Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve is the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. It is a true hidden-gem as it is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5 in a 680 km2 wildlife area.
Madikwe is situated against the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. It is roughly 4 1/2 hours by car from Johannesburg. The land where Madikwe now stands was previously used as farming land. The poor soil meant that farming was mostly unsuccessful and the South African government then decided that it would best be used as a national park to help economically uplift the area. Madikwe consists of vast open plains of woodlands and grasslands. The reserve is dissected by the rugged Rant van Tweedepoort and is bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains. The reserve has been enclosed in a 150 km perimeter electric fence to prevent the escape of larger animals.
Declared a reserve in 1991, approximately 10,000 mammals were relocated from other national parks around South Africa. Today the reserve is home to the Big 5, which can even be extended to the ‘Super 7’, which includes the African Wild Dog and the Cheetah. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Visitors play a role in the sustainability and economic upkeep of the area, and Madikwe Game Reserve has become one of South Africa’s success stories. Placing people at the centre of conservation efforts is the number one priority when planning the development and constant improvement of the park.