Our Rating
8.3
Overall

Motswari

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Timbavati

from R 2822 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

Our Rating
8.3
Overall

Motswari

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Timbavati

from R 2822 pp/night sharing

*Rates shown apply to South African residents only - discounted rates for overseas residents available on request.

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Our Verdict

Traditionally styled camp combines comfortable accommodation with fantastically warm hospitality and superb guiding and game viewing.

Our Ratings

8.3
Overall
8.0
Luxury & style
8.0
Setting
8.0
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

Our Ratings

8.3
Overall
8.0
Luxury & style
8.0
Setting
8.0
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

What's Hot

  • The wonderfully warm hospitality of the Motswari staff and management – it’s an old cliché to talk about being part of the Motswari “family” but this is one lodge where you really do get that feeling!
  • Motswari is probably the next best place to the Sabi Sands to see leopards – so if you’ve never seen these spotted cats and can’t get into (or can’t afford) the Sabi Sand lodges, this would be our suggested alternative
  • Manages to strike the perfect balance combining stylish touches with authentic traditional game lodge atmosphere – this is a lodge where guests feel really connected to the bush
  • The chance to see massive breeding herds of buffalo as well as elephant – the Timbavati shares an unfenced border with the Kruger where herds are often far larger than can be seen in the lowveld’s fenced reserves
  • Relax on the deck with an ice-cold drink whilst you watch elephants in the river bed below or perhaps the resident family of warthogs “mowing” the lawn!

What's Not

  • Motswari has built up a fantastic reputation which means that it is extremely popular so finding availability can be tricky
  • Doesn’t have the extreme luxury accommodation of some other lodges (but then again it doesn’t carry the hefty price tag either!) So if you’re wanting private plunge pools and butler service then you’ll have to look elsewhere
  • Pity that the lodge doesn’t offer the chance to get a massage
Motswari

Motswarimanages to strike the perfect balance combining stylish touches with authentic traditional game lodge atmosphere – this is a lodge where guests feel really connected to the bush

Lodge Profile

Traditionally styled camp combines comfortable accommodation with fantastically warm hospitality and superb guiding and game viewing.

Quick Overview

Location
Timbavati
Drive Time
6 - 7 hours drive from Johannesburg
Malaria
Yes - low risk area
Setting
Overlooking riverbed
Rooms
15 Bungalows
Aircon
Yes
Pool
Yes
Spa
No
Camp Fenced
No
Tracker
Yes - ranger and tracker
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
Children 6 years and older welcome

Motswari is a lodge that cuts right to the core of what a memorable stay in the bush should be all about. Over the last 15 years loads of new game lodges have opened, many of which have trying to stand out from the crowd through utilising cutting edge contemporary styling and décor and seemingly trying to outdo each other in terms of luxury. The result at times though is that it can all feel a little pretentious and false and at worst you can almost feel a little disconnected from the bush around you. Motwari though is a refreshing antidote to all of this excess - instead it offers a quintessential lowveld game lodge experience that has been perfected over more than 30 years of ownership by the Geiger family.

So what makes the Motswari experience so special? First up has to be the wildlife. The lodge is located in the far north of the Timbavati reserve which is a prime game area. Special mention must be made of the excellence of the leopard sightings around Motswari – whilst the Sabi Sand must still rate as the finest reserve in this regard, Motswari boasts a very high concentration of these elusive spotted cats and many of them are extremely relaxed in the presence of vehicles, which lends itself to stunning sightings, especially for keen photographers! Add to that the lions for which the Timbavati is so famous, other prized predators such as wild dog, and the periodic presence of huge breeding herds of hundreds of buffalo as well as large herds of elephant which roam between the Timbavati and Kruger, and you can see why the game viewing in this area is so highly rated!

The lodge itself also adds to the whole back to nature experience. The 15 bungalows are basically old fashioned thatched rondavels but which have been stylishly revamped to give them far more contemporary aesthetic appeal (and there’s air-con to keep the fierce summer heat of the lowveld at bay) There are 2 sets of inter-leading rooms which are perfect for families but otherwise the bungalows are strung out in the bush, many enjoying a view of the river in front of the camp. Adding to the whole feel are the sandy paths connecting the rooms to the main lodge buildings as well as the bush that grows naturally between the rooms – this isn’t one of those camps with immaculately manicured gardens that wouldn’t look out of place in the suburbs; instead there’s a sense of “naturalness” that lends Motswari a much more authentic feel. There’s also no fence around the camp, so game is free to roam through the lodge grounds (guards will escort you back to your room after dark) Guests love to sit on the deck watching the family of resident warthogs “mowing” the lawn in front of the lounge area or the shy nyala that carefully pick their way through the lodge’s grounds!

Talking of the lodge’s public facilities, they are similarly traditional old-school game lodge. There’s a refreshing swimming pool and a lovely lounge area which, whilst simple, has been decorated with understated style and charm – these overlook the river in front of the lodge where it is possible to enjoy excellent sightings of game whilst you relax with a bitterly cold drink at the bar or in a comfy sofa. Delicious meals (and we’re not exaggerating here as the food at Motswari gets consistent rave reviews from happy guests!) get served up under the stars in the outdoor boma where a crackling wood fire awaits to keep you warm. About the only thing missing that we do regret is the chance to get a massage as there is no therapist or Spa.

The real star of the show here at Motswari though has to be the twice-daily game drives in the lodge’s new fleet of Land Rovers. The guiding here is some of the very best in the business and guests almost inevitably rave about their fantastic rangers and trackers and end up requesting the same team on return visits. Their enthusiasm and knowledge goes hand in hand with real warmth and no small sense of humour to keep guests enthralled. Another massive plus is that a couple of the rangers are superb wildlife photographers (check out the lodge’s fantastic daily blog with great pics of what’s been seen daily) so they’re really aware of the optimal positioning of vehicles to get the best angles and light conditions.

All in all the Motswari recipe is one of the best in the business. The staff really is like one big family and guests are constantly bowled over by the genuine warmth of the hospitality shown by staff and management alike – if you don’t believe us just check out the fantastic reviews on Tripadvisor! In fact the major problem here is that Motswari has built up such a superb reputation that it can be pretty difficult to find availability as the lodge has deservedly become one of the most popular around!

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Subject to availability

  • Rates exclude:
  • Timbavati conservation levy of R180 per person
  • Timbavati gate entrance fee of R140 per verhicle
  • Telephone calls, bar, laundry and curio purchases
  • Surcharge for Hide facility
  • Overnight walk

Child Policy

  • Children 6 years and older only are welcome at Motswari
  • Children sharing with parents pay 50% of adult rate per night
  • Children in inter-leading rooms pay single occupancy rate for the room
  • Third person sharing as Triple Room pays per person sharing rate
  • Children should be 6 years & older for game drives, 12 years & older for bush walks and 18 years for Overnight Safari Walk Experience