I have tended to underrate the Madikwe Game Reserve over the years. Somehow or other it conjured up the old prejudice of reinstated farmlands and fields of sickle bush with introduced species representing a glorified zoo.
This of course is grossly unfair considering the fact that I had the very rare sighting of a Long Legged Buzzard here in 2013, a bird that is reputed to have only been seen 8 times since 1895 (that’s another story) as well as my first Yellow Throated Sandgrouse and my first Short-toed Rock thrush. I have also seen two amazing kills take place within the Reserve.
My wife and I had the great opportunity to visit it once again in early December as guests of Steve & Jo Dallamore and their family together with Hal & Marie Rosholt in the Lodge that they have an interest in – Nkurru Lodge, magnificently appointed with a really great waterhole in front of it.
What a wonderful couple of days it was and oh how I was reminded of my misplaced opinion. Apart from the scrumptious meals, fine wines, introduction to a new superb South African Gin with tastes and fragrances of Fynbos, a few good Bloody Mary’s and great company, the game viewing was superb and I must say I can’t remember a more enjoyable stay in the bush – with all the time I spend there.
Following this recent trip, I believe Madikwe Game Reserve has developed into one of the best private reserves in Southern Africa. Apart from the abundance of quality game including the “Big 5” and it falling into a malaria safe zone (making for a safe bush trip with young children), its birdlife is simply terrific and the bushveld scenery is breath-taking.
What Madikwe has over some of the other reserves, is acacia thornveld as opposed to broad-leafed woodland. This almost automatically multiplies the variety of birds by about 2.5 as well as playing host to some of the most colourful species in our region.
When I think of the Madikwe Reserve, I think particularly of my most favourite bird, the Crimson Breasted Shrike together with the Violet Eared Waxbill.
Madikwe is also home to the melanistic form of the Gabar Goshawk which we saw and which I have only ever seen on previous trips there, as well as the yellow morph of the Crimson Breasted Shrike although I am yet to see it.
We were also fortunate enough to have good sightings of Wild Dog as well as Cheetah
If you have any interest in such a trip next year, please give me a call.
If you’d like to visit Madikwe, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively call me on 011 685 0742 and I can put something memorable together for you.
PLEASE have a look at the gallery below for some of Madikwe’s great birds over the years.