Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge: A Treasure Within Madikwe Game Reserve

A safari holiday is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And South Africa with its unparalleled landscape, wildlife and the promise of the Big 5 offer a gaming experience unlike any other.

Now with even better infrastructure, some luxurious resorts and lodges, and an array of experiences, South Africa promises to put together some of the world’s best safaris.

The Madikwe Game Reserve is South Africa’s fifth-largest game reserve and includes an array of wildlife from sable, kudu, lion, leopard to the famous African wild-dogs. You can explore this beautiful terrain on expert-led game drives and bush walks.

As you might already know, Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the few malaria-free reserves in South Africa, located along the Botswana border and lying between a transition area. That between the Lowveld bushveld and the Kalahari thornveld.

But where should you stay when you are in Madikwe Game Reserve? Our recommendation is the Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge.

You can imagine the diversity of species from both the ecosystems. Historically, this region had vast volcanic intrusions known as Inselbergs, which create one of the most spectacular backdrops that you can witness at Madikwe.

Community-based Safari Lodge

What’s unique about Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge? After all, Madikwe is famous for its five star rated lodges with the finest luxury and service.

But Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge is the first wholly-owned, community-based Safari Lodge to be developed in South Africa.

What exactly does that mean? Basically, the lodge is an eco-tourism partnership between North-West Parks, the Balete Ba Lekgophung Community and their operator The Nature Workshop.

This community has a 45-year long lease to operate the commercial lodge with traversing access across the reserve. It’s a unique concept in South Africa as the lodge ownership is with the community and benefits and profits accrue back to the people themselves.

Amenities at Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge

It’s a luxurious 16-bed facility designed by Nick Plewman who is a renowned lodge designer. The lodge ‘s location is at a pristine site in the west of Madikwe Game Reserve along the Tweedepoort Ridge with stunning views of the Northern Plains and inselbergs.

The central lodge is in fact, right on the slopes of a hill facing the ravine – separating it from the chalets. Whereas each one of the chalets is on the ridge with expansive views towards the north.

The main lodge has eight suites. Each of the suites has their very own viewing deck and the decoration is in harmony with the natural colours and texture of the land, giving you an exclusive and luxurious experience.

You can experience great privacy oneness and with the bushveld using the thatched suites that have sliding doors from each of the rooms.

Each living space is designed in a different and unique character and style. The idea is to provide the guests with tranquil spaces and stunning scenic beauty.

The lodge comprises a reception area, dining area, lounge, upper and lower deck and swimming pools.

In addition, you can enjoy the following facilities:

  • Lounge
  • Private Boma
  • Dining Area
  • 2 Look-out Decks
  • Swimming Pool

The Safari

The Madikwe Game Reserve is celebrated for its amazing diversity of fauna and flora. This includes the black and white rhino, African wild dog, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and cheetah. You can make the most of these game drives and wildlife at Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge.

The experienced rangers and guides will help you take in the sights and sounds of the wilderness in the most authentic way. What’s more, the lodge and game reserve are ecologically active and aware and you will learn a thing or two about conservation here.

Experience local culture

The lodge is owned by a local, rural community called Balete Ba Lekgophung. The owners live in the village of Lekgophung and consists of members of Batswana – the tribe that has lived in and around the fringes of Kalahari for centuries.

Your guides at the lodge will be from the Balete community. If you are interested in local culture and history, then you have ample opportunity to learn about their struggle, history, culture and way of life.

How to reach there

There are scheduled flights that operate daily from Johannesburg International Airport to the Madikwe Airstrip with Federal Air or Madikwe Air Charters. You can also request for private air charters. It is merely a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg to Buffalo Ridge.

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