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Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve lies in the extreme northwest corner of the North West Province up to the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. It is a 3.5 hour drive from Johannesburg, or a short flight by air.

Populating Madikwe with animals over a six-year period became one of the largest wildlife translocation projects in the world. Nicknamed 'Operation Phoenix', the task involved capturing and transporting 8,000 animals representing 28 species from reserves elsewhere in the country to the North West Province.

From 1991 to 1997, animals introduced to the region included elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, spotted hyena, lion, giraffe, antelope, and the highly endangered Cape hunting dog (wild dog). Today there are three hunting packs of wild dog in the Madikwe reserve.

Madikwe now boasts more than 60 mammal species including the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) and well over 300 resident and migrant bird species.

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