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“Amazing place, amazing people, amazing animals!”

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Motswari Private Game Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Amazing place, amazing people, amazing animals!”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Have just returned from 5 nights in the amazing Motswari Lodge. We went with our grown up children on the recommendation of friends and we were not disappointed. We have stayed at several other lodges in South Africa (all more expensive than Motswari) and can honestly say this was our most enjoyable. We have decided it is a combination of the relaxed atmosphere, unfenced and beautiful lodge and the lovely people. Our rooms were spacious and comfortable and had great views over the river bed. The food is exceptional ( be prepared to put on extra pounds). Chad and Petros our guide and tracker were what made the difference between very good and excellent. Their knowledge and humour was second to none and the evenings spent over dinner with Chad will be etched in our memories for always. The game viewing was excellent and can also recommend the bush walk. We had already booked another bush holiday for next summer at a very well known lodge in Sabi Sands. We are now having to contemplate if we should change to Motswari. Will have to wait and see what Virgin Holidays will have to say for themselves.

Room Tip: Duiker has lovely views and is very spacious. Waterbuck also excellent. To be honest I imagine they...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cats19
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, 2013
I am delighted that you enjoyed your time at Motswari Private Game Reserve!!

I will make sure everyone sees your fantastic feedback even though Chad will use this for years to come!

We absolutely hope to see you back at Motswari in the near future!!

Very Best Regards from us all

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
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English first
Crewkerne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We arrived at Motswari for our 7 night stay on the 30th September. Within 20 minutes of us arriving we were on our first game drive and it felt like a dream to be so close to the animals - amazing!

We stayed in the Waterbuck room which was very clean, beautifully furnished, very spacious and comfortable wih our terrace overlooking the riverbed.

Throughout our stay the staff were all so kind and helpful and couldn't do enough for us.The food was amazing, with lots of choice and of a very high standard (half a stone heavier on our return says it all!).

The game drives are really what we went for and we weren't disappointed, it was amazing to see all the animals so close in their natural habitat. We saw all of the big five within a few days and the fireflies were something we will never forget.

A big thank you from us both to all of the staff for making our stay so wonderful and a special thanks to our guide Herold and tracker Difference as they were great fun and taught us so much.

Thanks also to Godfrey for arranging our stay at the Giraffes nest which was something we will remember forever.

We cant wait to come back.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kirstie W
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 21, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review - we appreciate all feedback, but its always better to read positive words!!

I am glad the team looked after you so well and am delighted that you enjoyed the food and service. Giraffe's Nest is now becoming very popular and am very glad you got to experience that side of Motswari - its an amazing feeling waking up to the rising sun, perched over three meters above the ground!

I will make sure Godfrey, Herold, Difference and the whole Motswari team see your kind words and we hope to see you back here one day for another chapter in your African adventure!

Very Best Wishes from us all

David
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton Uk
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2013

This was our seventh visit to the reserve and it did not disappoint. David, Thea, Grace, Godfrey Shadrack, Tyiani and all the staff are fantastic and your enjoyment is their number one priority.
All the meals are of a very high standard, as is the service and the accommodation.
We saw all the big 5 on numerous occasions and the highlight of the trip was seeing three elephants have both a shower and a bath!!

Motswari is truly a memorable experience.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sue T
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 21, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to review Motswari Private Game Reserve Sue - I appreciate the feedback and it was great seeing you and Andy again.

I will make sure that the whole team see your kind words and I hope to see you back next year for another installment of Motswari adventure!

Best Regards from us all
Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

It might be odd to write about a self catering camp but when the guiding service we received from the game guide, Marka, was so incredible I felt he deserved it as did Motswari for having placed him at Java.
The calm, gentle and totally confident manner in which all aspects if our stay were handled absolutely made our weeklong stay. Motswari private game lodge gave always done us proud but this time Marka raised the bar a whole lot higher. Thank you Marka.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank neoprene
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 19, 2013
I am delighted to see a Java review and even happier to read your words about Marka. He is a fantastic guide and has the confidence to guide the experience in his calm and gentle manner - he certainly doesnt rush around the reserve, but he finds an incredible amount of animals!

We hope to see you back at Java or Motswari Private Game Reserve in the not too distant future and will certainly pass on your feedback to Marka.

Many Thanks & Best Regards from us all

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We were married in Africa 40 years ago and wanted a special place to celebrate our anniversary.
The minute we arrived here we knew we had made the right decision. We were taken to a beautiful thatched bungalow with every amenity, red flower petals scattered over the 4-poster bed. In addition to a well-equipped inside bathroom, there was a secluded outside shower with a vista view, from whence we could watch our daily visiting monkeys, and a family of warthogs who loved snorting around our bungalow.

Motswari is a gorgeous property with a very authentic African design and feel. It’s hard to describe or even capture on camera the wonderful atmosphere of the open-air Boma with a fire pit in the middle, and the stars twinkling overhead from a black African sky. Here the evenings start with a drink at the welcoming bar, then onto dinner at one of the tables around the fire. The configuration can be altered very quickly to accommodate a romantic table for two, family groups, or a large communal meal with other guests. Dinner is a relaxing experience with tasty food, cooked to perfection, and accompanied by a good selection of South African wines.

Being in the Timbavati Greater Kruger National Park, the 4WD vehicles are at liberty to go off the main tracks which means getting very close to the game and, although sightings are shared with other Motswari rangers, there is strict monitoring of vehicle numbers at any one time. We were blessed to have Ranger Chad and Tracker Petro, the best team I have ever seen throughout many years spent in Africa. They ensured our abundant and often spectacular wildlife encounters will be remembered for many years to come. Twenty minutes into our first game drive, we were captivated by a big healthy pride of 10+ lions – with whom we renewed acquaintance several times during our stay. We tracked a leopard stalking her kill, another time we found ourselves completely surrounded by a herd of 40-50 elephants. Chad took us on a lunchtime bush walk one day to look at small things, eg butterflies, insects, and the like, which was very interesting – but suddenly we looked up and there was a massive bull elephant in our path, no more than 20 metres away.

The culture of Motswari is very much that of a friendly family atmosphere. The staff are topnotch, professional and efficient, and will always go that extra mile to provide personal service.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LilianC199
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 19, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to review Motswari Private Game Reserve! I am delighted that you enjoyed your time with us - it is always good to hear that the atmosphere is enjoyed as that is such an integral part of Motswari.

I will ensure that Chad, Petros and the whole team see your kind words and we all hope to see you back at Motswari one day in the future!

Best Regards from us all
Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights during our 4 week trip in South Africa and Motswari was one of the highlights of our trip. We were really glad we opted for a private game reserve - yes, that is more expensive than staying in a national park - but the service and knowledge is absolutely great here! I'll start with the lodge itself: upon arrival (in the evening) we were guided to our room/house which was at the river front (although the river was dry since there hadn't been any rain for a while), with a large spacious bedroom, comfy bed with mosquito net, a desk/table and large closet for your clothes and a great bathroom with a bath, double sinks, inside and outside shower (what a luxury to be able to choose), air conditioning, and an outside terrace. Dinner is served in a nice boma (where it can get pretty warm), with lovely decorated tables. You are welcomed by your guide (you will have the same guide during your stay) and the other guests in your vehicle (which were one English couple and two English ladies who were there for over one week in total) and you have a drink at the bar. [Note that all local wines, beers, and sodas etc are included in the price of your stay - all meals and drinks during your entire stay.] Afterwards, you have dinner with your group and guide (you can indicate beforehand if you wish to have a separate table), and the starter with bread is served at your table. Dinner is usually buffet style, and dessert is brought to your table again. Main course is a choice between two meats or fishes - you can try both too! Service is excellent here and I would like to give a big high five to the cook and kitchen staff: brilliant food! Dishes are large, tasty and a real delight. We enjoyed all our meals here. Lunch is lighter, buffet style as well, and served on the veranda (view over the river). You can choose from salads, cold meats and fishes, pastas, quiches, to delicious cakes and fruits. Breakfast is served close to the river as well and includes everything you could wish for: cereals, pastries, pancakes, freshly made eggs, bacon, jams, yoghurts, waffles, salty cakes, juices, etc etc.

The game drives: we had Chad Cocking as our driver, who works as photographer as well (and can give you great photography tips and tricks!), and Petros as our tracker - who does an excellent job as well. Game drives start early - at 6 am in September (5h30 you can have coffee and cookies before take off and after your 3,5 hour drive, you have full breakfast). We saw TONS of wildlife on our drives during the 4 days: leopards (several times), huge herds of elephants (right next to our car! An absolute thrill! I could touch them if we were allowed to!) with tiny baby elephants, giraffes, rhinos with their calves, lions (every day!), hyenas, hundreds of buffaloes, turtles, hippos, plenty of birds and much much more. The great time about a private game reserve, is that vehicles can go off road so we got to the animals really close. As soon as a lion is in sight, Chad drove right up to it. Fabulous sightings! Every game drive has a break included with coffee/tea/hot chocolate and snacks in the morning, and wines, beers, sodas in the evening (with snacks too). The evening game drive starts at 15h30 and goes on until around 19h (when it is dark they use a light). Chad and Petros took great care of everyone and Petros is a true 'hero' for following tracks of e.g. lions and actually finding them on foot. Great duo! We have done several safaris in SA, Kenya and Tanzania, and this was one of the best experiences we've had so far.

Don't miss the late morning walks you can do with one of the guides. You have to inform your own guide that you want to do this before breakfast, and someone will take you on a one to 1,5 hour walk - most likely Barend (I hope I spell his name right). He is really knowledgeable and will teach you lost about tracks, droppings, plants and trees and you might even run into some wildlife. If you prefer walking, you can exchange your morning GD for an extended walk if a guide is available.

Lastly, I would also like to thank the lovely management couple. David is really kind and his wife (who is Austrian) is absolutely lovely. She helped us with finding Motswari (we were lost and she called us to give directions), she advised us on other game lodges in Timbaveti (we wanted to stay longer in Motswari but there wasn't availability anymore), and recommended us a fabulous lodge in Hazyview (Cybele Forest Lodge - which we took and it was brilliant!). Really helpful team - although all staff is in general really kind, friendly and always willing to help.

For those who need to work here and use their computers or wish to upload any pics online: there is good wifi in the common areas free of charge.

Our only regret: not staying here longer. Price-quality is great here and I cannot recommend this place highly enough!

Room Tip: Choose (when booking: indicate) a room/house on the river front. We saw an elephant passing by here...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank InekeParis
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 12, 2013
Ineke - thanks so much for taking the time to write this very detailed review!! I think its the longest feedback I've seen for a while and am delighted that you enjoyed your time at Motswari Private Game Reserve.

I will make sure that Chad, Petros, Barend and the whole team see your kind words and we sincerely hope to see you both back at Motswari in the not too distant future!

I am also glad that you enjoyed Cybele - we certainly loved it when we were there.

Very best regards to you and Alexandre from us all at Motswari

Dave
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vineland, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We stayed at Motswari for three nights as part of a safari trip in South Africa and Zambia. It was absolutely a terrific experience, both for my wife and I who have safaried many times throughout Africa, and for our son and daughter-in-law, who were on their first safari. I presume that, for the most part, those who read this have not much experience either on any safari,or at least in South Africa. You can rest assured that you will be extremely well treated and pampered, you will have a marvelous adventure, you will see lots of animals, and you will have done all of this for a price that is extremely fair for this kind of thing. Our guide Keith was one of the best we have had. He went out of his way to make sure that we had the best sightings possible and his knowledge of the animals and their habits was outstanding. Our tracker, Patrick was equally good. I will never understand how he was able to track a female rhino and her baby and find her after her tracks were passed over by an entire herd of buffalo, but he did and we got a great viewing. The camp managers are David and Thea and we were very impressed with their work. They both went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable and happy at all times and we all enjoyed David's stories during dinner. The accommodations are also excellent. We were two couples so we each had one half of the double cottages. They were extremely comfortable and we lacked for nothing. Our front porch looked out over the river bed and we were able to spend time just watching the animals that wandered by.

If you are looking for an adventure where you will see lots of animals and be very well treated all for a very reasonable price do not hesitate to book Motswari. One suggestion: Most people fly to Hoedspruit from Jo'burg on South African Airways then take a road transfer to Motswari. This is cheapest if there are two of you. However, if there are four to share the cost of a charter, you can get a private plane from Jo'burg that will take you directly to the airstrip just a couple of minutes from the lodge. This definitely adds to the adventure.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Razzle2
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 11, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to review Motswari Private Game Reserve - we really appreciate all feedback, but it's obviosuly great to read such positive words!! Even my stories get a mention!!

I will ensure that Keith and Patrick see this and hope to welcome you all back to Motswari one day soon.

Very best regards from us all 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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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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