Returning to the airport, you will board a charter flight to Madikwe Private Game Reserve, where your guide from Morukuru Farm House will meet you.
The 5-suite Farm House is an oasis surrounded by luscious green lawns, and set within a 100-hectare fenced-in safe area that is home to harmless game, so children can play and roam at will, and you have the freedom to walk and explore. This generously proportioned house is elegant yet unpretentious, giving a wonderful sense of a home away from home.
Madikwe is the fourth largest in South Africa and is home to a large diversity of bird and animal species in a beautifully scenic region. You are likely to encounter the Big 5, as well as a host of other large game, including the critically endangered African wild dog. These enigmatic predators are high up on any safari-goers list of encounters, and seeing them in the wild must rank as one of the most thrilling experiences to have. Highly social and incredibly efficient hunters, they bring down their prey using a combination of dazzling speed and teamwork, and quickly and silently feed in a strict hierarchical order, making sure that their puppies are fed first. Once the meal is done, they rapidly depart before rival predators arrive to scavenge.
Elephants in Madikwe are coated in the red dust of the iron-rich soil. Like ochre-clad giants they march across the landscape to the Marico River, increasing their pace as the smell of water reaches their nostrils. As the herds draw near, the youngsters cannot contain their excitement and gleefully splash into the shallows to drink, tussle and play, while their elders slurp slowly, keeping a watchful yet indulgent eye over their boisterous offspring. Only the splashing of water is heard, until a deep rumble from the matriarch signals that it is time to go. As silently as they arrive, the herd move as one, a phalanx of grey and red bodies guarding the young as they melt off into the woodlands again.
The fenced area around the Farm House is the perfect place for kids to take a nature walk with your guide, learning of the many fascinating facets of the wilds, identifying antelope tracks, observing the smaller creatures like dung beetles or examining the complexity of a termite mound. Outside the fence, it is big game territory, and a walking safari out here is nothing short of exhilarating. The rustle of wind in dry grass, the cackle of a francolin, the smell of earth and dust all mingle with the sound of your breathing as you scan your surroundings with new eyes. Your guide and tracker’s expertise combine to show you the secrets of the wilderness, the freshness of spoor upon the ground, the flattened grass where a lion lay down, the warning call of a go-away bird.
Taking these sensations to another level, you have the opportunity to sleep out under the stars at the Morukuru Hide, a raised platform overlooking a popular waterhole. Combined with a candlelit dinner at an impeccable linen-clad table, beds are made up below billowing mosquito nets where you lie in perfect safety beneath the stars, while the life of the African night surrounds you.