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“Absolute magic” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge

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Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Absolute magic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

I have been living on and off in the region since 1994 and I am no novice when it comes to lodges and safaris, but I must say this was one of my best experiences. The camp is stunning, the rooms are adequate in size, the beds are very comfortable, and the staff and management went well beyond their duties to accommodate all our needs. We were a party of 5 and 3 of us had strict dietary rules - one vegan, two lactose intolerant and one celiac disorder. We formed a hard bunch to cater for and yet the food was plenty, tasty, well prepared and not once were our dietary requirements overlooked. The camp was well-lit at all times and there were dozens of lanterns we could use in the rooms. Hence no need to buy any and we didn't. The donkey boiler was fun and added to the real bush experience. Reading some of the comments on this page I cannot but wonder whether we stayed at the same camp.
The skills of our game ranger were unparalleled and the sightings absolutely awesome.
I am no stranger to the whole range of available lodges in the region - from budget to luxury - and Mosetlha has become one of my favourites.
I shall not hesitate in recommending this lodge to family, friends and acquaintances and I shall be back for sure.

Room Tip: The rooms are all the same
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anathelion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear Anathelion
Thank you so much for your review - it was lovely having you and your friends with us.
To rank as one of your best experiences in 20 years of Southern Africa travel - very special, thank you.
We look forward to many more visits (now we know how to handle your dietary requirements :D)
Best eco regards
Caroline Lucas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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423 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014 via mobile

I loved this place because I enjoy being out in the bush. It's different to other camps in Madikwe and one must expect as much but it was a great experience where you sat around a table and interacted with other people who also love the bush and the exceptionally friendly owners and staff. It was unpretentious with simple but tasty food and it felt good to spend money on low impact ecotourism that is actually just that. We really got to experience the night sounds and periods of absolute no sound at all, the stillness of which is eery. Saw some great game and rangers went out of their way to please sometimes outrageous demands.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank gerrygrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear gerrygrey
Thanks so much for your review - and we loved having you with us.
I do think that (apart from the fabulous game viewing) sitting around that stunning big table with the other guests and sharing stories and experiences and adventures really makes your few days at Mosetlha something special and memorable.
Look forward to having you back.
Best eco regards
Caroline Lucas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Widnes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2014

This was our 5th safari holiday to South Africa, having previously visited mainly the Kruger and surrounds we chose to go here to try a different park this time around. After spending two amazing weeks in the Kgalagadi we arrived at Madikwe for a further 5 nights. We chose to split the number of nights between two lodges in Madikwe so that we would get to experience the different areas of the park. Mosetlha was our first choice based on all the reviews on this site even though it was much more expensive than the other lodge we stayed at. The cheaper lodge delivered a far superior experience. Unfortunately, in my opinion Mosetlha was the low point of our trip and also probably the worst accommodations I have stayed at in a while.
Before booking at this camp, we were aware of the eco aspects and that it was relatively basic compared to luxury lodges. It seems that the lodge management and owners are happy to cut costs at every opportunity under the pretence of eco camp.
Food at the camp was as good as war time rations, there always seemed to be a shortage of food around the table although there being only 5 guests in camp. The camp prides itself on serving home cooked food which sounds exciting but in reality is relatively average and bland. Out of the 3 nights we stayed there the first two days we had the same breakfast which was hardly filling or tasty. Only one egg per person is really poor considering you are up for 5-6 hrs before you get to breakfast. Cold toast every time. You snooze you loose seems to be this camps mantra. Worst of all was the fact that after having informed the camp well in advance that my wife is a vegetarian, they conveniently said that the office had forgotten to inform them. So for food she was served up factory manufactured frozen veg burger or something called veg strips. The camp manager did say to her she didn't have to eat it if she didn't like it, but there was no other option. The manager seemed very proud of the fact that their burgers came from woolworths and the tasteless rusks on morning drives came from Pick-n-Pay. There is no options in the menu so when the 7 year old guest staying at the camp wouldn't eat he had to go hungry or eat cereal for main course.
Surly even an eco lodge can make a bit more of an effort, but I guess it is easier to preach than actually delivery.
Now to the accommodation and camp. The camp is relatively clean and tidy apart from the toilets that stink. The rooms are very small and have hardly any light in them, only 2 small solar jars and if you want more you can buy some lights from the camp shop. I do understand that using the donkey boiler yourself for hot water is fun, but why am I forced to do it every time. Surly, a member of staff could have the shower ready if the guest doesn't want to carry buckets of water around. Also, having some hot water in the morning at 6am to wash my face would be nice when the temperature is a freezing 5 degree c.
The game viewing was relatively poor but that is not the lodge or the guides fault as the bush was extremely thick and most animals seemed to be very skittish. The guide we went with was very good at spotting game and he even found us a caracal. The only problem seemed to be that the guide didn't have much knowledge about photography, light or angles which meant from a photography point of view this trip was a write off for me. Also, the guide was very keen to move on to the next animal rather than spend time with what was in front of us at the time and manoeuvre the car into a better position.
I would most definitely avoid this camp in the future and urge people to consider other options before booking here. There are better options around so please do your research and not believe only the 5 star reviews.
I seriously question this camp's eco credentials.

Room Tip: All rooms are tiny and close to each other, be prepared to que up for using the shared toilets.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank amrishwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear Amrishwa

Thank you for taking the time and effort to write such a lengthy review.

We feel that your allegations (which, in our opinion, range from being totally devoid of the truth to frankly laughable) do not warrant a response … apart from the following two statements you made:

"... please do your research and not believe only the 5 star reviews."

This, rather glaringly, brings into question the integrity of practically every other person who has written on TripAdvisor about us, the overwhelming majority of whom provide 5 and 4 star reviews.

"I seriously question this camp's eco credentials."

It has always been our mission to provide an exclusive and unique wilderness experience for our guests, with minimal ecological impact on our surroundings.

We are one of 36 lodges that "stand out amongst the best in the world' and feature in a book called Authentic Ecolodges, written by Hitesh Mehta, who developed a batch of criteria to determine eco lodge authenticity – ALL OF WHICH Mosetlha embraces and embodies.

Mehta writes: “Every lodge I visited was subjected to the … criteria system. My verification process included on-site investigations and exhaustive interviews with local community members, lodge owners/operators, and local government officials. This is the first time in the history of tourism that one person has visited every single property and objectively used one criteria system to verify the authenticity of the accommodation facility.”

Should you also question his credentials, below is his biography from The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) website. As the world’s oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, and sustainable travel.

"Mr Hitesh Mehta is one of the world’s leading authorities, practitioners and researchers on ecotourism physical planning and both the landscape architectural and architectural aspects of ecolodges. He also has vast experience in protected area physical planning and has worked on sustainable tourism plans for national parks that protect the last remaining endangered species … He is the main editor of the International Ecolodge Guidelines."

Yours sincerely
Caroline Lucas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

A fantastic alternative to all the pricy luxury lodges. Mosetlha bush camp was the greatest accommodation we had on all our safaris trip. It is simple, eco-friendly and very clean. I was quite surprised how long one can shower with one big bucket of water... A very important part of the fantastic bush experience you have at Mosetlha play the wonderful staff and the owner. Our ranger was very competent. He could track nearly everything :). And the game viewing in Mosetlha is really special! We would always book this eco-lodge again.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MTG2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear MTG2008
Thanks so much for your review - and rating us the greatest accommodation of all your safaris ... high praise indeed!
Thank you for highlighting our eco friendliness - minimal impact on our environment is very important to us, and to the majority of our guests for whom responsible travel is now becoming the norm.
We look forward to your next booking :)
Best eco regards
Caroline Lucas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geelong, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2014

In March this year, 3 friends and I spent 4 wonderful days and nights at Mosetlha. We all loved our time there.. The setting is purely simply stunning and just what I imagined Sth Africa to be like. It was the first time any of us had been there and had been to Sun City for a work conference. The contrast was truly welcomed and appreciated by all of us.
It was a magical place without any of the mod cons that we come to depend upon.. There were som many attractions ranging from the donkey boiler for a hot shower to the comfortable, very clean rooms with an open aspect..
Caroline, Komatsu and all the staff were so friendly, generous and informative, In fact we miss Caroline, :) there was always someone there to greet us after every wonderful game drive with enthusiasm and eagerness to hear our stories of adventure. Komatsu was really a great guide, we managed to see the big 5 plus many beautiful sites.. It rained a lot when we were there hovever the nature of the staff and guests were so that the rain was not a bother, it added to the adventure.
The food was great and the shared dining table made for a very friendly atmosphere.
I can not recommend Mosetlha, Caroline and all the staff and the "camp" highly enough. It was perfect for a total switch off time and enjoying the simple pleasures of the camp.
I hope I can get back there one day to share the experience with my children.. We really loved getting the dirt of Africa on our feet ...

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LilFulton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear LilFulton
Thank you!!! What a lovely review!
You know how much we loved having the four of you with us :)
We look forward to your return trip ... Princess Kgomotso is standing by (as am I)!
Best eco regards
Caroline Lucas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peregian Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2014

As a South African living overseas, getting back into the bush was a must on my fleeting trip home. Not only was it essential for my soul, I also wanted to introduce my 11 year old daughter to that "smell" of Africa, and the huge skies, and the beauty of the bush. Mosetlha provided the best platform for us to springboard our 2 day bush experience.
The camp runs like a well oiled machine - they make it look easy, when catering for a full camp in the bush is anything but easy, They think through the little things like lighting at night and creating ambience (with the beautiful lamps when you get back from the afternoon/night drive), as well as the big things like keeping warm, availability of hot drinks whenever you need them, comfortable accommodation etc. The food was great - tasty and wholesome, and catered to all needs. Even my picky 11 year old ate huge plates !
I was concerned that the camp would not be suitable for children - but it was perfect. My daughter loved the uniqueness of the showers, and the whole experience of living in a 3 sided hut and no electricity. The early starts and relatively late nights does make the children a little tired, but being in the bush is well well worth it - and she was insistent that she did not want to miss any of the game drives!
We had great game sighting - as anyone will know, being in a reserve is not a national geographic video - you need to work to find the animals, and have a sprinkle of luck thrown in. We had fantastic viewing of cheetah, and the best wild dog experience I have ever had. Add that to the lion, copious elephant, rhino etc etc., what more could you ask for !? I have fallen in love with Africa all over again!
Caroline and your team - you have created a little patch of heaven in the African bush. We will be back !

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NixPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear NixPS
Thank you so much for your really kind, comprehensive review .... so pleased that your Mosetlha experience played a part in you falling in love with Africa again!
It was a pleasure having you and your family with us - we look forward to having you back with your husband next time :)
Best eco regards
Caroline Lucas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2014

We went to Mosetlha for two nights in april with our two daughters and had a magical time. We loved the camp- beautiful at night with lamps burning and open fire; comfortable beds in our log cabins; good food and friendly, helpful staff. The shared meals and atmosphere in the camp with the small number of guests was great. Jonny, our guide on the game drives was brilliant- finding interesting and exciting things for us every time.
We will all remember this for a long time to come.
Go if you can.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rebecca G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caroline L, Owner at Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear Rebecca G
Thank you so much for your kind review and your directive telling others to go if they can :)
I must say, in all the years I've been here - coming home to those lanterns at night is something I will never tire of. It's just beautiful.
Hope you'll come back ... if you can :)
Best eco regards
Caroline Lucas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge

Property: Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Lodge
Address: Mosetlha Bush Camp, Madikwe Game Reserve 2146, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mosetlha, nestled right at the heart of Madikwe Game Reserve and its only genuine eco lodge and authentic bush camp, is unfenced, rustic and intimate. Comfy beds in raised wooden cabins, oil lamps, traditional bush meals prepared on the open fire, a donkey boiler for hot safari showers and twice daily game drives in open 4x4s with expert guides, promise you a true wilderness experience. Come get the dust of Africa on your feet ... ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mosetlha Bush Camp & Eco Hotel Madikwe Game Reserve
Mosetlha Bush Camp And Eco Lodge

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