A popular choice for families as it is malaria-free, Madikwe is one of South Africa’s largest game reserves covering some 75 000 hectares. Located in the North West Province along the Botswana border. A three-way partnership between the state, local communities and the private sector, Madikwe’s people-based approach to wildlife conservation benefits both local communities and the park’s operators, and now serves as a model for other reserves in South Africa.

Originally an old cattle ranch, Madikwe’s ‘Operation Phoenix’ (which ran from 1991 – 1997) was the largest game translocation exercise in the world. More than 8000 animals have been released into the reserve including the Big Five, the African Wild Dog, hyena and many species of herbivore. Madikwe is now home to over 66 mammal species and over 300 bird species, with the reserve being one of the best places in South Africa to spot the African Wild Dog.

Just a four hour drive or 50 minute flight from Johannesburg, Madikwe is very easily accessible and makes for a great family vacation. Most of the lodges within Madikwe are child friendly and many offer specialised children’s safaris. This means that your kids are provided for with fun activities that can include bush drives, making paper, tracking and frog finding. The famous Sun City Resort is a short drive from Madikwe and makes for a great day trip with all sorts of activities for the whole family.

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Our Favourite Madikwe Game Reserve Accommodations