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“Needs to improve in important areas!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Motswiri Private Safari Lodge

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Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Madikwe Game Reserve 1560, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
New England
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Needs to improve in important areas!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

We spent 3 days and nights in this South African provincial game reserve after touring four resorts in neighboring Botswana. Although the overall experience was good, one received the distinct impression that the resort was aging rapidly and somewhat in need of repair.
Our door didn't lock and the door handle was rickety and falling off. Some of the lights in the room didn't seem to work.
Although we didn't use the swimming pool, it needed cleaning and we were surprised that visitors from the USA swam in the greenish water without hesitation. Likewise, the artificial waterholes were filthy and could harbor disease due to the concentration of toxins exacerbated by their small size and the large number of animals that walked and bathed in them daily.
The guides seemed intent on showing visitors the 'Big Five' and ignored interesting smaller animals, birds and all flora.
The drinks at the bar were expensive and the bar bill was wrong at the end of our visit, containing several overcharges and duplicates. At all the resorts in Botswana the drinks were free and everything was included in the upfront accommodation charge. Not so at this resort where the staff are all-to-keen to chalk up add-ons to your bill.
Although we were assured that it was safe to walk around the camp, even at night, we saw numerous breaks in the fences. The decks of the cabins are easily accessible by lions, leopards, monkeys and baboons.
Food is generally average to good and service is fairly good.
Motswiri needs to make a better effort if it wants to compete with the (cheaper and better) Botswana game lodges!

Room Tip: Try to get a room overlooking a waterhole.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

We were at lodge in early September and had a great stay. The food and service were excellent and the rooms were very comfortable. Our guide was very friendly and knowledgable as well. It was unusually cold but you do anything about the weather. We highly recommend Motswiri.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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XXX
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed for 3 days and we felt overwhelmd from the moment we entered the park. From the moment we parked our minibus in front of the lodge we were treated in the best possible way. The hot towels everytime we came back from the game drives, the drives itself, the sun downers in the bush, the excellent breakfast and the dinner around the campfire in the boma. Not to forget the lazy hours between the game drives on the open deck in front of the bungalows. The outdoor shower under the stars will always stay in our minds as well.
We enjoyed the days very much and will keep the the memory for a long time.

Room Tip: If you are a family with kids, choose the family unit. The tiny swimming pool is nice to cool off.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We travelled as a group of 10 consisting of 4 couples and ourselves with our 2 children aged 9 and 12 in May 2013. We occupied rooms 3,4,5 and 6, with room 6 being the family room (photo's attached). From the initial greeting at the entrance, this was set to be a memorable experience.

The drive from the main gate to the lodge is about 7 kilometres and takes about 20 minutes or so. The dirt road is fairly well graded and our small rental car had no problems negotiating the road. Even before getting into the lodge we came across Zebra, Giraffe, Kudu and the ever abundant Impala. Our bags were efficiently taken to our room and we were given a quick but very thorough introduction to the room.

The family room #6 is simply superb for families with a master bedroom and ensuite and 2 extra bedrooms, both of good size with 2 single beds and their own ensuites. The room has a fuilly functional kitchen, massive deck overlooking the game reserve and your own private pool. The family room also has it's own barbeque area and was originally designed as a fully self contained room, but is also letted out for groups such as ours. The only drawback (in winter that is) is that all of the 3 ensuites showers are located outside. They are very private and offer great embience, but when it's cold outside, well, it's cold outside if you know what I mean. Robes are provided and a quick dash from the shower into the robe makes it ok.

Drinks were had each night at the bar at the main lodge and the staff were extremely friendly and professional. Meals were also prepared at the main lodge and there was more than enough food for everyone. Staff also put on a special dinner for us in the Boma (I hope I got that right) which was simply stunning.

Game drives were each morning at 6.30am with pre drive drinks and nibblies had in the main lodge. Technically the drive should have you back for a 9.30am breakfast, but the main aim of this place is for you to see the wildlife and on one particular day, we didn't get back until well after 10am as we were chasing Lions (no-one begrudged the late breakfast I might add).

At about 2.30pm you venture back to the main lodge for nibblies prior to the evening game drive which leaves at about 3.30pm and gets back to the lodge around 7pm for dinner. Each drive consists of the customary stiop in the wild to have drinks and nibblies.

We had previously stayed in the Kwazulu Natal at Phinda in 2010 and this was brilliant, so we had a good idea about the whole game drive philosophy etc. Motswiri was different, not in a bad way, but different. Phinda fed you full of food to the point where we were bloated. Drinks were free (you pay for drinks at Motswiri) and after 4 days at Phinda, you have seen a lot and eaten too much.

Motswiri was much more intimate. Each night the staff would sing to us, serve us drinks, chat like locals and truly made us feel welcome. The problem with game reserves is that there is no guarantee that you will come across game. This was also true with Motswiri as certain game was very hard to find, but when we found it, well the pictures tell everything.

Motswiri comes very highly recommended, not only by other reviewers, but from me also. Having travelled extensively, I trust Trip Advisor explicitly and the comments made by contributors. Take this as an honest appraisal, you will wish you stayed longer when you visit Motswiri. We stayed 4 nights and could have stayed abother 2 quite easily.

Special thanks must go to Andre (our Driver) and Lene for making us feel so very welcome. Unfortunately we shared your last experiences at Motswiri and by now you will have taken up your new positions in the Delta, we all know you will fit in well in your new jobs and wish you every success.

To Coenie (second guide), your pleasurable attitude was infectious and we hope you find another guide to replace Andre who is as much fun (and meets the main criteria of being a drinker :)

To all of the staff; Patricia; Tshepo; Patiance; Phinda; Lawrence and Agnes, thanks for your attendtion to detail and most importantly, your friendship. Game reserves are abundant, but become special only because of the staff who operate them and Motwsiri is brilliant.

The weather in May is rather cold for anyone travelling so make sure you take at least 2 layers of warmth. It probably gets to about 5 degrees c and whilst blankets are provided on games drives, a warm study jacket and jeans are highly recommended.

Lastly to the staff, Turn around and let me see your figure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To anyone going to Motswiri, make sure you ask the staff to do this one (you have to see it).

Thanks Guys,
Chris and the rest of the Australian group.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centurion, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

We visited Motswiri Lodge in March 2013. It was our first visit do Madikwe - and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Motswiri is a smaller, more intimate lodge with only 5 rooms, and one self-catering unit. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The game drives were great! We drove with Andre on our first day and Zede on the next 2 days. They were both very friendly, informative, and made both the drives and the stay very enjoyable.

I feel a special mention should be made of the chef. She prepared wonderful meals!!! We've been to a few other lodges in SA before - this lodge's food really stood out head and shoulders above the rest.

All in all - intimate experience with beautiful rooms (including huge bath with a view and outside shower), friendly helpful staff, great food, fantastic drives - what more can one ask for. Thanks to everyone at Motswiri for making it such a special holiday!

Room Tip: Try get a room with a view of the waterhole. Not all rooms have view of the waterhole...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

I can not write highly enough about our fabulous experience in this wonderful lodge in Madikwe. This is a true gem of a place and there is no need to look any further as all you could ever desire from a game lodge is right here. The service was fantastic and no ask is too much. It was my Mother-in-laws birthday during our stay and she felt so spoilt, being given a cake at dinner, the whole team sang to her and she returned to her room to find it covered in candles, champagne and rose petals. Furthermore I had specific dietry requirements and every effort was made to accomodate me.

As for the actual lodge, the rooms are beautiful and overlook a water hole. Every day we saw a huge range of animals drinking right in front of us. The pool is lovely too.

Our ranger Andre was fantastic and we could have never dreamt of a better experience. Due to his forward thinking we were lucky enough to spend time with Cheetas and we followed Wild dogs making a kill on a Kudu. He specialises in wild life photography and we were lucky enough to get lots of tips from him which made this experience even better. Definitely let them know if you are interested in photography when making your booking. This was a real highlight.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

This is a small lodge in Madikwe, run by excellent staff. Great attention to detail. Andre is a superb ranger, taking time to show us what we wanted to see. He took the time to explain some of the more interesting detail to the children. Food at the lodge was of a high standard, with choices for dinner each evening. Staff were more than happy to accommodate requests. Being welcomed back with warm cloths to wash the dust off before sitting down to breakfast was fantastic. Staff are happy and welcoming. Our room was very comfortable with a view over the water hole. Thanks to Andre and the team. We'd love to return to see the Wild Dogs.

Room Tip: There are only 4 or 5 rooms. All are excellent. There is a six sleeper self catering room available.
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  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 1560, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 23 Specialty lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Motswiri Private Safari Lodge 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Motswiri Private Safari Lodge lies hidden in the bush, an exclusive lodge offering a maximum of 10 people a bush experience which is impossible to replicate in larger concerns. Our lodge offers some of the best views in Madikwe from our 5 luxury bush villas nestle. Itineraries & daily events can be tailored to meet your or your group's specific needs. ... more   less 
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