3 day Madikwe Game Reserve (malaria free)

Spending 2 nights at The Bush House (classic midrange lodge). Departs daily depending on availability. We recommend international travellers include the transfers to and from the lodge but we can offer SA Residents a self-drive option.

Madikwe Game Reserve

The Madikwe Game Reserve was established in 1991 on land that was previously used for cattle farming and some agriculture. An intensive environmental development program combined with re-introduction of wildlife has turned this area into one of the premier game reserves in Africa.

Operation Phoenix was the name given to the restocking and monitoring program that would take five years to complete and lives up to it's name 'Phoenix' that has 'risen from the ashes'. It was one of the largest translocations of game ever to have taken place in the world.

All the large mammal species that were historically indigenous to the Madikwe area have been re-introduced. Of special concern were the endangered animals such as wild dog, white & black rhinoceros as well as cheetah. Elephants were taken from the Kruger National Park culling program and from the drought stricken Gonarezhou Reserve in Zimbabwe. Today tourists are able to witness the success of this remarkable project as the reserve abounds with Big Five species and Madikwe boasts the second largest elephant population in South Africa.

The Bush House ( graded 4 star )

The Bush House boasts one of the best waterholes in Madikwe and now everyone is talking about the fantastic photo opportunities from the underground Hide.

In Africa, a " Hide " is an enclosed structure where guests can visit to watch animals and birds in their natural habitat . Hides are often constructed near waterholes with a good vantage point and in such a way that the animals are not disturbed by the guest's presence. Pilanesberg National Park has several Hides where its possible for families to get out of their vehicle & walk down a passageway to sit at the Hide which is very exciting for children. Early in 2012, owners of The Bush House, Sue and Gordon called in friends & engineers to assist in planning the hide . Below were some of the main points in their brief.

  • To prevent this Hide from obstructing the view of the waterhole from the front of the Lodge , access would have to be underground.
  • Guests would proceed from the Lodge gardens or rock pool via a tunnel to connect with the Hide and they would feel secure in spite of wild animals drinking at the waterhole .
  • The roof of the tunnel would be reinforced to make it sufficiently strong to withstand the weight of 5 ton elephants walking across the area !
  • The interior of the Hide should be large enough to seat several people & have an opening infront to facilitate photography but a dropdown grid for security reasons .

Inspite of many challenges & dangers encountered during construction of the Hide , it was finally finished according to specifications & has become a great attraction for guests at The Bush House plus a unique asset to Madikwe Game Reserve.

Size of reserve - 75 000 Hectares & perimeter fence 150 kilometers.

Location of Madikwe Game Reserve - North West Province, South Africa. Borders Botswana.

Climate - Arid area - rainfall between 475 and 520 mm per annum. Hot in the summer months September - April and cold in winter. Rainfall can be expected during the summer months.

Malaria - There is no malaria in Madikwe Game Reserve.

Game - Predators: Aardwold, Cheetah, Brown Hyena, Spotted Hyena, Lion, Leopard, Wild Dog. Herbivores: Blesbuck, Buffalo, Eland, Elephant, Gemsbok, Giraffe, Red Hartebeest, Impala, Kudu, Nyala, Ostrich, Black and White Rhino, Sable, Springbok, Tsessebe, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest and Zebra.

Activities - Morning and evening game drives in open 4x4 vehicles with guide.

Arrival - Check-in by 14.00

Departure - Check out by 10.00

Per person sharing twin room 2023 RATE:

ZAR 20 900

Per single room 2023 RATE:

ZAR 24 020

Per child under 12 yrs sharing 2023 RATE:

ZAR 10 450


Return transfers Johannesburg to Bush House.
2 nights en suite lodge accommodation at The Bush House.
Tea & coffee facilities in your room.
Meals per night stay - afternoon tea ( sweet / savoury ), boma or lodge dinner & morning brunch.
Welcome drinks on arrival and on return from game drives.
Sunrise & sunset game drive each day.
Unlimited use of Underground Hide.
WiFi on request.

All drinks from the bar including mineral water.
Laundry services and babysitting charges.
Items from the shop & gratuities.

Game Drives
2 sunset + 2 sunrise safari drives.
Duration approximately 3 hours per drive depending on sightings.
9 seater open gameviewer is elevated and ideal for photography.
Registered guide who knows Madikwe & where to look for animals.
Not recommended for children under 6 years - please discuss with Sales consultant.

What to bring
Your South African ID / passport to present on entry to the Reserve.
Cap, sunscreen, sunglasses, swimsuit and towel.
Camera, binoculars (optional), mobile phone data may be useful.
Cash, debit or credit card.

Madikwe is malaria free, so no tablets are necessary.


1st  Day  -   Transfer Johannesburg to Madikwe -   late afternoon game drive
Depart from Johannesburg in an air-conditioned vehicle and drive north- west towards the Platinum Highway  stopping en route for refreshments. Early in the afternoon  arrive at the southern entrance to Madikwe Game Reserve, drive a short distance to The Bush House & book into an air-conditioned en suite room. Explore the lodge with its extensive gardens & especially the underground animal hide.  Time for a refreshing swim before joining other guests for afternoon tea / light lunch with sweet & savoury dishes.  Collect your cameras & board  an open safari vehicle for the evening game drive conducted by an experienced local ranger. Madikwe hosts the Big Five & its elephant population is second only to Kruger National Park. Off roading is permitted unlike many other reserves in South Africa. Guests can expect a beautiful African sunset followed by game viewing with spotlights to see nocturnal species. Return to the lodge for a dinner served in the boma with campfire or on the verandah. The animal hide is open at night time & you are welcome to visit.

2nd Day -  Full day at The Bush House  -  early morning & late afternoon game drives
Awaken at dawn & meet for a  cup of tea or coffee with muffins before departing on the early morning game drive . This is often the best time to see predators such as lion, leopard or cheetah. The 4 x 4 vehicle provides excellent photographic opportunities & your ranger will describe the habits of different animals & bushveld birds. Return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast with a choice of cooked or continental which is followed by leisure time. The Bush House is situated in a 5 hectare fenced off area where you can enjoy a relaxing walking trail. Otherwise visit the hide & watch animals coming to drink or just lounge by the pool. A tasty sweet & savoury afternoon tea will be served near the gardens then join your ranger for more excitement on the evening game drive. There is normally a sundowner stop with leg stretch during the drive. Back at the lodge, discuss the day’s highlights over dinner with typical bush cuisine & perhaps a bottle of Cape wine.

3rd Day -  Early morning game drive -   return transfer to Johannesburg or Pretoria
Start the day with tea or coffee & home-made rusks then join your guide for the sunrise game drive looking for elusive species such as leopard or a pack of wild dogs which is a great bonus in Madikwe. The guide may stop in a safe spot for a hot drink & to show you some interesting trees or plants. Continue game viewing & check any waterholes for animals as well as aquatic birds.   Breakfast back at your lodge & time for some group photos to remember your wonderful bush experience. Time to say farewell to the staff, pack up & leave Bush House. Enjoy a relaxing drive back towards Johannesburg then drop-off at your hotel or the Airport.



Reviews about Wildlife Safaris (Pty) Ltd
Malaria free game reserve
Number of Game Drives: 4 - early morning & late afternoon
Animal hide - open all day & at night
Unique photo opportunities from hide
Additional days on request


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Beautiful Leopard in a tree

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Mobile: +27 82 576 7963 or Whatsapp: +27 71 340 8561 | Email: tours@wildlifesafaris.com
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