Madikwe Game Reserve stands as a powerful testament to the dedicated preservation of a unique wilderness in one of South Africa’s more remote corners. Situated in the transitional zone between the lush bushveld of Southern Africa and the arid Kalahari thornveld, Madikwe is a sanctuary teeming with wildlife.
In the early days, this land was not the wildlife haven it is today. Operation Phoenix changed that. This monumental initiative was one of the largest wildlife relocations ever undertaken on Earth. Over a span of seven years, more than 8,000 animals were carefully transported to Madikwe, transforming it into an economically viable wildlife sanctuary.
While the Big 5—lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros—are the stars of many African reserves, Madikwe goes a step further. Here, the Big 5 extend to the ‘Super 7,’ which includes the elusive African wild dog and the swift cheetah. Additionally, birdwatchers will find a paradise here, with more than 250 species of birds recorded.
In a groundbreaking move, Madikwe is set to be connected to the popular Pilanesberg National Park through the ‘Heritage Park’ conservation corridor. This project will allow for a larger wildlife migration area and is poised to create a prime eco-tourism destination in South Africa.