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Madikwe Game ReserveMap

Madikwe Game Reserve is on the South Africa Botswana border in a malaria-free safari area. It was the destination of the largest trans-location of game in history (10,000 animals).

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Madikwe Game Reserve


The Madikwe Game Reserve is situated in the far north of the North West Province, adjacent to the Botswana border. Three hours drive from Pretoria or Johannesburg - now one of South Africa's prime safari destinations. The safari lodges are mostly around the western gate or eastern gate. Depending on which safari lodges guest are visiting, they will need to take different routes to reach the reserve.

Madikwe is in a malaria free area. It was declared a reserve in August 1991. A detailed feasibility study showed that wildlife-based tourism was the most beneficial option for this remote and economically depressed area. To establish the reserve, 10,000 mammals were translocated from other National Parks.

The Reserve is home to 66 large mammal species including the Big Five and approximately 300 resident and migrant bird species. It is one of South Africa's largest game reserves. Madikwe has the distinction of being one of the few game reserves in the world to be proclaimed purely on the grounds of being the most appropriate and sustainable land use for an area.

Madikwe represents an extension to this philosophy in that it is run as a joint venture between the state, the private sector and local communities. No other reserve has been as successful as involving the local community. This success has made Madikwe the role model for similar ventures being started up elsewhere in South Africa.

The reserve consists of vast plains of open woodlands and grasslands, dissected by the rugged Rant van Tweedepoort, and bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains. The area is dotted with huge rocky hills or inselbergs.The entire reserve has been enclosed in a 150km perimeter fence which has been electrified to prevent the escape of elephants and the larger predators.

Guests are taken on conducted day and night game drives or bush walks. Excellent accommodation is available at various private lodges in the reserve. There are no day visitor facilities; only residents at a lodge may enter the reserve.

Featured Madikwe Game Reserve safari routes

Our safari routes of Madikwe show various options for a safari, including self-drive safaris and fly-in safaris. Here is a sample of the routes:

Madikwe Short Break route: This route starts in Johannesburg and visits The Bush House and Thakadu River Camp in Madikwe.
Malaria free Madikwe 5 day Route: This safari route spends 2 nights in both Buffalo Ridge Lodge and Thakadu River Camp.

...more Madikwe Safari Routes.

Madikwe Game Reserve safari lodge maps

Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge map: Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge is the first wholly- owned Community- based safari lodge to be developed in South Africa
Impodimo Game Lodge map: Impodimo Game Lodge is set upon a hill surrounding a natural spring and boasts spectacular views across the African bush
Jaci's Safari Lodge map: Jacis is located in an ideal spot overlooking an established and well used water hole, under a grove of Tamboti trees, on the edge of the Marico River
Jaci's Tree Lodge map: Jaci's is located in an ideal spot overlooking an established and well used water hole, under a grove of Tamboti trees, on the edge of the Marico River
Leopard Rock Lodge map: Leopard Rock Lodge is set amongst rocky kopies overlooking Tshukudu dam within Madikwe
Madikwe Bush House map: The Madikwe Bush House is a colonial style lodge, enhanced with a strong African feel
Madikwe Hills Lodge map: Situated at the edge of the Marico River under a grove of Tamboti and Marula trees
Madikwe River Lodge map: Madikwe River Lodge offers comfortable accommodation in 16 secluded split-level thatched chalets set in the cool tranquillity of a riverine forest
Madikwe Safari Lodge map: Set on a gentle slope nestled between two rolling hills, it overlooks game-filled plains with the Dwarsberg Hills in the distance and the Marico River nearby
Morukuru Lodge map: Morukuru Lodge is an intimate bush villa on the Marico River.
Mosethla Bush Camp map: Mosethla Camp is family owned and run, a rustic and intimate, unfenced bush camp nestling at the very heart of the magnificent Madikwe Game Reserve.
Tau Lodge map: Tau Game Lodge overlooks a vast natural waterhole, which attracts a variety of game
Thakadu River Camp map: A community based luxury lodge in Madikwe
The Royal Madikwe map: Offers the perfect luxury destination for families and groups of friends wanting privacy -as the lodge is for exclusive use by the group
Tuningi Lodge map: 5-star Tuningi Safari Lodge - a member of The Leading Independent Hotels of Southern Africa

Getting to Madikwe Game Reserve

Self-drive safari:
The reserve is conveniently located 4-5 hours drive away from Johannesburg. It is an easy self-drive route.
If you are going to the lodges on the western border, the road is good tarred road all the way. It is the same road that is used to drive to Gabarone, Botswana, so it is well maintained and used.
If you are visiting the camps on the eastern border of the reserve, the road is good tarred road all the way, except for the last 20km. From here, it is a good grit road that is well used by the local communities.
You can also commute across the reserve yourself if you are visiting both the western and eastern camps. It is about a 1 hour drive from the western camps to the eastern camps and you should see good game en route. There is an open plain with a waterhole about midway that attracts good game. The road is good gravel road and easily undertaken by a normal sedan rental car.
See our routes above for the best road map to follow to get to the reserve.

Fly-in Safari:
You can also fly into Madikwe from Johannesburg. There are two airstrips, one in the east and one the west.

Nearby areas:
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