Welcome to South Africa’s 680km2 diamond in the rough. As one of the largest, yet lesser known, game reserves, this gem stretches north from the small town of Groot-Marico up to the Botswana border. Madikwe Game Reserve is home to rich biodiversity, including the “Big Five”. A thriving population of 86 mammals, 350 bird species and 104 varieties of trees all exist in a completely malaria-free environment.

Located on the basin of the Marico River, the Reserve also has lush banks and cascading waters. This riverine nirvana contrasts the rest of the terrain that expands out over open grasslands and bushveld plains, interspersed with rocky outcrops and single mountains. Breathtaking views of an expansive valley and the Dwarsberg range can all be had from the vantage point of luxurious lodges that blend beautifully with the bushveld.

During the dry season of May to September, the vegetation is sparse and wildlife congregates around watering holes. During the wet season October to April, the vegetation is dense and wildlife is more dispersed. Expect to see the Big Five over the course of a 2-3 night stay. The Big Five include the elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard. In addition to the Big Five animals that are regularly sighted include giraffe, zebra, warthog, spotted hyena, baboon, hippo, impala, kudu, and many more. For the complete list of animals you might sight in the reserve see below.