Madikwe

Madikwe
A big reserve with wide open plains have that big Africa feel but it's malaria free. Plenty of game, especially lion and elephant, and some of the desert species like gemsbok as this is a dry area, and I've seen rare wild dogs here too. All camps share the same reserve, but you won't have more than 3 vehicles at a sighting. Camps are mostly under thatch with pools and a/c, and some as luxurious as those around Kruger. South Africa.
Best time: Good viewing year round but it does get very hot (dry heat) November to February.
Access: Charter flight from Joburg (1 hr) or drive (4 hrs)
Combine with: Waterberg, Okavango Delta

I recommend these camps

Jamala Madikwe Royal (5 suites) A very grand experience – plush accommodation and an emphasis on gastronomy. Spa, gym and the other amenities that may make you feel like you’re at a top city boutique hotel which happens to be in the bush. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$$.
Madikwe Hills (10 suites) Sister camp to Leopard Hills, spacious glass fronted suites with private pools and views, charming staff. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Member of Seasons in Africa. Child friendly. $$$$.
Madikwe Safari (20 suites) Large camp broken into 3 separate lodges for privacy, family orientated, quirky architecture and stylish interiors. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Member of MORE. Child friendly. $$$$.
Molori (6 suites) These suites set new standards in size, plus private infinity pools, absolute privacy, exceptional attention to detail. Some find it too much for a safari camp, but if you like your luxuries laid on thick you’ll love it. The 2 presidential suites can be used as private villas. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Private villa. Child friendly. $$$$$.
Morukuru (2+3+5 suites) 3 exclusive use villas to choose from, all elegantly styled but unpretentious so they’re ideal for family stays. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Private villa. Child friendly. $$$$$.
Buffalo Ridge (8 suites) Wholly owned by a local community in a joint venture with a safari company, well designed straddling ridges with views. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$.
Etali (8 suites) Secluded, large suites have private whirlpools on the deck, fine dining and wine cellar. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$$.
Jaci’s Safari (8 tents-en-suite) Family run camp with relaxed, homely feel, suites combine canvas with thatch. Bright pops of colour make the decor contemporary and vibrant. There’s a submerged water-level photographic hide, and 2 starbed suites for sleeping out, and 2 family suites. Close to Jaci’s Tree Lodge. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$.
Jaci’s Tree (8 suites) Large tree house suites built in the canopies of trees; close to Jaci’s Safari Lodge. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Private villa. $$$.
Madikwe River (16 suites) Large camp with split-level thatched chalets, décor uninspired. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Member of aha. Child friendly. $$$.
Mateya Safari (5 suites) Marble bathtubs, infinity pools and four poster beds – a grandly luxurious camp. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$$$.
Motswiri (8 suites) Cosy camp overlooking waterhole, 3 of the rooms are in a family villa. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$$.
Rhulani (9 suites) Plunge pools and spacious suites. Yoga and massage on offer too. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Child friendly. $$$$.
Sanctuary Makanyane (8 suites) Small, friendly lodge, suites have glass walls looking into the trees and river, sleep-out hide for the adventurous. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Member of Sanctuary. Child friendly. $$$$.
Tuningi (8+3 suites) Small camp, nicely appointed with good food and wines, orientated to families with kids. Little Tuningi is the satellite villa. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. Member of Seasons in Africa. Private villa. Child friendly. $$$$.
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