The Madikwe Game Reserve is a protected area in South Africa, and as one of the lesser- known parks of the country, this hidden- gem is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa.
The land where Madikwe now stands was previously used as farming land but the poor soil meant that farming was mostly unsuccessful. The South African Government found that this land would best be utilised as a game reserve, to economically uplift this otherwise rather poor area. The process of reintroducing wildlife into the area became known as Operation Phoenix and saw entire breeding herds of Cape buffalo, black and white rhino, elephants and various species of antelope relocated.
Following Operation Phoenix, Madikwe also successfully introduced rarer species such as lion, cheetah, wild dog and hyena. In 1991 the area was officially declared a reserve after some 10 000 mammals were relocated from other National Parks. Currently there are over 60 species of mammal in the park, and over 350 species of birds.
A unique family friendly malaria-free safari destination catering for all holiday and business travel, Madikwe is a prime wildlife reserve safari destination with a choice of excellent accommodation venues. The park is now 680 km² by itself, and 750 km², including the recently incorporated privately owned land. Accommodation in Madikwe is mainly in luxury private game lodges rated 5 and 4 stars and is of the highest standard. There are 30 lodges on the property, and six lodges in the private farms outside the main reserve. Madikwe has also started Community Lodges, which the local villages own and run. All profits are then used to uplift the communities.
A special feature of Madikwe lies in its unique location, a transition zone on the edges of the Kalahari, where a number of rare species occur naturally. It is the only place in Africa where Springbok and Kalahari Gemsbok meet naturally. About 90 kilometres north of the town of Zeerust, Madikwe Game Reserve is situated against the Botswana border. It is roughly 3.5 hours in a car from Johannesburg/ Pretoria, or a 55 minute fight from OR Tambo. The flora and fauna in the area comprise of vast open plains of grasslands, woodlands, rocky outcrops and single mountains. The area is bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains.
Madikwe forms part of a semi-arid region on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. In this region the climate can be broken into the rainy season (October – April) and the dry season (May – September). Game viewing is good at all times of the year though most animals tend to congregate around available water sources during the winter.
We have some amazing tours and packages that include a stay at this perfect safari destination!