Wildlife & Big 5


During the dry season of May to September, the vegetation is sparse and wildlife congregates around watering holes. During the wet season October to April, the vegetation is dense and wildlife is more dispersed. Expect to see the Big Five over the course of a 2-3 night stay. The Big Five include the elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard. In addition to the Big Five animals that are regularly sighted include giraffe, zebra, warthog, spotted hyena, baboon, hippo, impala, kudu, and many more. For the complete list of animals you might sight in the reserve see below.

List of all animals in Madikwe

Scientific NameCommon Name
Thick Skinned Mammals
 Loxodonta africana African Elephant
 Syncerus caffer Cape Buffalo
 Hippopotamus amphibius Hippopotamus
 Diceros bicornis Black Rhinocerous
 Ceratotherium simum White Rhinoceros
Carnivore Cats
 Felis silvestris lybica African Wild Cat
 Caracal caracal Caracal
 Acinonyx jubatus Cheetah
 Panthera pardus Leopard
 Panthera leo Lion
 Leptailurus serval Serval
Dog Like
 Proteles cristatus Aardwolf
 Otocyon megalotis Bat-eared fox
 Canis mesomelas Black-backed Jackal
 Parahyaena brunnea Brown Hyaena
 Crocuta crocuta Spotted Hyaena
 Vulpes chama Cape Fox
 Lycaon pictus Wild Dog
 Civettictis civetta African Civet
 Mungos mungo Banded Mongoose
 Helogale parvula Dwarf Mongoose
 Paracynictis selous Selous’ Mongoose
 Galerella sanguinea Slender Mongoose
 Cynictis penicillata Yellow Mongoose
 Aonyx capensis Cape Clawless Otter
 Mellivora capensis Honey Badger
 Genetta tigrina Large-spotted Genet
 Ictonyx striatus Striped Polecat
 Poecilogale albinucha Striped Weasel/Snake
 Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi Blesbok
 Connochaetes taurinus Blue Wildebeest
 Tragelaphus scriptus Bushbuck
 Sylvicapra grimmia Common Duiker
 Tragelaphus oryx Eland
 Oryx gazella Gemsbok
 Aepyceros melampus Impala
 Oreotragus oreotragus Klipspringer
 Tragelaphus strepsiceros Kudu
 Redunca fulvorufula Mountain Reedbuck
 Alcelaphus buselaphus Red Hartebeest
 Antidorcas m. marsupialis Springbok
 Raphicerus campestris Steenbok
 Damaliscus lunatus Tsessebe
 Kobus ellipsiprymnus Waterbuck
 Potamochoerus larvatus Bushpig
 Phacochoerus africanus Warthog
 Papio cynocephalus ursinus Chacma baboon
 Galago moholi Lesser Bushbaby
 Chlorocebus aethiops Vervet monkey
Other Large Mammals
 Orycteropus afer Aardvark / Antbear
 Equus burchelli Burchell’s Zebra
 Manis temminckii Cape Pangolin
 Procavia capensis Rock Hyrax/Dassie
 Heterohyrax brucei Yellow-spotted Rock
Rabbits and Hares
 Lepus saxatilis Scrub hare
 Lepus capensis Cape hare
 Pronolagus randensis Jameson’s red rock
Other Smaller Mammals
 Hystrix africaeaustralis Porcupine
 Pedetes capensis Springhare
 Xerus inauris Ground squirrel
 Paraxerus cepapi Tree squirrel


Birds of the Madikwe

Common Name
 Little Grebe (Dabchick)
 Pinkbacked Pelican
 Whitebreasted Cormorant
 Reed Cormorant
 Grey Heron
 Blackheaded Heron
 Goliath Heron
 Purple Heron
 Little Egret
 Yellowbilled Egret
 Black Egret
 Cattle Egret
 Squacco Heron
 Greenbacked Heron
 Dwarf Bittern
 White Stork
 Black Stork
 Abdim’s Stork
 Marabou Stork
 Yellowbilled Stork
 Sacred Ibis
 Glossy Ibis
 Hadeda Ibis
 African Spoonbill
 Whitefaced Duck
 Fulvous Duck
 Egyptian Goose
 South African Shelduck
 Yellowbilled Duck
 African Black Duck
 Hottebtot Teal
 Redbilled Teal
 Cape Shovellor
 Southern Pochard
 Comb Duck (Knobbilled Duck)
 Spurwinged Goose
 Maccoa Duck
 Cape Vulture
 African Whitebacked Vulture (Whitebacked Vulture)
 Lappetfaced Vulture
 Whiteheaded Vulture
 Yellow billed Kite
 Black Kite
 Blackshouldered Kite
 Black Eagle
 Tawny Eagle
 Steppe Eagle
 Wahlberg’s Eagle
 Booted Eagle
 African Hawk Eagle
 Martial Eagle
 Brown Snake Eagle
 Blackchested Snake Eagle (Blackbreasted Snake Eagle)
 Bateleur Eagle
 African Fish Eagle
 Steppe Buzzard
 Lizard Buzzard
 Ovambo Sparrowhawk
 Little Sparrowhawha
 Shikra Goshawk (Little Banded Goshawk)
 Gabar Goshawk
 Pale Chanting Goshawk
 African Marsh Harrier
 Montagu’s Harrier
 African Harrier Hawk (Gymnogene)
 Peregrine Falcon
 Lanner Falcon
 European Hobby
 Western Redfooted Kestrel
 Amur Redfooted Falcon (Eastern Redfooted Kestrel)
 Rock Kestrel
 Greater Kestrel
 Lesser Kestrel
 Coqui Francolin
 Crested Francolin
 Natal Francolin
 Swainson’s Spurfowl (Swainso’s Francolin)
 Common Quail
 Harlequin Quail
 Helmeted Guineafowl
 Kurrichane Buttonquail
 African Rail
 Black Crack
 Baillon’s Crack
 Purple Gallinule
 Common Moorhen
 Lesser Moorhen
 Redknobbed Coot
 African Finfoot
 Kori Bustard
 Redcrested Korhaan
 Northern  Black Korhaan
 Old World Painted Snipe
 Common Ringed Plover
 Kittlitz’s Plover
 Threebanded Plover
 Crowned Lapwing (Crowned Plover)
 Blacksmith Lapwing (Blacksmith Plover)
 Wattled Lapwing (Wattled Plover)
 Common Sandpiper
 Wood Sandpiper
 Marsh Sandpiper
 Common Greenshank
 Curlew Sandpiper
 Little Stilt
 Blackwinged Stilt
 Spotted Thicknee (Potted Dikkop)
 Temminck’s Courser
 Doublebanded Courser
 Bronzewinged Courser
 Blackwinged Pratincole
 Whitewinged Tern
 Namaqua Sandgrouse
 Burchell’s Sandgrouse
 Yellowthroated Sandgrouse
 Doublebanded Sandgrouse
 Speckled Pigeon (Rameron Pigeon)
 African Olive Pigeon (Rameron Pigeon)
 Redeyed Dove
 Cape Turtle Dove
 Laughing Dove
 Namaqua Dove
 Greenspotted Dove
 African Green Pigeon
 Meyer’s Parrot
 Go-Away Bird (Grey Lourie)
 Common Cuckoo (Eurasian Cuckoo)
 African Cuckoo
 Redchested Cuckoo
 Black Cuckoo
 Great Spotted Cuckoo
 Striped Cuckoo
 Jacobin Cuckoo
 Klaas’s Cuckoo
 Diderik Cuckoo
 Burchell’s Coucal
 Barn Owl
 Marsh Owl
 Scops Owl
 Whitefaced Scops Owl (Whitefaced Owl)
 Pearlspotted Owlet (Pearlspotted Owl)
 Spotted Eagle Owl
 Vereaux’s Eagle Owl (Giant Eagle Owl)
 European Nightjar
 Fierynecked Nightjar
 Rufouscheeked Nightjar
 Freckled Nightjar
 African Black Swift
 Common Swift (European Swift)
 Whiterumped Swift
 Little Swift
 Alpine Swift
 Palm Swift
 Whitebacked Mousebird
 Redfaced Mousebird
 Pied Kingfisher
 Giant Kingfisher
 Malachite Kingfisher
 Woodland Kingfisher
 Brownhooded Kingfisher
 Striped Kingfisher
 European Bee-eater
 Bluecheeked Bee-eater
 Carmine Bee-eater
 Little Bee-eater
 Swallowtailed Bee-eater
 European Roller
 Lilacbreaster Roller
 Purple Roller
 African Hoopoe
 Redbilled Hoopoe
 Common Scimitarbilled Hornbill (Greater Scimiter Hoepoe)
 Grey Hornbill
 Redbilled Hornbill
 Southern Yellow billed Hornbill
 Blackcollared Barbet
 Acacia Pied Barbet
 Yellowfronted Tinker Barbet
 Crested Barbet
 Greater Honeyguide
 Lesser Honeyguide
 Brownbacked Honeybird (Sharpbilled Honeyguide)
 Bennett’s Woodpecker
 Goldentailed Woodpecker
 Cardinal Woodpecker
 Bearded Woodpecker
 Monotonous Lark
 Rufousnaped Lark
 Flappet Lark
 Sabota Lark
 Dusky Lark
 Redcapped Lark
 Pinkbilled Lark
 Chestnutbacked Sparrowlark (Chestnutbacked finchlark)
 Greybacked Sparrowlark (Greybacked Finchlark)
 Barn Swallow
 Whitethroated Swallow
 Pearlbreasted Swallow
 Redbreasted Swallow
 Greater Striped Swallow
 Lesser Striped Swallow
 South African Cliff Swallow
 Rock Martin
 House Martin
 Sand Martin
 Brownthroated Martin
 Black Cuckooshrike
 Forktailed Drongo
 European Golden Oriole
 Blackheaded Oriole
 Black Crow
 Pied Crow
 Ashy Tit
 Southern Black Tit
 Cape Penduline Tit
 Arrowmarked Babbler
 Pied Babbler
 Darkcapped Bulbul (Blackeyed Bulbul)
 Kurrichane Thrush
 Olive Thrush
 Groundscraper  Thrush
 Cape Rockthrush
 Shorttoed Rockthrush
 Capped Wheatear
 Familiar Chat
 Mocking Chat
 Southern Anteating Chat (Anteating Chat)
 Whitethroated Robin Chat (Whitethroated Robin)
 Whitebrowed Scrub Robin (Whitebrowed Robin)
 Kalahari Scrub Robin (Kalahari Robin)
 Garden Warbler
 Chestnutvented Titbabbler
 Icterine Warbler
 Olivetree Warbler
 Great Reed Warbler
 African Marsh Warbler
 European Marsh Warbler
 European Sedge Warbler
 African Sedge Warbler
 Willow Warbler
 Barthroated Apallis
 Longbilled Crombec
 Yellowbllied Eremomela
 Burntnecked Eremomela
 Greybacked Bleating Warbler
 African Barred Warbler
 Zitting Cisticola (Fantailed Cisticola)
 Desert Cisticola
 Tinkling Cisticola
 Rattling Cisticola
 Lazy Cisticola
 Tawnyflanked Prinia
 Blackchested Prinia
 Spotted Flycatcher
 Greytit Flycatcher (Fantailed Flycatcher)
 Southern Black Flycatcher
 Marico Flycatcher
 Fiscal Flycatcher
 African Pipit (African Pipit)
 Longbilled Pipit
 Buffy Pipit
 Bushveld Pipit
 Lesser Grey Shrike
 Common Fiscal Shrike
 Redbacked Shrike
 MagpieShrike (Afrcan Longtailed Shrike)
 Southern Boubou
 Crimsonbreasted Shrike
 Blackbacked Puffback
 Browncrowned Tchagra
 Blackcrowned Tchagra
 Greyheaded Bush Shrike
 White Helmetshrike
 Whitecrowned Shrike
 Wattled Starling
 Violetback Starling (Plumcoloured Starling)
 Burchell’s Starling
 Cape Glossy Starling (Glossy Starling)
 Redwinged Starling
 Redbilled Oxpecker
 Marico Sunbird
 Whitebellied Sunbird
 Amethyst Sunbird (African Black Sunbird)
 Cape White-eye
 Redbilled Buffalo Weaver
 Whitebrowed Sparrowweaver
 House Sparrow
 Great Sparrow
 Cape Sparrow
 Greyheaded Sparrow
 Yellowthroated Petronia (African Yellowthroated Sparrow)
 Scalyfeathered Finch
 Masked Weaver
 Redheaded Weaver
 Redbilled Quelea
 Golden Bishop
 Whitewinged Widow Bird
 Greenwinged Pytilia (Melba Finch)
 Jameson’s Firefinch
 Blue Waxbill
 Violeteared Waxbill
 Common Waxbill
 Blackfaced Waxbill
 Quail Finch
 Cutthroat Finch
 Redheaded Finch
 Pintailed Whydah
 Shafttailed Whydah
 Longtailed Paradise Whydah (Paradise Whydah)
 Dusky Indigo Bird (Black Widowfinch)
 Purple Indigo Bird (Purple Windowfinch)
 Village Indigo Bird (Steelblue Windowfinch)
 Yelloweyed Canary
 Blackthroated Canary
 Streakyheaded Seedeater (Streakyhead Canary)
 Goldenbreasted Bunting
 Cape Bunting
 Cinnamon Breasted Bunting
 Larklike Bunting