Which is the best safari destination for Gautengers?

We compare the Kruger and Madikwe to help you decide which safari destination is best for you.


When considering the best safari destination for residents of Gauteng, two prominent options often come to mind: Kruger National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve.

Both offer unique experiences, with the choice depending on various factors.

We compare some of these factors so that you can decide for yourself:

How close is it to home?

The Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves, renowned for its diverse wildlife and expansive landscapes.

Located northeast of Gauteng, it’s easily accessible by road and air from Johannesburg.

On the other hand, Madikwe Game Reserve is situated northwest of Gauteng near the Botswana border. It offers a unique and exclusive safari experience.

One of the key points for Gautengers considering Kruger National Park is its proximity. It is closer to Gauteng than Madikwe Game Reserve, making it a convenient choice for a shorter getaway or weekend trip.

What are animals and lodges like?

The Kruger National Park boasts the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino) and a wide array of other wildlife species.

It has many comfortable accommodation options, from luxury lodges to self-catering camps.

Madikwe also stands out for its exclusivity, being a malaria-free reserve, its private game lodges, and low tourist density.

The reserve is also home to the Big Five and known for its wild dog population.

In addition, Madikwe features several top-notch luxury lodges known for their comfort, service, and unique settings.

Here are at least 5 top luxury safari lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve worth mentioning:

Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge

Jamala Madikwe is an intimate and elegant safari lodge within the reserve.

Each of its five luxurious and elegantly appointed suites has a private deck and a rim-flow swimming pool.

Morukuru Family Madikwe

Morukuru Family Madikwe consists of three exclusive-use private safari villas on a private concession in the reserve.

The owner’s house has two bedrooms, the river house has three, and the farmhouse has five bedrooms.

Each house has its own game drive vehicle, private guide and tracker, chef, butler, and general housekeeping.

During their stay, all activities, meals, and drinks are provided, and guests are completely free to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge

Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge is located on a hill in the heart of the reserve.

The lodge provides the highest level of luxury and hospitality, enchanting visitors with a world of majestic beauty.

The package includes tea, coffee, and biscuits for morning game drives, drinks and canapes for afternoon game drives, all meals, beverages (excluding cellar wines and premium spirits), and accommodation in 10 secluded glass-fronted suites with private decks and plunge pools.

Mateya Safari Lodge

Mateya Safari Lodge is intended for a maximum of ten discerning travellers.

It provides a graceful blend of relaxed comfort in a picturesque setting.

The lodge is located on a rocky outcrop in the Gabbro hills, with uninterrupted views of the reserve.

Suites are arranged in a radial pattern around one of the hills, each with a private rim-flow pool deck and a natural window sala that overlooks the waterhole or the surrounding plains.

Molori Safari Lodge

Molori Safari has five distinct open-air suites thoughtfully separated to provide complete privacy.

There are two premier suites, one family premier suite, and two presidential suites.

All have retractable glass walls from floor to ceiling that open onto a private deck and swimming pool.

So which should I choose?

Choosing between Kruger and Madikwe depends on individual preferences and the desired safari experience or interaction.

For Gautengers seeking a luxurious and intimate safari experience with excellent game viewing opportunities, Madikwe Game Reserve and its top luxury lodges provide an enticing option worth exploring.

Read more on these topics

animals Gauteng Safari Sponsored content

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.