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Madikwe (South Africa)

Practical information on Madikwe

  • Romantic
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Desert
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
It is four hours from Johannesburg but only 25 km from Gaborone by car.
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Madikwe

Camille Griffoulieres Seasoned Traveller
111 written opinions

Madikwe is one of the country's most renowned private reserves thanks to its luxurious lodges. It covers an area of 75,000 hectares and is located on the border with Botswana and at the edge of the Kalahari desert.

My suggestion:
You should know that this reserve targets very well-off tourists, who choose all-inclusive offers in a luxurious five-star lodge, with safaris included. There are no campsites and it is forbidden to travel around in your car.
My review

The Madikwe reserve's landscapes are absolutely beautiful, with huge smooth boulders standing out from the savannah. In some places, you would almost believe you were in the golden Kalahari desert, turning green in the slightest rain shower just like in the Green Kalahari, further to the west of the country. The wildlife was reintroduced here and is now well conserved. The animals are not very disturbed by cars, which are exclusively used by the 'happy few' who stay there.

I loved the safaris because only the lodges' pick-ups are allowed, which limits the number of people there and give the option of going off-road to get closer to the animals. Furthermore, they are tracked with radio communicators between cars, which helps the rangers and trackers (on the bonnet) to unearth animals in the bush.

The savannah plains are quite open, and you can see more cheetahs there than you can around Kruger Park where the forest is dense - it's there preferred habitat. The 'big five' are here of course (with many groups of lions and elephants), but I also saw some wild dogs, a species which is sadly endangered because the herds are being wiped out and which is very difficult to see outside of this reserve. This was a really privileged moment. Not to mention the lodges, which are incredibly luxurious with swimming pools and secluded chalets in the savannah. Perfect for a honeymoon, for example.

Wild dog in the Madikwe reserve.
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