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“A family tradition” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Motswari Private Game Reserve

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Motswari Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
centurion
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A family tradition”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

We always stay at Java (Motswari's private house) what an amazing experience. It's become a family tradition. Every year we go and we see the best wildlife sightings ever. The game rangers are very knowledgeable and add that special touch to our holiday. We are South Africans but when we travel to Mostwari we also receive the true African welcome and the true African wildlife experience. Excellent is all I can say!!!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank monique b
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, October 30, 2012
Java doesnt get many mentions on TripAdvisor so thank you for taking the time to write about your stay with us! I will make sure your words reach the people at the camp!!

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope this family tradition continues every year - we look forward to the next time!

Best Wishes from all of us here at Motswari
David
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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660 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
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English first
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
107 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2012

My friends and I went to two game lodges/reserves end September early October 2012.

Both were truly spectacular - we came from the earlier lodge after a wonderful 3 nights stay and we wondered if this could match up - boy were we pleasantly surprised. While the rooms were smaller and more rustic, it had all that one wanted. At Motswari too the staff were very friendly and every request was seen to wherever possible. The drives in the Landrovers were really something else and the leopard that is the most elusive animal usually was seem umpteen times. Our ranger Chad was really passionate about the fauna and flora and went out of his way to make sure we saw as much as we possibly could in our stay there - the knowledge he was able to give us of that reserve and the wildlife there was fantastic. We saw all the big five and the leopard on practically each ride - and so much more. The bush walk he took us on was also spectacular and we saw buffalo, hippo, nyala, kudu and so much more on foot - which is a totally different experience.
The food was great and though there is a lunch served I doubt if anyone could do justice to that after the massive breakfast that was served each day. The rooms are very clean and the service efficient and good

Would we come back here - without a doubt

Room Tip: The rooms are all good - smaller but with everything that is required
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dilipjc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

We came to Motswari having had an amazing time at a previous lodge so we were a bit unsure what to expect but we needn't have worried as it was every bit as good.

Rooms were a little small but adequately equipped. The staff were really friendly and went out of their way to help. You are woken by a knock on the door and prepared for your game drive with coffee and muffins. The drives are in Landrovers with only 6 to a vehicle which was very comfortable, and last up to 4 hours with a break for coffee in the mornings and for a drink in the evenings.

Our Guide was Herald, who was truly wonderful. He was like a magician, finding animals around every corner, which was very surprising as it rained most of the time we were there. He was also able to find brilliant places for drinks stops even in a thunderstorm. And he did it all without a tracker (who was off sick). He also took us for a really memorable bush walk showing us trees and tracks and small animals.

Food was fantastic - most of it on a serve yourself basis which is great as my husband was able to fill up on the things he loves and I got lots of the fruit and vegetables that I like. You could survive for a week on the breakfasts alone!!

The whole experience was brilliant (apart from the weather!). We hope to return one day.

Room Tip: Rooms on the edge of the river bed have better views.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tortoisephobic
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, October 10, 2012
We are thrilled that you enjoyed your time with us and that Herold managed to track down the animals despite the weather!

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay with us – we are very grateful for your feedback and hope to see you back at Motswari sometime in the not too distant future.

Best Regards from the whole Motswari family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed as a party of 8 in the Sharalumi lodge for 4 days and we all had a fantastic timee, young and old alike. Like other people who have reviewed this place, I cannot say too much about the staff ; they made us REALLY welcome and their professionalism was beyond question. It definitely made our stay one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Oh - I almost forgot about the wildlife! We saw the big 5 in our first 3 hours (admittedly one of the was eating another!) and leopards in trees, one eating a bush buck. Johannes was a wonderful guide, very patient with us and obviously knew his stuff. If you decide to stay here, you will not be disappointed. Imagine watching elephant from the pool! One night we even had hyenas outside the door! My only disappointment? I bought a zoom lens and didn't need it, a wide angle would have been better as we were that close to the action!

Room Tip: The side rooms at Sharalumi you might think are not as good as the main rooms but that is not true...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IanLooker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012 via mobile

this was our first time here.couldnt fault a thing we were made to feel like friends not guests.food was great staff friendly and helpful.our guide was Herald who did a great job without a tracker( he was off sick)we will return many thanks to all

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bloweys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2012

I can’t say enough about how wonderful this lodge is. You really do feel like you’re a friend by the time you leave. We stayed 5 nights and the lodge arranged everything for us, including the transfers from/to Johannesburg, and it all worked flawlessly. The food is fantastic (I gained 5 lbs for sure), and the staff is incredibly attentive to every detail. Our room was gorgeous, comfy, and extremely spacious with a soaker tub and stand up shower overlooking the bush. The plugs work with European adaptors, which was convenient. There was turn-down service each evening while you were on the dusk game drive, which meant that you had fresh water, the mosquito netting in place, and the lights on when you returned to your room.
The lodge’s location on a riverbed allows animal viewing just when sitting around camp. The lodge is unfenced, which means that wildlife can wander in and around the lodge – monkeys, warthogs, impala are common. There was a smallish crocodile making himself at home across the riverbed, and one night there was a buffalo that came into camp (we didn’t see it, but discovered its leave-behind evidence the next morning). This is why the staff must escort guests to/from their rooms at night. Also, to address previous comments about the release form, I think everyone needs to recognize that you are voluntarily putting yourself in the wild, and there is an inherent danger in that exposure. Motswari does everything in its power to keep guests safe, but you ARE staying in the middle of the bush of your own volition.
The game drives were fantastic– we saw 4 out of the 5 ‘Big Five’ on our first drive, which was pretty incredible. The next day, we saw the remaining one. Since we were there 5 nights, we experienced a lot of game drives and thus saw some incredible sights, like a mother and son leopard pair lounging in a tree as the son played with his mom’s tail. We also witnessed a lion pride’s dominant male roaring as he announced his presence to another lion passing through the area. They provide blankets on the game drive vehicles, which are needed in the cool mornings! Also, take advantage of the sundowner cocktails, which are included in your rate (versus the dinner time cocktails which are not).
Come here to totally disconnect and immerse yourself in the safari experience. If you’re looking for connectivity such as TV or lightning fast internet, you won’t find it here (there’s a TV in one of the common areas, and there is internet but it’s not fast).
I would stay here again in a heartbeat – the entire staff and management team truly do an outstanding job in making your safari experience a phenomenal lifetime memory.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank T-birdTraveler98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abruzzo
Level Contributor
118 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,342 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

Yes it was all very wonderful & espec the food for me... But & a big but that could be easily sorted our room could have done with a good clean & the plumbing! What is the use of having a jacuzzi bath if it does not work! More especially as we have opted to miss a drive out to take a soak & could not do so! The tap was not working had clearly had not done so for some time!

Room Tip: Take some booze with you!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Caporciano
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, September 4, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your stay at Motswari – we really do appreciate all feedback.

I am delighted that you chose to mention our staff in your review heading as that is something we are very proud of and the people that work here are key to providing an unforgettable experience. I am also glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and that Grace & her team were able to impress with their cooking!

Of course, we are saddened to hear of your impressions of the room and the unfortunate incident with the bath. I will review this with our housekeeping team and ensure that levels of cleanliness are always at the highest possible standard and put right any shortfalls that you experienced. The bath tap has now been fixed and I hope this problem will not prevent anyone else from taking the time for a relaxing soak.

We hope we can welcome you back to Motswari one day and wish you well for your future travels!

Best Wishes
David & the whole Motswari team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Motswari Private Game Reserve

Property: Motswari Private Game Reserve
Address: 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 17 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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