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What we love

Unknown yet so unforgettable. 

Madikwe Game Reserve

South Africa

The destination

Perhaps not on everyone's radar, however Madikwe is one of the largest Big 5 game reserves in South Africa. With terrific game viewing, beautiful scenery and a great location this is a fantastic option for those looking to do something a little different. In addition to this the area has the added bonus of being completely malaria free. This is brilliant for families with younger children or those who simply don't want to rely on malaria tablets. 

Over time Madikwe has become an extraordinary safari destination which has allowed a fantastic infrastructure to be implemented. Whilst this is an amazing way to see the African wildlife, it is worth noting that the accommodation is designed with comfort in mind and has a lot of the common comforts. So, for families this can be perfect, however if you’re looking for a more grounded and authentic experience this may not be suitable. 

Madikwe is found in the north-west of South Africa away from the crowds of Kruger. Accessibility is simple with Johannesburg being less than 4 hours by road or a 40-minute flight into their own private airstrip. 



Madikwe Game Reserve has a variety of lodges to choose from, with a selection of our favourites listed below. However, this is just a sample, so please don't hesitate to give us a call on 01993 899 430, or email inspire@oxfordprivatetravel.com if you would like to find out more and we will be delighted to craft your own tailor-made trip. 


Whilst Madikwe offers all the big game of the other game reserves it is well known for its wild dog sightings. Although not one of the Big 5 these are just beautiful to see in person. They all have unique coats with fascinating patterns hence the nick name 'African painted dog'. 


Madikwe is an incredibly special place to experience some of the best wildlife Africa has to offer with your family. One of the best malaria free areas within South Africa, so you can rest easy taking the little ones with you. 


South Africa has very distinct climatic zones meaning that weather can be very different at certain times of the year. For Madikwe any time of year is good dependent of what you’re after however for a better understanding look below:

December - February (Summer): Despite being known as the wet season it is beautiful. The bush is green, thick and vibrant at this time of year with an average temperature of 30°C - The reserve tends to be filled with many new-born animals at this time of year. 

March - May (Autumn): This brings around the dry season with temperatures around 25°C. This results in the bush being less dense and the waterholes being more frequently visited, therefore this is a perfect time for wildlife viewing. 

June - August (Winter): Similar to Autumn, wildlife is easier to spot due to the dry season and the wilting vegetation. Temperatures do drop to lows of 12°C so pack warm. 

September - November (Spring): As with Summer the bush is thicker and lusher due to the wetter weather, however temperatures are around 25°C on average and can also be a very good time to see new-borns. 


A passport with at least six months validity is necessary as well as at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration. A visa is not required for stays up to 90 days. 



Top tips

  • Perfect place for families as it is malaria free and has a fantastic range of accommodation
  • If you want to combine the capital of Johannesburg this is a great option due to the proximity
  • Amazing for wild dog sightings


  • Local currency: South African Rand
  • Accepted credit cards: Visa and MasterCard (most places)
  • Timezone: GMT +2 hrs

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