Malaria Free Pilansberg Madikwe Safari – 1 night Johannesburg | 2 nights Pilansberg Game Reserve | 3 nights Madikwe Game Reserve
Thank you for planning the most wonderful trip Gail! Everything you organised and scheduled went so smoothly and we loved the accommodation choices and our amazing safaris so much. The Pilanesberg Game Reserve was wonderful and the safaris in Madikwe gave us a completely different experience that we will always remember. We hope to be back soon!
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you will be met by your driver and guide and transferred to your hotel in the heart of Sandton to drop your luggage.
Once brash and raw, like most frontier towns, Johannesburg has over the years transformed itself into a sleek, modern city without sacrificing any of its high energy or historic past. Gracious old colonial buildings like the Rand Club, original post offices, old police stations, historical hotels, farmhouses and shops rub shoulders with the Carlton Centre (still Africa’s tallest building at 50 storeys), glitzy shopping malls, five-star hotels, major highways, classy restaurants, award-winning museums, art galleries, lovely parks and newer historical landmarks.
Transfer time: OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton: approx. 30 minutes
This morning after breakfast, you will be collected and transferred by road to your private lodge inside the Pilanesberg National Park.
Situated in the ecologically rich transition zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, this vast area promises thrilling big game viewing in a malaria free environment. This rich transitional zone attracts an incredible variety of game animals, flora and fauna that are not often found living side by side. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the Big 5, wild dog, Roan, Tsessebe, Sable antelope and more than 360 species of bird.
Pilanesberg National Park is set within the crater of an ancient volcano, formed 1.2 billion years ago by overflowing magma. The landscape and rock formations we see today are the enduring reminders of this magnificent occurrence.
Transfer time – Johannesburg to Pilanesberg National Park – approx 3½ hours
Pilanesberg hosts a combination of animal, bird, insect, reptilian and vegetation species, such as the Brown Hyena, Springbok, Red Eyed Bulbul and Camel Thorn tree. The Pilanesberg National Park is the perfect combination of the Kalahari and the wetter Lowveld. A major advantage of the Pilanesberg is that it is ‘Malaria Free’. Open vehicle game drives are undertaken twice a day – one in the early morning and the other in the late afternoon. Walking safaris are available on prior request. The walk focuses on locating and observing the inhabitants of the Black Rhino Game Reserve from a different angle – on foot. Guests are accompanied by a qualified guide who will share his/her extensive knowledge and experience on both fauna and flora. Excursions depart in the early morning.
This morning after your morning game drive and brunch, you will be collected and transferred by road to Madikwe Game Reserve in the northern part of South Africa, on the Botswana border. There is time to settle in at your new lodge before setting off on the afternoon game drive.
The 76,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries and is home to the Big 5 and over 340 bird species. It is especially famous for its packs of African Wild Dog – and it is malaria-free. It is about 4 hours by road from Johannesburg. Madikwe is situated in the transition region between two vegetation types: Lowveld bushveld and Kalahari thornveld. As a result, the region is able to host to an incredible diversity of species. In addition to wild dog, cheetah, lion, white and black rhino, buffalo and elephant, Madikwe is home to a wide range of plains game, such as giraffe, zebra and many antelope species. Madikwe’s game viewing is of a very high standard, aided by the fact that all game rangers are in radio contact with one another. There is a strict code of conduct and animal sightings are generally limited to a maximum of 3 vehicles at one time in order to maintain the feeling of exclusivity and to ensure the animals’ well-being.
Transfer time: Pilanesberg to Madikwe Game Reserve – approx 2½ hours
After an early-morning wake-up call, you set off on your morning game drive. Madikwe is one of South Africa’s largest sanctuaries and has a rich biodiversity of mammals, such as Africa’s Big Five, cheetah, wild dog, brown and spotted hyena, oryx, eland, springbok & ostrich. You return to the lodge for a mid-morning brunch. There is time between game drives to relax on the deck with a good book, do some bird-watching (Madikwe has more than 250 recorded species of bird) or, if you are feeling more energetic, do a game walk with your game ranger. High tea is served in the late afternoon, before you set off on an evening game drive through the untamed wilderness of the Kalahari Thornveld. The late evening is when predators are more active and it is also an opportunity to see animals such as aardvark and caracal. You return to the lodge for a safari cuisine dinner in the open-air boma.
After your morning game drive and brunch, you bid farewell to this safari wonderland and are transferred to the airstrip for your shuttle flight back to Johannesburg.
Flight time: Madikwe Game Reserve to OR Tambo International Airport – approx 1 hour