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Madikwe Trip Report

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Just want to report on our visit to the Madikwe Game Reserve in early November. Our journey to South Africa was mostly a business trip, but we were fortunate to be able to spend 2 days in Madikwe. This was a wonderful way to go "into the bush" and experience the wonders of this part of the world.

Our lodging was the Madikwe Farm House which is ideal for a family or 2 (children are allowed) or a small group of friends who want to share expenses. It has 4 very comfortable bedrooms, a large living room and dining area, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, outdoor pool, etc. It is set up to be self-catering in that you supply your own food and drink, but staff take care of the food preparation and clean up. And a ranger is provided to take you on personalized game drives.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon and went for a game drive from about 4-8 p.m., then returned to find our dinner prepared and waiting for us. (We bought the food and told the cook what we wanted for each meal, and he did a superb job of putting together delicious meals for us.)

The ranger was excellent at spotting a wide variety of wildlife, including birds. He was good at ascertaining the interests of the group and catering to these as much as the wildlife allowed.

We were delighted with the amount of wildlife we saw in such a limited amount of time. Since this was my first visit to the bush, I didn't know what to expect. But the members of our group who live in South Africa had all visited many other game reserves, and they confirmed that Madikwe allows visitors to experience the beauty of the bush in a special way. They especially liked the policy of having no more than 2 vehicles in one place. Usually we were the only vehicle in the area when we sighted wildlife.

Each day included an early morning and late afternoon game drive. After the morning drive (from around 6-10 am), we returned to eat a delicious brunch.

We had time for 4 of these game drives altogether and enjoyed seeing leopard, lions (with cubs), white and black rhinos, many elephants, elegant giraffes, a wide variety of antelope (including black , kudu, water buck, impala, springbok, etc.), jackals, warthogs, wildebeasts, hartebeast, many birds (36 species at least), and many other animals.

We took lots of digital photos and also used a digital camcorder while there. I am glad we have this "record" to help us remember the sights, sounds, and smells of the bush in early November.

I hope to return someday and spend a little longer there - perhaps with some of our grown children.

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