Madikwe Game Reserve
Malaria-Free Big 5 Safaris in the Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe AT A GLANCE
- 75,000 Hectares
- Big 5 Safari Reserve
- Malaria Free
- Game Drives in Open Vehicles
- Bush Walks at Some Lodges
- 5 Hour Drive from Johannesburg
- Shuttle Flight Service into Reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve is a magically remote wedge of wilderness hugging the border with Botswana, high in the North West Province of South Africa. Nestled in a transition zone on the fringe of the vast Kalahari Desert, it’s a completely unique place with a wonderfully epic atmosphere. Reaching across a staggering 75,000 hectares of malaria-free territory, it’s one of the largest game reserves in South Africa, yet amazingly, it remains untouched by mass tourism today.
Not only is Madikwe huge in size, it’s also big on beauty. The landscape is richly varied, with rocky hills, forested mountains, gushing rivers, large stretches of savanna grassland, thick woodland and tangled masses of arid sweet bushveld. It’s a natural paradise packed with wildlife, from the famous Big Five to the rare African Wild Dog and the 340 kinds of bird that chatter in the branches.
In total, over 66 species of large mammals roam the hills and valleys of Madikwe, often in great herds, so as a safari destination it’s second to none. Yet Madikwe feels worlds away from the madding crowds of Kruger, as fewer tourists venture far enough to reach this secluded pocket of South Africa. No day visitors are allowed, so a safari here is both exclusive and exhilarating. It’s a brilliant way to feel completely buried in the bush.
Madikwe’s lodges are splendid in their isolation and wherever you choose to stay you’ll feel a million miles from home. You’ll be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the bush, stare into star-studded Africa skies and gaze out across open grassland filled with grazing antelope and zebra. There’s a lodge in Madikwe to suit every kind of safari style, so whether you dream of a bush treehouse, a luxury tent, a thatched chalet or an elegant forest suite, there will be something up your street.
During your stay in Madikwe, you’ll set off on safari at first light, looking for wildlife as the sun rises over the savanna. You’ll stop on the way for light bush breakfast, with a hot coffee and a snack. Then, you can spend the afternoon relaxing around the swimming pool, reading on your private deck or snoozing in the sunshine before heading back into the bush for another safari at dusk, complete with a scenic sundowner.This is the rhythm of safari life, and it’s pretty hard to beat.
So, if you do make it to Madikwe, you’ll be in for a real treat. Completely malaria-free, it’s also great for family safaris as many lodges welcome kids.