MALARIA – FREE
Although lesser known than Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve represents one of South Africa’s true conservation success stories. In the early 1990’s, government studies determined that poor soil quality was impeding sustainable farming in this small area along the northeastern border with Botswana. A decision was made to convert the land into a national park, and between 1992 and 1999 over 10,000 animals spanning over 28 species were gradually relocated to Madikwe.
Dubbed, “Operation Phoenix,” it constituted the largest translocation of game in history and today this thriving reserve covers over 185,000 acres and boasts a rich array of species including the Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhinoceros) as well as healthy populations of cheetah, wild dog, hyena, giraffe, zebra, various antelope and more. In total, over 66 mammal and 300 bird species call Madikwe Home.
What was once derelict farmland now consists of vast woodland plains and grasslands dotted with large rocky hills known as inselbergs, offering visitors the breathtaking views and vistas you expect from the African bushveld. Numerous private lodges operate on the reserve, and access into the reserve is strictly limited to private lodge guests, ensuring a more authentic and exclusive experience in comparison with public parks.
In the Madikwe Game Reserve you’ll find a true conservation success story. Between 1992 and 1999, over 10,000 animals were relocated to this reserve after it was restored from farmland to a natural environment. Dubbed, “Operation Phoenix,” it constituted the largest translocation of game in history. Today, visitors can experience this rejuvenated habitat which includes the Big Five, as well as rare finds like the Wild Dog and Cheetah.
Click to learn more about the camps found in the Madikwe Reserve area