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South Africa Safari

Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge

Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Leopard cub at Madikwe Hills
Return to Map of Madikwe Game Reserve          © James Weis / Eyes on Africa

View images of Madikwe Hills: Madikwe Hills Images


In the early 1940’s the Marico district was declared the poorest province in South Africa. Thus the Parks Board decided to create the MADIKWE GAME RESERVE, situated in a malaria free area, not only to conserve the fauna and flora, but also to provide a sanctuary to visitors from afar, as well as a more favorable environment to the local people.

At the edge of the Marico River and under a grove of Tamboti and Marula trees alike, you will find yourself enchanted by a world of intrigue and majestic beauty.  MADIKWE HILLS is where the plains still team with game and the acacia savannah symbolizes a paragon of beauty.  BLACK RHINO roam freely amongst the BIG 5 – Giraffe gallop across the plains at sunset and zebra call out to one another in the early hours of the morning, after enduring a night of the “savage beast” upon the plains – LION.

Traversing over 75,000 hectares of true, untamed Africa and set in magnificent koppies amongst boulders, the malaria-free MADIKWE HILLS gently ebbs to the pulse of Africa’s drumbeat.

After a mere 45 minute flight from Gauteng, or a scenic four hour drive, you will be met by our warm and friendly staff in the main reception area. It is here where you can select gifts for your friends and family back home from our curio shop, which boasts a breath-taking view of the boulders and rocks of MADIKWE HILLS – open landrovers with bucket seats and fold-down armrests stand ready to take you on safari. Your knowledgeable ranger with his friendly disposition, will ensure that your experiences are not but a “whisper on the winds of a timeless eternity”.

Accommodations            For images of Madikwe Hills, click Madikwe Hills Images
Madikwe Hills consists of a Main Lodge with ten suites, and a private camp, Little Madikwe Hills, accommodating twenty-four guests in total.

At the Main Lodge, ten ultra-luxurious glass-fronted suites complete with their own deck and private plunge pools offer absolute privacy and majestic views.The unusual, yet subtle “Afrochic” décor integrates natural elements with colours highlighting Africa’s ambience, with each suite boasting soft sofas, voluptuous mosquito netting and cotton picot linen.

The suites have been designed for complete relaxation and comfort, with fireplaces and under-floor heating for the winter months, and for summer, overhead fans and air-conditioning, proving a welcome respite from the harshness of the African heat. Outside showers, romantic bathrooms and concertina glass doors allow you to truly feel at one with the environment.

Main Area
Along with a warm and friendly atmosphere, Madikwe Hills offers the highest standard of service, ensuring that each guests’ needs are satisfied during their stay. Therefore, the central area is an important part of everyday life at the lodge. From the threshold of majestic, age-old East African doors, you will immediately feel the cool breeze emanating throughout the central area. Each table in the lounge is stocked with beautiful books, waiting to be opened and explored. The bar entices every guest to a pre-dinner drink and fireside chat with your friendly rangers and managers, while the main deck overlooking the waterhole is the perfect place to while away the day under a cool umbrella.

The main swimming pool offers a cool respite from the harsh African afternoon sun, and is a great way to relax with a cocktail!

Dinners in the dining room are a silver-service experience of memorable proportions. The dining room consists of three mahogany tables and awaits guests in eager anticipation of serving up meals of the highest standard. With beautiful artworks on the walls and cutlery and crockery fit for a king, the dining room is the perfect place to spend each evening. Fine cuisine is accompanied by superb local and international wines, which can be found in the wine cellar next to the dining room. The cellar is a treat for the avid wine connoisseur as well as the learning amateur and the staff will assist you by suggesting the perfect wine in accordance to the menu for that evening.

A library full of verse and History awaits those yearning for knowledge of the African continent, filled with a collection of fictional and non-fictional books. For those wanting to keep in touch with family members back home, there is an internet connection in the library, available 24 hours. A television is also available for those wanting to keep up to date with the latest news or sports game.

Along with a warm and friendly atmosphere, Madikwe Hills offers you the highest standards of service and fine cuisine accompanied by superb wines from the wine cellar. The unique boma offers the traditional and elegant atmosphere of dining under African stars.

Fables of Scorpio and Orion may be told by your ranger of Greek mythology, whilst dining in a rustic boma, where dramatic and exotic flames dance to the uneven beat of life’s drum. Perhaps you will discover the navigational skills of the Southern Cross before dining in the sophistication of silverware. The boma is used on warm summer and winter nights and is truly the ultimate way to experience Africa at its finest.

On arrival at the boma, you will be welcomed by the Madikwe Hills team with a refreshing drink and an inviting snack, before heading for your beautifully created table to begin your meal. Your table is lit with candles and rustic hurricane lamps. Copper paraffin lamps truly complement the crackling fire in the centre of the boma. Starters are served at the table by your esteemed waiter, followed by a traditional fare of South African cuisine for your main course. You will be invited to sample various dishes from fish or game, to sautéed vegetables on the fire, all cooked before you with a truly African inspiration. End off the evening with a sumptuous dessert before bidding farewell to the flames of the fire for the calling of your suite.

Wellness Centre and Gym
Set the mind at ease and embrace the energy of the bush. Experience Spafaris with soul of Africa. From our enchanting world, secrets are revived and re-created to bring you, for the first time, a unique spa concept based on a fusion of ancient healing tradition, philosophies and rituals from Africa. To reconnect to nature, to realize, to recover and to relax… In holistic therapy, our body “energy” is the universal life force that governs personal well-being and vitality. The signature treatments are concentrates on establishing and maintaining a balance between our body energies. The new range Wisdom of Africa blended indigenous botanical ingredients from all over the continent of Africa, that natures mind, body and spirit. They give us an idea of African healing traditions and a chance to re-awaken, to touch the inner self again.

The gym comes fully equipped with treadmill, recumbent exercise bike, concept 2 rower, universal power cage, meridian gym, dumbbells and barbells, and aerobic mats.

Little Madikwe Hills
Separate from the Main Lodge is the ultimate in luxury and privacy, Little Madikwe Hills. Boasting a two bedroom suite with its own private landrover and game ranger, as well as a personal butler to take care of your every need. A gourmet kitchen and entertainment centre complete the picture. Two additional standard suites can also be reserved to form a completely private camp, which accommodates up to eight guests.

Verandah’s, plunge pools, luxurious décor, outside showers, fireplaces, under-floor heating, air-conditioning, and concertina glass doors that open the room up entirely, are standard in each suite at Little Madikwe Hills. Little Madikwe Hills has one large swimming pool and also offers extended amenities to groups of guests wanting to truly get away from it all.

Mouth watering cuisine is created by your personal chef in the gourmet kitchen of Little Madikwe Hills. You can even pick up a few culinary tips whilst you watch your meal being prepared! A luxury is being able to set your own meal and game drive times, making this the ideal exclusive family escape. All the sumptuous gourmet experiences are enjoyed in Little Madikwe’s beautifully decorated and enchanting dining room, and prepared in the state-of-the-art kitchen by a personal chef.

A butler is on hand to respond to the group’s every need. A dedicated game ranger and game viewing vehicle means that Little Madikwe Hills’ guests can enjoy private game drives at their leisure, for as long or as short as they wish. Parents need not worry about their young ones disturbing the peace for other guests. Little Madikwe Hills’ reception room is also equipped with a satellite TV, and DVD collection.

Little Madikwe Hills is ideal for families wanting to spend a special weekend together, and a permanent child minder is on hand for young family bookings. The Main Lodge does not accommodate children under the age of ten years. Most importantly the Madikwe Game Reserve is the ideal destination for families with young children, since the reserve is one of a few game-viewing areas in Southern Africa which is malaria free.

The secluded environment and outstanding service is also an ideal retreat for corporate groups needing to get away and focus, whether with the objective of strategising, or simply spending time relaxing together as a team. There are internet and presentation facilities, and the outstanding yet discreet service ensures that corporates can stay focussed on the job at hand.

Nowhere else in South Africa can groups be accommodated in such privacy and luxury, whilst being able to experience some of Southern Africa’s best Big 5, and Wild Dog viewing at their leisure – creating a truly unforgettable experience, that far exceeds expectations. Little Madikwe Hills is also available for private and exclusive weddings for guests of up to eight people.

Head Chef, Lara Whyte is on hand to create a variety of wholesome and satisfying dishes, which leave each and every guest alive to the possibility of fusion food mixed with the finest in African ingredients and decadent flavours. A culinary marvel in her own right, Lara has perfected the art of combining freshness with flavour and turning simple ingredients into cuisine of great visual appeal with every plate that makes its way from the kitchen. Lara acknowledges passion as her secret ingredient when perfecting that ultimate dining experience.

Traditional Full English and Continental breakfasts served on the main deck are hearty and unpretentious; we like to call it “comfort food with a twist!” In addition to the English breakfast, there is also a selection of Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, mouth watering Canadian French toast among other selections on the menu. Breakfasts at Madikwe Hills are a relaxed and fulfilling affair. Lunches under shady umbrellas on the main deck are a highlight of each day at Madikwe Hills.

Lara and her team have kept a careful balance between old and new, but have stuck to the basics of simplicity, authenticity and freshness, reviving old classics into ‘food with soul.’ Dinners at Madikwe Hills are without compromise, ensuring that style and substance is main priority. No two dinners will be the same at Madikwe Hills, from dining under the stars in our traditional boma to fine silver service dinners in our dining room, or next to the fire on the main deck. The perfect end to the perfect safari experience!

A private dinner on the deck of your suite is offered to couples wanting to spend time together in privacy. The ultimate in romance, private dinners at Madikwe Hills will seduce the senses and soothe the soul…

The malaria-free Madikwe Reserve is home not only to the Big 5, but also to a wealth of other fascinating creatures, including the rare Wild Dog. Our team at Madikwe Hills looks forward to showing you Africa’s wonderful wildlife, and to fulfilling your every wish. Game can be viewed on game drives , and from the privacy of your suite deck.

Game Drives
State of the art open landrovers with bucket seats and fold-down armrests stand ready to take you on safari, ensuring your optimum safety and comfort. Your knowledgeable ranger with his friendly disposition will ensure that your experiences are not but a “whisper on the winds of a timeless eternity”. Your knowledgeable and professional ranger conducts early morning and late afternoon / evening game drives in search of Africa’s big game.

Wildlife Photography
Those with a passion for wildlife photography will be able to get various tips from their ranger on taking the perfect picture, while on their game drive. The rangers are avid fans of photography, many of them having entered renowned international and local competitions with great results. Please do not hesitate to ask your ranger for assistance in this regard.

Bush Dinners
On warm evenings, guests may be treated to a three course meal in the heart of the bushveld. As guests complete their evening game drive, they will be enticed by the essence of a burning fire, to arrive to a hurricane lit “dining room” in the bush. With the finest in cuisine and service excellence, guests will enjoy an unforgettable feast under African starlit skies.

Kiddies Club
Join the Madikwe Hills kiddies club, and learn about all the fun things to do. • Madikwe Hills Lucky Packet. Receive your lucky packet on arrival at the lodge with lots of surprises inside. • Face Painting. Have your face painted to become your favourite bush animal. • Bug Finding. Do bug finding with your ranger and learn all about these amazing creatures. • My Tree. Complete your tree by sticking on leaves and learning the African secrets this tree holds. • Treasure Hunt. Follow the clues and read the signs, for at the end of your trail a treasure lies … • Movie Night. A night of movie fun, with popcorn, snacks and pajamas. • Animal Dung Investigation. Investigate the contents in animal dung to specify to which animal it belongs to. Your tracker will be of great help in the search and investigation. • Marshmallow Braai. Kids Only, no parents – sorry ! Join us at boma dinner for a marshmallow braai. • Face Mask. Paint the mask of your favourite animal to wear at the marshmallow braai. • Clay Modelling Class. Create your own animal or ornament with clay. • Kiddies Club Competition. Tell us all about your experience at Madikwe Hills and stand a chance to have it posted onto our website for other kids to read. • Big 5 Certificate. Receive a certificate for successfully completing the Big 5 experience in the Madikwe Game Reserve on your departure.

Molatedi Village
Madikwe Hills is very proud to announce that a more prominent role will be played in the upliftment of the local community, called Molatedi Village. With the help of the reserve concessionaire liaison, Sibusiso the management of Madikwe Hills arranged for a meeting with the local chief, Chief Nkosi and the tribal leaders. Admission into the village is not permitted without permission from the chief. The Madikwe Hills management met with the chief and leaders to introduce themselves, and offer assistance. They were welcomed, and the community gratefully accepted the potential help offered.

Madikwe Hills was invited back the following day to introduce themselves at a community meeting. This meeting was open to members of the community, where discussions with the Chief and leaders were held. These discussions were successful, and the community welcomed the support and invited Madikwe management to have a look around the village, and visit schools in the community. Molatedi has a high school (Batlokooa Secondary School), with 160 scholars, a primary school (Thageng Primary School) with 170 scholars, as well as an early learning centre “crèche” (Mfoloe Pre-School) for pre-school children.

Madikwe only employs people from the local surrounding villages, therefore job opportunities increased. Education and specialisation was the order of the day and lives were improved. Yet one can never help enough. Madikwe Hills staff decided to put some extra effort in to make a difference in the lives of our surrounding villagers and friends. Lots of time was spent in Molatedi Village to assess where help was needed.

The Molatedi Project
We decided to focus our attention on the crèche or early learning centre in the village, which currently consists of 17 children, aged between 0 years – 5 years. One month school fees are a mere R50 per child, but unfortunately an unreachable, unplayable amount for their parents, because R50 is a bag of maize meal, food on the table for the entire family for a whole month. Financial aid would make a world of difference in these children’s lives. It would give them the opportunity to go to school and get educated. An opportunity to grow and learn and experience. Sadly there is a lack of everything at the early learning centre. From books to read and write, stationary, musical instruments, sporting equipment, toys, school benches, the list is never ending. A lot of these children are very creative and with the right training and equipment could in future have so many doors open up for them, from starting their own businesses to providing services to lodges within the reserve.

Wildlife & Environment
Madikwe Game Reserve
The 75,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve is South Africa's second largest game reserve. The reserve is a joint venture embracing the North West Parks and Tourism Board, the private sector and local communities.

Madikwe is situated in the North West Province of South Africa, some eighty kilometres north of the town of Zeerust. The Dwarsberg range of hills forms the southern boundary of the reserve, while the border of the neighbouring Botswana forms the northern boundary. The Marico River, the only perennial river in the reserve, runs along the eastern boundary and the main Zeerust-Gaborone road forms the western boundary of the reserve

Established in 1991, Madikwe was the site of operation Phoenix - the largest translocation of game ever undertaken - with over 10,000 animals reintroduced into the reserve. Madikwe Game Reserve is more than just an incredible malaria-free safari destination, it is an internationally significant conservation initiative.

Madikwe Game Reserve has an astonishing array of wildlife. Elephant, rhino (black and white), lion, leopard, buffalo, wild dog, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, hippo, brown hyena, spotted hyena, springbok, eland, kudu, wildebeest, warthog, crocodile and Chacma baboon are some of the larger species to be seen. Smaller species include rock dassie, African civet, genet, bush baby, porcupine, and aardvark. Numerous antelope species also roam the reserve.

Lions laze on Madikwe's wide plains, as zebra and blue wildebeest keep a wary distance. Both black and white rhino can be seen in Madikwe and herds of buffalo wander through the wooded areas of the reserve. The elusive leopard may be spotted sleeping on the limb of a tree, while comical warthogs forage in the undergrowth below.

The Madikwe Game Reserve is a bird watchers' paradise, with over 340 species listed here. These include many species of raptor, such as the Martial Eagle, the African Fish Eagle, the Secretary Bird and the Pale Chanting Goshawk. Spotted Eagle Owls are common here, as is the tiny Pearlspotted Owl.

Wild Dogs
Wild Dogs, also known as Painted Wolves, were once called Cape Hunting Dogs. The Wild Dog is the largest of the wild canids in Africa and is now one of Africa's most endangered carnivores. It is estimated that less than 5,000 Wild Dogs still survive in the wild and viable populations are only found in larger reserves and uninhabited areas in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Wild Dogs are extremely gregarious animals and are usually found in packs of between five and fifteen members. Each pack has a clearly defined social hierarchy and is led by a dominant (or alpha) male and female. Working together in these highly organised units, the Wild Dog is an effective predator, capable of bringing down prey as large as Buffalo. They are also able to defend themselves against their natural enemies, Lions and Spotted Hyenas.

The bonds between all the members of the pack are very strong, all the dogs cooperate in caring for and feeding any pups as well as any sick or injured members of the pack. In most packs only the dominant (alpha) male and female successfully reproduce. Although persecution by man, susceptibility to diseases such as rabies, and diminishing natural areas have all taken their toll on Africa's Wild Dog population, there is now a concerted effort to conserve and protect these fascinating animals.

In December 1994, as part of the huge game translocation operation called Operation Phoenix, wild dogs were relocated into the Madikwe Game Reserve. Three female dogs, captive bred at a breeding station for rare and endangered species, were put into an enclosure in the reserve with three male dogs captured just outside the Kruger National Park. The six animals formed a new pack and were then released into the reserve. The project was resoundingly successful and today the Madikwe Game Reserve has a viable and thriving population of Wild Dogs.

Top           Return to Map of Madikwe Game Reserve          Return to Map of North West Reserves          Return to Map of North West Province

For tourist information and activities in the North West Province, click More North West
For further information about South Africa, click More South Africa

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