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About Madikwe

Established in 1991, the malaria-free private game reserve of Madikwe is one of South Africa’s largest and is also arguably one of the best kept secrets in the country; the red earth of the Kalahari, dramatic escarpments and the vast open plains evoking a distinctly African feel and an alternative to the more obvious choice of Kruger National Park for your South African safari.


The land where Madikwe now stands was previously used as farming land. The poor soil meant that farming was mostly unsuccessful and the South African government then decided that it would best be used as a national park to help economically uplift the disadvantaged area.


In 1991 the area was declared a reserve and 10,000 mammals were relocated from other National Parks. The park is home to roughly 66 large mammals and roughly 300 bird species. You will find all this flora and fauna in an area comprised of vast open plains of grasslands, woodlands, rocky outcrops and single mountains. The Big 5 is represented in the park and you are likely to spot a lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and maybe even the elusive leopard. You will also have privilege to possibly see cheetah and the rare and  highly endangered African Wild Dog.


Good game viewing is available all year as the park is a single unit conservation area (there is no migration). The rainy season is between October and April in the wet summer months. Winter can provide pleasant game viewing as animals concentrate around waterholes and vegetation thins out.

Image by Eva Darron



The safari starts in Johannesburg where you will be met at arrivals in the O.R. Tambo international and get taken to a local Boutique Hotel. This will be the place where you will meet Sam and get to know everybody in your small group. Take the time to relax after your long flight and enjoy a dinner with new friends before getting a good night sleep.


* Dinner, breakfast and local drinks are included




After a relaxed start to the day and and a hearty breakfast, we will then start the journey to Madikwe. The drive is appproximately four to five hours, and there will be a short break midway for a coffee / leg stretch. We aim to arrive in Madikwe just after noon. Upon arrival you’ll be welcomed and have time to settle into the lodge before regrouping for high-tea and our first afternoon safari to get fully introduced to the magic of Madikwe. We’ll get back to lodge around 19:00 to enjoy drinks before dinner shared with quality conversation.


DAY 3 - 7


We’ll head out around sunrise to take advantage of first light and the ensuing morning golden hour. Our focus will be on finding the best photographic subjects and wildlife experiences we can get; from looking for the large herds of elephants, occasional birding and of course, keeping on the lookout for predators. Having a private vehicle means the world is our oyster and we’ll decide as a groupwhat’s the best focus for each game drive. We’ll get back to camp in the mid to late morning for a delicious breakfast and some time to relax. This is also the perfect time to work with Sam on your photography and editing skills. Alternatively, the rooms are luxurious and cool, the pool is inviting, there’s a bar for drinks and don’t forget about the hide! Our second daily game drive will see us following up any sightings or information from previous drives - making sure that we stop at sunsets for the iconic sundowners experience. Dinner will follow as usual later in the evening upon return back to the lodge.




We’ll head out for our final game drive and exploration of Madikwe before returning back for breakfast. We aim to head out at about 11am so as to arrive back O.R. Tambo airport for mid / late afternoon, so it’s a good idea to pack the night before to save time and further enjoy your final hours at the lodge. After arriving back at the airport, we’ll say our “see you later”s and depart ways.

Image by Eva Darron

Dates And Availability

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