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Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Fast Facts
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips
Excellent game viewing. Superb bird watching. Dramatic scenery. Terrific guides. Safari lodges to fit every budget and style. Madikwe Game Reserve, one of South Africa's best-kept secrets, affords an unforgettable safari experience. So why take the kids? Here are six reasons. 1) Many reserve lodges and camps cater to families. Several offer family game drives as well as special activities for children under the age of eight. 2) The safari guides at this game park excel at explaining the bush to kids. 3) Thanks to Operation Phoenix, the largest game translocation operation in the world, Madikwe is home to a large variety of animal species including the African big five - lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros - and three of South Africa's most endangered species - brown hyena, African wild dog and black rhino. 4) Roughly 300 bird species, including many raptors, have been sighted at Madikwe. 5) The reserve's diverse landscape - inselbergs or rocky hills, acacia studded grasslands and thick riverine forests - make it ideal for wildlife viewing. 6) Madikwe is malaria free.
Getting There
Madikwe Game Reserve is located in South Africa's North West province and is situated 360 km (224 miles) from Johannesburg and 28 km (17 miles) from Gaborone, Botswana. Road transfers from Johannesburg, Sun City and Gaborone can be booked through most safari lodges. Madikwe Charter offers air service from Johannesburg to Madikwe. Major carriers and low cost airlines connect Johannesburg, Cape Town and Gaborone. Families driving to Madikwe should refill in Sun Village or Zeerust. There are no service stations in the reserve.
Getting Around
Madikwe is not a self-drive reserve. Day visitors can book game drives through reserve lodges and camps. Game drives are included in rate charged to overnight guests.
When to Travel
The climate in Madikwe is characterized by two well-defined seasons; cool, sunny winters and hot, wet summers. The average daytime high is 31°C or 88°F in summer (October - April) and 22°C or 72°F in winter (June - August). Rainfall is possible from October to April with peak rains from November to February. Winter nights are significantly cooler than winter days. The best time of year to visit this game reserve is from July to September when vegetation is sparse and animals congregate at the few remaining water holes.
Health & Safety
Animal hazards and exposure to the sun are the principal health risks at this game park. Listen to your guide. Follow the safety guidelines put together by your safari lodge. Don't taunt or tease animals. Use common sense and closely supervise your kids. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Apply sunscreen. Madikwe Game Reserve is malaria-free.
Admission & Fees
A park entrance fee is charged per person per day. A reduced rate is available for children and seniors. Staying at a safari lodge? The day use charge is likely included in the overnight rate.
Things to Keep in Mind
Traveling in winter? Plan to dress in layers; early mornings in Madikwe can be quite chilly. Pack a hat, jacket and gloves. Driving to the park? Get gate opening and closing times from your safari lodge.
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Travel Trivia
Which of the following animals are you likely to spot on an African safari: