Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Fast Facts
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips
Excellent game viewing. Superb bird watching. Dramatic scenery. Terrific guides. Safari lodges to fit every budget and style. Madikwe Game Reserve, one of South Africa's best-kept secrets, affords an unforgettable safari experience. So why take the kids? Here are six reasons. 1) Many reserve lodges and camps cater to families. Several offer family game drives as well as special activities for children under the age of eight. 2) The safari guides at this game park excel at explaining the bush to kids. 3) Thanks to Operation Phoenix, the largest game translocation operation in the world, Madikwe is home to a large variety of animal species including the African big five - lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros - and three of South Africa's most endangered species - brown hyena, African wild dog and black rhino. 4) Roughly 300 bird species, including many raptors, have been sighted at Madikwe. 5) The reserve's diverse landscape - inselbergs or rocky hills, acacia studded grasslands and thick riverine forests - make it ideal for wildlife viewing. 6) Madikwe is malaria free.
History & Culture
The Tswana (plural BaTswana) are the largest ethnic group in South Africa's North West province. They are a bantu-speaking people. The Tswana speak Setswana. They migrated to southern Africa - South Africa, Botswana and Namibia - in the 11th century. Their traditional home is a round, one-room hut with a cone-shaped thatched roof. Tswana clan groups are patrilineal. Each clan is governed by a chief or headman. All decisions regarding the community are arrived at by consensus and are discussed in a public meeting called a kgotla that is open to all. Three out of four BaTswana live in South Africa.
Online maps are a great family travel planning resource and great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Use online maps of South Africa to pinpoint your family travel destination, identify points of interest and plan your itinerary. Map mountain ranges, national parks and game reserves. And use online maps to learn about the history, geography and politics of the land.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Find recommended reading lists for family travel to South Africa and, in addition to learning about the country and the people, discover wildlife and nature.
Music & Sound
Music is a great way to introduce children to a vacation destination and embark on a journey through sound. Listen to an elephant trumpet and a lion snarl and roar. Listen to bird sounds and bird songs. Learn to identify birdcalls. How many bird species can you identify by their sounds, songs and calls? Brush up before you depart and test your skills on a birdwatching trip. Which member of your family can identify the most?
Local newspapers provide insight to local culture in a way books can't. Read South African newspapers online and brush up on South African current events. Get South African news and, in addition to discovering what South Africans are reading, find out what's happening.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning lots of fun. Get fun facts about South Africa. Learn about conservation and wildlife. Play wildlife games online. Test your knowledge before you depart and again when you return. Print the information you find fascinating and take it with you on your family trip. Explain your findings to your family members and use the things you learn to make your travel journal really cool.
Associations and non-profit organizations can be a valuable resource as well as means to get involved. Learn more about the ongoing conservation efforts at the Madikwe Game Reserve. Find out more about a few of the organizations involved in wildlife conservation and the environment in South Africa.
Recommended Reads for Family Travel to South Africa
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Travel Trivia
The age of the Saguaro Cactus is determined by: