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“Simply Outstanding!”

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Motswari Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Munich, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Simply Outstanding!”
Reviewed 11 August 2014

The lodge's slogan "arrive as a visitor, leave as a friend" couldn't be more true. This place is simply amazing: The staff, the guides, the trackers, the rooms, the location, the food and drinks - all outstanding. Thank you everyone @ Motswari for making the stay an unforgettable experience. The extraordinary services make you want to come back immediately. :-)

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Georg F
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, 12 August 2014
Thank you so much for the review - I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you left Motswari as a friend who wants to return - I hope it is sooner rather than later!!

I will of course make sure the team see your kind words and I look forward to welcoming you back to the bush.

Very Best Regards from myself and the whole Motswari family
David
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Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We have just spent 5 days at Motswari as the part of a 16 day holiday of a lifetime. We are a family of 5 and all first timers to South Africa and apart from my husband, first time safari goers.
We had an easy 50 minute journey from Hoedspruit to Motswari and were entertained all the way there by our very knowledgeable and animated taxi driver. All our senses were hightened and my 3 boys were transfixed by all they were seeing.
Motswari itself is an incredible lodge. We arrived and were welcomed with a cool drink at reception. We were then taken to our lodges and being a 5 we were given 2 that were side by side Roan and Giraffe. We had our lunch ( or high tea as it is called there) and then asked to be ready in 30 minutes for our first game drive. By 4pm that afternoon we were sitting in the landrover in amongst a herd of elephant. By now I really thought I was in a film and had to pinch myself to believe this was really us here in the African bush. And as for the leopard up the tree eating his kill. Wow
Then 'sundowner' was amazing. Our wonderful ranger Richard and tracker Petros served us drinks and snacks whilst we stood and admired the breathtaking scenary. Back to the lodge after about 3 hours we were escorted to our rooms. Being an open lodge, you don't know what might be lurking in the bushes so after dark no guest is allowed out without an escort.
We were collected at 7.30 for dinner in the Boma. Lanterns led the way into a wonderful setting for dinner where the rangers and lodge managers Thea and David welcome you.
The food was exceptional. At 6am hot drinks and muffins are laid as a pre drive snack. The breakfast was always good. Lunch was varied and so delicious I could have kept eating and dinnner was not only great food but was a great social part of our holiday. I loved eating under the stars.
Our rooms were so well furnished, great comfy beds and the best view you will ever have. I woke up to crocodile on the bank, elephants mingling in the trees, impala dancing in the river and a kudu and wart hogs in the grounds.
There are lots of other highlights for us but I would be writing for another hour. The only low was leaving. Trailfinders booked this for us and it was thier 3rd choice for us. I am so glad we lost the other game reserves as we now know they were both fenced. Yes, we saw 4 not 5 of the big five ( no lion) but that is the beauty of Motswari. It is a real experience and not contrived in any way. No one has control of which animals you will see and that for us was the excitement.And anyway.......we now have to go back in the hope that we will see the lion. And of course get to see all our new friends at Motswari.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mrsaerodance
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, 11 August 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this detailed review of Motswari. I am sorry we were not able to show you the lions, but am very glad that you enjoyed the experience and am delighted that you hope to return one day... am sure we will be able to complete the big five for you then... even if I have to don a lion costume!

Motswari is special because of our open and natural approach to this experience and its always very nice to hear guests appreciate this aspect of what we do. We may not find every single species, but every animal you see is wild and not living within a small fenced area.

I really hope to welcome you back one day soon - very best regards to you and your family from us all at Motswari

Dave
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Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We did plenty of research before choosing to stay four nights at River Lodge, Motswari & we were rewarded with a wonderful place that lived up to our expectations. From the moment we arrived Dave & his team made us feel very welcome & at home, all the staff were so friendly. Our bungalow (Duiker) was well placed among the trees but still with a river view & only a short walk (escorted when dark) from all the communal areas, it was well appointed & comfortable. The ethos here is based on nature & the surroundings & so has a rustic feel to the place while maintaining modern standards.
Eating is a major event at Motswari & the extensive buffet breakfast was most welcome after out morning safari drives. Lunch was very good with a selection of mostly salads & local dishes. The highlight was dinner - meeting other guests & guides at the bar in the boma then dining with our fellow safari guests & our guide at candlelit tables set around a huge firebowl. The food was excellent, a choice of local & international dishes. Drinks were available all day & we enjoyed drinks & snacks out in the bush on safari drives (especially the sundowners!)
Now, then main business of our trip was the safaris, our first experience & we were not disappointed. Our guide & tracker (Richard & Petros) worked tirelessly to find us such a wonderful variety of animals, including the big five apart from leopard which eluded us though others had seen some. Sitting amongst a herd of elephants while they browsed their way though the bush was amazing and the next day they turned up at camp! My husband is a keen amateur photographer & Richard was mindful of this when stopping in the best places for the light. Our companions on the drives (& dinner) were delightful, making the whole experience very memorable. As this is a private game reserve, though the animals are free to roam in & out of the Kruger National Park, the vehicles on the reserve are restricted & therefore it is very quiet & you only see a few other vehicles in passing while you are on your drive.
We were here in July, winter time in SA so our morning drives started off quite cold, requiring jackets, hats & gloves, though you peel off the layers as the morning progresses. Daytime temperatures were comfortable & then cool again in the evenings.
I would love to return to Motswari one day & would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone wishing to partake in wonderful safari experience.

Room Tip: I think that all were good, but riverside nice if you don't mind being set aside from the hub of...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DianaBKent
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, 11 August 2014
Thank you very much for this positive reveiw of Motswari - I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and will make sure that Richard, Petros and the whole team see your kind words!

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

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
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Our 3 day stay at this lodge can be described as one of the best holidays we have ever had.The lodge is 2 hrs from Hoedspruit airport.This being our first safari ever we were so excited and seeing giraffes and zebra just as we started from the airport was definitely a bonus.But the real feel of a wildlife safari came as we saw a leopard crossing the road and giving us a look as it passed our vehicle. As we reached the lodge we were greeted at the reception and were taken to our cottages.We were a family of 5 and we stayed at cottages near by named ROAN and GIRAFFE .The cottages are so beautiful and well maintained.Roan had a small sitting area in front of the room facing the river.The staffs there are so friendly and warm and they took care of our dietary requirements really well.This made us feel as if we were at home and this was one the main highlights of our stay.There was a light snacks before leaving for morning game drive and once back you are treated with a great breakfast buffet.Around pm you are served with lunch and then you get ready for your afternoon game drive.Each time the food served was just so delicious. And we had traditional Boma dinner on two evening as well and it was a great experience.There was free wifi at the veranda area where lunch and breakfast was served.Now coming to game drives, we had Richard as our Ranger and Petras as our Tracker. We were lucky enough to spot all the big five.Richard was very friendly and answered all our curiously put questions to him and both of them seemed to have great knowledge about animals.We enjoyed all the game drives. We also spotted impalas and elephants near to our cottages on different occasions.Our first safari experience wouldn't have been so incredible if we hadn't stayed at Motswari.We would certainly return to this lodge if we plan a safari trip again to South Africa.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ruchi_0107
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, 11 August 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lengthy and detailed review of Motswari - it is greatly appreciated by us all and I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us!

I hope to welcome you back to Motswari in the not too distant future!

Best Regards from us all
David
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Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

We visited Motswari for 3 nights after having spend a week in 2 different camps in Botswana
We were a bit concerned that South Africa would not be able to compete with Botswana. It is different yes but what a fantastic place service and game drives.
We stayed in rooms waterbuck and lion and both were decorated with style and good taste.
Dinners in the boma were great excellent quality of food in a style that fits the location.
Service of the staff was impeccable !!
Game drives were very good too Herold our guide always went the extra mole to find something special whether it were breaking herds of elephant, buffalo or leopard. On our last morning drive he found 3 leopards
Absolutely amazing
We will recommend Motswari to everyone who considers to go to South Africa to see Kruger
Family Schurings
Dave my apology not saying goodbye to you at our departure!

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Phimax21
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, 11 August 2014
It is probably I who should apologise for not saying good bye at your departure... I try to get to all checkouts, but its not always possible!

Thank you so much for your review of Motswari - its always good to read the guest feedback, but always more pleasant when everything is positive!! I will make sure your words are seen by the whole team and I hope to welcome you back here to Motswari one day soon!!

Very Best Regards from the whole Motswari family.

Dave
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London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

About 2 hours from Hoedspruit airport is Motswari Private Game Reserve. It is the height of luxury! Each room is its own large thatched cottage, with big comfy 4 poster bed, and bathroom with bathtub overlooking the bush, and indoor and outdoor showers should you want to shower under the stars! The staff were brilliant and super friendly; hosting dinner every night. Our driver Marko, and tracker Petro did everything they could to make the most of our safari experience- their knowledge is incredible, and they explained every little detail. Each evening, the guests meet in the Boma dining area around a huge log fire, and sit in tables with their Jeep-mates and driver to discuss the day's events. The food was incredible, and Eugenia and her team went out of their way to make us special vegetarian meals and make sure we were catered for. The 5.30 a.m. wake up is a bit startling, but after dinner you are in bed early, so you soon get used to it.
The lodge runs to its own routine, which is - 5.30 a.m. knock on the door for wake up - then coffee and muffins are served before boarding the Jeep at 6.30 a.m. (you go with the same people every day). You drive around as the sun comes up, and stop for hot drinks and snacks outside the car. Then at about 10 a.m. you go back to the lodge and breakfast is served. Then there is a break to rest/enjoy the pool and surroundings before a fantastic lunch at 2.30, and then back on the Jeep at 3.30 p.m. (stopping at sunset for drinks and snacks) until about 6.30 p.m. when you return to the lodge for dinner.
The fenceless resort means that the animals roam freely around the rooms, which means you need to be escorted back at night by a guide with a rifle. Our room was called Buffalo, and we often had to wait for buffalo to move on from grazing around our room so we could enter.
The pictures you might see of a bedroom with an open roof is the Giraffe's Nest, which you can stay in for an extra fee - it's about 20 minutes from the main lodge, and you are served dinner there before being left there for a night under the stars. We didn't stay there, but honeymooners who we spoke to said it was fantastic. Just thought I would mention this, because otherwise pictures might be misleading that all rooms are like this.
One of the most luxurious, wonderful places we have stayed in!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J B
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, 6 August 2014
Thank you very much for your kind and detailed review of Motswari - I am delighted that you enjoyed the lodge, food, people and wildlife of the reserve! I will make sure that Eugenia, Marka, Petro and the whole team see your feedback and am sure it will be great motivation to continue to deliver the best possible experience we can.

Very best regards from us all
Dave
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Europe
Level 6 Contributor
40 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We came from Hazyview and it took us 2,5 hours to get to Motswari. On the way to Motswari we already spotted giraffes and zebras. We checked in and stayed at the house called Duiker. Good location and very comfortable. After our excellent first lunch we went on our first game drive. We had Shadrack as our Ranger and Petro as our Tracker. Excellent team!!!
We stayed for 4 nights. We saw the Big 5 several times and also lots of other stuff. Shadrack and Petro are very knowledgeable.
The food is excellent! Wines and other drinks also good. Staff very friendly. Would recommend it to everybody and would definitely return.
Wake up at 5.15 was a bit early the first morning, but you get used to it :-).

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank I&P-7
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, 5 August 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to review Motswari - I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and will certainly make sure that Shadrack and Petro see your kind words!!

I hope to welcome you back to Motswari in the near future!!

Very 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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