The Dwarsberg mountain range forms the southern boundary of the reserve, with its highest point at 1 228m. In the north, dense bushveld vegetation gives way to a savanna plain dotted with scattered inselbergs. The eastern boundary, marked by the Molatedi Gate, lies close to Lotteringskop, while the west entrance gate offers a good view of Abjaterskop. In the middle of the reserve lies the Thswene Tshwene hills, each 1 328m tall.
Madikwe Game Reserve’s appearance is the result of billions of years of geological processes that enabled vegetation to take root and transform the region. From the jumbled hills of Tshwene Tshwene rising from flat plains near the Botswana border to the prominent ridge of the Dwarsberg, a range of habitats support a wide variety of trees and grasses.