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Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

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Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

Hi there,

I'm trying to plan a safari for this December, and am trying to decide between going to Kruger (or one of the nearby private reserves) or Madikwe, which a friend has recommended to me. I like Madikwe since it has the benefit of being malaria free, but I was wondering if people consider it to be as good as Kruger for wildlife sightings.

Are there major differences in the wildlife we would see in Madikwe? Is Kruger far superior?

Thank you!

Frankfurt, Germany
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1. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

Madikwe is excellent! You have more of a "wild" feeling in this area compared to Kruger Park. Also the sightings were excellent. We even saw wild dogs which are not common in game reserves and this was amazing.

I would definitely choose Madikwe.


Michelle - Owner- Cape Town Guide

Johannesburg, South...
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2. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

My vote goes to Kruger! As for the 'wild' feeling, there would be no difference between the two if you stay in one of the private reserves in the Greater Kruger area, even within Kruger I still get that feeling, although some might differ due to the presence of tarred roads, we just tend to stay on the gravel roads on self drive as much as we can. Kruger is not world famous for no reason, it is one of the best places for safari and is South Africa's premium safari destination. It is almost 20 000km2 of wild life, that is the size of a country like Israel, no other reserve in South Africa can compare. Kruger is also famous for having a wide variety of animals. And although wild dogs are maybe more often seen in Madikwe, the Kruger wild dog population are the only self sustainable wild dog population is SA, meaning that in places like Madikwe the wild dogs have to be moved/rotated with other reserves to avoid in-breeding. And one other thing to maybe mention is that your chances of seeing leopard is much greater in Kruger.

Having given my vote to Kruger I will add that if you want to avoid a malaria reserve then my vote would go to Madikwe, I've been there twice and throroughly enjoyed it.

Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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3. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

Ditto Miki !

Kruger is the biggest and as a result has the largest range of wildlife thanks to its size and biodiversity.

And Miki we had two incredible close up wild dog sightings last time in Kruger, within an hour of each other, one lot stalking a waterbuck and best of all, both sightings all to ourselves.

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4. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

Thank you!!

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5. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

If the question is do you go to Madikwe and stay at a lodge and be driven by a ranger vs Kruger, I would go with Madikwe. they have off roading for the big 5 as well as everything already mentioned. I am not a big fan of Kruger when limited to both staying on tar roads and dirt roads at Kruger along with access only during daylight hours.

Now if you are comparing with a private reserve at Kruger or its neighbors, I would absolutely chose that over Madikwe, especially any lodge within Sabi Sands or the Timbavati . The game viewing, especially leopards is remarkable. At Madikwe, you are more likely to see both wild dog and cheetah, however even with that, I prefer the wilderness and randomness of Kruger. LIkely you will pay more for lodges in the Kruger area, especially in Sabi Sands than in Madikwe. As for malaria, it depends on the time of year you travel as to the risk level in the Kruger area. Nov-Apr are the high risk months there and even then the risk is not that high.


Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger


My partner and i are planning our Honeymoon to South Africa in March 2015.

We are tossing up if we should be going Madikwe or Kruger (Sabi Sands)

Ive read so many mixed reports for that time if year. Some say that Kruger is a little wet, others saying Kruger is the best game viewing year round.

We will be traveling from Joburg so Madikwe fits in better with our plans, however we are more then happy to travel to Kruger to experience the best game viewing. Most reports suggest that the accommodation is much nicer in Sabi Sands. Could you also please suggest the best lodges in Kruger/Sabi Sands. Happy to spend on accom as its our honeymoon.



Perth, Australia
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7. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

I would choose Sabi Sands every time. As for the "best" lodge - you get the same quality game drives at them all. The difference in price - (approx $200AU to $900AU per night) is in the lodge facilities. Do you want 5 star meals, silver service, spa treatments and butlers - go for the high end cost. or comfortable accommodation, good food but no frills, the lower cost lodges. Google Sabi Sand Reserve lodges and have a good look at the different camps. You could also change it up a bit and do some time in Sabi Sands and then some in Kruger self driving. You could fly to Nelspruit, hire a car - it is a short drive to Sabi Sands and then a very short trip into Kruger. There is a real sense of achievement driving yourself and finding animals and coupled with the "off-road" and up close experience of a private lodge, you get the best of both worlds. It all depends on your budget and how long you plan to be there.

Good luck with your planning!

8. Re: Madikwe Game Reserve vs Kruger

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