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Big Five Safari in South Africa

Set in the heart of the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, you can expect to view Africa's finest species up close from open game viewing vehicles and even from the front lawn. Experience outstanding service and sumptuous bushveld cuisine all set in a small and intimate restored farmhouse lodge. Owner operated and managed, you can be assured of the best service at all times.

Key information

  • Group size: 2 to 6 persons
  • Children policy: Children under 12 years old can join this safari for 8230 ZAR.
  • Starting and ending point: Johannesburg
  • Park and conservation fees are included.


  • 4 exciting game drives
  • Hartbeespoort Flea Market visit
  • Explore Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Drives in open game viewing vehicles
  • See Africa's Big Five and other wildlife
  • Access to game viewing hide at the waterhole
  • Daily sumptuous bushveld cuisine
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers


3 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
Airport transfer included: O. R. Tambo International Airport
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:


  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Dining area
  • Free Wi-Fi

For this safari, your accommodation will be in The Bush House inside Madikwe Game Reserve. You will be staying in a private ensuite air conditioned room with fans. The rooms are tastefully furnished with percale bed linen and fluffy towels. The bathroom and shower has a variety of toiletries and is equipped with hairdryers. There is free Wi-Fi.

The Hide

The Bush House also boasts a partially submerged game viewing hide from where you can get a unique perspective on some of Africa's biggest and noblest wildlife. Everyone is talking about the fantastic photo opportunities from the Hide.

In Africa, a " Hide" is an enclosed structure where guests can visit to watch animals and birds in their natural habitat. Hides are often constructed near waterholes with a good vantage point and in such a way that the animals are not disturbed by the guest's presence.

Early in 2012, owners of The Bush House, Sue and Gordon, called in friends and engineers to assist in planning the hide. Below were some of the main points in their brief.

To prevent this hide from obstructing the view of the waterhole from the front of the lodge, access would have to be underground.

Guests would proceed from the lodge gardens or rock pool via a tunnel to connect with the Hide and they would feel secure in spite of wild animals drinking at the waterhole.

The roof of the tunnel would be reinforced to make it sufficiently strong to withstand the weight of 5 ton elephants walking across the area.

The interior of the Hide should be large enough to seat several people and have an opening in front to facilitate photography but a drop-down grid for security reasons.

Inspite of many challenges and dangers encountered during construction of the Hide, it was finally finished according to specifications and has become a great attraction for guests at The Bush House plus a unique asset to Madikwe Game Reserve.


Day 1: Johannesburg - Madikwe Game Reserve

Depart from Johannesburg in an air-conditioned microbus and drive north towards the Magaliesberg mountains and Hartbeespoort Dam. Continue west past orange orchards and the towns of Rustenburg and Zeerust, stopping for refreshments en route.

Arrive at the southern entrance of Madikwe Game Reserve and proceed to your lodge, The Bush House, and check-in to an air-conditioned room. Have a relaxing swim in the rock pool overlooking the waterhole which is used by many different animals in the area. Enjoy high tea before boarding an open safari vehicle for the evening game drive conducted by an experienced field guide.

Madikwe hosts the Big Five and its elephant population is second only to Kruger National Park. Guests can expect a beautiful African sunset followed by game viewing with spotlights to see nocturnal species. Return to Bush House for a memorable dinner in the boma and overnight.

Day 2: Madikwe Game Reserve

Awaken at dawn for a welcome cup of tea or coffee before departing on the early morning game drive which is a good time to spot lion, rhino, or a herd of buffalo.The 4 x 4 vehicle provides excellent photographic opportunities and your guide will describe the habits of different animals and birds as you travel.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast back at the lodge. Wildlife Safaris suggests a walk along the nature trail located nearby. Spend some time in the shady garden overlooking the well-known waterhole where you can often see elephants drinking.

Later in the afternoon, join your field guide for more excitement on the evening game drive. Discuss the day's highlights over dinner around the campfire with delicious bush cuisine and perhaps a bottle of Cape wine.

Day 3: Madikwe Game Reserve - Johannesburg

Depart at sunrise in the open safari vehicle for your final morning game drive looking for elusive species such as leopard or a pack of wild dogs which are one of the highlights of Madikwe.

Breakfast back at Bush House and time for some group photos to remember your wonderful wildlife experience then pack up and leave the reserve. Enjoy a relaxing drive back towards Johannesburg, stopping en route at the Hartbeespoort Flea Market which has a wide selection of African curios. Drop-off at your hotel or guesthouse by late afternoon.


The Madikwe Game Reserve was established in 1991 on land that was previously used for cattle farming and some agriculture. An intensive environmental development program combined with re-introduction of wildlife has turned this area into one of the premier game reserves in Africa.

Operation Phoenix was the name given to the restocking and monitoring program that would take five years to complete and lives up to its name 'Phoenix' that has 'risen from the ashes'. It was one of the largest translocations of game ever to have taken place in the world.

All the large mammal species that were historically indigenous to the Madikwe area have been re-introduced. Of special concern were the endangered animals such as wild dog, white and black rhinoceros as well as cheetah. Elephants were taken from the Kruger National Park culling program and from the drought stricken Gonarezhou Reserve in Zimbabwe.

Today tourists are able to witness the success of this remarkable project as the reserve abounds with Big Five species and Madikwe boasts the second largest elephant population in South Africa.



  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Dining area


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer


During this safari, your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the price. Let the chefs in The Bush House treat you to a wonderful culinary repertoire, whether it is breakfast in the garden, afternoon tea packed with treats, or a fire-lit dinner in the Boma under the stars. They try as much as possible to accommodate all dietary requirements.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 4 game drives including night drive
  • Curio market visit
  • Bird watching
  • Airport transfers
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Access to swimming pool
  • Access to the submerged game viewing hide
  • All meals
  • Teas and coffees
  • Boma dinner under the stars experience
  • Park fees
  • Conservation fees

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Flights

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). Transfers from and to the airport is included in te price. Wildlife Safaris will pick you up from the airport if you land early enough or they will collect you from selected hotels either in the airport area or from Northern suburbs like Sandton and Rosebank. They can also assist you with recommendations.

Airport: O. R. Tambo International Airport Airport transfer included: O. R. Tambo International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
3 days / 2 nights
from --
Children policy

Children under 12 years old can join this safari for 8230 ZAR.

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