Madikwe vs Kruger: The Ultimate Safari Showdown

A South African safari ticks all the boxes. Its incredible diversity confirms it as the perfect choice for families, honeymooners, and everyone in between. Africa expert, Adda, weighs up two of South Africa’s most sought after safari destinations, the Madikwe Game Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park in the ultimate safari showdown… 

The Madikwe is a reliable destination for a family safari. Because of its non-malarial status, we generally recommend Madikwe for young families and first time safari goers. Sitting near the border of Botswana, where the bushveld meets the Kalahari, its unique location and diverse terrain, ranging from grassy plains to rocky outcrops and open woodland, affords it some of the world’s rarest species. The accommodation options are also very diverse. Properties that are geared up for families offer great children friendly safari experiences such as dung recognition, bumble rides and track moulding exercises. Exclusive use family villas and suites often come with private game vehicles and staff, this is a good option as they are ideal for a family adventure allowing you to spend quality time with your loved ones. There are also numerous lodges that are amazingly private, perfect for couples and those trying to escape the bustle of home life. Game viewing is good and there are rarely any more than four vehicles at one sighting. The western side of the reserve is more diverse in terms of biomes, and there is less traffic compared to the eastern side.

The Greater Kruger is immense in size and quality. The Sabi Sands and private concessions that border the Kruger are famous for the quality of game and accommodation. Being in a malarial area, it has less of an appeal to young families, however, the Kruger simply oozes with quality safari experiences and would be hard to beat. Lodges are located on the banks of semi- perennial rivers which run into the National Park and situated next to watering holes, enhancing the game viewing experience. From the safety and tranquillity of a stoep (outside deck) at your lodge, one can watch the plains antelope and elephant pass by. The Greater Kruger boasts the most incredible population of the ‘evasive’ leopard. Rarely does one not see the Big 5 and a selection of other beautiful creatures during the course of a recommended three night stay. The level of guiding is very much dependant on which lodge you choose. There a limited amounts of people allowed in one area and therefore it is more exclusive than the average South African safari.

Having lived and worked in the Kruger area, I am bias, however I would happily accept that in terms of accommodation, game viewing and experiences, both the Greater Kruger and the Madikwe are wonderful options. No matter where you choose, it is imperative to get the right lodge and reserve for you, your friends and your family in South Africa. Securing the perfect accommodation is the difference between a good and a superlative safari experience. Our experts listen to your requirements, understanding what you want from your holiday and tailor making it exclusively to you, to ensure your trip is truly special.

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