Madikwe Game Reserve - The Story
Madikwe Game Reserve portrays eco-tourism at its best. In conjunction with local communities and the private sector, the North West Province Parks Board and Tourism Board set aside 75000 hectares of malaria-free land on the border of Botswana as a conservation partnership. Development of the reserve and the reintroduction of game began in 1992
The reserve is unusual in many respects as reflected in its complex geomorphology. The rich diversity of vegetation, hydrology, topography, climate, soil and other factors such as previous farming activities in the area, have a direct bearing on the varied fauna and flora present in the reserve. The bird population alone include over 300 different species and more are expected to be listed in the future.
The largest introduction of game undertaken by man in any game reserve in Africa is code-named Operation Phoenix. During the early 1990’s the relocation of entire breeding herds of elephant, buffalo, black and white rhino, various antelope species, zebra and more recently lion, cheetah, spotted hyena and the endangered wild dogs have increased Madikwe’s large mammal population to over 10,000. Some species such as kudu and leopards occurred naturally in the area and in fact the Dwarsberg kudus are reputed to have the most spectacular horns in the country.
The ultimate aim is to have a population of large mammals representative of those that previously occurred naturally in the area but with a balance between predators and herbivores and between rare and common species.
Madikwe is further unique in that the Reserve is managed through an entity called the Madikwe Management Forum (MMF). The MMF consist of the three top management from within the Provincial Parks and Tourism Board as well as three representatives form the Investors Community. A truly remarkable management entity reflecting the various interested parties. A model highly rated in conservation circles globally. The MMF is currently Chaired by Koos Potgieter from Etali Safari Lodge.