Madikwe Game Reserve - What You should know
Madikwe Game Reserve has been operating since 1991 and is the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. It is considered one of the best conservation areas in Africa. Madikwe is free from malaria, which is one of the many reasons it attracts guests, as there is no need to worry about taking medications.
Where is Madikwe Game Reserve Located?
The game reserve is located in the North West province of South Africa. It is near the Kalahari Desert, lying against the Botswana border. Madikwe is siuated 90 kilimeters north of the town Zeerust. The south of the reserve is bordered by the Dwarsberg mountains. It is a 4.5-hour drive from Johannesburg. Madikwe also has an airstrip for private aircrafts.
History of the Game Reserve
Before becoming a reserve, the land was used for farming. However, the soil was poor and farming in this area was not very successful and so the South African government decided to turn it into a national park where the area could be economically uplifted. The historically known Mafikeng Road runs through the reserve. This famous road was used by hunters, traders, and missionaries.
Wildlife at Madikwe Game Reserve
When the reserve was established in 1991, 10 000 mammals were brought to Madikwe from other National Parks. 66 mammal species can be found at Madikwe including the Big five – the lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, and buffalo. Three hunting packs of wild dogs can be seen at the reserve, and the African Wild Dog which is highly endangered may also be spotted. It is likely to find giraffe, hippo, cheetah, and hyena at the reserve. There are also around 300 bird species at Madikwe.
Madikwe does not allow day visitors, and so booking at one of their lodges is necessary. Many of the lodges at Madikwe are owned by local people of the communities, which creates a healthy economic environment. Below are some (but not all) of the various lodges available at Madikwe.
Eco bush camp
Mosetlha Bush Camp: This is a family-owned lodge. It is ideal for guests who are looking for private and exclusive wilderness encounters. There is a chef who prepares traditional bush style cuisine.
Rhulani Safari Lodge: This lodge is ideal for guests looking for relaxation and tranquility, who want to unwind amongst nature. These luxury chalets include a private plunge pool, fireplace, and air conditioning.
Thakadu River Camp: This is a treetop lodge that overlooks the Marico River. The lodge blends in with nature and offers a peaceful setting for guests. The camp consists of luxury tents that are air-conditioned.
Motswiri Private Safari Lodge: This lodge is situated under a canopy of leadwood trees, offering an intimate setting. It can accommodate 16 guests and guests have the option to book out the whole lodge. The lodge overlooks a private waterhole, making it the perfect place to watch animals without leaving the lodge.
The Bush House: This used to be an old farmhouse and was turned into a lodge. There is a large lawn area where sports can be played. This is ideal for guests wanting a more informal environment.
Bufalo Ridge Safari lodge: This lodge is located on the Tweedeport ridge and access to the lodge is via a wooden bridge. It is owned by the Balete Ba Lekgophung community, which greatly benefits this community. The chalets are thatched, providing a true African bushveld experience.
Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge: This is located between the ancient Tamboti trees, making it ideal for guests who are looking to stay at a remote, private retreat.
Mateya Safari Lodge: This is one of the most luxurious lodges in the world, for guests with high standards who are looking for an exclusive safari experience while personal needs are catered for. It is situated in the Gabbro hills and offers breathtaking scenery. This lodge offers high tea, massages, and gourmet picnics.
Molori Safari Lodge: These suites have floor-to-ceiling glass walls, offering unmatched views, as well as an infinity pool. There is a bar and a humidor with a selection of imported cigars. The chefs use organic, home-grown ingredients to create one-of-a-kind, luxury dishes.
Morukuru Family Madikwe: These are luxury homesteads which each include a private butler, chef, host, safari vehicle, tour guide and tracker. Babysitters are also provided if needed and children of all ages are welcome on game drives. Activities are tailor-made to accommodate each individual guest. Guests are able to pick their own wines from the Morukuru wine cellar.
Groups and conferences at Madikwe
Madikwe does cater for large groups as well as conferences.
Tau Game Lodge: This is the only lodge at Madikwe game reserve where each suite has a view of the waterhole. The lodge offers conference facilities as well as a wedding venue. Dinners are held in the cozy bomas, and buffet breakfasts are served on the verandah by the pool.
Rock fig lodge: This is a private, luxurious, and intimate villa with a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, as well as a private plunge pool and outdoor shower.