Bushbaby Travel: Inspiring travel for life
Lion, at Jaci's, courtesy of Jaci's Safari Lodge

North West Safari, South Africa

The North West offers some of the best game viewing in Africa, within easy access of the international hub of Johannesburg, yet it is ‘malaria-free’. A combination of Madikwe with Pilanesburg or the Waterberg, provides an ideal itinerary for those looking to spend a week on Safari.

Lion, at Jaci's, courtesy of Jaci's Safari Lodge

Pilanesberg National Park is located in the North West Province, a 2 – 3 hour drive from Johannesburg, adjacent to Sun City, and therefore ideal for those wishing to combine Big Five Safari with Big Fun! Originally formed by volcanic eruptions, the Park is scenically very beautiful and provides a wide variety of rich habitats. It is possible to self-drive around the park because of its manageable size and yet the concentration of game provides a realistic chance of seeing the ‘Big Five’ as well as brown hyena, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and hippo. Guests staying at one of the lodges can choose to view game from an open vehicle, hot air balloon or elephant-back, whilst day trips from Sun City can also be arranged.

Further North on the Botswana border, a 4 - 5 hour drive or 1 hour flight from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Pilanesburg, Madikwe Game Reserve is a unique partnership between Government, Community and Private Enterprise. Although it is Government owned and run by the Parks Board, visitors are not allowed to self-drive, but must stay in one of the wide selection of private lodges. The 75,000 hectare reserve was established in 1991, after a feasibility study determined that the best use of the land to create an income for the local community was wildlife-based tourism. Operation PHEONIX saw the largest re-introduction of game ever undertaken by man in Africa, including entire breeding herds of elephant from war-torn Zimbabwe and other species such as buffalo, black and white rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena. There are also several wild dog packs which are fast making Madikwe famous. There are a good selection of lodges of varying standards and by staying at one of these, you will automatically by supporting the local community. All staff employed come from the area and a percentage of your room rate and gate fee are distributed locally.

The Waterberg, a 3 hour drive North East of Johannesburg offers some excellent Bush Homes where all ages can enjoy a more 'active' safari experience. Whilst there are some Big Five Reserves in the area, we recommend a stay at one of the private reserves which are not home to Elephant or Lion to give all ages the opportunity to walk or even horse ride with the game (with the latter, guests can enjoy incredibly close sightings of game such as giraffe, white rhino and zebra as the animals only 'see' the horse). In between game viewing, children can join in with the daily activities, from changing a tyre to rounding up rhino, whilst adults relax with a good book or glass of wine!

  • Pool

    Impodimo Game Lodge

    bushbaby rating:
    Four stars

    Dramatic sunsets, lush surroundings and breath-taking views await you at Impodimo, a luxurious...

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  • Jaci's Safari Lodge

    Jaci's Safari Lodge

    bushbaby rating:
    Five stars

    Jaci’s Safari Lodge is set alongside the Marico River in a beautiful area of the park, surrounded...

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  • Jaci's Tree Lodge

    Jaci's Tree Lodge

    bushbaby rating:
    Five stars

    Jaci’s Tree Lodge showcases 8 luxurious tree houses perched on wooden stilts in the canopy, giving guests...

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  • Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge

    Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge

    bushbaby rating:
    Four stars

    Just two hours from Gauteng, in malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park. is Kwa Maritane Lodge, aka...

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  • Madikwe Hills

    Madikwe Hills

    bushbaby rating:
    Five stars

    For the ultimate, malaria-free safari experience, catering to the needs of even the most...

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  • Thakadu River Camp

    Thakadu River Camp

    bushbaby rating:
    Four stars

    Tucked away along the banks of the Marico River, Thakadu River Camp comprises 12 luxurious suites, each...

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  • Tswalu

    Tswalu Kalahari

    bushbaby rating:
    Five stars

    Perfectly designed to merge into the native bush, lies a bush retreat unlike any other. Nestled...

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  • Tuningi

    Tuningi

    bushbaby rating:
    Five stars

    Nestled in a verdant valley, Tuningi’s guest areas overlook a waterhole and are linked by a wooden...

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