Madikwe Private Game Reserve

Madikwe Private Game Reserve is South Africa’s 5th largest game reserve, set near the Botswana border in the North West province.

The malaria-free reserve is home to a number of fascinating wildlife including the renowned Big 5 and the endangered African wild dog. The vast reserve offers a selection of luxury safari lodges that are suitable for a range of travellers, from ultra luxurious options such as Etali Safari Lodge and Royal Madikwe Safari Lodge, to the family-friendly Tau Game Lodge and Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge.

Africa’s famous Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino – can be seen at Madikwe Private Game Reserve. The game reserve is the perfect destination for birdwatchers, as the area is home to an assortment of birdlife. Guests may also enjoy rare African Wild Dog sightings, as the reserve is home to three hunting packs. Other animals to be viewed at Madikwe Private Game Reserve include giraffe, wildebeest, hyena, zebra, hippo, crocodiles, a variety of antelope and so much more.

Wildlife at Madikwe Private Game Reserve

As one of the largest game reserves in South Africa, travellers will find that Madikwe Game Reserve boasts a diverse variety of wildlife. Africa’s famous Big Five can be found roaming freely across the expansive reserve, and game enthusiasts will also be able to spot elephants, antelope species, hyenas and wild dogs on their holiday at Madikwe. With over 66 mammals and 300 bird species, Madikwe is an extraordinary wildlife haven.
The game reserve is home to an exquisite variety of fauna and flora, including mixed bushveld, kalahari bushveld, arid sweet bushveld and thornveld. Madikwe’s animals and game can be found across a number of habitats on the reserve, from seasonal wetlands and rocky hills, to savanna areas and a perennial river. The area’s diverse vegetation makes for a beautiful setting and breathtaking wilderness views.

Conservation at Madikwe Private Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is situated on land that was previously used for farming. However, due to poor soil, farming on this land was unsuccessful and so it was decided that the land would be used to uplift the disadvantaged community in the area. The protected area is home to an average of 66 mammals and 300 bird species, and is one of the best conservation areas in Africa. Madikwe is one of the few game reserves in the world where the land use is considered sustainable.

Madikwe Game Reserve is a special safari destination, with its diverse landscapes and abundance of animals, where lions, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes and elephants roam the game reserve freely. The game reserve is perfect for first-time visitors, as well as seasoned travellers. Avid photographers will find that Madikwe is a wonderful photographic safari destination, as the game reserve’s vast landscapes offer a scenic setting for wildlife photography. As Madikwe is a malaria-free game reserve, guests will be able to enjoy an outstanding safari experience without having to take extra medication.

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Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge

Escape to Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge and the breathtaking Madikwe Game Reserve. This is Africa at its most glorious as the region plays host to an incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna in a malaria-free environment.

Etali Safari Lodge

Etali Safari Lodge has earned a reputation for providing an exceptional experience. It’s the outstanding quality, which repeat guests have come to count on, that makes this place extraordinary.

Impodimo Game Lodge

Impodimo Game Lodge has earned the coveted 5-Star rating through its extraordinary location and design. Set along a rocky ridge commanding stunning panoramas of the Madikwe Game Reserve, this spectacular lodge is also positioned at the source of a natural spring.

Jaci’s Lodges

Jaci’s Lodges promise a truly magnificent African experience in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve.

Jamala Madikwe Safari Lodge

From award-winning food to the five villas, Jamala Madikwe offers ultra luxury on the southeastern side of Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa.

Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge

Retreat to an Madikwe Hills, an enchanting setting where you can relax under age-old Tamboti trees and reconnect to nature in superlative South African style!

Madikwe River Lodge

Beautifully situated on the banks of the Groot Marico River, in the heart of magnificent Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe River Lodge occupies an enchanting part of South Africa.

Madikwe Safari Lodges

Lelapa, Kopano and Dithaba are each intimately exclusive, simple yet sophisticated lodges that bear Mother Nature’s signature in a reserve boasting rich biodiversity.

Makanyane Safari Lodge

Makanyane Safari Lodge offers opulent accommodation, exceptional cuisine, welcoming service, and thrilling views of South Africa.

Mateya Safari Lodge

Designed for the discerning traveler, Mateya Safari Lodge offers a graceful union of superlative luxury in a spectacular setting.

Morukuru River Lodge

Morukuru River House is situated on the banks of the Marico River in a private concession inside the malaria-free Madikwe Game reserve which is located in the North West Province of South Africa.

What is included in the rate?

This will vary from lodge to lodge. Typically, rates include accommodation, all meals, select beverages, two daily game drives and bush walks. Some lodges may include alcohol and additional activities.

What does a typical day at a lodge entail?

You will be woken up in the early morning for coffee and tea with your safari guide, then set off for the first game drive of the day. After returning back, you will enjoy a tasty and filling breakfast. Some lodges and camps offer bush walks, which generally take places sometime after breakfast. Lunch is served in the early afternoon, after which guests can relax at the lodge at their own leisure or partake in any additional activities. You will be treated to afternoon tea before heading off for your evening game drive. Upon return in the late evening, dinner will be served.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit is in winter, when wildlife is much easier to spot owing to the scarce foliage and browning bushveld. Winter months are from May-August, which also coincide with the North American and European summer holidays.

Are tipping/gratuities expected?

Tipping is at the discretion of each guest. You are welcome to give tips for good service directly to the intended person in a sealed envelope – either your safari guide, the cleaning staff or general staff.

How many nights should I spend at the reserve?

3-4 nights is the perfect amount of time to spend on safari in Madikwe if you are staying at only one lodge. If you have more time and are planning to visit more than one lodge, then it is recommended to spend 2-3 nights at each lodge. This gives you enough time to enjoy all of the safari activities without feeling rushed.

What is the climate like?

The climate does not drastically change throughout summer and winter, and the temperature is moderately warm throughout the year. Winters see less thick vegetation, making it the perfect time for wildlife viewing. It also brings more animals to the numerous waterholes around the reserve. Summer is perfect to see newborn animals, but tracking them will be more difficult.

Is the reserve a malaria area?

Yes, the area is malaria-free.

How big is the reserve?

The game reserve spans over 75 000 hectares of pristine wilderness situated at the northern tip of South Africa, near the border of Botswana.

What wildlife can I expect to see?

Madikwe is a Big-5 game reserve, so guests can look forward to spotting the sought-after lion, elephant, rhino (black and white), buffalo and leopard. Other animals in the reserve include cheetah, hippo, hyena, wild dog, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra and a plethora of antelope and bird life.

Is the reserve child-friendly?

Madikwe offers a range of family-friendly accommodation, most of which have family rooms, children’s programmes and child-minding services. Some of our favourite family lodges include Motswiri Private Safari Lodge, Madikwe Safari Lodge, Tuningi Safari Lodge and Jaci’s Lodges. For more information on child-friendly accommodation in the reserve, please contact us.

Which lodge offers the best game viewing?

Each of the lodges within the reserve offer their own unique safari experience. However, Tau Game Lodge, Motswiri Private Safari Lodge and Jamala Madikwe are all great for game viewing as they overlook a frequented watering hole. From personal experience, both of Jaci’s Lodges also offer fantastic game viewing opportunities.

Can you drive yourself around the reserve?

Guests can drive themselves between each lodge, but the game drives are limited to the reserve’s specialised safari vehicles. All game drives are facilitated by professional game rangers or guides.

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