Sunday, August 28, 2011

Madikwe...an undiscoved jewel only 3 hours from Johannesburg!

Arriving in the Madikwe game reserve is always interesting...as this particular vehicle found out...
On a recent trip we were greeted by the North West Parks board as well as members of the South African Police Services...a very friendly and efficient group who searched our luggage, looking for? But hopefully their visible presence will be a deterrent to "guests" who have an agenda other than shooting the animals with cameras! Well done to all...
 
Guests can access some of the camps in their personal vehicles, 
Mosethla Bush Camp fetches guests from the Parks Board building within the reserve
( about 11km's from the Abiaterskop gate)
From their it is only a short drive to the camp itself, where this delicious tea awaited us before we left on our first game drive...
Actually, to see some of the local bird species you don't even have to leave the camp site!
Aside from Mosethla Bush Camp(three occasions), I have also visited Tuningi (three times), Etali, Makanyane, Takadu, Madikwe Hills(twice) and Buffalo Ridge(twice)...each in a different part of this, the  fourth largest game reserve in South Africa.
Almost as common as Impala, there are Lilac Breasted Rollers around every corner...
Before you send comment emails...we guys on the game drive were rather envious...
Perhaps this elephant was trying to tell us that Madikwe is a great place to bring a partner? Or maybe, just maybe, he was bragging!
Eventually he cooled his "ardour"  by means of a dust bath...
Madikwe has large herds of plains game that include Zebra...
 Wildebeeste...
and Impala...
 Due to an increase in poaching, the exact numbers of white rhino are not released to the public...but suffice to say that I have been lucky enough to see these wonderful,if somewhat prehistoric looking creatures, on every visit
The large buffalo herd is BTB free and the animals look in spectacular health even though our last visit was in winter...
 on our last visit we also came across a lot of youngsters...elephant...
 brown Hyena...
and lion cubs...
I also spotted this on another game drive vehicle...a very scary sight to say the least!
Giraffe look really strange when they are in this position...
 the birdlife in all sections of the park is spectacular...
 Reflections of a game ranger...and a photographer...
we found this young Brown Hyena trying to carry off this elephant leg bone(the Elephant has died from natural causes some weeks earlier)...it eventually gave up and took off...
 on a previous visit I was lucky enough to come across this large Lion feeding on a giraffe carcass...
 I have also been privileged to spend time with both packs of Wild Dogs that can be found in Madikwe
But it is not only the large and ferocious that catch my attention...this Golden Orb spider is equally fascinating...
This water monitor lizard was trying hard to replicate something out of Jurassic Park...
This chameleon took forever to cross the road...but it did eventually get to the other side safely!
Each of the camps I have stayed at has something different to offer...and each is special for a variety of different reasons...
For those guests who do not feel like the three hour drive, Federal Air flies to Madikwe...there is a tarred airstrip in the  Eastern section of the park and a non-tarred airstrip in the West...
Madikwe is a malaria free zone which makes it ideal for visitors of all ages.
For more information on the various camps and their current rates visit game lodges
For flight information check air schedules

Madikwe is one of the best reserves that South Africa has to offer and is well worth a visit.


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