Hunter Packs Of Madikwe

Posted On December 20, 2009 

Country Info

South Africa is located at the southernmost tip of the African continent. Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe are its northern neighbours while Mozambique and Swaziland lie to its east. Lesotho is wholly surrounded by South Africa. To the east, south and west, South Africa is flanked by the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The area of South Africa is 12,21,037 square kilometers. South Africa has three national territories namely, Pretoria (executive), cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe game Reserve, one of South Africa’s largest wildlife destinations, is located 90 kilometres north of the small commercial town of Zeerust in the North West Province of South Africa bordering Botswana. The reserve is spread over an area of 75,000 hectares and features a rich flora diversity. The game reserve has over 60 different mammal species and over nearly 300 avifauna species. However, it is the ‘Super Seven’ mammal species that make up the major Madikwe Game Reserveattraction in the park (The Big Five including leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant and hyena plus the cheetah and wild dogs). The entire reserve has been enclosed by electric fences to prevent animals from fleeing. In the early 1990s, the largest game translocation exercise (Operation Phoenix) was held at Madikwe game reserve when more than 8,000 animals were released here. Madikwe is known to be a malaria-free region. North West Parks Board, private sector and the local communities look after the operation of Madikwe. Day visitors are allowed to enter the reserve only if they book through a lodge prior to arrival.


The reserve maninly features vast plains of open woodlands and grasslands cut by the rugged rant van Tweede Poort mountains (home to the brown Hyena) and flanked by the Dwarsberg Mountains in the south. The area is marked by huge rocky hills.


Winter prevails from May to September during which the weather remains dry with night temperature dipping down to only 2 degree Centigrade. The day time temperature too hovers around 22 degree Centigrade around this time. On the other hand, monsoon prevails from October to April. Rainfall is highest between November and February. Weather is hot and humid during this time (average temperature around 31 degree Centigrade).

Animals at Madikwe
Animals at Madikwe

As a result of Operation Phoenix, Madikwe is home to a great diversity of mammals including: African elephant, hippopotamus, wild buffalo, rhinoceros, African wild cat, wild dogs, leopard, giraffe, mongoose, Cape clawless otter, springboks, baboon, Cape hare, spotted hyena and others.

Birds at Madikwe

Besides the maamls, Madikwe is also home to a great many number of avifauna species like: Cape vulture, black breasted snake eagle, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Martial Eagle, Violeteared Waxbill and others.

Madikwe wild dogs

Madikwe dogs (also called Cape Hunting Dogs) are wild hunting dogs that are known for their ferocious killing style. These animals live and travel in packs (each pack consists 10-15 animals) and hunt in the morning and evening. TheseMadikwe wild dogs dogs have tremendous eyesight, even sharper than their smelling sense. They operate in a well-coordinated manner and perfectly complement each other while hunting down their preys. Although short in size, these dogs can devour their preys in minutes. All animals, big or small avoid these dangerous hunters. Madikwe dogs are generally 70 centimetres high and weigh 27 kilograms on an average. Their average lifespan is 10 years. The carnivorous animals have large rounded ears, white-tipped bushy tail and botched black, yellow and shaggy white coat.

After killing their prey, the adults first let their young ones eat. The adults even clean the juniors. Hyenas and leopards are easily driven off from kill by a pack of dogs.

They prefer open terrain like semi-desert, plains and open savanna woodland for these areas facilitate them to locate their preys and pounce upon them. However, these dogs are increasingly becoming rare, the reason might be attributed to frequent struggle with other mighty predators. In 1995 a group of dogs were released in Madikwe Game Reserve to make up for the decline. Besides in Madikwe in South Africa, these wild dogs are found in various game reserves in countries like Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and others.

How to reach Madikwe

Madikwe is just 28 kilometres from the Gaborone Airport in Botswana. Among South African cities, Zeerust is just 100 kilometres from Madikwe while Johannesburg and Pretoria are 360 and 400 kilometres from Madikwe, respectively. Daily air service operates from Johannesburg International Airport to Madikwe Game Reserve. Besides, road service is also available to reach Madikwe from various South African cities.

  • Exciting games drives in the morning and evening in open landrovers
  • Guided safari walks
  • Night safaris with powerful spotlights
Accommodation in MadikweJaci’s Tree Lodge
  • Jaci’s Tree Lodge
  • Madikwe Hills
  • Morukuru Lodge
  • Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge
  • Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge
  • Thakadu River Camp
  • Thuningi Safari Lodge

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