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“Wonderful Motswari !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Motswari Private Game Reserve

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Motswari Private Game Reserve
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Timbavati, Kruger National Park 2021, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Berne
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“Wonderful Motswari !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

In april I spent 3 nights at Motswari (this was my 3rd visit to Motswari), the first 3 nights of my short trip to South Africa, and the best 3 nights ! I've had the privilege to stay at many beautiful places in Southern Africa, but none is so dear to me as Motswari.

Everything is just perfect - the wildlife, the people, the food, the atmosphere. Its small details that set Motswari into "another category" than many other beautiful places I have visited. For example: lunch is annonced by a drum, and the food is brought out by the staff singing a traditional song. For dinner, everybody sits at one long table (different settings, might be on the river deck or in the boma or in the "living room"), and is hosted by 2-3 staff (management and or rangers), like a big group of friends having dinner together.

The main reason to visit is of course the wildlife, and for that the Timbavati is perfect. It might be a bit more "difficult" to find animals as in the Sabi Sand (which I also love), but if you do, also fewer vehicles wanting to come to the same sighting. The rangers and trackers at Motswari are great and know a lot.

Each of the 15 bungalows is a bit different, but all very comfortable and spacious, with a nice "african touch decoration", without being "kitsch". This time I stayed in Roan, which is right next to the small pool (which I really enjoyed), with a beautiful deck overlooking the river. Upon arrival to my bungalow on the first day, a Elefant was munching away at some bushes infront of my deck, just a couple of meters away,what a welcome.

Wonderful people at Motswari, many of them have been there for many years.
Overall, I love Motswari and hope to be back soon.

Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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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, May 27, 2013
Thank you so much for this review Nathalie!

As always, it was fantastic having you here and we look forward to the next time. No pressure of course... but we loved the chocolate - thank you!!

Hope the weather in Switzerland is picking up as I heard it was almost zero degrees in Zurich last week!!

Very Best Wishes from Thea, myself and the whole Motswari team!

Dave
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398 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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canberra
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

After spending 20 days in a Princess Suite on QM2, sailing from Melbourne to Cape Town, then staying in a luxury apartment on the V & A Waterfront for 6 days, I would have to say, our 3 days at Motswari was the highlight of our trip.
Everything was of excellent service and quality and a wonderful and amazing experience.
From the moment we arrived we were greeted so warmly and were made to feel special during our whole stay.
The meals were delicious and in such beautiful settings. Dinner was served in the BOMA, which was a fenced in outdoor area with a huge fire in the centre. Lunch and breakfast were served in a verandah setting. Our bungalow was warm and comfortable.
However, the highlight was the wonderful twice daily game drives. Our guide, Harold was friendly and knowledgable - he couldn't do enough for us.
I will never forget our tracking of a leopard for over half an hour, it was truly an amazing experience.
With never more than 6 people in the jeep, we had superb viewings of all the animals and birds.
I can't speak too highly of Motswari and hope one day I can return.
Thank you David for all your attention and making this trip one to remember.

Room Tip: All the bungalows were just gorgeous
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, May 27, 2013
Wow! To be the highlight of such an incredible journey is fantastic and I thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us!

It is beginning to get a little cooler in the evenings now so the boma is in full swing with roaring fires to keep us warm. I will make sure Herold sees your kind words!

Hopefully we can welcome you back to Motswari in the not too distant future!

Very Best Wishes from us all

Dave
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

Motswari safari camp was superb. Extremely friendly and welcoming team meets you as soon as you arrive. They go out their way to make guests happy. Very luxurious room, we stayed in "lion" room and it was perfect. Great riverside location perfect to enjoy the Timbavati and an evening drink in the camp. Lush vegetation makes for great game viewing brilliant overall

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, May 27, 2013
Thank you for this kind review Neil - Any feedback is very useful, but it is always nice to read positive comments and I will make sure the rest of the team see this!

As always, we hope to see you back at Motswari soon... if the rains in Cape Town get too much we are but a short flight away!

Best Wishes to you both from Thea, myself and the whole Motswari team
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Tonbridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

My wife and I, my sons and their partners have just returned from a week at Motswari. What a fantastic time we had! We had visited the place for dinner in the boma a year ago and were so impressed we decided to return for a stay. We have been regulars in the bush all our lives so we had some pre-conceived expectations - all of which were met.

From the moment we arrived we were just blown away by the hospitality and care which we encountered everywhere. Our guide, Grant, and tracker, Jacky, met us as we arrived and took us to our rooms.

The rooms were so well done and appropriate to their surroundings; a plain thatch rondavel from the outside but very comfortable - top quality linen, terrific beds and furniture and high-end bathroom - inside. Ours, Elephant, overlooked the river and we had a private verandah where we could spend the afternoons just watching the bush. Our sons' rooms were just as good.

The communal verandah and pool were very comfortable and we spent a few afternoons in the pool with a family of warthogs rooting on the lawn about two meters away, quite unconcerned by our presence.

The food at Motswari is extraordinary and would be so in a city environment, let alone in the bush, a long drive from anywhere. The meals were fantastic and all of us have gained a couple of kilos since we arrived....but enjoyed the process! Breakfast is all you could wish for and dinner in the boma a slightly more sophisticated affair, just what is needed at the end of a long day. But lunch....that's the best meal of the day. Mostly cold buffet but the chef seems to pluck extraordinary variety every day and her curried-chicken pies are disgracefully good.

We were so pleased with Grant and Jacky, they were knowledgeable, very friendly and obliging; spending six days with them, we got to know them well and would definitely request to be in their vehicle on a return trip. Besides which, they found everything for us including one brilliant day with leopard, lion and rhino in the morning followed by elephant, buffalo and hippo in the afternoon. Nobody can complain seeing the 'Big 5' in a day and it was my first time to do so. Apart from the larger animals, though, their knowledge of birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects really involve you in the bush, great guys.

Finally, the staff; friendly, welcoming, never obtrusive, some have been there for ten or fifteen years which speaks much to the ethos of the Geiger family's overall management.

My wife and i shall certainly make a Motswari trip at least an annual thing, maybe even more often.

Exceptional week which we as a family will never forget.

Room Tip: We spread across three rooms, Elephant, Lion and Bushbuck; all were great, ours the furthest away fr...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, May 27, 2013
Thank you so much for this detailed review of Motswari - we really appreciate your kind words and will make sure this is seen by all the staff.

I know I missed most of your stay, but am very glad to hear that we may get to see you again soon!

All the very best wishes to you and the family from the whole Motswari team.

Dave
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Motswari this Easter and had an absolutely fantastic experience. The accommodation, the game drives, the sun downers and sunsets, the food and people were all amazing! We had great sightings and saw the big 5 as well as many others. My favourite being the lion and leopard, it’s great being able to get so close to the animals. We stayed in Waterbuck which is spacious, natural, clean and comfortable and has views over the riverbed. As a vegetarian; the breakfast, lunch and evening meals were delicious (prepare to put on a few lbs.) and we thoroughly enjoyed the ambience of the boma in the evening. Most of all, the people really make the experience, they go the extra mile to make you feel thoroughly welcome and are all so friendly. Big thanks to our guide and tracker for their knowledge and experience, we also very much enjoyed learning about the smaller things on the guided bush walk!

All in all, I thoroughly recommend Mostwari and hope to be back one day. This was my first safari experience – and it’s definitely left me wanting more!

Room Tip: Waterbuck is a fantastic room with views of the riverbed.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, April 16, 2013
Sarah

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this review - we really do appreciate all feedback and we are all delighted that you enjoyed your time with us!!

We hope to see you back at Motswari soon.

Best Regards from us all to you both

Dave
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Having spent a significant amount of time at various game lodges and private game reserves in South Africa (and elsewhere in Africa), I cannot recommend Motswari highly enough. We had great game sightings (Big 5, general game, bids etc), loved the amazing food and the hospitality was first class. I’ve gone to game reserves for well over 20 years and know a fair bit about nature but left with a wealth of additional knowledge about both bigger mammals, smaller creatures and various other parts of nature - the guides are REALLY top draw and have extensive experience!

The accommodation offers all the luxuries you need but at the same time fits in naturally in an entirely unfenced camp - it’s as close to nature as you will get without losing any of the luxuries you need from a relaxing holiday. The food is fantastic and is accompanied by an extensive but very affordable list of top wines.

We will be back soon and sincerely look forward to our next visit - thanks for all the memories!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in Waterbuck which is a beautiful room - highly recommended! You won't find a fitness...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, April 16, 2013
We really appreciate the review and the feedback - we are so happy you enjoyed your time with us and look forward to seeing you back at Motswari in the not too distant future!!

Best Wishes from us all

David
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Moss, Norway
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

A GREAT ADVENTURE

We spent four nights at Motswari private game reserve this easter and are very satisfied with our stay. The location, nature, the bungalow, the staff, food and experiences could hardly have been better.
On arrival we got a warm welcome, and felt it was honestly meant. When we first was taken to our bungalow - Elephant - I was at first a little dissappointed, since it was "far away" from the pool, restaurant etc. But soon I really thrived. We had our own, private sun-terrace with a nice wiev over the dam in front. One night two hippos were grazing few metres in front of us. Another morning a waterbuch met ut just outside the door.
I have been to safaris in Masai Mara and Nakuri in Kenya and seen the great savannas there. In the start of this stay I missed that a little. The bush-landscape here made it more difficult to see big flocks of animals as one do in Masai Mara.
Nevertheless we had great gamedrives together with Pete and Patrick and met all the big 5 - often several times. One of our greatest experiences was a leopard in a tree just above our car - simply fantastic.
On another drive we discovered a leopard walking into the bush and followed it by the car - over grass and bushes. When we turned off the motor, the leopard lay down a few meters from the car, and took a nap with its back towards us. It was so quiet and peaceful with only the sounds from the nature around us. Almost like we were the only people in the world in the middle of the bush with a sleepy leopard just beside us. It was really something I will never forget.
One early morning by a dam 15-20 elephants played, ran and swam in the water - the youngest elephants just like human children. Then they "left for breakfast". Also a mighty experience.
But our stay was more than game-drives. It was a very special mood with all the gentle people working there, the meals and the wine. It is hard to understand how it is possible to meet so many warm and nice people in one place. It is very rare to feel so much friendliness and warm care. We liked this people so much.
The dinners in the boma under the African stars was also something very special. So beautiful that you just have to experience it. The food was not gourmet, but very good, tastful, varied and far better than on lots of other lodges we have visited.
The general manager David and his wife Thea were also one of the reasons that our stay was so superb. Really freiendly, warm and interested in all their guests. They succeeded in making this a home away from home.
Sometimes we say that we wish to go back to certain places - without really meaning it. This time I really mean it and is absolutelly certain that I will come back. I will also recommend Motswara to everybody. It is my hope that they can keep the good athmosphere that make this place so special.
Thank you so muche to every single person on Motswara.

Room Tip: Elephantcottage is a little far from the restaurant, but it is cosy and relaxing with own sunterrace...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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DAVID K, General Manager at Motswari Private Game Reserve, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Greetings Torill & Jørn

I am really blown away by this review of Motswari and am so glad you enjoyed your time with us. It was a pleasure meeting you both and it was great to give my Norwegian skills a much needed practice - so good to join you for dinner and talk about lutefisk and akevitt!!

Thea and I really enjoyed your recommendations in Franschoek and will see if Grace or Eugenia are keen to experiment with some molecular gastronomy!

Vi håper å se dere tilbake på Motswari snart

Best Wishes from us all
Dave & Thea
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Additional Information about Motswari Private Game Reserve

Address: Timbavati, Kruger National Park 2021, South Africa
Location: 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 15 Specialty 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/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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