Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the lesser known game reserves and the 5th largest. Encompassing grassland, forest and rocky hills, this pristine wilderness borders with Botswana and boasts incredible species of wildlife including elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and endangered wild dogs whom are mostly seen in Botswana.
Pilanesberg National Park is situated between the Kalahari and the Lowveld and easily accessible from Johannesburg. The 55 000 hectare park promises thrilling big game viewing in a malaria free environment.
Both Madikwe and Pilanesberg are Big Five game reserves and offer a wide selection of accommodation options and a number of exciting safari activities including open-vehicle game drives, guided bush walks and bird hides that offer incredible photographic opportunities.
The North West is a great year-round destination. For birding enthusiasts, the hot, wet summer months (November to March) are best. The reserves are at their most beautiful at this time, as the vegetation is lush and green, providing an ideal background for wildlife photography. This is also the animals’ calving season, so it’s perfect for seeing gambolling babies. If you want to combine your safari with a South African beach holiday, this is the best time to visit.
The dry, winter months (June to September) are the most rewarding for game viewing and the weather is pleasant, with warm days and cold nights. During this period, the vegetation thins out significantly and animals congregate around permanent waterholes, making them far easier to spot. Visitors will require warm clothing for the evening and early-morning game drives.
At Safari.com, we have more than 50 accomplished Madikwe travel consultants ready to help you make your Safari dream a reality. With our in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience of the exclusive Madikwe Game Reserve, we’re able to tailor a safari to suit your budget, and our price guarantee ensures that you won’t get it cheaper elsewhere… not even by booking direct. Please let one of our safari experts give you a call to discuss your travel plans, we provide the most convenient flight options with seamless transfers, pre and post safari accommodation, day trips and insider traveler tips or you can go onto Live Chat right now.
Madikwe, Pilanesberg and Sun City lie in South Africa’s wild and unpopulated North West Province. This is a great, malaria-free Big Five area within easy striking distance of Johannesburg. The region has good ecotourism infrastructure, superb scenery and diverse appeal, especially for families.
Madikwe Game Reserve is all about big skies, red earth and wide-open plains in a zone where South Africa’s Bushveld meets the Kalahari Desert. Comprising 760 square kilometres, this reserve has a rich diversity of vegetation which ensures a wide range of fauna and birdlife, as well as topography that’s ideal for game viewing.
The reserve comprises more than a dozen private lodges and doesn’t allow day visitors or self-drive safaris. Most of its lodges are luxurious, top-end affairs and the game viewing throughout is excellent.
Madikwe is a relatively new reserve and an ecological success story. In 1991, when the park was declared, the region comprised a series of degraded cattle farms and the wildlife had all but disappeared. An extensive restocking programme was instituted. Operation Phoenix was reputedly the largest reintroduction of game in the world and, today, the reserve is home to more than 16 000 mammals comprising nearly 100 species.
Occupying an eroded volcanic crater north of Sun City, the 550-square-kilometre Pilanesberg National Park is a wonderfully scenic place to see a variety of South African wildlife. It was conceived in the late 1970s as a weekend escape for nearby city dwellers. But although the park may appear developed in comparison with other South African wilderness areas, it’s not at all zoo-like.
In 1979, Operation Genesis reclaimed this area from agriculture and released 6000 animals into the new park. Today, all the Big Five are here, as well as cheetahs, African wild dogs and 300-plus bird species.
At adjacent Sun City, the creation of entrepreneur Sol Kerzer, Disneyland meets ancient Egypt in Africa’s version of Las Vegas. Filled with gilded statues of animals, acres of manmade beaches, 1200 hotel rooms, a famed golf course and a casino, it’s an entertainment Mecca. Even if you find the resort kitsch, visiting Sun City can be huge fun.
Must see: During your game drive, stop and enjoy a sundowner drink on the banks of the languid, green Marico River and watch a scarlet sun setting over the bushveld.
Nov 27, 2023
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Nov 24, 2023
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Nov 21, 2023
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Nov 18, 2023
We booked one of the most beautiful…
We booked one of the most beautiful trips we've ever had through Safari.com. The service was excellent and uncomplicated. They catered to special requests, booked additional flights, and the accommodation (Simbavati River Lodge) was simply unbelievably beautiful. Our expectations were far exceeded, and we can only recommend Safari.com. We will definitely book our next vacation through Safari.com and recommend it to our friends. Many thanks, Nelia & Catherine!
Nov 14, 2023
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Nov 13, 2023
Great service and response time. Candis answered all my queries immediately and satisfactorily. She tailored our trip to our requirements really well. I would highly recommend her for your trips to South Africa.
Nov 9, 2023
Very personal treatment and always…
Very personal treatment and always available to answer all of our questions.
Nov 8, 2023
Keagan and his team were great at getting our reservation booked at Shalati. Timely and professional communication made this a great experience. Thanks
Nov 7, 2023
Sara was “Fantastic” a true…
Sara was “Fantastic” a true professional, found a solution so we could experience a wonderful Safari, with great hotels, the Revos train and flights. Great!