Madikwe & Pilanesberg

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Madikwe & Pilanesberg

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Why

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.

When

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.

Where

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.

GALLERY

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4.8
out of 5 based on
182 reviews
Feb 8, 2023
Spending 40 years in the travel…
Spending 40 years in the travel industry and taking several Safari to Kenya, my wife and I reached out to Dolan at Safari.com to help plan our S. African Safari to Kruger. Dolan handled all aspects of the planning including transfers to and from airport, plane reservations and lodging at the 5-star Leopard Hills lodge. With just a couple of emails he made the planning seamless. every aspect was on-time, and all responses were very timely. We can't wait to go back and would highly recommend Dolan at Safari.com
customer
,
US
Feb 7, 2023
We had a lovely holiday!
Hi Chantal The Summit place guest house was First class , the warmest welcome Robyn was a first class host , the day drips to the wine region and Cape of Good hope etc where really good also. Limoni apartments where lovely, we were looked after by the maids and the property was fantastic . Amakhala service was fantastic, really first class couldn’t fault it. No issues with the cars or anything everything went well, thank you for organising it for us we would recommend you and your company!
Brian
,
GB
Feb 3, 2023
Delt with Heleen
Delt with Heleen, who was super responsive and patient with us along the way! Will definitely make use of safari.com and Heleen when planning our trips in the future.
Donga
,
ZA
Feb 1, 2023
The person helping me was great
The person who was helping me with the booking, Carien, was exceptionally helpful and she made it very easy to get information and to get my booking sorted. The website was very easy to navigate and receive good information about which spots offer which amenities
Wynand De Villiers
,
ZA
Jan 27, 2023
I cant say much but safari is the best…
I cant say much but safari is the best when it comes to book coz they know client are always right and they help me very quicky.God bless u
Phathu Matshintshisa
,
ZA
Jan 11, 2023
Unorgettable trip in South Africa
We have spent 12 days as a family in South Africa with my 3 children and my wife who is in a wheelchair. Thanks to Pascal, Safari.com consultant, we were able to spend an unforgettable moment with a great program while being well accompanied despite our constraints. I recommand particularly the "Monwana game lodge" for a safari in Hoedspruit. It's an amazing place with very nice people and a real family atmosphere. Thank you to the entire Safari.com team for this unforgettable trip.
fabrice dont
,
FR
Nov 26, 2022
We had an amazing first safari…
We had an amazing first safari experience with Safari.com! 💯Thanks to Dolan for the well planning and ensure our itinerary goes smoothly and safely!
CSY
,
ZA
Nov 18, 2022
Cape Town miracle
I was in Cape Town, South Africa recently for an athletic competition and had allowed myself a week of personal time to relax and properly conclude the trip, but had not bothered to plan a safari to occupy the time. I was skeptical of the cost and whether I would enjoy the experience, however a couple days into that final week it occurred to me, in a bit of a panic attack, what a waste it would be not to take advantage of this opportunity. I hopped online and started looking at flights to Johannesburg (almost all the safaris in SA start there with an early morning pick up), but it was basically impossible to get a flight early enough and/or to coordinate with the multiple safaris operating in or just outside of Kruger. With no apparent options available to turn my remaining 4 1/2 days into even a 3 day safari I stumbled on the most obvious website one could imagine, Safari.com. I'd completely given up negotiating all the variables on my own but here was a safari travel agent that might be able to help me .. and they were based right out of Cape Town, literally a stones throw from my lodgings. Serendipity, or so i hoped. I immediately sent out an email and crossed my fingers .. for roughly an hour and a half, at which point Dolan from Safari.com responded to me requesting I give him a call so that we could expedite potential arrangements. My in country phone plan wasn't able to make calls, but we arranged for him to call me and not 3 hours after being in the grip of despair Dolan got through to me and far from notifying me of how absurd it was to hold out hope for a literally, last minute safari adventure with barely 4 days available to me, he had already worked out all the details I'd sent and created a preliminary safari trip that would bypass Johannesburg airport for a flight the next morning to a closer, much, much smaller airport where I would be picked up taken, not to a 3 day safari, but a full 4 day safari, then back to the tiny, tiny airport for a return flight to Cape Town with 2 hours to spare for my return leg all the way home. It almost feels like an afterthought, after the minor miracle Dolan was able to conjure up, but the safari itself at Simbavati Lodge was just an absolutely stunning experience. The single "tent" he booked me was as luxurious as any 4 star hotel I've stayed in, the game drives, one every morning, one every evening were more amazing than I could have ever imagined, and the food, 3 meals a day with snacks and an open bar was sublime. I could go on about the wonderful staff, or the wonderful other safari goers you can meet and grab a drink with, or the different animals walking through the open lodge facilities daily .. but I've gone on long enough. I'll simply conclude by saying .. safari, absolutely, yes, do it, it is amazing. And when you do decide, Safari.com will do you right and if you have the pleasure of working with Dolan, do give him my thanks .. the entire experience was the best part of my trip :)
Damian Glennon
,
CA
Nov 12, 2022
A great company
What to say! We planned a South African Safari for 2020 with Safari.com. We researched companies and took a chance on one we had never heard of before. Henry Franklin was our agent, we gave him our budget and wish list. He came up with a wonderful looking trip and we made our choices! Then came Covid, preventing us from going. We couldn’t have been in better hands. Henry rebooked everything for the next year. He kept us updated on how things looked there. When in 2021, we decided it still looked iffy, he rebooked us a second time for 2022. We couldn’t have been happier with the service we had in a rough time for all. We had a wonderful experience on our trip when we finally got to go!! Henry had everything so well organized and gave us a detailed list of what transfer companies would be meeting us and when. When Airlink bumped us and put us on standby returning from Victoria Falls, we called the concierge number Henry had given us and Catherine worked hard on this and got us back on our flight. The Safari.com team had our back and we have no regrets. Would definitely use them again. Our lodging was wonderful, saw the big 5 within first 2 drives. Henry definitely knew the territory and did a great job matching what we wanted with where he suggested we go and stay. Thanks Safari.com, Henry and Catherine!
Heather Carlson
,
US
Oct 21, 2022
Superior service, knowledgeable, transparent, amazing can-do attitude
These guys get 10/10. I have booked with them a few times. To Kruger National Park, including both public and private(concession) camps, flights and car hire. Their senior agent, Dolan is exceptional. Nothing is too much trouble. Attention to detail, transparency, and 'can-do' attitude are out of the ordinary. I recently came into contact with Tanya at safari.com as well. It looks like all their agents are similarly well trained. Thank you. I cannot recommend Dolan and his team highly enough.
customer
,
AU
Sep 5, 2022
Trip of a life time
Well where to starter, África always been my number one dream vacation, I found safari.com didn’t know anything about, but pascal made me feel very confident.pascal put my whole trip together (everything I wanted) a trip of a life time. Had the best time in Africa, was everything that I except and a little more. Pascal is the best and I will go back to Africa and will go through safari.com that I recommend and is 💯 legit.thank you for everything pascal, you rock!!!
Tricia moyses
,
US
Sep 5, 2022
For a second time I booked a safari in…
For a second time I booked a safari in South Africa by Safari.com and had the great pleasure to be assisted and followed by Dolan Sequera. I have to say I really appreciate his way to communicate with me by phone and/or WhatsApp/mail, I always got a very quick answer to my questions with solutions and or suggestions which solved the doubts/problems I had. A really very very knowledged and professional person I will surely suggest to friends of my or who ever is plannig to visit South Africa! Thank you very much Dolan
antonio caccia
,
IT
Aug 31, 2022
I've recently interacted with Dolan and…
I've recently interacted with Dolan and hands down he's been the best travel agent that I've every worked with. He was a wealth of experience and knowledge which shows volumes. He took into consideration my budget and my individual needs to tailor make a package with recommendations for my preference,he knows Kruger and Greater Kruger like the back of his hands and I will wholeheartedly recommended his services. He is truly an asset to his institution.
prinolin
,
ZA
Apr 21, 2022
The best company
I have booked several trips with Safari.com and they are the best. They are personal and professional and always pay attention to the details to make your trip special. Casper is the best agent I have worked with. We are looking forward to booking another trip!!
Steven Hopson
,
US
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