Africa Travel Articles
Our Latest Travels: Kruger And Madikwe Safari
Author: Sandra Mallinson
Date: August 2011
Working at Go2Africa, you'll always find yourself surrounded by fellow safari addicts. Fortunately, a trip is never too far away: there's always someone out and about, checking out new lodges or revisiting a few of our favourite places.
On their return, I chatted to them about their week-long South Africa safari in Madikwe Private Game Reserve and the private reserves of the Kruger National Park and asked that much-debated question: "Madikwe or Kruger? If you had to choose one - which would it be?”
A Bit Of Background
Although smaller than the Kruger, Madikwe Private Reserve is still one of South Africa's largest game reserves. It's a three-hour drive from Johannesburg and just 1.5 hours from Sun City, South Africa's got-it-all resort complete with championship golf courses, water parks and world-class hotels.
Madikwe has a rich diversity of vegetation types which allows for a wide variety of animals. Home to Africa's Big 5 as well as cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyena, it's also malaria-free which makes it a popular choice for family safaris and many of the lodges cater for children.
The private reserves of the Kruger border the south-western boundary of the Kruger National Park and include names such as Thornybush, Timbavati, Manyeleti and the legendary Sabi Sands - all known for their consistently good Big 5 sightings (particularly leopard) and home to some of Africa's most luxurious lodges.
How Did The Game Viewing Compare?
The Go2Africa crew had great game viewing all round. During their two days in Madikwe they had two lion sightings - the first a couple of males and the second a whole pride relaxing on the road - as well as a host of other animals including elephant, giraffe and zebra.
Their luck continued in the Sabi Sands where they saw two spotted hyenas and a leopard with her cubs on their very first game drive; the following day they saw a rhino and her calf as well as elephant, giraffe, buffalo and a wide range of antelope.
So, which would they recommend? Carlien replied: "the game viewing in the Sabi Sands deserves its phenomenal reputation. However, I really enjoy game drives in Madikwe as you have the chance of seeing wild dog and black rhino as well as rare or unusual Kalahari species."