The Mafikeng Game Reserve is a 5 000ha private game reserve in the North West Province’s central region. Located on the municipal boundary of the capital city Mafikeng, the reserve, literally on the town’s doorstep, is an ideal day trip that plays an important role in educating the region's children about conservation.

Did you know?

The Mafikeng Game Reserve pioneered electronic tagging in an effort to stop rhino poaching

The Mafikeng Game Reserve is a popular recreational reserve that is home to approximately 2 000 head of plains game.

The landscape of this private game reserve comprises a mix of Kalahari thornveld, acacia bushveld and scrub, and is typically flat and dry.

Game viewing in this North West game reserve is exceptionally easy when visitors follow a self-drive loop through the park that takes no more than two hours at a gentle cruising speed. Wide, open plains and seasonal rainfall virtually guarantees animal sightings at the park’s man-made water points.

The Mafikeng Game Reserve is thus ideal for wildlife lovers with only a few hours to spare, or families with small children who cannot manage the many hours of patient spotting for wildlife that other game reserves demand.

Numerous opportunities to spot all the principle species – including white rhino, buffalo, gemsbok, and giraffe – is a special feature of this private reserve that also boasts large populations of springbuck, zebra, kudu, red hartebeest, black wildebeest, ostrich and warthog.

When the seasonal summer rains arrive, the Molopo River, dry for most of the year, begins to flow, attracting birds such as waxbills and finches, as well as waders and other migrant species. Birding enthusiasts will want to keep an eye out for the park’s breeding pairs of secretary birds and Cape, lappet-faced and white-backed vultures.

An important breeding centre in the region, the Mafikeng Game Reserve has programmes to conserve the white rhino and the Cape buffalo. An absence of predators means that antelope populations rise quickly, so the park is also involved in game capture and relocation to ensure a healthy and balanced eco-system.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Mafikeng Game Reserve
Louis Coetzee, Park Manager
Tel: + 27 (0)18 397 1675/6/7

How to get here

Drive into Mafikeng on the R503 (Lichtenburg Road). Cross over the bridge and turn right into Shippard Street. Travel east for 2km and turn right into Jacaranda Street (immediately after the sports ground). The entrance to the Mafikeng Game Reserve is through the main gate off Jacaranda Street.

Best time to visit

From September to April the park is lush and green, and there are dozens of baby animals to see. Between May and August, sparse winter scrub makes game viewing easier.

Around the area

Mafikeng, the closest town to the reserve, has a wealth of South African War sites to visit, including the Mafikeng Museum that chronicles the infamous siege of Mafikeng. Natural attractions in the area include the Barberspan, Disaneng, Modimola, and Lotlamoreng dams for bird watching; the Botsanelo Game Reserve; and Wondergat, a large natural sinkhole suitable for inland scuba diving.

Get around

You’ll need your own car or the services of a tour operator to drive around the game reserve.

What will it cost

R35 adult; children (2-12) and pensioners R20

Length of stay

Less than half a day unless you plan to picnic. The principal circuit through the reserve takes only two hours to drive.

What to pack

Binoculars for game viewing. Sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent are recommended, especially if you’ll be picnicking. Pack warm clothes for early morning game drives in winter – Mafikeng can be surprisingly chilly.

Where to stay

Choose between two self-catering guesthouses, a bush camp, a tented camp, or a camp site

What to eat

There is no shop or restaurant in the reserve. All visitors should bring their own food and drink.

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