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Safari at Madikwe, South Africa, March 2014

HLT and Alex were visting, so we went on safari to Madikwe. Madikwe is a large game park on the South Africa-Botswana border. Elephants, wild dogs, and spiders!

Madikwe has a somewhat storied recent history, first as a 'tribal homeland' during apartheid (i.e., forced evacuation from the cities into the bush), and then as a cattle ranch. Then in the 1980's the Zambezi river was dammed, and thousands of animals were 'rescued' from the flooding and taken to Madikwe in a manuever called Operation Phoenix. Since then it's been a game refuge, home to about 30 lodges and covering 750 square km (one of SA's 5 largest). It's about a 3-6 hour drive from Pretoria, depending on how many stuck truck and wrong turns you encounter.

It had been raining pretty solidly for much of the past month, so we were pessimistic about being able to see much (and had backed away from going to Sabi in part due to the bad weather). But things turned out well and we had no rain at all. The animals here are very good, in particular the wild dogs, which we had a great encounter with.

For more history of the park, see my photos from Madikwe Trip #1, taken about 18 months ago. And for some great photos from this trip, also see Alex's gallery on Flickr.

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Henry Throop

Last modified 11 Jun 2023