The Madikwe feels the most African of all the parks and reserves in South Africa; at 75,000 hectares it is also one of the largest. The red Kalahari earth, long ridge lines and open plains give it the African feel, and seeing some magnificent beast silhouetted on one of those ridge is an iconic image. The Madikwe is a recent success story, as it was only in 1991 that the government decided to turn it into a wildlife reserve after it proved poor land for farming. Restocking has been very successful and the Big Five roam here, amongst herds of plains game. The Madikwe is also a particularly good place to see the incredibly rare African Wild Dog. As well as being a conservation success story, the reserve has also led the way in community owned and run lodges, unusual in safari destinations and the most reliable way to ensure that the poor local communities get direct benefits from tourism. Its remoteness, the remarkable scenery and good, reliable game viewing means that the Madikwe gives the Kruger a good run for its money as the best place to go on safari in South Africa.