The Madikwe Game Reserve is situated in the North West region of South Africa along the Botswana border. Madikwe is a Big Five game reserve covering some 75,000 hectares making it one of the largest game reserves in South Africa and it is also Malaria Free which is ideal for families with young children. The rich diversity of vegetation ensures a wide range of game and the topography offers ideal game viewing opportunities. Madikwe is home to 66 mammal species including the Big Five and approximately 300 resident and migrant bird species.
The reserve consists of vast plains of open woodlands and grasslands, dissected by the rugged Rant van Tweedepoort, and bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains. The entire reserve has been enclosed in a 150 km perimeter fence which has been electrified to prevent the escape of elephants and the larger predators. The reserve is divided into two main areas. The area north of the Molatedi Dam is fenced and stocked with all the historically indigenous wild animals including elephant, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and buffalo. As part of future developments for the park, the dam area will be fenced separately and stocked with smaller, non-dangerous animals – thus allowing free movement of tourists and maximum utilisation of the dam.
Madikwe functions through a system designed to benefit the three main stakeholders involved in the reserve. These are the North West Parks Board, the private sector and the local communities. All three work together in a mutually beneficial “partnership in conservation.” The Parks Board is responsible for setting up the necessary infrastructure and the management to run Madikwe as a major protected conservation area in the North West Province. It also identifies suitable sites within the reserve which are leased to the private sector for tourism-based developments and activities.