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“What a place to get engaged!”

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Motswari Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“What a place to get engaged!”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Having been meaning to write this review for quite sometime now the time is right to share details of the most wonderful safari experience my wife & I could ever have imagined for. Motswari will always hold a special place in our hearts as it was the place where my wife and I (or girlfriend at the time!) got engaged at the appropriately named “Lovers Leap”. All the staff made us feel very special from the moment we entered Motswari and for anyone looking for the classic, slight more upmarket, safari experience we would not hesitate in recommending Motswari as providing just that experience. The high standard of the rooms, to the quality of the food (we still remember the homemade milk tart made by “Amazing Grace” as if it was yesterday…although our stay was over a year and a half ago now!) and most importantly the superb game viewing (aided by our superb guide & tracker) left us extremely satisfied and with fond memories of our time spent in the Timbavati!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank stephenr04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
Thank you for this fantastic review of Motswari and congratulations on your marriage!

I hope to one day welcome you back for more milk tart!

Very Best Regards from us all

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

If you search for an amazing place in the middle of nowhere, very much in line with the nature, this is the place to go! You may relax and have fantastic game drives. Our ranger Josh & tracker Jacky just made our days perfect.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank AHG14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
As a new addition to the team this is Josh's first mention on Tripadvisor and I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with him and your stay at Motswari.

I hope to welcome you back to Motswari one day soon!

Very Best Regards
Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We stayed at Motswari for 2 nights this past April and it was the most amazing experience!! We searched for several weeks for the right lodge but every one of them sounded exactly the same. Until.... we found out about Giraffe's Nest! It's a treehouse canopy among the trees, nestled in the middle of the African bush. amazing.

We were dropped off at Giraffe's Nest on our way back from our night game drive on our last night, and we had no idea what to expect, but we were blown away! This place is spectacular! We shared a bottle of wine and amazing dinner in our little nook, and went to bed gazing up at the stars. We were picked up the next morning by our guides on the way to the morning game drive. Highly recommend staying a night at this beautiful hidden gem!

Aside from Giraffe's Nest, everything else about Motswari was spectacular. The game drives were exciting and comfortable (you get a blanket as it gets chilly in the evening). The drivers are very knowledgeable, insightful and SO nice. They made sure we got to see the Big Five, and even through giraffes aren't part of the Big Five, they went out of their way to make sure we saw them. During our game drives, we made a stop right at sunset to enjoy a glass of wine or drink in an open field-- such a good touch! The food was delicious- breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they always made sure our wine glasses were full! Since we had to leave early on our last day, they packed us a lunch for our commute back to the airport, which we thought was very nice!

Overall, unforgettable experience. No complaints. Only glowing reviews and wonderful memories!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank cristina p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
Thank you so much for this fantastic review of Motswari and Giraffe's Nest - I am delighted that you enjoyed the whole experience and hope to welcome you back one day soon!

Very Best Regards from everyone at Motswari

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

It's all been said before but this lodge is just wonderful. Lovely setting by river, comfortable rooms. Excellent food but it is the staff that make this place so special. The game drives were fantastic with excellent animal sittings on every game drive: lion, leopard, rhino, zebra, giraffe and wild dog. One of the most memorable occasions was being entirely surrounded by elephant all munching and eating and so close. Marco and Pietro were an incredible combination of guide and tracker, their ability to find animals simply astounding. After dinner on our last night the cooks and waiters broke into spontaneous dancing and singing around the boma .
We loved the whole experience!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank vinny054
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
Thanks for the review of Motswari - we really appreciate all feedback, but its always great to read positive reviews!

I hope to welcome you back to Motswari one day soon!!

Very Best Wishes from us all
Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Our visit to Motswari was the second time in two years. We returned this time with our two
granddaughters in tow. It was worth all the cost and effort to see their faces each day, and their pleased exhaustion at the end of each day.

The team at Motswari made us all very welcome. Big thank you to David, Elizabeth and rear of house all made brilliant by our field team of Keith and Petro. They have made all wishing to get back as soon as possible.

If you are looking for the perfect African location to relax and do a Safari "right" chose Motswari you will not regret that decision.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Upwindoverdrive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
It was great having you back and meeting the grandchildren!

I hope we will see you return for a third visit!

Very Best Regards from the whole Motswari family.

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burtonsville, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

I spent 4 nights at Motswari in the Waterbuck room. The room is a round, thatched roof hut with a veranda that faces a watering hole. The rooms was simple, but efficient. The old fashioned keys were a cute surprise. The rest of the grounds are minimally landscaped with abundant natural vegetation and unique artwork giving the place a very rustic vibe.

This was my first safari and I didn't quite know what to expect. I flew into Motswari's private airstrip where I was met by a staff member. It was a short drive to the lodge, but the driver was already pointing out sights like the little waterhole covered in African lilies. At check-in, I was greeted by David, the general manager, who gave me the rundown on the do's and don'ts.
The schedule was a predawn wake up by the porter, pre-drive tea and coffee, a morning game drive with tea stop, breakfast, free time (which I usually spent napping), lunch, an evening game drive with a "sun-downer" stop, a cocktail hour, and dinner.

The major draw of a safari is the game viewing, of course, and Motswari did not disappoint. There are no guarantees on what you will see as the animals just do what they do and you have to get lucky. That said, every drive brought new and interesting sights. I saw the Big 5 though my leopard sighting was brief. This is a large game reserve, so you rarely encounter other vehicles and the scenery is fantastic on its own. I ended up being the only guest on one of my drives, getting an unexpected private drive. I was a couple of days in, so rather than chasing animals, my field guide, Richard, suggested that we take advantage of it and we spent a lot of time on the ground getting to see the smaller stuff. I got a great lesson the various animal tracks -- elephants have wrinkled feet! Richard was humorous and knowledgeable. He provided a wealth of information about a variety of topics and really enjoyed answering the dozens of questions he got from guests on each drive. Our tracker, Jacky, spotted amazing things -- like a bushbaby in the dark and a wildebeest atop a termite mound in the distance.

Breakfast and lunch were buffets with varied and delicious foods to meet a variety of tastes. Lunch in particular seemed to have unique and unexpected treats. Dinner is served by firelight at an outdoor boma weather permitting or in the covered dining pavilion. Some were plated and others were buffet. Either way, the meals included a yummy appetizer, two options for a main dish, and a decadent dessert. The impala fillet on the first night was divine. There was a vegetarian on my truck who was quite pleased with the separate dishes they created for her for lunch and dinner.

The housekeeping was the only negative I encountered at Motswari. It seemed like my room needed to be swept and mopped as my socks and feet would become filthy just walking from the bed to the bathroom. I took my shoes off as soon as I entered, so it's not like I was tracking it in. However, the linens were crisp and clean and the bathroom was kept very tidy.

The basic set up of the game drives and other services, like meals, allowed a solo traveler to still feel very included. I was assigned to a single vehicle with other small groups and couples traveling which gives you an opportunity to get to know other guests. You are also seated with the same folks for your dinner giving you time to discuss the days adventures. A staff member, often your field guide, acts as your host for dinner and is also seated with you. They regale you with tales from the lodge and other adventures. David sat with us one night (Richard needs a night off every now and then) and was very open about the goals he has for the lodge and its challenges. He also told us about having to evacuate the guests during flooding a few years ago and rebuilding parts of the lodge that were damaged. After a few days, you really start to feel like you've gotten to know the people from the lodge. It's in keeping with their motto -- come as a guest, leave as a friend.

I hope to return soon.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Free2B_StacieB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
Thank you so much for the long and detailed review Stacie - it was a pleasure having you here and am delighted that you enjoyed your time.

I will certainly take onboard your comments regarding the room floors and discuss with the housekeeping team, and although I am glad that was the only negative aspect of your stay I would of course like to reduce that list to zero!

I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip and that we can welcome you back to Motswari one day soon!

Very Best Regards from us all at Motswari.

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 April 2014

The line 'arrive as a guest and leave as a friend' could not be more accurate, and we have all felt a sense of loss since return, ( not helped by looking at the blog on a daily basis!) . We cannot praise the staff at Motswari highly enough for giving us an extremely memorable and enriching experience. From the time of arrival ( timed perfectly to coincide with the staff exiting the kitchen with their pots held high and their baritone voices low) to the time we left (6 incredible game drives later), we were looked after from beginning to end ( not least by Chad whose knowledge humour photography skills and natural way with the children caused us all to slightly fall in love with him), but also by the entire team from Dave (Manager) to all the guides, trackers, waiters and every member of staff on hand. Thank you all for giving us a fantastic experience and one we will never forget. We have talked about it endlessly since returning home and definitely plan on coming back, ready for chad to sign his next book! Thank you all.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, 15 May 2014
Thank you so much for the review Lisa - I am delighted that you enjoyed your time at Motswari and will ensure that everyone at the lodge gets to see your kind words!

I hope to welcome you back to Motswari one day soon!

Best Regards from the whole Motswari family.

David
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Motswari Private Game Reserve

Property: Motswari Private Game Reserve
Address: Kruger National Park 2021, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Motswari Private Game Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Open to the Kruger National Park and playing host to Africa's Big Five is Motswari Private Game Reserve. One of South Africa's jewels nestled within the Timbavati Nature Reserve, this family-owned and operated four-star luxury safari lodge prides itself on its warm atmosphere and luxurious accommodation.The name Motswari means "to conserve and protect" in Tswana and the owners have held the name to be a promise to each of their future friends who arrive to share in the splendour of an African sunset at this vintage bush lodge.The 150 square kilometres that make up the reserve are part of the greater Kruger Park and guests will be treated to wildlife in their natural habitats as part of their unforgettable experience of Southern Africa. Ideally situated and exclusive, Motswari Private Game Reserve holds the best of everything for the traveller to the untamed majesty that is Africa.If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, peaceful communion with nature and a private experience on a traditional African game farm, this holiday location is for you!Morning and evening game drives in open Land Rovers with professional field guides and trackersMid morning bush walks * Safari walks in lieu of morning game drives guided by armed field guidesOvernight bush hiking and camping sleep-out experience for groups of 4 with experienced guides*Hide sleep-outs in the Motswari Game Reserve*Swimming pool*Boma & bush dinners*Pre-lunch safari interest talks*Curio shop at Motswari Game Lodge*Brunch, high tea (late lunch) and dinner*Library and Art Gallery with 24-hour internet facility at Motswari Game Lodge*Fully equipped air-conditioned conference room for 20 delegates at Motswari Game Lodge*An additional vehicle plus guide can be arranged for an extra cost per day and covers 2 game drives per day ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Motswari Private Game Reserve Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Motswari Private Game Reserve South Africa/Kruger National Park

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