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Guide to Madikwe Game Reserve

By Madikwe Hills on April 9, 2021

If you’re on the hunt for game lodges near Pretoria and Johannesburg, Madikwe Game Reserve might be the perfect option for you. This Big 5 reserve is located 4.5 hours drive away and is easily accessible in a regular sedan.

Take a look at our guide to Madike Game Reserve below to find out more.

Short History of Madikwe Game Reserve

Once farmland (up until 1991), the Reserve has now been restored to its former natural environment.

Madikwe’s Operation Phoenix is the codename for the largest reintroduction of game undertaken by man in any Game Reserve in Africa.

During the early 1990’s, the relocation of entire breeding herds of elephant, various antelope species, buffalo, black and white rhino, zebra and more recently lion, cheetah, spotted hyena and endangered wild dog have increased the large mammal population to over 16 000.

The reserve is home to 86 mammals (from mice to elephant), 420 bird species and 104 tree species. You can see Cheetahs, Wild Dogs, Leopards, Hyenas, Lion, Elephant, Black & White Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe and various antelope.

lodges in north west

Location & topography

Madikwe Game Reserve covers about 75 000 hectares of bushland stretching all the way up to the Botswana border. It is located in North-West Province, roughly 300km north-west of Joburg and Pretoria.

The rich diversity of the vegetation in the Reserve is a reflection of its complex geomorphology. The vegetation, hydrology, topography, climate, soil and other factors such as the previous farming activities in the area, have a direct bearing on the varied fauna present in the Reserve.

It is made up by predominantly grasslands and bushveld, intermingled with lone mountains and rocky outcrops.

Getting to Madike Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is approximately 4.5 hours drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria (last hour is spent driving in the park to Madikwe Hills). Situated near the Botswana border, the Madikwe Game Reserve is the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. View more details on our blog here.

In a nutshell, your travel options are:

± 3.5 hours from Johannesburg/Pretoria to the gate and an extra 1 hour to the lodge.

A 50 minute flight from O.R.Tambo International Airport, with complimentary road transfer from the airstrip to the Lodge.

We will gladly assist with transfer through our reliable partners.


Game lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve

If you’re looking for the best lodges in North West, then you’ve come to exactly the right place. Madikwe Hills boasts 10 supremely spacious and luxurious suites, making your experience highly exclusive and personal.

In each suite, a cosy living room with chimney leads into the peaceful bedroom with a gigantic pillow-strewn four-poster bed draped in generous layers of muslin, from where it’s possible to lie and gaze in wonder as herds of wandering animals make their way to the watering hole.

Throw open floor-to-ceiling windows and retreat to a sunbed in the shade of an acacia tree, or grab a towel and jump into your own personal plunge pool for the ultimate in relaxed game viewing.

You’ll be amazed at what passes by just a hundred feet or so from your deck.

Highlights of a Madikwe safari
  • Close to Johannesburg and Pretoria
  • Malaria-free reserve
  • Big 5 game viewing
  • Luxury accommodation
  • Twice daily game drives

If you’d like to enquire about visiting Madikwe Game Reserve, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and efficient reservations team via email at or filling in our online enquiry form.

We look forward to welcoming you to the one and only Madikwe Hills in the near future.

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