Trip Report: Madikwe Photo Safari 8-14 November 2018

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan Leave a Comment

Madikwe Game Reserve, situated in the North West Province of South Africa has a very special place in my heart.  Personally it was in this Reserve where I spent 5 years of my guiding career and where my photographic journey truly took off.  So naturally I was very excited to head back to Madikwe to host our Madikwe Photo Safari.

Madikwe offers a great variety of wildlife and apart from the usual Big 5, the reserve also boasts fantastic general game viewing with a wide range of Antelopes such as Red Hartebeest, Springbok, Gemsbok, Klipspringer and Eland to only name a few.

Our base for the safari was once again Nkurru Private Game Lodge which consists of only five rooms, making it exclusive and also flexible from a game drive and meal planning point of view.  The waterhole in front of the camp is very productive and during the 5 nights we saw the following:

  • Hundreds and hundreds of Elephants
  • 4 Black Rhino
  • Hundreds of Buffalo
  • 2 Leopards
  • 2 Male Lions
  • 2 Honey Badgers
  • A wide of variety of general game including Giraffe, Kudu, Zebras, Impala, Wildebeest, Warthogs etc.

With the days being very hot this time of the year and seasonal not having arrived yet, the majority of the wildlife gathered around permanent water sources during the early morning and late afternoons which is where we spent the majority of our time.

The week offered some incredible sighings with quite a few highlights.  One of standouts during the week was viewing two Male Cheetahs who had just taken down a Zebra Fowl.  We were fortunate enough to witness them feeding on their prized kill whilst keeping an eye out for any potential predators that could be in the area.

It is hard to think of a Reserve in South Africa that offers better Elephant viewing than Madikwe, and we were treated to some amazing sightings during the week.  The iron rich soils also give the Elephants a reddish appearance which forms a beautiful contrast in your images.  The permanent water sources were teaming with Elephants, all trying to cool down during the heat of the day.

Another highlight during the week was spending time with two big Male Lions who roam the South Western part of Madikwe.  These two males known as the Kwandwe and Monomogolo males are magnificent specimens and being able to capture a few images of them was a real privilege.  On our last morning, we could not have asked for a better farewell as both these males came to the waterhole in front of camp.  As the sun was peaking above the horizon they announced their presence with a full hearted roar, sending vibrations through all our bodies.  The sound was simply unbelievable!!!

A speccal thank you to Kevin, Dawn, Beth, Dean, Ruth and Paul for a very enjoyable week.

If you are keen to join us in Madikwe and enjoy one of the best value for money safaris out there, click here.

Till next time…


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About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.




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