Madikwe Safari Lodge
With three distinct camps, Madikwe Safari Lodge has a compelling offer for each guest, whether they prefer a family-friendly setting, adults-only setting, or exclusivity and complete privacy. What sets the individual Lelapa, Kopano and Dithaba Camps apart is a tailored experience created for each individual guest.
Three and a half hours drive, or a quick 1hr Federal Air scheduled flight northwest of Johannesburg, lies the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve (Madikwe means “Africa in its majesty”), 185,000+ acres of diverse landscapes‚ ranging from open grasslands‚ to rocky outcrops‚ mountains‚ and woodlands. One of the largest private game reserves in South Africa, Madikwe supports a broad range of wildlife, from the prized Big Five (elephant, black and white rhino, lion, leopard and Cape buffalo) to cheetahs, zebras and endangered wild dogs. Open only to guests of the safari lodges within its boundaries, Madikwe is remote, wild, beautiful—the Africa of legend.
I love the expansive landscapes, the openness allowing unobstructed animal viewing, and the sheer quality of and easy animal sightings (on my last visit, I drove in and saw three of the Big Five within a few miles of entering the reserve). Madikwe offers varied topography that can be explored as traversing extends across the entire reserve, while sightings are still limited to a very few vehicles so not congested. I personally prefer the reserve's cooperative model that allows for wider roaming taking in different eco-systems and parts of the reserve, especially important on a longer stay or when looking for a specific animal or bird that may favor a specific habitat.
Madikwe is one of the few places in Africa where you can potentially see aardwolf, brown hyena and spotted hyena together in one reserve. Aside from the excellent opportunity of seeing Africa’s Big Five, the Madikwe Game Reserve is also home to healthy cheetah and wild dog populations, as well as Africa’s Secret Seven: aardvark, African wild cat, civet, large spotted genet, pangolin, porcupine and serval.
For birders, a typical visit in summer is likely to render 180 to 200 species, while a winter visit could yield around 120 to 150 species. Species that occur in the dry plains on the reserve include Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Kori Bustard, Temminck’s Courser and White Stork. Double-banded Courser and Burchell’s Courser have also been recorded, while the Bronze-winged Courser is commonly seen during the summer months in the more wooded areas.
With three distinct camps, Madikwe Safari Lodge has a compelling offer for each guest, whether they prefer a family-friendly setting, adults-only setting, or exclusivity and complete privacy. What sets Lelapa, Kopano and Dithaba apart is a tailored experience created for each individual guest.
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