Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge is situated at a prime site in the west of the Madikwe Game Reserve, straddling the Tweedepoort Ridge with expansive views across the northern plains and Inselbergs. The central lodge sits on the slopes of a hill across a ravine, separating it from the chalets. Each of the chalets is positioned on the ridge with expansive views to the North. Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge opened in November 2004.
GPS Location: 24°46’02.50″S 26°12’10.82″E
The main lodge is spectacularly located on two tiers of the ridge, accessed via a wooden bridge that crosses a ravine surrounded by rock figs. Each of the living areas has its own character, mood and style providing guests with a choice of breathtaking views and tranquil spaces. The lodge has reception, dining, lounge, upper and lower deck and swimming pool areas.
Open vehicle game drives, stargazing, bush dining, birding and botanical interests. Madikwe is home to a tremendous diversity of fauna and flora, including both the black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog. The lodge is a superb open vehicle safari destination where guests are accompanied by well-trained and informative rangers who are able to interpret the many encounters whilst on safari.
Comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sunglasses, sun block, cameras, binoculars, light neutral-coloured clothing and a bathing suit in summer; and warm clothing and jackets are essential in winter (May to October).
Summer – October to March
- This is the rainy season with hot days and warm nights. Temperatures range from 25°C – 40°C.
Winter – April to September
- This is the dry season with generally warm days and cold nights. Temperatures range from 0°C – 25°C.
Daily scheduled flights are operated from Johannesburg International Airport to the Madikwe Airstrip with Federal Air / Madikwe Air Charters. Private air-charters are organised on request. It is only a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg to Buffalo Ridge – Road transfers can be arranged and self-drive options are possible in 2 x 4 vehicles.
- Take R21 to Pretoria.
- Head north on the N1 towards the N4 Toll Road.
- Take the N4 Toll road north west towards Rustenburg, Swartruggens, Groot Marico and Zeerust.
- Once in Zeerust turn right at the fourth stop street into President Street. There is a signpost on the left that says “ Madikwe Game Reserve/Gaborone” and a First National Bank on the corner to the right.
- Follow the R49 towards the reserve for approximately 97km.
- The first entrance to the reserve is Abjaterskop gate.
- Pass that gate and enter at the next gate – Wonderboom Gate exactly 7km from the first gate.
- Contact details for the Lodge: +27 (0)18 365-9908 and ask for Godfrey or Priscilla.
Our en-suite chalets are separated from the Central Lodge itself. Buffalo Ridge has eight luxury, thatched chalets extending along the escarpment and overlooking the bushveld below. Each has its own private viewing deck, each decorated in natural hues of colour and texture, offering a private and luxurious experience.
Each chalet is large and spacious designed to make the most of the spectacular views across the reserve. With sliding doors from each room and shower to the outside deck, our guests can experience a personal and intimate encounter with nature.
Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge operates within the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. This highly-acclaimed conservation area lies within South Africa’s North West Province, close to the Botswana border, and is twenty kilometres from Gaborone.
Geographically, enormous volcanic intrusions known as Inselbergs are prominent throughout the area and create a spectacular backdrop to the Reserve. The Dwarsberg Mountains lie to the south and the Marico River to the east.
The area is a transitional region between lowveld bushveld and the Kalahari thornveld. Consequently, these varying habitats from open plain grasslands, to woodlands, rocky outcrops and seasonal wetlands host an incredible diversity of fauna and flora including the Big 5 and numerous other wildlife and bird species that thrive and survive within the reserve.
Our early morning and evening game drives offer a unique and exclusive experience offering our guests the opportunity to traverse the full expanse and diversity of the reserves 80 000 hectares. Our safaris with a focus on game-viewing, birding, stargazing and scenic photography are accompanied by our expert local guides to help interpret your safari encounters and impart their intimate knowledge of area and its history.
Buffalo Ridge is unique for many reasons, none more so than the fact that it is the only lodge of its kind wholly-owned by a local rural community. Known as Balete, the owners of Buffalo Ridge live in the village of Lekgophung, just west of Madikwe. Their story is one of endurance and hardship, but also of joy and triumph. Like many such places, Lekgophung has been shaped by the history of our country. Its people have deep roots in the North West. They are members of the Batswana, the great tribe that has lived in and around the fringes of the Kalahari for many centuries. Their graves are scattered across the landscape, including Madikwe itself. They speak Setswana, the common tongue of the Batswana but the people of Lekgophung belong to a clan with its own traditions and way of life.
The Balete have their own chief, Kgosi Tsiepe, and their own totem, the buffalo, after which the lodge has been named. Your guides are from the village. Ask them and they will proudly tell you of their history. Of the time before the white people came, of the hardship they suffered living in a harsh and dry environment and especially of the time when many of their inhabitants were removed from their ancestral homes and resettled in what is today Lekgophung. During the time of apartheid, the Balete lost everything including most of the land that had sustained them. In their new surroundings, they had little opportunity and little support. But gradually they rebuilt their lives and their village into a place that today pulses with vitality. The photographs in your rooms are scenes from everyday life in Lekgophung, where people and their animals live in difficult conditions with dignity and humour.
It was 1999 when we first met the Balete. We had many years involvement in the lodge business and knew the potential of the industry to bring benefit and economic development to remote areas such as Lekgophung. Slowly the idea emerged of a very special partnership. The Balete would obtain lease rights to a prime site in the newly created Madikwe Game Reserve. They would build a lodge that would compete with the best. And they would enter into a partnership with an operating company with the expertise they needed to make their new business work. It took five years to convince the authorities, to raise the money and to overcome the many obstacles along the way. But it happened and Buffalo Ridge is the result.
And so the wheel has come full circle. The people who were dispossessed during the apartheid era now own a world-class business. They have used this position to structure a relationship with lodge, which brings optimal benefit to their people. The lodge is staffed by people from the village. There is a vigorous training program designed to ensure that the Balete develop the skills to manage their own lodge. And they receive a fair rental, which is available for investment in the village and its people.
See https://www.buffaloridgesafari.com/index.php/buffalo-ridge-local-community/ for more detail and images
- Accommodation, all meals, teas and coffees.
- Game drives and safari activities.
- Bar services, spa treatments and items of a personal nature.
- Conservation Levy:
- R165.00 per adult, per night
- R82.50 per child under 12, per night
- R0.00 children under 2
- Park Entrance Fee:
- R180.00 per adult, per stay
- R80.00 per child under 12, per stay
Please Note: In order to confirm your booking, a deposit payment will be required on the following basis:
- 25% deposit is required if booking is placed 60 days or more prior to date of travel;
- 50% deposit is required if booking is placed between 30 and 60 days prior to date of travel;
- 100% payment on bookings placed within 30 days of travel.
All credit cards are welcome, except Diners Club.
The following fees will be levied and the scale of charges expressed as a percentage of the total value, is as follows:
- 60 days or more before arrival – 25% of the total amount
- 30 to 60 days before arrival – 50% of the total amount (standard deposit)
- Less than 30 days before arrival – 100% of the total amount
Check in is from 14h00 and rooms are to be vacated by 11h00.