This is a comfortable short safari to malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve. We stayed at Buffalo Ridge Lodge and Thakadu River Camp.
When to go
We had overcast, but pleasant weather. The best time to go is during the dry winter months - May to September. During this time nights are cool, but days are sunny and dry.
Madikwe is a malaria free game reserve. I was travelling with my pregnant wife so Madikwe was perfect.
Madikwe Game Reserve is situated in the far north of the North West Province, on the Botswana border. Three hours drive from Pretoria or Johannesburg - this is quickly becoming one of South Africa's prime safari destinations, and, more importantly, is malaria free. This is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa and boasts a variety of game and the eminent 'Big 5'. What we found made Madikwe unique, was the fact that it is run as a joint venture between the state, the private sector and local communities. The success of this approach has made Madikwe the role model for similar ventures being started up elsewhere in South Africa. We stayed in two lodges: Buffalo Ridge Lodge and Thakadu River Camp, both run using this community based partnership approach. The welcome was warm and the atmosphere, service, accommodation and attention to detail in both these lodges was impeccable. We enjoyed memorable game drives as we carefully notched up our 'wild animal events' score; mating giraffe, fighting giraffe, lions fighting for their territory, hyena pups and bathing elephants. We were woken up in our tent by a nearby lions roar in the early hours of the morning.
Madikwe is one of the few game reserves where there is no malaria making it ideal for a short safari where you want to avoid taking malaria tablets. It is also ideal as a safari destination if your partner is pregnant, like mine was!
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