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North West Safari


North West Safari

North West Safari

Please see our Planning section for an overview of ‘going on safari’ and how to choose the best lodge for your needs.

The North West offers some of the best game viewing in Africa, within easy access of the international hub of Johannesburg, yet it is ‘malaria-free’. A combination of Madikwe with Pilanesburg or the Waterberg, provides an ideal itinerary for those looking to spend a week on Safari.

Pilanesberg National Park

Pilanesberg is located in the North West Province, a 2 – 3 hour drive from Johannesburg, adjacent to Sun City, and therefore ideal for those wishing to combine Big Five Safari with Big Fun!

Originally formed by volcanic eruptions, the Park is scenically very beautiful and provides a wide variety of rich habitats. It is possible to self-drive around the park because of its manageable size and yet the concentration of game provides a realistic chance of seeing the ‘Big Five’ as well as brown hyaena, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and hippo.

Guests staying at one of the lodges can choose to view game from an open vehicle, hot air balloon or elephant-back, whilst day trips from Sun City can also be arranged.

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe is a unique partnership between Government, Community and Private Enterprise. Although it is Government owned and run by the Parks Board, visitors are not allowed to self-drive, but must stay in one of the wide selection of private lodges.

Located a 3- 4 hour drive or 1 hour shuttle flight from Johannesburg, this vast conservancy of 75,000 hectares provides a wonderful opportunity to share an authentic safari adventure with your partner or family.

This beautiful reserve on the border with Botswana was established in 1991, after a feasibility study determined that the best use of the land to create an income for the local community was wildlife-based tourism. Operation PHEONIX saw the largest re-introduction of game ever undertaken by man in Africa, including entire breeding herds of elephant from war-torn Zimbabwe and other species such as buffalo, black and white rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyaena. There are also several wild dog packs which are fast making Madikwe famous.

There are a good selection of lodges of varying standards and by staying at one of these, you will automatically by supporting the local community. All staff employed come from the area and a percentage of your room rate and gate fee are distributed locally.

The Waterberg

If you have ever dreamed of growing up in the African Bush, then a stay at an exclusive bush home will be magical.

Luxury bush homes, situated on their own private game reserve, are often booked on an ‘exclusive’ basis during school holidays to ensure a personal and flexible safari experience.

The reserves are home to a wide and diverse variety of wildlife, such as wilderbeest, white rhino and giraffe, but not predators or elephants. Therefore, in addition to taking drives, you can also explore on horseback or by foot, enabling you to experience much closer sightings. Day trips to a ‘Big Five’ Reserve can be made for those not wishing to combine a stay here with Madikwe.

In between game viewing, children can join in with the daily activities, from changing a tyre to rounding up rhino, whilst adults relax with a good book or glass of wine!

Weather Chart

Averages J F M A M J J A S O N D
Avg max daily temp (°C) 32 31 30 27 25 22 22 26 28 30 31 31
Avg min daily temp (°C) 19 18 16 12 7 3 2 6 11 15 16 18
Precipitation (mm) 78 71 58 38 6 12 3 5 25 57 61 105

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