Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Lelapa Lodge

Overview

A family adventure.

In South African’s far north, on the border with Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve protects 76,000 hectares of Kalahari plains, savannah and riverine woodland home to an incredible diversity of wildlife.

Lelapa Lodge, meaning ‘family’ in Setswana, is a laid back luxury lodge with 12 suites, each with a private lounge, viewing deck, outdoor showers and plunge pool with incredible views across the bush. The four family suites also incorporating a second children’s bedroom, stocked with toys and games.

Malaria-free and a range of adventurous safari activities including game drives, bush walks, hand on conservation experiences along with specially tailored activities for younger ones, it’s a perfect venue for multi-generation adventures.

Facts

At a glance

  • 12 suites with private plunge pools

  • Four of the suites have children's bedrooms

  • Main lodge with lounge, dining area and swimming pool

  • Eco-kids house

Madikwe Lelapa 9

Experiences

  • Madikwe night drive

    Game drives

    Explore the reserve on morning and late afternoon drives. Aside from the excellent opportunity of seeing Africa’s 'Big Five', there are also healthy populations of cheetahs and wild dogs, as well as rarities aardvarks, African wild cats, pangolins and serval.

  • Madikwe Lelapa 12

    Bush walks

    Being on foot in the African bushveld is an adrenaline-pumping experience that affords guests the opportunity to take in the finer details often missed on a game-viewer. It is an experience that truly awakens the senses being fully immersed in nature, being able to smell, hear and physically touch the surroundings.

  • Madikwe Lelapa 10

    Family safari

    Madikwe’s lodges are some of South Africa’s very best family-friendly safari destinations. This is thanks to its malaria-free status as well as a range of tailored activities, an experienced team and great facilities for younger ones that blend fun and education.

Community & Culture

Madikwe Game Reserve’s primary objective was to create a economically viable wildlife sanctuary that included and benefitted local communities. Established in the early 1990’s as a result of an economic analysis, which explored two land use options; ecotourism and extensive cattle farming as was the status quo. The outcome of this analysis was that area was most suited to wildlife tourism and this would lead to more employment opportunities.

The focus at Madikwe is to stimulate a three-way partnership between the state, the private sector and the local community in order to create ecologically sustainable economic activity for the benefit of the people of the region. The role of the private sector is to establish and manage a variety of tourism developments and activities within the reserve. In order to do this, private companies will pay the State concession fees. A portion of these fees is used by the state for conservation within the Reserve and the other portion is paid to local communities in order to fund a variety of community-based projects. Not only do the community benefit from the community-based projects, but also from the employment opportunities created in and around the Game Reserve. The well-being of the reserve is in their hands as well.

Conservation

Located in the transitional zone between the bushveld ecological area of Southern Africa and the Kalahari thornveld region, it is home to an abundance of wildlife. This, however, was not always the case. Operation Phoenix was one of the largest relocations of wildlife on earth with more than 8000 animals transported over a period of seven years for the purpose of establishing an economically viable wildlife sanctuary on what was previously cattle ranching land. Now, the 75,000 hectares of land are home to the big five and other elusive species of animals, notably healthy population of wild dogs, cheetah and rhino.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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