Highlights and main attractions of Madikwe game Reserve

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.

Today Madikwe is widely perceived as one of the best places to spot wild dogs in South Africa.

Where is Madikwe Game Reserve?

Location and Activities

Situated in the far north of the northwestern province of South Africa bordering with Botswana near Gabarone, the reserve comprises a total land mass of 75,000 hectares and is a relatively recent success story. After the land was declared unfit for farming due to unsuitable soil, it was regenerated and wildlife reintroduced under ‘Operation Phoenix’ – the largest translocation project of its kind over a six year period. It is also renowned for its excellent conservation work, with community owned and run lodges that ensure the local communities benefit from tourism activities. 

The game viewing in Madikwe is somewhat reliable, with in excess of 8,000 animals roaming the vast plains, from over 66 large mammal species, including the ‘Big Five’, and in excess of 300 bird species.  Animals that were located to Madikwe and which you are likely to see include elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, spotted hyena, giraffe, antelope, hunting dog, zebra and other herbivores. The founding group of six wild dogs has flourished and there are now three known hunting packs in the reserve.

Options such as the Madikwe Safari Lodge and Makanyane Safari Lodge are great bases for your explorations into this protected wildlife haven.

There are a number of lodges in Madikwe that can offer game drives and activities within the reserve, and most cater for families, making it a great choice for a family safari in South Africa.


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