulge yourself in ultimate decadent luxury, Madwike covers it all. The focus of your stay of course is seeing, feeling and smelling the African bush. It will be a feast for all your senses. As mentioned, Madikwke became very successful as a result of "Operation Phoenix", the wildlife variety is huge and together with the skills and knowledge of the local rangers you will be able to see many of these special animals in the wild.

Decadent luxury in Royal Madikwe


royal madwikwe south africa

Madikwe offers perfect possibilities when you have a special occassion to celebrate. Especially when you are travelling with family (for a marriage celebration for example) it may prove worthwhile renting a complete private lodge. There is a number of smaller properties that offer private stays for groups up to ten or twelve people. Doing so with your family means that the complete lodge and all its services are there for your convenience only. As such, you have a chef appointed (whom will create the menu in colsultation with you), as well as your very own game ranger and private safari vehicle. And what about having your own swimming pool where you can relax with the whole family? A very good lodge offering such opportunities is Royal Madikwe Lodge for instance. You defintitely won't be sorry booking your family safari with them!

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Did you know?

african wild dog madikwe

It is estimated that only 3000 wild dogs still occur throughout Africa? Wild dogs are typical savanna animals that prefer to reside and hunt in areas where there is little vegetation. Wild dogs live in highly complex structured packs comparable to that of wolves. Hunting also takes place in packs, normally the group size ranges from six to twenty individuals. Madikwe is one the best places in South Africa (and Africa) to see the wild dog, although seeing them is never guaranteed.

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