Madikwe is a malaria free safari park close to South Africa’s border with Botswana, about four hours drive from Johannesburg and less than two hours from Sun City. Madikwe is a special place for a safari; it's both a sanctuary for more than 13,000 animals, including the ‘Big Five’, and a major source of livelihood for the communities living around the reserve. Many local people are employed in the lodges and in tending this vast area of acacia bushveld. Madikwe is about people-based conservation and you are assured of a genuine welcome. This 76,000-hectare reserve offers superlative game viewing of predators, including the rare and endangered wild dog, as well as abundant plains game. It is highly rated by experienced Africa hands.
Madikwe was rehabilitated as a reserve in the last fifteen years. Between 1991 and 1997, more than 10,000 animals of 27 species were released into the reserve under Operation Phoenix, one of the largest game translocation programmes in the world. The reserve is one of South Africa’s largest and consists of vast plains of open woodlands and grasslands, interspersed with rocky outcrops or inselbergs. It is a transition zone between the Kalahari sandveld and the bushveld – and is said to contain more biomes than Kruger National Park.
Madikwe is a joint venture between the public sector, in the form of the North West Parks Board, the private sector, represented by the lodge owners, and the local communities who live around the Park. The aim is to stimulate ecologically sustainable economic activity based on wildlife for the benefit of the local communities. The project has been a great success: large numbers of rural people have jobs in the reserve and poaching is virtually non-existent.
You can drive to Madikwe from Johannesburg, or there is a daily air shuttle, which takes an hour. It departs from Jo’burg at midday and arrives back in Johannesburg at 14h15. The cost is approximately £100 each way.
We have selected a few lodges in Madikwe that we feel have something special to offer.
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