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MADIKWE GAME RESERVE WILDLIFE AND PLANTLIFE 

The Reserve’s location, close to the edge of the Kalahari Desert ensures visitors a truly diverse game-viewing experience.

  • Madikwe Game Reserve is famous for its Big 5: lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and (black and white) rhino 

  • The reserve is also home to hippo, giraffe, African wild dog, Brown and Spotted Hyena, and Cheetah.

  • Our most endangered species are Cheetah, Wild Dog, Black and White Rhino.

  • Madikwe Game Reserve supports a number of large antelope species, including Eland, Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest and Tsessebe.

  • Smaller antelope species also abound, including Springbok, Duiker and Klipspringer.

  • Other animals found here include Honey Badger, Cape Clawless Otter, Serval, Aardvark, Baboon, Porcupine, Warthog, Bush Baby, Giraffe, Zebra and Aardwolf.

More than 350 species of birds have been recorded in Madikwe Game Reserve, with migrant species visiting throughout the year. The birds are attracted by Madikwe’s trees and wild grasses, making the reserve a bird watcher’s paradise. Diverse bird families in Madikwe include Flycatchers, Fire Finches, Babblers and Buzzards.

Over 45 different tree species provide shade, food and habitat for wildlife and birds in Madikwe Game Reserve. Since the reserve is made up of multiple veld types, including mixed bushveld, Kalahari bushveld, arid sweet bushveld and thornveld, the mosaic of vegetation and grasses is unprecedented. The fauna in the reserve is as diverse as the animals, and includes trees such as the Shepherd’s Tree, Bush Willows, Weeping Wattles, Marulas and Fig Trees.

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ACTIVITIES IN MADIKWE GAME RESERVE

 

Early morning and late afternoon game drives set the pace for most of the day at all lodges in Madikwe. Predawn wake up calls make way for sunrise game drives into the reserve, on the trail of the big five as well as the elusive wild dog and cheetah that call this reserve home. 

In the late afternoon it’s time to return to the bush on the back of the open safari vehicles, enjoying the sunset and looking out for the nocturnal creatures as they begin their evening journeys. 

 

Being malaria free Madikwe is a perfect choice for families, and most of the lodges offer incredible family friendly accommodation options. While shared safari game drives usually carry an age restriction of 6 and over, some lodges offer kiddie bumble drives for the youngsters to escape into the bush. 

 

For those intrepid safari travellers who are more dedicated to their photographic craft many lodges do have a photographic safari activity available, and some also have hides overlooking very active waterholes. Join shared game drives or book a private game drive vehicle for the ultimate photographic experience. 

 

Bush Walks are available at many of the lodges, either in the form of a breakfast amble as part of their morning activity, or as a private bush walk activity with a specialised guide. Let our consultants guide you to the best lodge choice if this is high on your Madikwe safari wishlist. 

 

Take some time out and simply enjoy the peace and tranquility of being in the bush, rejuvenating mind and body at one of the many spa lodges throughout the Madikwe Reserve. Enjoy ‘sofa safaris’, world class cuisine, cool swims on warm summer days and make that special romantic proposal or vow exchange.

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ACCESS & GATE FEES

 

There are no commercial airports close to Madikwe Game Reserve, so transfer is either by charter flight or by road. 

Federal Air provides a daily seat-in-charter flight service that flies into both the Eastern and Western Airstrips from Johannesburg International Airport, which service various lodges respectively. Speak to our consultants about how to tie these flights into your existing travel plans. 

Private charter flights are also available, although bearing in mind the airstrips cannot accept larger aircraft. 

Landing fees are currently ZAR 240 per adult and ZAR 150 per child. These charges are usually added to the accommodation invoice and paid to the reserve on behalf of the guests. 

 

Madikwe Game Reserve has five entrance gates called Molatedi, Derdepoort, Abjaterskop, Wonderboom and Tau. Road transfer and self-drive guests will be directed to various gates depending on the location of the lodge. Driving time from Johannesburg and Pretoria is an easy 4 to 5 hour drive, depending on the gate. 

Madikwe is also easily accessible from Gaborone in Botswana, some 1 to 2 hours by road depending on the gate. 

 

Gate times : Open at 06h00 and close at 18h00. Late arrivals until 21h00 are possible, with a prearrangement of an escort vehicle at an additional cost. No day visitors are permitted 

Gate entry fees are currently ZAR 180 per adult and ZAR 80 per child. These fees are usually added to the accommodation invoice and paid to the reserve on behalf of the guests. 

 

There is a daily conservation levy of ZAR 165 per adult per night, and ZAR 82,50 per child per night. These fees are usually added to the accommodation invoice and paid to the reserve on behalf of the guests. 

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MADIKWE WEATHER AND RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST 

Seasons : 

Summer - December to February

Autumn (Fall) - March to May

Winter - June to August

Spring - September to November 

 

South Africa has a range of climate conditions from Mediterranean in the south west to subtropical in the north east. The interior is fairly dry and a small section in the north west heading up to Namibia has a desert climate. Rainfall varies from south west to north east. In the south west rainfall is expected in the winter months from June through to August with a few showers through September. Moving along the east coast and up to the north east of the country rainfall is expected during the summer months of December through to around March. 

Summer (October to April) is Madikwe's hot and rainy season. Expect very hot days with scattered thunderstorms, magnificent lightning storms and rolling thunder with downpours, which can last for a couple of hours.

Winter (May to September) is generally warm and sunny, with chilly starry nights and occasional rain. Dress for the cold and have layers to take off as the sun’s rays warm the day.

What to pack on safari : 

 

Multi pocket jackets in safari khaki, trousers that zip off at the knee, gaters and sun hats with insect screens are not essential for your safari stay, unless you absolutely love them. Do keep colours neutral if you are planning on participating in any bush walks, otherwise pretty much anything goes on the back of a game drive vehicle. We do recommend steering clear of very bright colours, red in particular. 

 

For any walking safaris you will be required to wear neutral colours, which also does not include white. You will need to wear long trousers, preferably tapered, and comfortable walking shoes and socks. You need not bring hiking boots, trainers will suffice. However hiking boots are a bit more sturdy on uneven terrain. 

 

Any seasoned safari traveller will tell you that layering clothing is key, as temperatures can vary throughout the seasons and throughout the day. Choose light cotton where possible and remove layers as the day heats up, or add as the evening cools down. Light long sleeves and light cotton long trousers protect from the harsh sun in summer, although remember to pack high protection sunscreen when you feel like enjoying the drive in shorts and tshirts. 

 

We recommend a good quality lightweight windproof jacket for winters on game drives, and for summer a lightweight rain jacket for the short afternoon showers will suffice. Most lodges will supply ponchos for summer rainfall. 

Wind chill is the biggest contributing factor to the temperature & comfort on game drives, and more so in winter than in summer. You will get by with a great windproof jacket and gloves in winter instead of a bulky jacket that does not protect from the wind. 

 

Always pack a hat, in both summer and winter. In winter add a warm scarf and windproof gloves, and a woolen cap if you feel so inclined. Again lodges will supply additional blankets on game drives in winter. Tip : pack in an extra pair of sunglasses! 

 

There is generally no dress code at meal times at lodges, guests are most welcome to wear safari clothing to dinner. Remember to pack shoes in for walking around the lodge

 

Rough guide to packing for safari : 

 

Ladies : 

WINTER/AUTUMN

3 x T-Shirts 

2 x Long Sleeved Shirts 

1 x Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket

1 x Windproof Jacket

2 x Lightweight Trousers or Shorts 

2 x Jeans or Thicker Trousers 

Trainers or Lightweight Boots 

Windproof Gloves

Woolen Hat & Scarf

SUMMER/SPRING 

3 x T-Shirts 

2 x Long Sleeved Shirts 

1 x Lightweight Rain Jacket 

3 x Lightweight Shorts or Trousers 

1 x Summer Dress 

Sandals

Trainers or Lightweight Boots

Swimming Costume 

Sun Hat 

 

Gents : 

 

WINTER/AUTUMN

3 x T-Shirts 

2 x Long Sleeved Shirts 

1 x Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket

1 x Windproof Jacket

2 x Lightweight Trousers or Shorts 

2 x Jeans or Thicker Trousers 

Trainers or Lightweight Boots 

Windproof Gloves

Woolen Hat & Scarf

SUMMER/SPRING

3 x T-Shirts

2 x Long Sleeved Shirts

1 x Lightweight Rain Jacket

3 x Lightweight Shorts or Trousers

Safari Hat or Cap

Sandals

Trainers or Lightweight Boots

Swimming Costume

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