Holiday in South Africa, Madikwe and Waterberg

Description of Holiday in South Africa, Madikwe and Waterberg

The first half of the week takes in the hugely rewarding Madikwe Game Reserve for excellent gameviewing. You then explore the beautiful Waterberg region with its game and diverse mountain wilderness, and the chance to walk and horse ride as well as take game drives. All this and fantastic food and accommodation too.

Madikwe covers 75,000 hectares in the north west of South Africa, adjoining the border with Botswana, about 4 hours drive from Johannesburg. It was established in 1991. What makes it so special is not just that it has a wide variety of wildlife species, but that it was set up as a joint venture between the state, the private sector and the local communities.

The reserve can hold up to 31,000 animals (plus birds). The reserve's mission is to "conserve wild animals, plants and landscapes for the benefit of the people". It is felt that if wildlife resources are used sustainably they will benefit local communities, and if this happens the local population will in turn help in the conservation of the wildlife and the environment. Local communities are also given funds from the reserve to help with schools, clinics and other community development projects.

You will get the chance to spot the Big Five, see the second largest herd of elephants in the country, search for spotted hyena, the highly endangered Cape hunting dog, and many other species, as well as enjoy some wonderful scenery. A bonus to game watching here is that the area is reputedly malaria-free.

Only about 2½ hours drive north of Johannesburg, the Waterberg mountain massif gets its name from the abundant mountain streams and natural springs in the area. Home to some of the country's foremost conservation projects, a large area was declared a UNESCO Savannah Biosphere Reserve in 2001. It is a great location for exploring on foot, by jeep or even on horseback, which enables you to approach wildlife from a different perspective.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Collect your hire car in Johannesburg and drive (about 4½hours) north west to Madikwe Game Reserve. Here you stay at Jaci's Lodge as the base for your game viewing activities for 3 nights.
Day 2-3:Guided game viewing from Jaci's.
Day 4:After your morning game drive, drive east to the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve (4 hours), north of Johannesburg. Here we recommend staying either at Ants Nest or Ants Hill, or Wooded Peaks in Welgevonden Private Game Reserve.
Day 5-6:Activities from your chosen accommodation.
Day 7:back to Joburg (3 hrs) and drop off the hire car.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be arranged at any time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your requirements
Holiday type

Tailor made holidays

This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more luxurious trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments before relaxing in comfort. As this trip can be tailor made it would be helpful if you could you provide the following information: rough budget per person (stating with or without flights), your address and postcode, contact phone number, preferred date of travel, length of trip, number of passengers, preferred countries and areas within those countries, specific interests & type of accommodation.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Holiday in South Africa, Madikwe and Waterberg

Madikwe Game reserve
North west of Johannesburg, this reserve is a real partnership between local communities, the parks board and private investors, such as Jaci's Camp, which we highly recommend. The result is higher employment in this poor area, a revitalised environment, and increased wildlife. We work in cooperation with local communities as far as possible. We offer fairly-traded revenue and use locally owned and run services such as hotels. Because of this you should find that your hosts are welcoming and open in their invitations to show you their region and cultures. We try to ensure that the local people are happy to receive tourists in their home region, and are informed of the possible impact. We will avoid travelling to any areas where we know tourism is not welcome.

To organise our trips we use local conservationists or operators who have a strong environmental background. We vet the operating policy of everyone we work with. This company were voted most responsible tour operator by UK NGO Tourism Concern. On average 75% of the cost of your trip - excluding flights - remains in the destination.

Flights are automatically carbon offset through The Travel Forest, which plants 10 indigenous trees on your behalf (currently in northern Tanzania). Whilst the primary motivation for planting the trees is to offset carbon emissions, the project also works as a poverty alleviation and environmental improvement scheme.

1 Reviews of Holiday in South Africa, Madikwe and Waterberg

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Most exciting - seeing lions, leopard and African wild dogs eating, sleeping or playing from only a few feet away. Most memorable - visit to Soweto.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We did a late booking, but I would recommend booking early to ensure you visit the reserves you really want.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

All centres were very conservation minded. Benefit to local people harder to assess in South Africa.

4. Any other comments?

We had a really great holiday.

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