Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve

Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve   -  " home of Manyatta Rock Camp "
Sawubona, and welcome to our 4000 hectare private game reserve located in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Meaning "place of the rock" in the local Swazi tongue, Kwa Madwala lies on the southern side of Kruger National Park and is home to our fabulous Manyatta Rock Camp. Here, comfort comes as standard along with elegant African touches and commanding views over the surrounding bush from our stunning hilltop location. Enjoy our exhilarating "big five" game viewing experiences and soak up the tranquility of this unique hilltop camp.

Game Viewing Options
Using four wheel drive vehicles, our specially trained rangers and trackers delight in taking guests out on twice daily safari drives and guided bush walks. Breathtaking birds-eye views can be enjoyed on our aerial safari flights, which take in the reserve plus the southern border of Kruger National Park. Also available to Manyatta Rock Camp guests are elephant back safaris and elephant interaction programmes which now operate on the reserve. Getting into such close proximity to these amazing creatures is indeed a privilege. Visitors can also choose from a range of treks and interaction experiences at Kwa Madwala.

Enviable Location
Our enviable location close to Swaziland, Mozambique and Kruger National Park affords the chance for visitors to explore the diversity of this region. A range of guided day and half-day excursions are offered from Manyatta Rock Camp and we recommend a minimum four night stay to fully appreciate the reserve and surrounding areas.

Gap Year Conservation Experience
For those with time on their hands, Kwa Madwala is also a leading provider of "gap year" conservation experience programmes and Game Ranger Training. Experience life on a big five game reserve and take away happy memories having contributed to the ongoing sustainability of conserving this patch of African wilderness.

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Safaris at Kwa Madwala
After ten years of successful commercial operation at Kwa Madwala we have learnt a great deal and our wish is to share this advice on your big game safari experience with you. We sincerely hope you will find this information and the safari combinations we suggest useful in ensuring the best possible chance of large animal sightings and memories that will last a lifetime.

The information we give below is based on detailed research and many interviews with guests who have visited us over the years. In addition to this we have entered into extensive debates and consultations with many top industry tour operators and agents who have also contributed hugely to what we have to say.

Over 70% of our guests visit us primarily for a safari experience based on game drives and big game sightings. In most cases they travel thousands of miles and spend large sums on airfares and travel arrangements. The very least we can do is then offer them the best possible advice for their safari.

For this reason we recommend a minimum stay of three nights with a combination of the following safari experiences:

-  Three Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve game drives: either two morning drives and one late afternoon drive or two late afternoon and one morning drives. See Kwa Madwala Game drives for more information.

-  One Greater Kruger National Park game drive: either a morning or an afternoon safari. See Greater Kruger National Park drives for more information.

-  One half day Standard Kruger National Park day tour: either the morning or afternoon half of the day. See Standard Kruger National Park Safari for more information.

-  A Kwa Madwala Night Safari after dinner. See Kwa Madwala Night Safari for more information.

-  A Kwa Madwala Walking Safari. See Kwa Madwala Walking Safaris for more information.

The Kwa Madwala conservancy in itself offers an excellent game viewing experience with 95% of our guests seeing lion, rhino, elephant, and occasionally leopard as well as a variety of general other game in a three drive period.

The combination of Kwa Madwala, a private concession in Kruger which is adjacent to our northern border, the Standard Kruger Safari either in open or closed vehicles, a true night safari and a walking one has produced many special close encounters and unique sightings which can only be described as the ultimate all round safari South Africa can possibly offer.

It is important to note that although Kruger National Park is a far larger conservancy and is a ‘closer to natural environment’ in comparison to Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve, both these environments are man managed. Natural migration patterns of elephants and wilder beast have been broken down by fences in both these eco systems.

Wildlife at Kwa Madwala
To compare the two types of conservancy:

-  Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve is a 4000 hectare independent big game and wilderness conservancy, well stocked in terms of the big 4 including lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and a wide variety of other general game.

-  Kruger National Park is a 2.2 million hectare independent big game conservancy and national park with a variety of most game species including the big 5; lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard.

The main differences between the two in terms of eco systems are as follows
-  Kwa Madwala has for example one family herd of wild elephants, a small herd of white rhino and one small pride of lions which are likely to be seen in the conservancy. This is similar to most smaller and independently fenced conservancies and game parks in South Africa where predator prey relationships need to be carefully monitored and managed.

-  In comparison, Kruger has several herd of elephant, rhino and prides of lion, however there are large scale management plans in place to ensure specie populations are retained in line with what is scientifically and biologically defined as suitable by the various authorities and environmentalists who are employed by Kruger to carry out this function.

-  Kwa Madwala is a smaller managed eco system in comparison. The animals here can only roam within the 4000 hectares fenced conservancy giving reasonable control over sightings. At Kruger the animals can roam in a much larger area in a less restricted environment.

All Kwa Madwala safaris begin with a briefing and safety talk given by your local, highly experienced and professional ranger. Our safari Manager, Mark and his assistant Con, are always available on site to discuss your safari in more detail. We look forward to welcoming and entertaining you in a simplistic safari environment and ensuring you are cared for with true South African hospitality.

Game Drives – Kwa Madwala
The game drives at Kwa Madwala are uniquely small and personal. Undertaken in open 4x4s, these safari vehicles offer a second-to-none open and panoramic experience. The drive takes you into the 4,000 hectare Kwa Madwala Private Conservancy. These drives offer an excellent overall game and wilderness experience.

Morning Game Drives
Three hour early morning safari which includes coffee and rusks in the bush. This safari departs at 05.00 in the summer and at 06.00 in the winter. Guests return in time for a hearty breakfast either back at Manyatta Rock Camp or in the bush. Your ranger will give you an early morning wake up call on request.

Afternoon Game Drives
Three hour late afternoon safari which includes sundowner drinks and snacks in the bush, often by the river to watch the hippos have their evening bathe. The afternoon safari departs at 16.30 in the summer and 16.00 in the winter. Guests return in time for a delicious dinner.

Please note
Summer months: 1st November to 30th March
Winter months: 1st April to 30th October

The drive departs from camp and traverses through the Kwa Madwala reserve focusing on large game, many other animals, birds, flora and fauna. Expect to get close to lion, elephant, rhino as well as giraffe. Consider yourself very lucky should you encounter a leopard sighting and enjoy the general game and wilderness experience the reserve has to offer.   

Kwa Madwala tries wherever possible to employ people from local communities. As a result the majority of our rangers are from under privileged and previously disadvantaged backgrounds. They are without doubt very entertaining and will relate fascinating facts and stories along the way. Each one of them has exceptional knowledge of the bush and has excellent tracking skills and consequently is more than able to answer questions on the bush and its inhabitants. However, you may experience a lack of knowledge on worldly events and issues. We ask that you kindly respect this.

Wildlife sightings
It should be noted that whilst every effort is made in terms of finding sightings on a Kwa Madwala game drive, and rangers will do their absolute best for you, in certain cases sightings can be poor. If this does happen it is important to try and be patient, it is seldom that a combination of three drives will give an overall result of poor game viewings.

For the best viewing results we highly recommend you participate in at least three game drives at Kwa Madwala and both of the Kruger National Park safari options. Should sightings for whatever reason be poor in Kwa Madwala the chances are they are unlikely to be poor in Kruger simultaneously. The opposite also applies in that poor sightings in Kruger are unlikely to occur in Kwa Madwala at the same time. The combination of both gives the best possible opportunity of big game viewings.

Walking Safaris
Following morning coffee and rusks or afternoon tea and cakes you will leave camp for a wilderness walk into the 4,000 hectare Kwa Madwala private conservancy. 
Rangers may make use of vehicles in cases of certain sightings far from camp. This is to bridge distances between sightings.

Kwa Madwala is fairly flexible in terms of time slots for the walking safaris, however as a general guideline it is advisable in the summer months to look at walking in the early morning or late afternoon as the sun is often very strong and dehydrating between the hours of 11.00 – 15.00.

Bush Walk Options
Walking Safaris Options can be one, two or three hours long depending on your preference.

The focus of the walks is given to trees, shrubs, overall vegetation, insects and spoor. Smaller species are often seen including tortoise and snakes although seeing some of the larger animals such as elephant, zebra and rhino is also common. Your ranger will also be able to point out and explain details of many fascinating animal tracks.

The walk departs from camp, traverses through the reserve and then returns to camp.

Expect to get very close to nature with some of the most experienced game rangers Africa has to offer. Their tracking ability is truly impressive and will educate and fascinate you.

Kwa Madwala tries wherever possible to employ people from local communities. As a result the majority of our rangers are from under privileged disadvantaged backgrounds. They have an excellent knowledge of the African bush with tracking skills second to none. However you may experience a lack in knowledge of worldly events and issues. We ask you kindly respect this.

Night Drives
The Kwa Madwala night drives are nothing short of magical and offer an excellent introduction to the nocturnal species and animal activity in the reserve.
Departing at 20.30 after dinner you will leave camp in an open 4x4 safari vehicle and drive into the 4,000 hectare conservancy under the stars on a two and a half hour true night safari and will return to camp and be escorted to your rooms by 23.15.

The night drive traverses through the Kwa Madwala reserve and you can expect to get close to lion, porcupine, bush babies and occasionally if you are very lucky leopard, pangolin and aardvark.

You will experience the sounds of the bush with bright stars above you in the night sky and a wonderful range of spectacular wildlife around you. A large percentage of animals laze around during the day and begin to get active after sunset. You may well be able to witness lion and other nocturnal species hunting. A powerful spotlight on your open safari vehicle ensures great views and many encounters in the dark African bush. This is an experience not to be missed.

Night Safari Vehicles
The vehicles for night drives are limited to a minimum of four guests per any departure. If there are less than four who would like to partake please inform reception who will enquire as to whether any other guests would like to make up the number.