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“Great lodge and great safari...”

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Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 July 2012

We arrived to Jo'burg from New York, drove 4.5 hours to the game reserve and were wiped. However, just on the 10min drive in from the gate to Motswiri, we saw lions, elephants, giraffes and kudu. Then we were greeted with cocktails and a smile at the door. Perfect.

The next few days did not dissapoint. The twice-a-day safari drives yielded great animal sightings with our knowledgeable guide. The staff was incredibly nice and thoughtful and even did something special for us b/c it was our honeymoon. The rooms were beautiful and overlooked a watering hole. The food was delicious, especially the lamb dinner.

This was a perfect safari destination, and if you don't wanna believe two New Yorkers who have never been to a safari before...then believe the other 3 couples staying at the lodge who were all South African patrons who loved the place as well.

Room Tip: Watering hole view!!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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139 - 145 of 177 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2012

Just had two nighs stay at Motswiri private safari lodge, this lodge is small which is good and some rooms overlooking the water hole, make sure to book room no. 3 or 4 as these rooms close to main lodge and overlokking the water hole, no. 3 is better.
its quite this time of the year, so not many visitors, game viewing also at minimum due to cold weather, but its all depends on luck.

service is very good and food is perfect.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Khalil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
Madikwe Game Reserve, Northern South Africa
Truly impeccable!
We stayed at the luxurious (malaria free) exclusive residence for 4 exceptional days having flown from Cape Town and then been driven 4+ hours from Johannesburg to the camp, which was easily accommodated.
Our first ever sojourn into such environment; "safari virgins"! I cannot describe the completely exotic, yet very homely feeling of the whole stay. From arrival throughout we were treated to a most welcoming environment and individual attention that can only be dreamed of!
Each early morning (6.30 am start) the spectacular game drive was punctuated by a halt for drinks and snacks in an isolated spot in the wild then on back to the lodge to the welcoming (varied & delicious) breakfast (with refreshing towels) upon return to the lodges. Time off then until 3 pm (pool available) with high tea served prior to the (daily) afternoon/evening game drive; nothing was missed out or was too much trouble. Even my wife’s (earlier) birthday was recognised with be-decking of our sumptuous accommodation with a multitude of tea lights and rose petals spread everywhere in our luxurious abode and then a surprise cake and entertainment (singing and dancing) by the numerous staff at dinner. A tear was brought to her eyes at the overwhelming attention to detail and feeling of being treated so 'specially'.
The extensive wild life (animals & birds) was in abundance and readily visible at every turn with so many opportunities to record the events, especially as the driver was attentive to give the best photo opportunities for all the guests no matter what seat they were in on the 'truck'. The fynbos environment allowed us to observe animals in their own environment, which could playfuly 'hide' in low bushes and scrub in addition to open land, adding to the excitement of capturing them 'for real' on camera.
The request by the staff for your choice of ‘sundowner’ drinks was a daily ritual and again, the truck was loaded with goodies for enjoyment in a ‘wild’ place each evening; chosen to encourage chatting with fellow participants whilst we observed the tremendous and heightening colours of the setting sun. Even the drive back to camp in the dark was enhanced by use of a piercing light shone by the driver whilst returning to base to add to the experience (Nightjars a plenty).
Evening meals were of truly exceptional quality and enjoyed both in a group setting, and individually, on different nights. Day 1, we observed the game and then found we were eating the same species; which was absolutely delicious!!!
The accommodation consists of only a few lodges (6 in total) and the intimate nature added to the feel of exclusivity with even a water hole on site to attract game only a few tens of metres away from several of the lodges.
Overall we saw so much wildlife and 4 of the 5 big game - (so leopards are always difficult to spot!) and so many ‘extra’ beasts and birds that we were satiated by the spectacular views and general proximity of such animals.
An experience that can not really be imagined but it was indeed real. If you are worried at all by the thoughts of being ‘in the raw’ and unprotected, shelve them and enjoy the truly amazing ambience.
I can only say that the trip exceeded any expectation and I'm sure this is the usual theme, no disappointment was heard from any guest and the stay of 3 nights was by general consensus perfect. Thanks to all the staff!

Room Tip: If you want seclusion, go for the 'furthest' room (200 metres from the main lodge where we s...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank filemanLancasterUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Stunning, magnificent, wonderful, am running out of descriptions.....
Just back from 3 nights at Motswiri. The camp setting is lovely with a waterhole that was straight in front of our chalet. There are only 5 rooms, so its small and quiet and very personal. The rooms are lovely, big beds, plenty space, a wonderful outdoor shower in the bathroom, and your own private deck for game viewing. The staff are great, and our ranger was excellent - very knowledgeable. It was my birthday the day after we left, and they had kindly put a small bottle of champagne and glasses on the breakfast table to celebrate with before we left.
Madikwe is a great reserve, we saw all of the big 5 (including 4 within a 30 minute period one afternoon). Now that they have cut down on the number of vehicles allowed by each lodge, it is so much better and less like piccadilly circus in the rush hour. Its malaria free, and less than an hour from Gaborone, or 4 hours from Jhb.

Room Tip: There are only 5 rooms, but I think that 3 and 4 have the best views of the waterhole
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Ellen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Spent 3 days at Motswiri in March - really amazing and exactly as advertised online. Small (max. 10 people) and very personalised service, extremely friendly & helpful staff. Made to feel very special & spoilt. Beautiful accommodation with a very special touch (every little detail has been thought of). Game ranger very knowledgeable. Saw a fair amount of game, 4 out of the big 5 (25 different species, excluding birds) – fantastic for the variety of bird life.

The days are well planned with a game drive starting at 6:00 am, returning at approx. 8:30 am (coffee / tea served in the bush). Great breakfast with tons to eat & then the rest of the day to relax, sleep, lie at the pool. Lunch (high tea) served at 3:00pm with second game drive starting at 4:30 pm. Drinks & snacks served in the bush, returning when dark at about 7:30pm followed by 3 course dinner outside on the deck – this arrangement works very well (forget any late morning lie ins).

We had told them beforehand that that the trip was for a special birthday and on the last night they went out of their way to make this extremely special by preparing the room beautifully and serving a fantastic cake after dinner & singing happy birthday (see picture below)

Room Tip: Room 3 was lovely
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank woody-man-1230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

This lodge was absolutely fantastic and I had one of the most memorable trips here. The lodge is so luxurious and you feel thoroughly spoilt staying here. Whilst it was a bit on the expensive side, we got all our meals and games drives included which was great value for money.

The grounds are spectacular with so much attention to detail in every way and you get wonderful views of elephants drinking water in the watering hole nearby. Our room had a 4 poster bed, a fireplace and a bath overlooking the watering hole so that you could relax in the tub and look out for game after a day of wildlife spotting. The lodge is covered in thatch which is very much in keeping with the surrounding bushland and we loved the fact that the thatch rooves in the main lodge were built around some trees.

The food was exquisite and beautifully presented and we had so much variety. At dinner it was wonderful to be able to dine under the stars alfresco style which added to the romanticism of this place.

The game drives were the best I have ever been on and our guide consistently tracked down lions, wild dogs and a plethora of wildlife and it was so exciting driving off and searching for game. The guides were so informative and respectful of the animals and their environment and we loved the evening game drives where we could have a beer or two at sunset.

We were made to feel incredibly welcome here and I really hope to be abe to return here again in the future. This will always be a very special place for me.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Biffro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

If you are looking for a game lodge to stay at look no further than Motswiri in Madikwe. This was my second trip to Motswiri and I was once again amazed by the quality of the lodge, the staff, and the experience. My first trip was with three friends on a boys trip, this second one was with my girlfriend and each was very special in their own way. There is clearly something for every-one at Motswiri and they cater to the individuals staying at the resort, so no matter who you are traveling with, it will be a special experience.

You are treated like royalty from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. The accomodation is five star with well appointed and beautiful rooms that are kept in amazing condition and super clean. The staff are amazing and will make sure that you are comfortable and enjoying your stay from start to finish. They are extremely friendly and are always smiling and making you feel at home. The game rangers Zede and Andre are fun, knowledgable and do their best to show you a wide variety of game. We saw the big five and wild dog during our stay our three night stay, doesn't get much better than that. The food is incredible, with a wide variety of options for even the pickiest eaters. Make sure you come with an appetite because you won't find cooking as good as this in most five star restaurants.

I had booked through the Motswiri website and the reservations team was extremely helpful in assisting me with the reservation and in planning activities for our stay. Despite the seven hour time difference I always received a response within a few hours of my email.

I really can't say enough about how incredible the Motswiri experience is and I would highly recommend this lodge to anyone.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GAK77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Motswiri Private Safari Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve 1560, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £516 - £662 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Motswiri Private Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Motswiri Private Safari Lodge, situated in the western side of the 75 000 hectare, Big Five, malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province, forms an integral part of The Madikwe Collection's exclusive portfolio of lodges. As its name suggests, Motswiri Private Safari Lodge is an exclusive lodge offering guests a personal bush experience, which is impossible to replicate in larger concerns. The lodge offer some of the best views in Madikwe as well as the tranquil feel given by the mature trees (mostly Leadwoods) under which the lodge's main building and five luxury bush villas nestle. Motswiri has luxurious accommodation, with each bush villa offering stunning views from private decks and multiple-slider bedrooms and bathrooms. Add double-sided fire places, air-conditioning/ ceiling fans, stunning bathrooms and an outdoor shower and you have a bush experience second to none. Then our Family Villa offer three rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. The Family villa boasts a private lounge area leading out onto a private deck and pool. At the main area of the lodge enjoy the rim-flow pool overlooking the waterhole, have a cocktail under the shade of the Motswiri trees (Leadwood in Tswana) on the main deck or just while away the day in the outside lounge and bar area. Fine cuisine is served in the dining room, under the Leadwood or around a roaring fire in the boma. Staff offer personal service in a relaxed but professional manner and the twice daily game drives are conducted by our rangers whose superb bush knowledge is imparted in the manner best suited to the bush knowledge of the guests on the specially designed landcruiser game viewing vehicle. Motswiri offers the option of individual bookings or exclusive use of the lodge for groups. The lodge is ideal for corporate, family / friend groups of up to ten people who do not wish to share the facilities with other guests. Motswiri is a mere 3- 1/2 hours drive from Johannesburg or for utter indulgence, guests can opt for a fly-in safari to the reserves all weather airstrip. Scheduled daily charters are available via the Federal Air Madikwe Charter Joint Venture Partnership. Lodge tariffs include luxury accommodation, two fabulous game drives per day and all meals. ... more   less 
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