​User Reviews – Madikwe GR

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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.

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, ....)

U. Adophis   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: April 2015 Reviewed: Apr 29, 2015

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

Great safari, nice (and closer) alternative to Krugar
Overall rating

Madikwe was a fantastic reserve and great alternative to Krugar, particularly as there are no self-drivers. We stayed at Jamala which was luxurious and beautiful in every way. The owners built this from scratch, and since they know what has worked and what hasn't worked in other places, everything is organised and chosen to give the "best" safari experience! Madikwe was in a pretty bad drought while we were there, and so the waterhole was pretty quiet since animals were heading to places where it had rained. Also the wild dogs had just had a wave of rabies (we didn't realise this happened) so we were lucky to see the few dogs we did. Even though there were few guests, we still went out in separate cars which was great (this didn't happen at Bush House). We then stayed at Bush House -- this was good as we got to see the other side of the park. Note that at Jamala we could see the north east and south east sides of the park, which was too far if we had only been at Bush House. Our friend stayed at Tau Lodge and had more success at the waterhole -- that is a much larger lodge though, and you lose the exclusivity. Bush House was a lot less posh and extravagant, but the waterhole was very busy (60+ elephants?) and the food and accommodation posed no problems. Also good to check if children can come on drives, as we had 2 incessantly talking kids on our last day who didn't, but could very easily, have affected game viewing. Our guides in both places were very experienced -- the main thing is you need to be watching for animals too, as it increases your chances! On our first drive at Bush house our ranger went off tracking to find a lion. So we sat there with 5 other cars for an hour till they came back, then we drove off and for the next hour none of the rangers could find the ranger who had stayed behind near the lion kill!! Our guide than said "oh, it's getting late, we probably should go now" to which I gave a significant death stare. Thankfully she then found the lions, but at no point had she explained what we were looking for or anything. In this case we were lucky, but I think it's worth being clear with your ranger how much time you are prepared to spend waiting for them to track. We could have wasted 2 hours out of one precious drive, which to them doesn't mean much, but I think they forget how much we pay and how far we come to see animals which cannot be seen by sitting in a non-moving car. We explained this to her that night and from then on everything was fine, but if you haven't done as many game drives as we have, you might not be so confident to voice such opinions.

John A Darwin NT Australia Visited: August 2014 Reviewed: Apr 16, 2015

Thouroughly Enjoyable
Overall rating

Stayed at The Bush House for 2 nights and did 4 3 hour safari drives and managed to see most of what we were hoping to see. Missed out on seeing Cheetahs, Leopards and Wild Dogs, although given the size of the park there is no guarantee you will see everything. The Bush House was fantastic and I have no hesitation recommending it. Our guide Tom was OK but have heard JR is the best. August mornings are chilly but the days are beautiful. Safari Bookings were great with all pick ups and bookings done without a hitch.

kanigma Visited: January 2008 Reviewed: Aug 7, 2012

Overall rating

We managed to see the big 5 over a couple days, we had a wonderful time on safari.

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.

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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