One of South Africa’s lesser known game reserves, but one of its most ecologically diverse, the 75000ha Madikwe Game Reserve is a hidden gem of wildlife viewing.
A comfortable forty minute flight from Johannesburg – or just over four hours drive for those who enjoy a short road trip – and situated in a malaria-free area, Madikwe has been wowing visitors since 1991 when the park was first declared. Known primarily for its elephant herds – the park has a higher density of these huge herbivores than any other protected area in South Africa – and packs of African Wild Dogs, Madikwe boasts a number of full board lodges, and with the current midweek specials currently being run by Madikwe Safari Lodge, there is no better time to nip out for a few days bush break.
Three extravagant camps – Kopano (4 suites), Lelapa (12 suites) and Dithaba (4 suites) – are spread between two picturesque and boulder-strewn hills on the eastern side of the reserve.The two smaller camps offer a slightly more intimate experience and are perfect for romantic couples or small groups, whilst Lelapa the largest of the three camps is the more family-oriented, with specialised rangers and facilities for budding young naturalists.
The stunning camps are defined by a laid-back feeling and incredibly friendly staff, who immediately make you feel like you are at your very own holiday home. Experienced guides bring the complex biomes of Madikwe to life in front of your eyes, and the limit of a maximum of three vehicles allowed in a sighting maintains the intimate feel of the experience even when you are out on game drive.
Madikwe rests on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. It is semi-arid, receiving just 350mm of rain annually but despite this supports an astonishing variety of fauna and flora. More than 60 species of mammal have been recorded at Madikwe and the bird list is now topping 350 species.
In the east, Madikwe is bounded by the Marico River – a perennial stream that grows until it eventually forms the mighty Limpopo of Rudyard Kipling fame. To the west lies the Kalahari and the northern border is the national boundary with Botswana. The south is bounded by the purple and red Dwarsberg Hills. Undulating woodlands stretch north from the hills eventually falling over the Tweedepoort escarpment onto the low lying savannahs and grassland. The plains are dotted with inselbergs where baboons, hyrax and klipspringer keep a watchful eye for the attentions of Africa’s elusive leopard.
Whilst maybe not as well-known as some of its counterparts towards the Kruger Park, Madikwe Safari Lodge offers an experience in every way as comfortable, exciting, widlife-rich and ultimately rewarding as any lodge in South Africa.
Contact us to find out more about the incredible specials Madikwe Safari Lodge is currently running…