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The Madikwe Game Reserve is just three hours’ drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, and is located along the Botswana border. At 75,000 hectares, this reserve is one of the largest in South Africa. This, coupled with it being in a non-malaria area, has made it a very popular destination for families.The immense diversity of vegetation ensures a wide range of animal species, and the distinctive topography presents incredible game viewing opportunities.

Madikwe is home to 66 mammal species and approximately 300 resident and migrant bird species.

Madikwe Lelapa Lodge

Welcome to our home!  Lelapa literally means ‘family’, and this is exactly how we want you to feel – there is no restriction in terms of age or generation. You can expect warm hospitality; sublime comfort and a compelling charm which will make you want to stay forever.

Each of the 12 Suites are spacious, comfortable and ever respectful of the natural environment beyond. Indoor and outdoor showers, private plunge pool and wood-burning fireplace are just some of the added creature comforts to enhance Mother Nature’s subtle signature.

Madikwe Dithaba Lodge

Dithaba (meaning ‘mountain’ in the local dialect) is located slightly higher up and has a spectacular view over the open plains.

With only 4 Suites (each with private plunge pool), this Lodge is well suited to a group of friends or family members making it their own while on safari.

Or for those who simply prefer the sound of nature and little else.

Madikwe Kopano Lodge

Kopano directly translated means ‘small gathering’. The Lodge comprises just 4 Suites (each with private plunge pool) which share a magnificent common area. Fine dining to the hoot of an owl, the roar of a lion or the crazed whoop of a hyena is the stuff that dreams are made of. Salut!

The Motshabaesi Primary School

At Madikwe Safari Lodge they support, a school which serves 234 children from the Obakeng Village. Most come from very poor families, and do not stay with parents but with guardians (grandparents, aunts and uncles or members of the community). Many of these parents/ guardians are unemployed, and the only meals the children eat are those they get at the school. The government supplies the school with food on a weekly basis for this purpose.

Motshabaesi Primary consists of 4 classrooms and a couple of temporary container classrooms that accommodate between 30 and 50 learners each. There is no administrative equipment (which they are in desperate need of), or library.  Despite being subsidised by the government, the school battles to support the children that they “foster” during the week.

This lodge’s pack for a purpose allows travellers the opportunity to donate and contribute to these care centres by looking at the wish list for the corresponding property that they are travelling to and bringing along any donations they can. This organisation ensures that each of the care centres has enough food, stationery, clothes, toys and much more.

Needs:  General School Supplies; Text/Reading Books; Art Supplies; Computer Hardware/Software; Educational Games/Toys; Music Instruments; Sports/Outdoor Activity; Clothing/Shoes;
First Aid/Health

Rhino Conservation Experience

Madikwe Game Reserve is committed to wildlife conservation, particularly when it comes to its critically endangered rhino species. To this end, the reserve has established The Honorary Officers Counter Poaching Unit (HOCPU), headed up by Phillip Hattingh. Madikwe Safari Lodge’s guests have the unique opportunity to contribute to, and experience, critical conservation in action through The Rhino Conservation Experience.

After an early morning wakeup call, followed by coffee/ tea and light refreshment, guests are transferred to Madikwe’s Airstrip to meet up with Phillip, park representatives and a veterinary specialist. Following a brief introduction on rhino conservation and an overview of the plan of action, the vet will depart in a helicopter to find and dart a rhino in the vicinity. Safari vehicles are in continuous radio contact, and remain on standby until the location of the rhino is called in. Guests are then transferred to the scene where the rhino is sedated, to participate in the process of gathering DNA samples and notching. The rhino is soon on its feet (sedated for no more than 10-15 minutes to minimise stress), now part of the reference book of identifiable rhinos within Madikwe’s population.

It is through this process that Field Guides are able to identify and record rhino sightings for the purpose of monitoring the health of the population. In addition, the DNA samples are sent to Onderstepoort so that each animal’s unique ID can be added to the national database. The recording of DNA is vital in order to gain convictions against poachers.

Cost per Rhino Notching Experience:     
ZAR 44,000 (for a maximum of 16 participants in 2 safari vehicles)

Cost of helicopter, veterinary specialist and access to dedicated park officials; the exclusive encounter with a sedated rhino; tea/ coffee and refreshments during orientation

Connect with people and conservation projects on luxury journeys that give back to wildlife and communities

Your journey at a glance

Embark on an unforgettable 12-day philanthropic journey through the heart of Africa. Explore Nairobi, offering an abundance of exciting, diverse conservation experiences including adopting an elephant from the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and observing or hand-feeding the elegant Rothschild giraffes at the Giraffe Centre.

Duration:            12 Days, 11 Nights

Rate:                    From USD11 386

Region:                Nairobi / Chyulu Hills / Lewa Downs / Masai Mara

Meet individuals from the Community Leaders Education Fund bursary programme, who are developing natural leadership potential and improving their career opportunities by studying at a local college or university. Tread across vast plains at Chyulu Hills National Park accompanied by a Maasai warrior, with tribal knowledge that spans over centuries.

Learn the traditional Maasai way of life and discover how they live in harmony alongside Africa’s majestic wildlife. Cherish the sanctuary at Ol Pejeta and Lewa Downs conservancy, a safe haven for chimps and rhino, and delve into initiatives by the Africa Foundation and &Beyond, grounded in community participation and driven by local leadership.

  • 2 night Nairobi

  • 3 nights Kuku Group Ranch (near Chyulu Hills))

  • 3 nights Lewa Downs Conservancy

  • 3 nights Masai Mara

What we love about this journey:

  • Cherish a private visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, embark on a tour of this wildlife orphanage, and meet the elephants that you have the opportunity to adopt

  • Meet a Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF) student

  • Spend time with the team from the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust

  • Walk with a Maasai and learn about his fascinating culture, and how his community is conserving wildlife areas

  • Explore the Lewa Downs conservancy, learning about the history of the region and how the conservation model had developed

  • Visit the Sweetwaters chimpanzee and rhino sanctuary on Ol Pejeta

  • Witness one of the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos

  • Engage with a Maasai community, gaining insight into their way of life, challenges and their future

  • Savour a day with the Africa Foundation program manager visiting schools and community projects, understanding how the Africa Foundation and &Beyond works with communities to enable sustainable development

  • Join a conservation lesson with the &Beyond staff and children from one of the nearby community schools

Perfect for

  • Individuals and families who have an interest in conservation and community development

  • Wildlife enthusiasts

The spirit of Lewa Safari Camp

Nestled within the sprawling Laikipia plains, the charming Lewa Safari Camp is set on the privately-owned Lewa Wildlife Conservancy; home to a splendid array of wildlife, and some of Kenya’s most spectacular scenery. Spacious and luxurious, each of the camp’s thatch-covered tents boasts a comfortable bed, lovely ensuite bathroom and private veranda. The guest areas overlook a popular waterhole and include a dining room, library, bar and an inviting sitting area with a fireplace. In between game viewing adventures, guests can retreat to the coolness of a sparkling swimming or enjoy a spot of game viewing from the camp’s hide. Adventures include twice-daily game drives, guided walks, Ngare Ndare forest excursions, horseback safaris and camel rides, as well as enchanting cultural tours.

What we love about Lewa Safari Camp

  • Experienced equestrians will delight in a tranquil horseback safari – a fantastic alternative to game drives.

  • After an exhilarating game drive, treat yourself to a pampering massage.

  • Tuck into a delicious bush breakfast in the middle of the wilderness.

Campi ya Kanzi

The superb Campi Ya Kanzi eco-lodge is tucked away in a pristine, Maasai-owned private game reserve. Tented cottages and suites offer fantastic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Tsavo Hills and the Chyulu Hills. Constructed from canvas, stone and wood, each tent has a distinct and decidedly authentic character. All have private verandas that open out onto vistas filled with wildlife.

Like the menu itself, the dining area at the heart of the camp is a tasteful combination of European and Kenyan. Hearty Italian food (think homemade pasta, risotto and gelato) is accompanied by a wonderful selection of South African and Italian wines and is served in a cosy dining area that is open to the incredible landscape. Guests can sip on a sundowner and spy on game from the sitting room, which overlooks a nearby waterhole. Adventures include Maasai-guided walking safaris, game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles, day excursions to Tsavo National Park or afternoons spent at the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

What we love about Camp Ya Kanzi

  • Experience the thrill of tracking game on foot with the Maasai.

  • Unwind on your private veranda with a refreshing sundowner, watching wildlife interact at a nearby waterhole.

  • Ask your hosts about the forest walk or a picturesque picnic in the Chyulu Hills.

The spirit of &Beyond Bateleur Camp

Tucked away at the foot of the scenic Oloololo escarpment (the rim of the Great Rift Valley) in Kenya’s iconic Masai Mara National Reserve, is the classic and elegant &Beyond Bateleur Camp.

Here, amidst the reserve’s astounding year-round concentration of animals, including the Great Wildebeest Migration, guests can experience an unsurpassed wildlife experience.

This romantic and totally private camp reflects the ambiance of Kenyan safaris of the ‘20s and ‘30s and is situated below the scenic location where the famous final scene of the movie Out of Africa was filmed.

Adventures at &Beyond Bateleur Camp include twice-daily game drives, including spot-lit night drives. The camp also offers a range of additional activities such as bush walks, hot air balloon safaris and community excursions that include soul-tickling interactions with the Maasai.

Why we love it

  • Day and night game drives, bush walks and hot air ballooning available nearby

  • Breath-taking views over the Masai Mara – set just below the spot where Out of Africa’s famous final scene was filmed

  • Ambiance of classic Kenyan safari

  • Community visit, including interaction with the Maasai

  • Perfect for wildlife enthusiasts, first time and repeat travellers, nature lovers, photographers, birders

Please click here to contact one of our consultants to assist you with a comprehensive itinerary

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SATSA No. 207

Hartley’s Safaris is registered with Southern Africa Tourism Association Registration number 207.


Hartley’s Safaris
South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Reg no: 2001/006019/07
United Kingdom
Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris SA

Okavango Explorations (UK) Ltd
T/A Hartleys Safaris
Registered in England No. 2348880
Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris UK

SATSA No. 207

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Our ATOL number is ATOL 3958. Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website.

Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected.

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