Tucked up against the border with Botswana close to the Kalahari Desert in South Africa’s Northwest Province is the remote paradise of Madikwe Private Game Reserve.
The African wilderness of Madikwe encompasses 76 000 hectares, making it the fifth largest reserve in the country. What is more, Madikwe is completely malaria-free. The widely varied habitats – including mountainous areas, plateaus, rocky hills, a perennial river and seasonal wetlands, bushveld, Kalahari veld and savanna areas – support about 66 large mammal species and over 300 bird species. Game viewing is rich, rewarding and uncrowded: visitors come to see the Big 5 but their hearts are stolen by the numerous other species of African wildlife both large and small, from tsessebe and wildebeest to cheetah and bushbaby, gemsbok, springbok and zebra to the stately giraffe.
The history of Madikwe is interesting: the land on which it now stands was previously used rather unsuccessfully for farming. The South African government then decided to dedicate the land to a national park to help economically uplift the disadvantaged area. In 1991 the area was declared a reserve and 10 000 mammals were successfully relocated from other national parks. Today, this conservation area is famous for its very successful breeding programme of the endangered African wild dog. The park offers a number of luxurious safari lodges as well as community lodges in a malaria-free zone, most located around the eastern and western gates. Day visitors are not allowed, so the number of vehicles in the park during game drive hours is limited to lodge vehicles, making Madikwe a very exclusive safari destination.
Things to do
• Big Five game-viewing drives in 4×4 safari vehicles
• Guided game walks with a ranger
• Kids’ game-viewing drives
• Community & cultural interactions
• Open-air sleepouts
Madikwe Private Game Reserve