The only real problem that I face in writing this review is how to convey just how wonderful our stay at Morukuru really was (and perhaps not to spoil all the lovely surprises that await).
We spent four days at the Owner's House at the beginning of July. Being the South African winter we were a little concerned that we might have been travelling at a bad time of year - we needn't have worried (in fact I suspect that there are many advantages - not least the more civilised hours for the game drives which take place at sunrise and sunset).
The Owner's House is beautifully furnished and laid out. Indoors there is a sitting area, a dining room and a study/television area. Off the latter are the two lovely double bedrooms each with its own luxury en suite bathroom. Each bathroom has a walk in shower, double sink and a bath (one of them being a whirlpool bath). The bedrooms have lots of storage space and the beds have mosquito nets.
Being there in the winter the nights were quite chilly. The staff prepared the bedrooms to be very warm and cosy (there are modern remote-controllable wall heaters/air conditioners and the beds had electric under-blankets). One point is that we didn't sleep well the first night because we were too warm - easily solved by turning off the heated blanket and reducing the wall heater's thermostat.
Outside there are wooden walkways on various levels on the river side of the house and the slope of the land down to the river means that on the upper wooden walkways you find yourself amongst the treetops. We ate outside twice (albeit with the assistance of gas heaters) and inside on the other evenings. Breakfasts and lunches were usually eaten outside - a lovely experience particularly when, on one day, we could see elephants on the other side of the river. There is a nice looking swimming pool but we found it a bit too chilly to entice us in! There is one other lodge next door but we did not hear or see the people staying there.
There are two drives a day - one just after sunrise and the other which started a few hours before sunset and finished a little while after dark. The drives are in a modern Land Rover which was driven by our guide, Andrew, and directed by the tracker, Gummy - both were excellent. One of the great points about Morukuru was that we had the Land Rover to ourselves (no other groups). The Land Rover had quilted blankets in them for those that were a bit chilly first thing in the morning and after dark. During each drive we stopped for a drink and a snack (tea/coffee or hot chocolate and biscuits in the morning and sundowners and some beautifully prepared nibbles at sunset) - all very civilised.
Arriving back at the lodge we were always greeted with a warm towel and a suitable drink.
There is a big team to look after the guests led, while we were there, by Andrew and Carri. The butler, George, was always charming and attentive without ever being intrusive. Our cook, Hope, produced some wonderful food. We saw less of the others but they were all friendly and very discreet.
There is house wine (sparkling, red, white, sweet white) included in the price but there is also a beautifully stocked cellar offering premium wines at a surcharge to those that wish to try them (we found the house wines very good).
We did not do a walking tour so cannot comment on that; however we did pay the surcharge to see the local dancers. These were all young local schoolchildren who were wonderfully enthusiastic.
We drove from Johannesburg which took about 5 hours. We chose the motorway option and, whilst not pretty, was very easy. At the Madikwe end the tarmac runs out and the last 30 miles or so is on a dirt road which starts out quite reasonable (and negotiable by any car) but gets very bumpy and rutted once into the reserve. A four wheel drive car with good clearance is strongly recommended (or take the plane).
Finally, and perhaps as another example of how well we were looked after, we asked if there is anywhere safe to go running. Although we understood that there is a fenced area where running is possible (it is necessary to get driven to this area) we did not need to go there as they set up a modern high-end running machine on the walkway outside our bedroom.
A genuinely sensational experience and one that I sincerely hope that we can do again.
The bedrooms are almost identical. Probably the biggest differentiator would be the en suite bathro...
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We are so delighted that you had such a sensational stay with us..... we hope that you will cherish these memories with you always.
Sending you some African sun and lots of Morukuru magic from all of us.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.