Madikwe Game Reserve


Madikwe Game Reserve offers a unique Big 5 experience in a malaria free region.  It is an extremely popular alternative to the (somewhat) better-known Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. Located an easy 4 hour drive from Johannesburg, it is a great alternative to it's more expensive counterparts. The reserve has a remarkable track record for sustainable tourism and the upliftment of local communities while having an unwavering focus on delivering superb Safari experiences. Madikwe Game Reserve is a truly awe-inspiring destination for viewing the Big 5 (Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Leopard and Lion), while many other notable animals like the highly endangered African Wild Dog can be spotted. Leopards are more elusive and rare in this area.

Why Go:

  • Off-road game drives permitted
  • Free from malaria
  • Wide array of good quality lodges to choose from
  • Accommodations available with self-catering
  • Amazing game viewing experience, which includes the Big Five
  • Cheaper than Sabi Sands and offers pretty much the same unique experience.


Madikwe has an amazing game viewing experience, similar to that of the reserves found close to Kruger National Park. The Big Five are easy to find, however, leopards are harder to spot. It is an excellent place to see Wild Dogs.

More About the Wildlife


In the region where Madikwe is located, a shift from the Kalahari thornveld and bushveld occurs. Rocky outcrops are abundant and towards the south lies the view of the Dwarsberg Mountains.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time for visiting Madikwe Game Reserve is during the winter season from May to September, the experience is even better during the pleasant early and late winter months. It can get quite cold so it is recommended that you pack some warm clothes for evening and early morning game drives. This is also the time when Madikwe is less busy compared to the rest of the year.

More About the Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

During the summers, Madikwe tends to get hot and rain is common. Summers are also Madikwe’s wet season with frequent spectacular thundershowers to cool down the air, lasting from October to April. Precipitation and Temperatures both climb in the earlier months, the highest of which are recorded in January with frequent afternoon rains when the temperature on average gets to 32°C/90°F. The temperature starts to go down in March into a drier, usually clear winter season (May to September)

More About the Weather and Climate

Wildlife & Animals

Madikwe Game Reserves offer an excellent game viewing experience for The Big Five and the rare Wild Dog, and offer sightings of both the  White and Black Rhinos, out of which the White Rhino is pretty common.  
Abundant Common Occasional Rare None
  • Elephant


  • Giraffe


  • Hippo


  • Buffalo


  • Zebra


  • Wildebeest


  • White Rhino

    White Rhino

  • Black Rhino

    Black Rhino

  • Lion


  • Leopard


  • Cheetah


  • Hyena


  • Wild Dog

    Wild Dog


Best Time to Visit

  • Best Time to GoMay to September
    (Dry season)
  • High SeasonOctober to April
    (The park is busier)
  • May to September

    Dry season

  • October to April

    The park is busier, especially during school holidays

  • May to September

    This is the best wildlife viewing time

  • April to May

    Mild weather and little rain

  • September to October

    Mild weather and little rain

  • May to August

    Chilly mornings and nights

  • December to February

    Hot and afternoon rain

May to September
- Dry Season – Winter
  • It is the ideal season for game viewing
October to April
- Wet Season – Summer
  • Clear weather and it rarely ever rains

Weather & Climate

The times of the season are opposite to those of North America and Europe. Summers are wet with frequent rainfall, they last from October to April, while the dry season is winter lasting from May to September. Temperatures can get really high during the summers they have accompanied thunderstorms, however, it is important to note that Madikwe is less humid relative to the coastal region. Winters are clear and the weather is pleasant, however, it does get cold at night, causing warm clothes to be essential for morning and late Afternoon activities.
Climate Chart
- 926-1,120m / 3,038-3,675ft
Averages based on 50 years of monthly climate data, taken from 1km² (0.39mi²) interpolated climate surfaces.
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.
Dry Season
- May to September – Winter

The dry winter season sees almost zero rainfall and it is less humid. Water sources dry up and animals congregate at permanent waterholes and rivers, this, in turn, makes them easier to spot.

  • May During this month, the summer ends with highest daily temperature averaging at 24°C/75°F while the lowest it can go is 7°C/45°F
Wet Season
- October to April – Summer

Summers can get very hot, but they aren’t as humid as the coast. The daily maximums are around 32°C/90°F and the rains break the heat. It rarely ever rains the entire day but afternoons can see thunderstorms. During the day it might occasionally drizzle.

  • June to August These months see the weather getting colder, the afternoon is pleasant with no cloud cover and temperatures averaging 22°C/72°F, by nightfall it gets colder with temperatures falling to 4°C/40°F

Getting There

Most visitors come in at O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), located in Johannesburg. There are two ways to get to Madikwe from there. One way is to rent a car and drive to the reserve, this route is about 360km/223mi long. The easiest way, however, is to take a local flight from Johannesburg, the flight is about an hour long.

Airlines & Ticket Prices

To book your International and local flights, it is best to discuss options with our agents. They will be able to secure best tariffs and match it with your safari dates.

Click on Enquire Now for a free consultation.


Getting to the Madikwe Game Reserve by road

From Johannesburg:
• Head north on the N1 towards the N4 Toll road.
• Take the N4 Toll road north west towards Rustenburg, Swartruggens, Groot Marico and Zeerust.
• Once in Zeerust turn right at the second stop street into President Street. There is a signpost on the left. That says “Madikwe Game Reserve/Gaborone” and a First National Bank on the corner to the right.
• Follow the R49 towards the reserve for approximately 97km.
• The first entrance to the reserve is Abjaterskop Gate.
• The second gate to the reserve is the Wonderboom Gate exactly 7km from the first gate.

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