The malaria-free Madikwe is one of the prime game reserves of South Africa and is particularly known for its wild dog sightings & family safaris.


Madikwe Game Reserve is the foremost malaria-free wildlife reserve in South Africa. It lies north-west of Johannesburg in the wide open plains of bushveld. If you are looking for a malaria-free option in South Africa, then a Madikwe safari should be top of your list. As it offers quality game-viewing as well as a true African ambience.

The malaria free Madikwe Reserve is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa at 75,000ha. Plus it boasts a healthy wildlife population. With plenty of the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo). As well as over 360 recorded bird species. You may also be lucky enough to see packs of wild dog on a Madikwe safari, a rare and privileged sighting. Given its open savanna terrain, Madikwe offers plenty of elephant, lions and plains game including sable, gemsbok, springbok and giraffe, even cheetah.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, or a family, there are plenty of lodges to suit all tastes. Some Madikwe lodges are offered as ‘Safari Houses’ on an exclusive use basis. This is ideal for a group of friends or a larger family party.

Madikwe is not the most accessible of game reserves. As it is a 4+ hour drive from Johannesburg. But you can opt to fly-in and out instead. Or why not combine a Madikwe safari with the Pilanesberg or Marakele National Park in the same broad area.


Why you may love it

  • Malaria free Big Five game reserve
  • Excellent Wild Dog sightings
  • Wide variety of lodges to choose from
  • Superb Family Safari programmes with fun activities such as identifying spore, frog hunts, kid’s game drives

When to visit Madikwe

November to March

Summer rainfall

Madikwe shares a Summer rainfall climate with the rest of the northern part of South Africa, Typically the rains start in November. The rains are heaviest in January and February but usually take the form of late afternoon or evening downpours which are actually welcome as it cools the air and keeps everything lush and green. Temperatures are hot and humid during the day and stay warm in the evening and night. This is not the best season for safari as the bush is lush and verdant so it’s harder to spot the game. Plus animals don’t need to come to rivers and waterholes so much to drink. However birding is excellent and the game-viewing is still reasonable within the private game reserves.
MAX TEMP 32 ℃ / 90 ℉
MIN TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉

April to May

Dry season

This is the start of the dry season and the safari season. By the end of March the rains have stopped, making game-viewing much easier. The landscape is still green and lush but grasses start dying down. The sunsets are superb as the skies are clearer. Nights are cooler but still very pleasant to eat outside though this starts to change in May.
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 9 ℃ / 48 ℉

June to July

Still the dry season

Traditionally this is the best time to visit as the dry season continues. The bush is less dense and the animals flock to the waterholes to drink. Daytime temperatures are pleasant (20-22C). But nights can be very cold, because of the altitude. So you will need to have warm clothing once the sun sets. Mornings on the game drive vehicle can be cold so pack warm clothing.
MAX TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉
MIN TEMP 4 ℃ / 39 ℉

August to October

Getting warmer

It starts to warm up again from August onwards. Thought this is technically Spring it is actually just the end of the dry season. So it is the perfect time for safari. The temperatures heat up nicely in September and October prior to the start of the summer rains which usually start in November. However October can bring some early heralding showers.
MAX TEMP 32 ℃ / 90 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

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Milandi’s review of Impodimo Safari Lodge Madikwe

Impodimo was probably my favorite of all the safari lodge I visited in Madikwe. With its wild, true bush feel and spectacular views over Madikwe.

It has a brand new hide at their waterhole with an abundance of game. We enjoyed lots of animal activity in and around camp which I loved.

It is very family-friendly with a great kids programme. But I would say that it is not ideal for small kids as it’s unfenced. There are eight suites plus a two bedroomed family suite & a deluxe safari suite.

They had a great management team with a very enthusiastic manager, Jacques. They really went the extra mile with brunch, lunch and dinner at an old fig tree near lthe odge; specialized gin stops; bush spa and so on.

Pros: Great kids programme for older kids, Bush Spa, Spectacular views over reserve, Arm chair safari & lots of wildlife activity in camp. Plus attractive but not over the top rooms

Cedarberg : Milandi Joubert
Did you know
  • SizeThe Madikwe Game Reserve is 680km2
  • Birding350 bird species are recorded within the park

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Sonja Brand

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Hi I’m Sonja, I’m here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

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