About the reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve was formally established in 1991 by the government of what was then Bophuthatswana. Previously a flat and dusty patch of arid farmland, the 75 000-hectare zone was earmarked for development as a wildlife sanctuary and tourist destination after a feasibility study highlighted the potential of tourism and wildlife conservation in the area.
After it was formally declared a reserve, more than 8 000 animals were moved to Madikwe Game Reserve as part of the world’s biggest wildlife relocation, Operation Phoenix. The mammoth transfer included, for the first time, the relocation of entire family herds of elephant, as well as the introduction of highly endangered African wild dogs, spotted hyena, hippo and lion.
Today, the reserve boasts more than 60 mammal species, including the Big 5, and well over 300 resident and migrant bird species.