Molori sundowners

Madikwe Game Reserve

The malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, situated against the Botswana border, 90 km north of Zeerust and just four hours’ drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, is now one of South Africa’s prime safari destinations. The land consists of open grasslands and bushveld plains with scattered rocky outcrops and single mountains, and offers ideal game viewing opportunities.

Madikwe is a Big Five game reserve covering some 75,000 hectares and is currently the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. The reserve was opened in 1991 and was part of the biggest game relocation programme ever staged. Operation Phoenix took place over six years and involved moving more than 8 000 animals into the Madikwe Game Reserve.

The reserve contains all the big five species – lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros, but it is the prevalence of cheetah and wild dog that has given the reserve its special reputation for the ‘Super Seven’. There are of course many other species within the reserve, including almost all antelope species as well as some 350 recorded bird species.

Madikwe also features a number of successful community-owned lodges, which are maintained by members of the local community. 

The lodges create employment and benefit local businesses, and all profits made are fed back into the community. Molori Safari is also involved in working with local communities, educating the youth about conservation and the importance of sustainable biodiversity for Africa.Madikwe is an area rich in heritage. It was named after the Madikwe or Marico River, and the nearby town, Groot Marico, is named after the river. Groot Marico was formed by the Voortrekkers in the 1850s but only proclaimed in 1948. Legendary South Africa writer Herman Charles Bosman made the area famous, often writing about Marico in his books, saying the area bore “the authentic stamp of South Africa”.

Mafikeng Road, the name of an historical road built in 1899 that runs right through Madikwe, is also the title of one of Bosman’s books, featuring a collection of short stories about a land populated with leopards and bluegum trees.



Madikwe has hot, wet summers and cool, sunny winters. Summer daytime temperatures average around 31°C (88°F) and winter daytime temperatures average around 22°C (72°F). Summer evenings are comfortable with an occasional breeze and winter evenings become quite chilly with temperatures dropping as low as 2°C (35°F). The rainy season begins around October and runs through to April with heavy rainfall occurring between November and February. The dry season or winter months begin around May and run through to mid-September.

madikwe lodges


Madikwe Game Reserve is home to the endangered African Wild Dog and has the highest concentration of rhino in Africa. Conservation is an active and important part of life here. We work closely with Madikwe Game Reserve in its rhino conservation efforts and guests can by arrangement be part of an extraordinary hands-on rhino tagging experience, participating in the notching, DNA sampling and micro chipping of the rhino’s horns. Guests can also participate in dog tracking experiences and learn more about this extraordinary and highly endangered species