Madikwe Game Reserve safaris, tours & holiday packages
South Africa's premier malaria-free Big Five reserve
Just a four-hour drive from Johannesburg, Madikwe is studded with a dozen or so exclusive lodges offering world-class game viewing and a family-friendly feel enhanced by the malaria-free location
Extending over 750 square kilometres of North West Province, Madikwe Game Reserve was created from former ranchland in the early 1990s, and was restocked with some 8,000 individual animals belonging to 28 different large mammal species (including all the Big Five).
Closed to day visitors, it now functions much like the private game reserves that abut the Kruger Park, but in a far larger area. Madikwe is home to more than a dozen small camps that offer an all-inclusive upmarket safari experience, the focal point of which is guided game drives in open 4x4s.
Popular Madikwe Game Reserve safaris
These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates
From Sun City's hedonistic pleasures to the majesty of nature at Madikwe Game Reserve, this journey combines the best of two very different worlds
Our selection of South Africa's top safari lodges and game reserves are guaranteed to suit every taste and budget
I first visited Madikwe three years ago not quite knowing what to expect, and returned thinking that it surely ranks close to being South Africa’s best-kept game-viewing secret – fantastic sightings of African wild dogs and elephants were capped by a thrilling close-up encounter with a trio of black rhinos.
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Mammal viewing is excellent, with at least 66 species present. Over the course of a couple of days, guests are likely to encounter lions, elephants, white rhinos, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras and a variety of antelopes, including greater kudu, springbok, red hartebeest and tsessebe.
Madikwe is one of the best places in Africa for sightings of the endangered African wild dog, and night drives often yield encounters with the shy brown hyena. Black rhinos are present but are more elusive, and Madikwe doesn’t compare to the Greater Kruger when it comes to intimate sightings of leopard.
Hemmed in by the perennial Marico River to the east and the Dwarsberg mountains to the south, Madikwe is scenically diverse, dominated by wooded and grassy plains in the east, and rocky hills associated with the rugged Rant van Tweedepoort escarpment in the west. More than 350 bird species have been recorded, ranging from outsized grassland dwellers such as common ostrich and kori bustard to striking Kalahari specials such as pied babbler and violet-eared waxbill.
Madikwe Game Reserve Map
Madikwe Game Reserve's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Madikwe Game Reserve
No vaccination is mandatory for entering South Africa except for yellow fever for passengers arriving from areas affected by the disease. go there.
Although wildlife viewing is good throughout the year. The warmer months from October to March are more pleasant - the scenery is greener and this is also the time most of the animals are born. However, the park is mostly about its scenery… go there.
The best time to visit Ithala Game Reserve is during the dry winter months, from May to September. During this season it is easier to spot the wildlife since the grass is eaten by herbivores. Expect to encounter and sight birds - such as… go there.
The best time to visit Tankwa Karoo National Park is from autumn through winter to early summer of April to September. However, this is a perfect place to indulge in blessed idleness. If you want to see the landscape and animals, you'll… go there.
Reviews on our Madikwe Game Reserve safaris
This was my first safari. I didn’t expect to be so pampered. Everything was first class. We had everything provided for us before even asking. We had a dedicated team at our service. Megan was on call whenever we needed something and she…
Tanya was an absolute delight to deal with. From the first phone call she was extremely polite, professional and very eager to facilitate my requests regarding our safari. Our 3 nights at the V & A Hotel were fabulous and Motswari Game…
Perfectly tailor-made tours that take all your wishes and requests into consideration. All my expectations were beyond fulfilled.
Living afar and trusting in an organisation with whom you have no previous knowledge can lead to feeling of mistrust and wondering whether what we have paid for actually exists. A little more proactive communication would have eased those…
I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…
Planning the trip was managed extremely well especially since travel was at a busy time of year and not much notice was given. All communication was by email, and was responded to promptly and efficiently. Different options were provided…