I have always wanted to visit Madikwe Game Reserve – one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries, a Big Five Reserve with 66 mammal species, (including Wild dog populations, aka Painted wolves or Painted Dogs..my favorite painting subjects…) and approximately 300 resident and migrant bird species.
Madikwe Hills Game Lodge is our destination, and we drive from Polokwane off-road and through fascinating rural areas towards Derdepoort Gate, (noting diverse eating/drinking places such as this quaint place, jakkalsgat pub and grill….!)
My large oil painting of wild dogs has hung in the dining area of this stunning lodge for many years, and this is the first time I get to visit it!…
Arriving late afternoon Friday 25th January, we are treated to a sudden hailstorm mixed with sunshine from the dip pool and deck of our luxury lodge.
Large hailstones add atmosphere to the sunset and panache to our whisky sundowner…
what a room!
Within the elegant lodge (which even has a dedicated wine room, filled with Painted Wolf Wines!), we later meet up with Leonore, a friend from way back in the days when we hosted a Boundless and Kingsley Holgate expedition.
elegant interiors, tasteful decor, embrace a few more of my paintings…such as these in the library/video room of the lodge…
Swopped some of my art for our stay in this glorious luxury safari destination, and left these three pieces below on consignment, for sale in the gorgeous gift shop curated by leonore.
Saturday 26th January
We see a Porcupine before dawn on an early morning game drive,
Large and small varieties of dung beetles busily processing the vast quantities of dung from the many mammals and multitudinous elephants,
Madikwe has, to understate it, an abundance of elephants. One of the many elephants’ babies mock charges us with shrill squeals and shakes of his little head and spaghetti trunk, then quickly beats a retreat behind the ample rear of his mum…
A sleeping white rhino, new birds such as the Ant-eating Chat, fascinating ground squirrels with sunbrella tails and attitude posing near the entrances to their complex and interlinked underground burrows, add huge interest to our game drives. A highlight for me- we visit six wild dogs in the Boma,
but do not get out of the vehicle or approach them, so as not to unnecessarily habituate them to humans…. they are waiting to be released shortly into the madikwe reserve -three females from the local pack and three males imported.