About Madikwe Game Reserve

South Africa is a vast country that has stunning scenery all over which captivates every visitor. This unique country boasts an abundance of amazing wildlife with natural beauty to match! If you’re looking for a safari vacation full of adventure and an opportunity to view once in a lifetime wildlife in their natural habitat, then South Africa could be the perfect location for you. For an experience that will stay with you forever, why not visit Madikwe Game Reserve?

Madikwe Game Reserve is situated along the Botswana border, only a 3-hour drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria and only 40km south-east of Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

This prime location makes Madikwe a great safari destination with several amenities and other tourist attractions close by. Madikwe covers an area of 75,000 hectares (750 km²) making it one of the largest safari destinations in South Africa.


Madikwe was announced as a game reserve to the public in August 1991 after spending years as a low-yield cattle farm. The area became a reserve after a study showed that wildlife-based tourism was the most beneficial option for this economically depressed area and its inhabitants.

In 1991 the re-introduction of game animals began within this area, and this operation was known as Operation Phoenix. This was one of the largest game translocation exercises in the world. More than 8,000 animals of 28 different species were released into Madikwe Game Reserve including the African elephant, rhinos, buffalo, lion, cheetah, and giraffe.

The only game animal to already reside within the reserve before Operation Phoenix was the elusive leopard, which can still be viewed here today. Operation Phoenix was completed in 1997 after 6 years of careful wildlife relocation. This history and the young age of Madikwe makes in a unique safari experience.


Madikwe is home to the highly sought after Big Five and these encounters are almost assured due to the extensive wildlife population. At Madikwe one might also be lucky enough to spot a Cheetah, Brown Hyena or an Aardwolf as well as Elephant, Giraffe and Hippos which are all a common sight within this reserve.

The area consists of grassy plains and is dotted with large rocky outcrops to its south, bordering the Dwarsberg Mountains. There is also over 300 species of birds known to inhabit Madikwe Game Reserve including the crested francolin, the southern pied babbler, and the southern yellow-billed hornbill, making this the perfect location for adrenaline-fueled Big Five seekers and calm bird-watchers alike.

Safari Recommendations

Madikwe offers a calm, relaxed and organized safari experience. A self-drive option is not available here which means that all safaris are hosted by professional rangers, trackers, and guides, assuring that you will have the best safari experience possible as the highly trained staff know exactly where and when to see every type of animal. Tours are arranged by the private lodges located within the reserve.

Safari tours available include walking safaris, game drives, Big Five specific drives, stargazing, tracking and even community visits where you will be able to experience some of the unique culture found within this nook of South Africa.

Normally a tracker will accompany the ranger, who scans the environment for the best animal sightings. On a game walk you will also go with a ranger or a guide and because you are on foot you will get a completely different safari experience; it is sometimes even possible to approach the wildlife to a very short distance. Game walks are thrilling experiences as you are observing wildlife without the protection of a car.


Madikwe Game Reserve hosts a number of independent lodges which cater to everyone. From family-friendly to perfect for the honeymooning couple, we guarantee that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking. Lodges range from rustic to modern – offering splendid views of the stunning savannah right on your doorstep.

Madikwe has lodges available to suit every budget. If you’re looking for a breathtaking pool within arm’s reach of the bush, we have it. If you want the comfort of air-conditioning and Wi-Fi, we have it. If you want to eat dinner overlooking the rocky mountains in the distance and admiring beautiful sunsets then we have it! We guarantee that all of your needs will be met wherever you decide to stay within Madikwe.

Is Madikwe For Me?

There are many reasons why people return to Madikwe Game Reserve time and time again, including the incredible Big Five spotting and the choices of luxury accommodation, as well as its proximity to some major cities.

Madikwe is the perfect trip for everyone and a full safari experience has been reported possible here within only 2 days. Whether you’re a keen photographer or a romantic honeymooning couple – we guarantee that you will find exactly what you’re looking for out of a safari vacation here.

About African Safari Group

Madikwe Game Reserve is proudly presented and recommended to you on this website by African Safari Group, a Premier Inbound Travel Agent, and an accredited and contracted reservations office for premier game reserves and game lodges across South Africa.  ASG is not affiliated with Madikwe Game Reserve. Read more about African Safari Group…


  • Madikwe Game Reserve

    South African Tourism Association (SATSA)

    SATSA is South Africa’s most well-known tourism authority. Membership means that we adhere to strict policies and regulations regarding our conduct and, should you be unhappy with any aspect of our business, you have these organisations to approach for recourse.

    View at: https://www.satsa.com/item/african-safari-group/

  • Madikwe Game Reserve

    African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA)

    Atta is a European based tourism association. ATTA member companies are the most experienced and conscientious in the services they provide to visitors and pride themselves upon the standards which are maintained regardless of changing circumstances.

    View at: https://www.atta.travel/member/5145/top-ten-safaris-ta-african-safari-group

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    Cape Town Tourism Association

    Tourism Board Members are partners which are recognized as trustworthy associates of an official tourism body in the city which provides peace of mind to visitors.

    View at: https://www.capetown.travel/products/african-safari-group

Supplier Default Insurance

The accommodation, transport and activity suppliers that we recommend meet strict quality controls but should any supplier become insolvent and fail to provide the accommodation, transport or activity we booked for you, our supplier default insurance protects the money you paid for that service.

This financial protection extends to every aspect of your safari that you booked through us. This is one of the important advantages of working with independent experts, like African Safari Group.

Payment Security

All our credit card payments are made though MyGate using 3D-Secure authentication. The 3D-Secure authentication is an additional fraud prevention scheme created by MasterCard and Visa to process transactions online securely.

It allows shoppers to create and assign a password to their card that is then verified whenever a transaction is processed through a site that supports the use of the scheme. The addition of password protection allows extra security on transactions that are processed online. This gives our clients a single, seamless online payment process that is easy to use, super secure and convenient.

Payment Options

We Accept all three major credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. You can use any of these cards through our secure online payment gateway portal, anytime day or night.

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