Madikwe Game Reserve

- Overview Madikwe Safaris

About Madikwe Game Reserve

Although state owned, Madikwe operates like a private game reserve. No self-drive visitors are allowed and all drives are conducted by the private lodges dotted around the reserve. This makes for a very exclusive experience; even more so if staying in one of the lodges that has a private concession within the reserve.

Madikwe is a prime Big Five destination and you can expect to see most major safari animals in a two-day visit.

Size: help
750km² / 290mi²
Altitude: help
920-1,324m / 3,018-5,344ft
Pros and Cons
  • Excellent wildlife viewing with all of the Big Five present
  • Similar, exclusive experience, but more affordable compared to Sabi Sands
  • Open-vehicle game drives and off-road driving permitted
  • Night drives and walking safaris available
  • Malaria-free
  • Many upmarket safari lodges to choose from
  • Self-catering accommodation available
  • Less busy than Sabi Sands
  • No self-drive permitted, only expensive, all-inclusive packages available
  • Leopard sightings not as abundant as in Sabi Sands
  • Fully fenced park that isn't part of a larger ecosystem


Madikwe offers excellent wildlife viewing which is comparable to the experience offered in the private reserves near Kruger National Park. All of the Big Five are quite easily spotted, although leopard sightings are hit-and-miss. Wild dogs are a speciality and sightings tend to be superb.
More about the wildlife


Madikwe lies in a transition zone between the Kalahari thornveld and bushveld. The area is dotted with big rocky outcrops and is bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains.

Weather & Climate

Summertime at Madikwe is a hot and wet affair, as it’s also the area’s Wet season (October to April). The rainfall and heat both increase over the first few months, peaking in January with afternoon downpours and an average daytime temperature of 32°C/90°F. Things start to get cooler and less damp in March, kicking off the transition into a dry and generally sunny winter (May to September).
More about the weather and climate

Best Time to Visit

The Dry season (May to September) is the best time to visit Madikwe, particularly the pleasantly mild months at the start and end of this period. In the middle of this season there can be a biting chill in the air, which means you should wrap yourself up in your warmest clothes for early-morning or late-afternoon game drives. The drier months also coincide with Madikwe’s low season.
More about the best time to visit

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Safari Reviews

- Madikwe
Expert Rating
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
User Rating
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Latest User Review
By RJK 671 from United StatesUS

A work trip in nearby Gaborone, Botswana afforded me an opportunity to enjoy a weekend safari at the Madikwe Game Reserve. My group arrived in the early afternoon at the Tau Game Lodge. After checking in, we enjoyed a great lunch. Then we loaded ... Full review

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