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 and well over 300 resident and migrant bird species. The rich range of vegetation, unique topography and wilderness, and incredible diversity of wildlife and birds, make it a game-viewers’ and bird watchers’ paradise.

The Reserve’s location close to the edge of the Kalahari desert ensures visitors a truly diverse game-viewing experience.

  • Madikwe Game Reserve is famous for its Big 5: lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino.
  • The malaria-free Reserve is also home to hippo, giraffe, African wild dog, brown and spotted hyena, and cheetah.
  • Our most endangered species are cheetah, wild dog, and black and white rhino.
  • Madikwe Game Reserve supports a number of large antelope species, including eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest and tsessebe.
  • Smaller antelope species also abound, including springbok, duiker and klipspringer.
  • Other animals found here include honey badger, Cape clawless otter, serval, bat-eared fox, aardvark, baboon, porcupine, warthog, bushbaby, zebra and aardwolf.

Birds of Madikwe

More than 350 species of birds have been recorded in Madikwe Game Reserve, with migrant species visiting throughout the year. The birds are attracted by Madikwe’s trees and wild grasses, making the Reserve a birdwatchers’ paradise.

  • Diverse bird families in Madikwe include flycatchers, firefinches, babblers and buzzards

Over 45 different tree species provide shade, food and habitat for wildlife and birds in Madikwe Game Reserve. Since the reserve is made up of multiple veld types, including mixed bushveld, Kalahari bushveld, arid sweet bushveld and thornveld, the mosaic of vegetation and grasses is unprecedented.

  • The fauna in the reserve is as diverse as the animals, and includes trees such as the shepherd’s tree, bush willows, weeping wattles, marulas and fig trees.

Tress and Grasses

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.