Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is a 75 000-hectare wildlife reserve which lies in the North-West Province of South Africa. Home to a wide variety of animals, birds, trees and grasses, the reserve is world renowned as a spectacular Big 5 wilderness safari destination.

Madikwe Game Reserve


The reserve is easily reached by car or air: A 4-hour drive from Johannesburg or a daily scheduled flight from OR Tambo International Airport with Federal Airlines.

Do not use a GPS when driving to Jaci’s Lodges, rather download our directions, view the map or contact our lodge manager on or +27 (0)72 609 2685.

Madikwe Game Reserve


The reserve’s location – a perfect blend of the Kalahari and Lowveldt area – ensures visitors a truly diverse game-viewing experience. Madikwe Game Reserve is famous for its Big 5. We like to take it a step further and say that we consistently see the Top 10! This consists of lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, both rhino species, African wild dog, cheetah, both hyena species, giraffe and hippo.

Species Checklist

Where It All Began

Madikwe Game Reserve was formally established in 1991 by the government of what was then Bophuthatswana. Previously 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 employment, business, and tourism opportunities as well as wildlife conservation in the area.

After it was formally declared a reserve, more than 8 000 animals were moved to Madikwe South Africa as part of the world’s biggest wildlife relocation undertaking, Operation Phoenix. The mammoth transfer included, for the first time, the relocation of entire family herds of elephants, as well as the introduction of endangered African wild dogs, spotted hyena, buffalo, hippo and lion. Today, the reserve boasts more than 60 mammal species, including the Big 5, and well over 350 resident and migrant bird species.

Madikwe Game Reserve is the perfect example of a successful collaboration between Government, Local communities and the Private sector. Creating a sustainable and profitable model that encompasses the Triple Bottom Line (Social, Environmental, Financial).

Weather & Climate

When visiting Madikwe, it’s important to pack clothing suitable for both warm and cool weather conditions, along with safari-appropriate attire (neutral colours, comfortable shoes, and a good pair of binoculars). Additionally, always check the specific weather forecast closer to your travel dates for the most accurate information. No matter the season, game drives go out every morning and evening! Read below for details information on the seasons.

Spring (September to November) -

Weather: Spring in Madikwe is a transitional period characterised by warming temperatures. Days become longer, and the landscape starts to green up after the dry winter months. However, it can still be quite hot during the day.

Temperature: Daytime temperatures range from around (25°C to 35°C), while nights can be cooler, dropping to around (15°C to 20°C).

Clothing: Light clothing is recommended during the day, but it’s advisable to bring layers for the cooler mornings and evenings. A light jacket or sweater will suffice.


Summer (December to February) +

Weather: Summer in Madikwe is hot and wet, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. The landscape is lush and green, and it’s the peak of the rainy season.

Temperature: Daytime temperatures range from (30°C to 40°C), with warm nights averaging around (20°C to 25°C).

Clothing: Light, breathable clothing is essential, along with a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. A light rain jacket or poncho is recommended for sudden downpours.


Autumn (March to May) +

Weather: Autumn is a pleasant time to visit Madikwe as temperatures start to cool down, and the landscape remains green from the recent rains. There is a gradual transition to dry conditions.

Temperature: Daytime temperatures range from (25°C to 30°C), and nights become cooler, ranging from (10°C to 15°C).

Clothing: Light clothing during the day and slightly warmer layers for the evenings. A light jacket or sweater is recommended.


Winter (June to August) +

Weather: Winter in Madikwe is dry and mild, with clear skies and chilly mornings and evenings. The vegetation thins out, making wildlife easier to spot.

Temperature: Daytime temperatures range from (20°C to 25°C )while nights can be cold, often dropping below freezing (0°C to 5°C).

Clothing: Warm clothing is essential, especially for early morning and evening game drives. Bring layers, including a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat.