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“A truly 5 star experience.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Motswiri Private Safari Lodge

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Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Tamworth, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A truly 5 star experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

After a 4 week overland safari with Drifters we decided to indulge at a private lodge for a few days before the long flight home. Using the mtbeds.co.za site we booked Motswiri for 3 nights, arriving the next day. The 4.5 hour drive from Joburg was really easy on great roads.
You always wonder after booking something online if the photos, description etc are accurate, and whether it will really be a '5 star' lodge. After bouncing down the dirt road for the final 20 minutes my fears were dispelled with the owner and staff standing out the front to welcome us with hot towels a cool drink and a herd of elephants in the waterhole next to the main lodge.

Being August the weather was perfect, and the crowd small, only 4 guests during our stay. Nice and quiet and private, just what we wanted.
Beautifully appointed private lodges, intimate dining with top quality cuisine, and staff that have been excellently trained and are attentive without being intrusive.
Game drives at dawn and dusk were fantastic. To sit a few metres away and watch 9 silly young lions take on 3 huge white rhino was unbelievable. Every drive we saw something new and amazing.
Not one single complaint. A true classic safari lodge experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
2 Thank Superchad12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Fallbrook, CA, USA
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

My family and I stayed at Motswiri for 4 nights and could have stayed forever. There are few words to describe the beautiful and appealing main lodge and the villas, the richness in game of the reserve, the serenity of the place but above all the staff who goes out of their way to make the stay a truly magical experience. The rangers were very knowledgeable, accommodating and very pleasant. The chef is outstanding and the administrative and support staff are always on top of every single detail, always with a warm smile. Having our own waterhole where elephants paraded daily was an additional treat. They also organized for us a visit to the village and the elementary school which was very endearing. We saw most animals to the exception of the elusive leopard. The lion prides and the elephants herds were definitely our favorites. We even had a daily visitor, Rupert, the big elephant whose every movement we tracked.
My family of 8, including my grand-kids 7, 9 and 16, all declared our stay there, the best vacation ever.

Room Tip: There is no bad villa but number 3 is especially well placed. Number #5 is perfect for couples with...
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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?
Thank Aracelia V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

We arrived to Jo'burg from New York, drove 4.5 hours to the game reserve and were wiped. However, just on the 10min drive in from the gate to Motswiri, we saw lions, elephants, giraffes and kudu. Then we were greeted with cocktails and a smile at the door. Perfect.

The next few days did not dissapoint. The twice-a-day safari drives yielded great animal sightings with our knowledgeable guide. The staff was incredibly nice and thoughtful and even did something special for us b/c it was our honeymoon. The rooms were beautiful and overlooked a watering hole. The food was delicious, especially the lamb dinner.

This was a perfect safari destination, and if you don't wanna believe two New Yorkers who have never been to a safari before...then believe the other 3 couples staying at the lodge who were all South African patrons who loved the place as well.

Room Tip: Watering hole view!!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level Contributor
70 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2012

Just had two nighs stay at Motswiri private safari lodge, this lodge is small which is good and some rooms overlooking the water hole, make sure to book room no. 3 or 4 as these rooms close to main lodge and overlokking the water hole, no. 3 is better.
its quite this time of the year, so not many visitors, game viewing also at minimum due to cold weather, but its all depends on luck.

service is very good and food is perfect.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Khalil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster UK
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2012

Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
Madikwe Game Reserve, Northern South Africa
Truly impeccable!
We stayed at the luxurious (malaria free) exclusive residence for 4 exceptional days having flown from Cape Town and then been driven 4+ hours from Johannesburg to the camp, which was easily accommodated.
Our first ever sojourn into such environment; "safari virgins"! I cannot describe the completely exotic, yet very homely feeling of the whole stay. From arrival throughout we were treated to a most welcoming environment and individual attention that can only be dreamed of!
Each early morning (6.30 am start) the spectacular game drive was punctuated by a halt for drinks and snacks in an isolated spot in the wild then on back to the lodge to the welcoming (varied & delicious) breakfast (with refreshing towels) upon return to the lodges. Time off then until 3 pm (pool available) with high tea served prior to the (daily) afternoon/evening game drive; nothing was missed out or was too much trouble. Even my wife’s (earlier) birthday was recognised with be-decking of our sumptuous accommodation with a multitude of tea lights and rose petals spread everywhere in our luxurious abode and then a surprise cake and entertainment (singing and dancing) by the numerous staff at dinner. A tear was brought to her eyes at the overwhelming attention to detail and feeling of being treated so 'specially'.
The extensive wild life (animals & birds) was in abundance and readily visible at every turn with so many opportunities to record the events, especially as the driver was attentive to give the best photo opportunities for all the guests no matter what seat they were in on the 'truck'. The fynbos environment allowed us to observe animals in their own environment, which could playfuly 'hide' in low bushes and scrub in addition to open land, adding to the excitement of capturing them 'for real' on camera.
The request by the staff for your choice of ‘sundowner’ drinks was a daily ritual and again, the truck was loaded with goodies for enjoyment in a ‘wild’ place each evening; chosen to encourage chatting with fellow participants whilst we observed the tremendous and heightening colours of the setting sun. Even the drive back to camp in the dark was enhanced by use of a piercing light shone by the driver whilst returning to base to add to the experience (Nightjars a plenty).
Evening meals were of truly exceptional quality and enjoyed both in a group setting, and individually, on different nights. Day 1, we observed the game and then found we were eating the same species; which was absolutely delicious!!!
The accommodation consists of only a few lodges (6 in total) and the intimate nature added to the feel of exclusivity with even a water hole on site to attract game only a few tens of metres away from several of the lodges.
Overall we saw so much wildlife and 4 of the 5 big game - (so leopards are always difficult to spot!) and so many ‘extra’ beasts and birds that we were satiated by the spectacular views and general proximity of such animals.
An experience that can not really be imagined but it was indeed real. If you are worried at all by the thoughts of being ‘in the raw’ and unprotected, shelve them and enjoy the truly amazing ambience.
I can only say that the trip exceeded any expectation and I'm sure this is the usual theme, no disappointment was heard from any guest and the stay of 3 nights was by general consensus perfect. Thanks to all the staff!

Room Tip: If you want seclusion, go for the 'furthest' room (200 metres from the main lodge where we s...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 filemanLancasterUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaborone, Botswana
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2012

Stunning, magnificent, wonderful, am running out of descriptions.....
Just back from 3 nights at Motswiri. The camp setting is lovely with a waterhole that was straight in front of our chalet. There are only 5 rooms, so its small and quiet and very personal. The rooms are lovely, big beds, plenty space, a wonderful outdoor shower in the bathroom, and your own private deck for game viewing. The staff are great, and our ranger was excellent - very knowledgeable. It was my birthday the day after we left, and they had kindly put a small bottle of champagne and glasses on the breakfast table to celebrate with before we left.
Madikwe is a great reserve, we saw all of the big 5 (including 4 within a 30 minute period one afternoon). Now that they have cut down on the number of vehicles allowed by each lodge, it is so much better and less like piccadilly circus in the rush hour. Its malaria free, and less than an hour from Gaborone, or 4 hours from Jhb.

Room Tip: There are only 5 rooms, but I think that 3 and 4 have the best views of the waterhole
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  • 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 Ellen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2012

Spent 3 days at Motswiri in March - really amazing and exactly as advertised online. Small (max. 10 people) and very personalised service, extremely friendly & helpful staff. Made to feel very special & spoilt. Beautiful accommodation with a very special touch (every little detail has been thought of). Game ranger very knowledgeable. Saw a fair amount of game, 4 out of the big 5 (25 different species, excluding birds) – fantastic for the variety of bird life.

The days are well planned with a game drive starting at 6:00 am, returning at approx. 8:30 am (coffee / tea served in the bush). Great breakfast with tons to eat & then the rest of the day to relax, sleep, lie at the pool. Lunch (high tea) served at 3:00pm with second game drive starting at 4:30 pm. Drinks & snacks served in the bush, returning when dark at about 7:30pm followed by 3 course dinner outside on the deck – this arrangement works very well (forget any late morning lie ins).

We had told them beforehand that that the trip was for a special birthday and on the last night they went out of their way to make this extremely special by preparing the room beautifully and serving a fantastic cake after dinner & singing happy birthday (see picture below)

Room Tip: Room 3 was lovely
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  • Stayed March 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?
Thank woody-man-1230
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

Property: Motswiri Private Safari Lodge
Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, Madikwe Game Reserve 1560, South Africa
Location: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Motswiri Private Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Motswiri Private Safari Lodge, situated in the western side of the 75 000 hectare, Big Five, malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province, forms an integral part of The Madikwe Collection's exclusive portfolio of lodges. As its name suggests, Motswiri Private Safari Lodge is an exclusive lodge offering guests a personal bush experience, which is impossible to replicate in larger concerns. The lodge offer some of the best views in Madikwe as well as the tranquil feel given by the mature trees (mostly Leadwoods) under which the lodge's main building and five luxury bush villas nestle. Motswiri has luxurious accommodation, with each bush villa offering stunning views from private decks and multiple-slider bedrooms and bathrooms. Add double-sided fire places, air-conditioning/ ceiling fans, stunning bathrooms and an outdoor shower and you have a bush experience second to none. Then our Family Villa offer three rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. The Family villa boasts a private lounge area leading out onto a private deck and pool. At the main area of the lodge enjoy the rim-flow pool overlooking the waterhole, have a cocktail under the shade of the Motswiri trees (Leadwood in Tswana) on the main deck or just while away the day in the outside lounge and bar area. Fine cuisine is served in the dining room, under the Leadwood or around a roaring fire in the boma. Staff offer personal service in a relaxed but professional manner and the twice daily game drives are conducted by our rangers whose superb bush knowledge is imparted in the manner best suited to the bush knowledge of the guests on the specially designed landcruiser game viewing vehicle. Motswiri offers the option of individual bookings or exclusive use of the lodge for groups. The lodge is ideal for corporate, family / friend groups of up to ten people who do not wish to share the facilities with other guests. Motswiri is a mere 3- 1/2 hours drive from Johannesburg or for utter indulgence, guests can opt for a fly-in safari to the reserves all weather airstrip. Scheduled daily charters are available via the Federal Air Madikwe Charter Joint Venture Partnership. Lodge tariffs include luxury accommodation, two fabulous game drives per day and all meals. ... more   less 
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