Motswari Private Game Reserve

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

The hotel

Private and serene, Motswari Private Game Reserve is small and intimate with no more than 30 guests present at any one time, allowing for peace and quiet aplenty. Family-run and All Inclusive, you’ll enjoy Southern African hospitality at its best here. Individual bungalows, each slightly different, offer a superior level of comfort with luxurious bathrooms and stunning views of the surrounding wilderness from your terrace. The owner has personally added her own unique touch with individual art pieces across the property. Extended game-drives at sunrise and sunset allow plenty of opportunity to spot the 'Big Five' as does a guided walk through the Savannah with one of the resort’s highly experienced and very friendly trail guides. If the sun feels too warm, it’s not a problem, enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming pool any time of day. There’s also a lovely lounge area overlooking a waterhole where you can admire the visiting wildlife as you relax. Meals are served in the lounge or in the boma, a traditional fire side meeting place. Season dependent, you can also head into the bush for a picnic style breakfast or an early evening dinner under the stars.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Swimming Pool
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Near National Park
  • Restaurant

Where is it

Set in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, part of the Kruger National Park Conservancy. Transfer time from Hoedspruit Airport: 50 minutes.

Hotel information

15 bungalows, 2 per unit. All with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, a terrace offering unrivalled bush views, safe, hairdryer and some with outdoor shower offering a serene and peaceful environment. Standard Rooms are naturally furnished to reflect the African surrounds with 1 king-size bed or twin beds, generous sitting area and en-suite bathroom, sleeping maximum 2 adults or 2 adult and 1 child.

All Inclusive of: all meals and soft drinks, local wines, beers and refreshments on game-drives. Daily game-drives and a guided safari walk.

Conservation fee is payable locally on departure.

Standard Interconnecting Rooms also available which are perfect for families, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 2 children.

Geiger's Camp is a nestled a few kilometres from the main lodge and offers an escape to African beauty, tranquility and comfort. The lodge comprises of 2 stone houses with 4 beautiful en-suite bedrooms, a large communal lounge area/library and it's own swimming pool with breathtaking views of the Nhlaralumi River. Geiger's Camp is also available for exclusive hire - perfect for groups and families.

Why not spend a romantic night under the stars in your very own private treehouse? Add a night in the Giraffe’s Nest Treehouse to a stay in either camp.

  • Honeymooners: couples staying 3 nights or more will receive a bottle of sparkling wine in their room on arrival. The bride will also save 50% off accommodation costs. 

    Offer not combinable with any other offer. 

  • Favourite Benefit: Stay four nights between 01 Aug '19–30 Apr '21 and receive one complimentary night stay in the Giraffe's Nest treehouse, subject to availability. Not combinable with other offers. 

Why is this a Virgin Holidays Favourite?

Excellent value private game lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve

Small, intimate lodge with not more than 30 guests at any one time, giving a real home from home experience. As soon as you check in you will feel like part of the family

Fantastic 'Big Five' game viewing

Exclusive Virgin Holidays benefits:

  • Treehouse offer: stay four nights between 1 May '19–30 Apr '20 and receive one complimentary night stay in the Giraffe's Nest treehouse. Not combinable with other offers
  • Honeymooners: couples staying three nights or more will receive a bottle of sparkling wine in their room on arrival. The bride will also save 50% off accommodation costs. Valid for stays between 1 May '18-30 Apr '20

Meals are served either in the lounge, inside the Boma or on the breakfast terrace. Bush breakfasts and dinners can be arranged locally. 2 bars. Infinity swimming pool. Library. Gift shop. Extended sunrise and sunset game-drives. Daily bush walks, bird watching and local community village tour. Giraffe's Nest Treehouse*. Complimentary WiFi access in the Indaba Room (public area). Library and art gallery. Curio shop. Laundry/dry-cleaning facility*.

2 nights between 1 May-30 Sep and 3 nights between 29 Dec-2 Jan.

* Denotes local charge.

Please note: children should be 6 years and older for game-drives, 12 years and older for bush walks and 18 years for the Giraffe's Nest Overnight Experience.

Please note: guests having dinner at Geiger’s Camp are requested to dress in smart/casual attire. Gentlemen are requested to wear long trousers and closed shoes.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
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Traveller rating

  • Excellent (799)
  • Very good (37)
  • Average (10)
  • Poor (4)
  • Terrible (1)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing

Aug 24, 2019 kirstymA7930YU Morphett Vale, Australia

I spent 3 day here with my travel group and I cannot give enough praise. The rooms at the lodge are just beautiful and I really enjoyed sitting outside the front watching the animals go past. The facilities are very good here. The food served is top notch. I loved eating lunch watching the warthogs and antelopes. I really enjoyed the game… Read more
I spent 3 day here with my travel group and I cannot give enough praise. The rooms at the lodge are just beautiful and I really enjoyed sitting outside the front watching the animals go past. The facilities are very good here. The food served is top notch. I loved eating lunch watching the warthogs and antelopes. I really enjoyed the game drives with Landon (guide) and Brian (tracker) who were very knowledgeable and personable. They loved joking with us. The other staff were sensational. So helpful and lovely and always happy. I would like to make a special mention for Ronny. Ronny liked to tell stories and he had a lot of them. I still laugh now remembering his great stories. Ronny made my time there even more special. I highly recommend staying here and I hope to again one day. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing trip but be cautious of fees

Aug 23, 2019 Leisuretraveller11 London, United Kingdom

We had an amazing time at Motswari. From the moment you arrive the staff are welcoming and introduce themselves to you. We saw the Big 5, wild dogs, and hyenas eating prey. This is partly luck but also due to our excellent guide and tracker who spotted animals hundreds of metres away. The main advantage of a private game reserve is the opportunity… Read more
We had an amazing time at Motswari. From the moment you arrive the staff are welcoming and introduce themselves to you. We saw the Big 5, wild dogs, and hyenas eating prey. This is partly luck but also due to our excellent guide and tracker who spotted animals hundreds of metres away. The main advantage of a private game reserve is the opportunity to go off road and follow the animals which you cannot do in Kruger. The lodge is not fenced so we had elephants walk through the lodge during our stay! There is a night patrol which makes sure you are safe when walking around the lodge. The rooms were comfortable, spacious and clean. House keeping came twice a day whilst out on the game drives to clean and make sure everything was perfect. And to top it off, the food at every meal was EXCELLENT. No complaints! Not sure what a more expensive lodge would offer overall. The only word of caution is what other reviews have mentioned regarding tips etc. the lodge suggest 400-500 Rand per room per night for your guide and tracker. Then additional tips for the support staff. Finally beware of the conservation fee which is ~£20per person per drive. However, this is likely to be the same with private game reserves and other lodges. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Best 4 days ever!

Aug 17, 2019 GrandTour311968 London, United Kingdom

What can I say, except, go! After much research, my nephew and I selected Motswari for his school break trip, and it was a perfect choice for us. From the initial arrival greeting to the long goodbyes with our guide and tracker after 4 days, everyone at Motswari made us feel like family. We appreciated the size of the camp (just 30ish people… Read more
What can I say, except, go! After much research, my nephew and I selected Motswari for his school break trip, and it was a perfect choice for us. From the initial arrival greeting to the long goodbyes with our guide and tracker after 4 days, everyone at Motswari made us feel like family. We appreciated the size of the camp (just 30ish people max), the lodge layouts, the open camp (animals outside your window, next to the pool, etc!), the fabulous food including much coverage for a vegetarian, and as mentioned before, the lovely staff. They sing at every lunch (beautiful voices), held a special surprise breakfast one day out on the drive, and each evening were fabulous hosts. We really enjoyed sitting with the other "truck" passengers, as well as getting to know the guides and other staff during meals. A special team they have there. And the safari trips (albeit an early wake up!), were just incredible. We saw all we wanted to see and then some. Our guide Sinhle and tracker Patrick were beyond brilliant - finding and getting close (while being completely respectful to the animals and safe) to the gorgeous wildlife in the reserve. At Timbavati they have a perfect location adjacent to Kruger, with animals able to wander back/forth. We also appreciated that they limited to 6 guests in a vehicle, so we could all have optimal viewing. Still need to go through my 1000 pictures of African wild dog pups. All the basics were covered too - nice amenities in the rooms, even a yoga mat (not that I did any)! The local beer and wine delicious. Great onsite massage therapist too! Can not recommend Motswari highly enough. Amazing experience, fantastic value, lovely people. Enjoy your visit (I'm planning my next!) Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Absolutely Life-changing Bucket List Adventure!

Aug 10, 2019 sarah_mt_kelly Toronto, Canada

I am almost rendered speechless and how beautiful, fantastic, thrilling, and wildly wonderful Motswari is! I stayed solo for three nights and went on six game drives, making that eighteen hours of spectacular safari adventure! My guide (Danell) and my tracker (Lot) are incredibly good at their jobs! Not only did I spot the Big 5, but I learned and… Read more
I am almost rendered speechless and how beautiful, fantastic, thrilling, and wildly wonderful Motswari is! I stayed solo for three nights and went on six game drives, making that eighteen hours of spectacular safari adventure! My guide (Danell) and my tracker (Lot) are incredibly good at their jobs! Not only did I spot the Big 5, but I learned and saw so much of a variety of other beautiful species as well. Danell and Lot were kind, hilarious, hospitable, professional, wonderful, and just a delight to be around! While the animals were amazing, it was Lot and Danell that were my favourite part of the game drives! They work so well in tandem and that was really cool to see! On the game drives, we got to see hyenas in action, rhinos and elephants up close, crocodiles and hippos lazing about, a huge family of giraffes (my favourite!) and I spotted babboons, warthogs and elephants from the pool deck of Motswari! The food, beverages, and hospitality from the Motswari staff was unparalleled. I truly enjoyed dinner at the Boma and being escorted in the dark! Thank you to Kmohtso, Sohpi, Sinclair, and Grant for adding special touches and being so friendly to me as a solo traveller! I cannot wait to return and my heart feels full knowing Motswari exists. I cannot recommend this beautiful place highly enough! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Perfect Safari Experience

Aug 8, 2019 Jane W Durham, North Carolina

Motswari was a perfect place for a first safari. The plan of each day worked great: safari drive from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., then again from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Each trip is with a driver/guide and a tracker. We were lucky to get the Gina/Difference combination. They did everything to make our experience fabulous. We saw all the animals… Read more
Motswari was a perfect place for a first safari. The plan of each day worked great: safari drive from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., then again from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Each trip is with a driver/guide and a tracker. We were lucky to get the Gina/Difference combination. They did everything to make our experience fabulous. We saw all the animals over three days: lions, elephants, giraffes, cape buffalo, rhinos, hyena, leopard, antelope (of many varieties), and all kinds of birds. Gina was very knowledgeable about everything. The accommodations and food were great. I highly recommend this game reserve. Read less