​User Reviews – Madikwe GR

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Ravisyd   –  
Australia AU
Visited: December 2014 Reviewed: Apr 19, 2015

50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Thakadu Camp, warm friendly staff, excellent food, outstanding bush experience, will stay here again
Overall rating

We stayed at the Thakadu River camp. Warm and friendly staff, personalised service, the food was tasty not too heavy, just right. The guide was excellent took us off road closer to the wildlife, always maintaining a safe distance, good bush sense. The entire staff broke out in a song and dance in harmony, to celebrate a friend celebrating his birthday during our stay. Overall credit goes to the resident manager.

Torrey   –  
United States US
Visited: January 2009 Reviewed: May 9, 2012

Email Torrey  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

An adventure of a lifetime!
Overall rating

Madikwe Game Reserve exceeded my expectations. We saw the Big 5 on the first day of our safari. I was surprised how high the bushes were, I thought it would be flat. However, our guide drove on tiny trails right through the sharp bushes and we came across lion families, feeding lions, a leopard, baby hyenas, many giraffes, elephants, zebras, and other wonderful animals. The stars in the night sky were unlike I've ever seen. Without any lights around for hundreds of miles, the moon shone brightly. We had lightning and thunder storms every night that rocked our tent cabin and was an incredible experience. The accommodations were great. Mosetlha Bush Camp provided gourmet vegan options and the staff was very caring. Very small camp with private accommodations. Our jeeps had covers, so we did not get burnt by the sun during our 2 5-hour safari trips each day. I would love to do it again!

massarma   –  
Italy IT
Visited: December 2011 Reviewed: Mar 22, 2012

35-50 years of age

A great safari experience in a malaria free zone
Overall rating

Madikwe is a great destination for wildlife observation with a number of excellent and comfortable lodges. The wildlife is very impressive especially for large mammals. Lions, rhinos (both white and black) , giraffes, wild dogs, buffalos, elephants are relatively easy to see and you have the time to observe their behavior. The park is pretty large and you do not have the feeling of being in a 'large zoo', on the contrary; this despite the fact that the Game reserve is fenced. The part which is missing is a large river and the related wildlife such as hippos and crocodiles. We have seen and had the time to follow two wild dogs packs and two male lions roaring just in front of us (really unforgettable). The park is not accessible with your own car and that makes the experience really much better even if a bit more expensive. No traffic at all and very little chance of queuing to see wildlife.
Accommodation at Rhulani was very comfortable and they have a large pond where we had the opportunity to see rhinos, wild dogs , zebra, elephants and more when in the evening they came for drinking.
Scenery is the typical SA bush so do not expect large trees or a thick forest, it is not the landscape everybody loves.
Guides are friendly, helpful and very technical.
Final remark: it is a malaria free area and you do not need to worry about it or about yellow fever.
On balance the reserve I would recommend in South Africa.

Wim Spronk   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: March 2011 Reviewed: Mar 22, 2012

Email Wim Spronk  |  65+ years of age

Certainly one of the best and most comfortable game reserves in South Africa
Overall rating

Having been to most Game reserves in South Africa , my visit to Madikwe was certainly the best ever. Being able to watch game from our balcony at a small drinking hole less than 50 metres away with large herds of elephants coming to drink in addition to many other game species was one of the highlights. The area is malaria free and the scenery with unusual rock formations is beautiful. As an avid birder for many years I was thrilled with the abundant bird life. The guide we had was very knowledgeable and prepared to take us anywhere we wanted to go. We had excellent views of lion as well as black rhino.Some of my videos of this area can be seen on You Tube thespronks. (Young elephant showing who's boss and Lions Mating)

Thanh   –  
Switzerland CH
Visited: September 2016 Reviewed: Jan 25, 2017

Email Thanh  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Stunning Madikwe Game Reserve
Overall rating

I have spent a week in Madikwe region of South Africa in September 2016.
My stay was split between the lodge Royal Madikwe (3 nights) and Madikwe
Hills (3 nights).

The lodges were luxurious and the suite I had in Madikwe Hills was simply
Delicious breakfasts were served on the terrace with a spectacular view on the animals
gathering around the water spot: kind of paradise :-)
The lodges all have wifi, which was really super; nothing else to do in the evening
other than having drinks (all included in Madikwe Hills), surfing and reviewing photos.

It was very impressive to have the lion roaring loudly near my window in the evening.
Was also exciting to see them just about 60m away from my bungalow in Madikwe Hills.

The landscape in Madikwe was quite nice. It would recommend to stay at least
4 nights, so you can increase your chance to spot the leopard.
Also the dry season (winter) is to be preferred because the grass is low and we
can easier observe the animals, which are forced to converge somewhen to the
water ponds.
In Madikwe, the rangers had to track the lions/leopards/rhinos by following
their traces, which made the games more interesting.
In one or two game drives, we couldn't see many animals because they were hiding
themselves from the heat (that's why we need to plan enough game drives to see all
the big five).

You need to have your camera ready all the time as the animal viewing is unpredictable.
I could see the leopard only on the last day in Royal Madikwe and also on the morning
I left the lodge for the air strip, but unfortunately at that time i had my tele-zoom already
packed :-/

A big advantage of Madikwe is that we have much less tourists compared to Kruger Park,
according to different people i have met during the game drives.
Always choose a private safari reserve, as your ranger can drive you off the tracks into
the bushes to follow the animals.

In summary i love Madikwe safaris and will for sure return back.
And I loved flying (1 h) from Johannesburg to Madikwe with the small air plane, which
gave some touch of adventure to the safari trip.
My previous safaris were in 2014 in Shamwari near Port Elizabeth, but it was too
easy to spot the animals which looked somewhat too civilized :-)

My Madikwe album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9-dragons/albums/72157678925869625
My Shamwari album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9-dragons/albums/72157642871816915

Ilana   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: March 2016 Reviewed: May 8, 2016

Email Ilana  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

A 5-Star bush experience. Everything was of the highest standards - the accommodation, the food, the game rangers, the service, the wildlife and the birding. An absolute dream come true. We were spoiled rotten.

Kimberly   –  
United States US
Visited: March 2016 Reviewed: Apr 5, 2016

Email Kimberly  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Beautiful place, lovely people, not quite the game experience of East Africa
Overall rating

We loved our trip to Madikwe. Having been to Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa felt "tamer." We saw tons of wildlife, but not to the amazing levels seen in East Africa. I think that South Africa is a great choice for safari beginners, those who don't want to do malaria precautions. The wildlife is certainly in Madikwe, but it takes more patience.

Sumarie Slabber   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: November 2015 Reviewed: Nov 21, 2015

Email Sumarie Slabber  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

One of South Africa's best Game Reserves.

gorneval   –  
France FR
Visited: October 2015 Reviewed: Nov 15, 2015

Email gorneval  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Amazing wildlife and beautiful stay
Overall rating

From the dawn to the dusk, it is always possible and easy to see wildlife. Everyday something happens, everyday is a new day in the bush. The great thing of madikwe is that rangers and land rover could go "off road" to approach wildlife ! So great for pictures and feel bush vibes !

Didier Collas   –  
France FR
Visited: December 2009 Reviewed: Sep 12, 2015

Email Didier Collas  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Fantastic moment
Overall rating

We spent 4 days in Madikwe, staying at Tau Game Lodge. The safaris were fantastic, with a lot of wild life (all the expected ones except the wild dogs). Tau Lodge is also very nice with its pond in front of the rooms where the animals were coming all day long to drink and play (elephants - a lot, lions, girafes, ....)

Average User Rating

  • 4.7/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 23
  • 4 star 7
  • 3 star 1
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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