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“Top Recommendation” 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
Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Top Recommendation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

This place was amazing. We havent stayed at any other private lodges near Kruger so Im not sure if they are all this good or better, but they are doing well if they are.

The food was sensational...and there was so much. The rooms were beautiful and the service was first rate. We also had a great run with wildlife spotting. We saw all the big five, plus heaps of other animals. We even saw white lion cubs, which are apparently very rare. A highlight was watching a white lion cub and yellow (normal) lion cub play fighting. It was amazing.

Highly recommended. Ill be back.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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294 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (60)
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2009

We stayed for 2 nights here in October with my brother and his wife who live in south africa, they run a travel company in south africa and visit many game lodges. In their opinion this is one of the best lodges in Kruger, need I say more. The lodge offered the ultimate in the safari experience. We arrived in time for tea int he afternoon of check in and within an hour were on the first game drive where we were treated to a mind blowing array of wildlife. We were there at the end of the dry season so the grass was short and game viewing was great. We were extremely lucky to see the big 5 in only 2 game drives not to mention hundreds of birds and other animals. Our driver Godfrey and tracker Marco were very friendly and very knowledgeable. In a two night stay we had 4 game drives each lasting 3.5-4hours. There was little time for anythign else but we managed to fit in a game walk and a quick dip in the small and very cold but refreshing plunge pool while watching impala frolic int he camp. Its a open camp and we were visited by buffalo and warthogs outside the bathroom window. The rooms were delightful. The food was fantastic and the evening meal served beside the fire were wonderful. The lodge is small and the staff very friendly, the manager Kathy made us feel very welcome - a very family atmosphere. All in all one of the best holiday experiences we have ever had.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Prato, Italy
Top Contributor
398 reviews 398 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 141 cities Reviews in 141 cities
190 helpful votes 190 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2009

we spent two nights there.
Timbavati is a private area bordering the Kruger and not fenced,so you are pratically in a private Kruger park
the resort is really well done and you can feel the magical taste of africa.
it is not fenced so during the day all the animals can enter(but some keepers are always on duty so no risks).it can seems unbelievable but one day an elephant herd is arrived in the pool!!warthogs,impala and others were always around the rondavels.
during the night the guest cannot move without the guardians help.
leopard are used to enter in the camp and their footprints are found usually in the morning.
during the braai dinners the hyaena's song was the soundtrack....
so you can really feel to be in africa!!
THE GAME,we saw leopard two times,hunting lions one time.buffalos,elephants,rhinos,hippos,crocs and very uncommon hyaena and a spotted genetta.obviously also many other antelopes,giraffe,zebra and so on
we have done also the walking games with an armed ranger.stunning!
THE LODGE,as first you have to realize that this is a mid prize game reserve.
it's not cheap but really convenient if you compare it with some other very expensive lodges.
so the rooms(rondavels) are very clean and big.fully equipped.
the meals were very good and well done,the dinner in the boma simply fantastic.
the nice staff can support you whatever you need.
we can really suggest MOTSWARI!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Melbourne
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

When going to Motswari, I had the typical view that accommodations must be top rate, then that the service and meals should be important and finally that the game should be good. Rather than the top “5” – this was my top “3”.
I found Motswari a true experience in terms of food, interaction, accommodation and game viewing.
Motswari tie them into one.
The pros:
Motswari strives to integrate with the local wild environment - not to dominate it.
Your guide and tracker (in my case Andres and Morris) were top rate. Their services went beyond finding and identifying animals. You were taught to track and approach animals in the correct manner. To Andrew and Morris this is not a job – this is their life!
Andrew's knowledge of the local bird life is amazing and he and Morris will spare no effort to make you drives exciting. Ask for them by name if you can.
They also provide you with a picturesque sundowner.
The game viewing was marvellous with drives and sun setters to game actually coming through the lodge itself. I got the distinct impression that if you did not see that game on your drives, then you would see it at the watering hole not 20 meters from your bungalow. If you missed a drive to relax with Daphne and her crew of epicurean angels – you would see one of the Big 5 at the waterhole in front of the camp. What a “win win” situation (in my case a 17 elephant breeding heard, a lion pride, giraffe and a pair of curious elephants that ambled no more than ten-feet from my bungalow (not scary but amazing)
As to the accommodations, forget TV & DVD – I am a DVD junkie and I lived fine without. I cheated and had 4 movies on my IPOD but fell asleep in the first five minutes of each film.
Everything is spotlessly clean - I mean CLEAN.
You are simply immersed in the experience and the new found friendship within your group to care about big city electronics. I have a laptop glued to my hip, a mobile to my hand and a portable DVD player and none got used. The lodge has WIFI and an internet PC if you really need to SKYPE that special person wherever on the globe.
On arrival the bungalow was spotless, every day it was maintained – spotless!!! I feel comfortable that I actually left 2,000 rand by my bedside and I knew (and was proved correct) that it was there when they returned. The local woman and men who cook and clean, craft and guide, smile with a genuine smile and shake your hand, are there to build a better Motswari and will not be distracted by anything else. You do feel like family. Actually you feel like the black sheep of the family as everyone else is trying harder than you!
As for the game drives – nothing can describe the wind rushing through your hair as you are on the trail of a kill or trying to find an elusive leopard. Andrew’s knowledge of birds and flora, combined with his and Morris’ knowledge of larger game meant that there was not a moment when you were uninformed. 97% of questions they can answer and they will honestly tell you if they do not know the other 3%. There is NO false pretence here.
Amazing people – truly amazing especially Netta’s omelettes and Daphne’s dinners – and genuine local pride. Unmistakable.
If you want to go snap happy on conveniently placed game that appears like clockwork, and stay in Four Seasons accommodation – either challenge yourself to more, or stay in a clinical and surely luxurious surroundings of one of the Sabi lodges.
If you want the true experience and want to feel that you belong, then Motswari is your place – people, cleanliness, fantastic game and most importantly a true experience.
Oh – the food. I was under strict instructions from a dietician but with the food that the local ladies caringly prepare – it is hard and easy. There is always a huge range of tempting dishes at every meal (really tempting) but if you are a diet, all of the food you need if there as well. Watch out for Netta and her killer omelettes – such a sweet face and yet the “to die for omelette” in the morning. The local women working at turning out delicious food do an AMAZING job. They should feel so damn proud.
Enough from me – go and find out for yourself. Simply divine - David Russell

PS. As a romantic get away - I could not recommend better in Africa. Also - if booking - try for ROAN bungalow - nature comes to you.
My only worry is will I be able to get a booking next year.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • 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.
Borgomanero, Italy
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2009

My wife and I have been in SA every year since 2007, we visit many places in Kruger NP and also a lot of PGRs, so we have some experience about this kind of vacation.
Motswari, is really outstanding under many points of view.
First of all, the games were absolutely amazingly, we saw a lot of animals and birds; the landscapes was so wild and so breathtaking, but undoubtedly the “cherry on the cake” was a complete and deep overview of everything we saw that our ranger Andrew provided us.
For us it was a very appreciated “upgrade”.
All the staff people we met were very friendly and warmth, and the accommodation and the food were very good.
Unfortunately we were able to stay only two days, so we really think to come back again as soon as possible.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Albans
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2009

This place is amazing - be it the staff, the animals, the setting, the food - it's all incredible! I couldn't recommend this enough.

Our experience involved amazing game viewing, even better food, fantastic service, and three days that were so brilliant that I wouldn't have minded paying more for the experience! It also had a lovely African vibe, provided by the staff, that seems to be lacking at some of the more colonial style lodges.

Game viewing was fantastic, thanks to our knowledgable guide Pallance and our spotter Difference. We even did a bushwalk which was incredibly informative, providing all the information that you might miss when you're whizzing around in the jeep.

The open camp was lovely, giving you the feel that you really were in the wild, albeit with all your creature comforts. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served in 3 different locations - but each time with fantastic food.

I've visited 3 game lodges in South Africa, and if I had to recommend one it would be this.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Hertfordshire
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2009

During our four days we were looked after by our Guide Chad and tracker Petros incredibly well; they consistently took us to great sightings and provided us with detailed information on the animals and the area. We were also impressed by all the other staff who made our stay so memorable with great food and service, especially the evening meals around the large open fire. Nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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 Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Motswari Private Game Reserve 4*
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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