Madikwe Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s prime safari destinations. A malaria-free area, the reserve is home to more than 60 mammal species including the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) and well over 300 resident and migrant bird species. The reserve’s rich diversity of vegetation, unique typography and wilderness and incredible diversity of wildlife and birds make it a game-viewers and bird watchers’ paradise.

In addition to boasting sought-after African species such as lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino (both black and white), the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve is also home to hippo, giraffe, wild dog, hyena (spotted and brown) and cheetah.

Of these, the cheetah, wild dog, and black rhino are the most endangered species.

The reserve’s location close to the edge of the Kalahari Desert means there’s an overlap of a number of species, offering visitors greater viewing diversity.

Madikwe supports a number of large antelope species, such as eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest and tsessebe, to name but a few. Smaller antelope species such as springbok, duiker and klipspringer also abound.

There are many animals to be seen during the day, while some species are active under cover of darkness and are likely to be seen on a night drive.

Some of the smaller animals to be found here include the honey badger, cape clawless otter, serval, bat eared fox, aardvark, baboon, porcupine, warthog, bushbaby and if you are incredibly lucky, Aardwolf.

Birds of Madikwe

More than 340 feathered species have been recorded in the Madikwe Game Reserve – too many to mention individually.

Suffice to say that bird families as diverse as flycatchers and firefinches, babblers and buzzards populate the trees, shrubs and grasslands of the region.

A veritable plethora of birdlife lives in the reserve, with migrant species visiting throughout the year.

The birds are attracted by tree species such as the shepherd’s tree, weeping wattle and marula, as well as the range of wild grasses, all of which make Madikwe a birdwatchers’ paradise.