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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Travel: Motswari Luxury Lodge On The Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa

swimming pool at motswari lodge
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the gallery at motswari game lodge
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motswari lounge area
Looking to experience morning and evening game drives like no other in an open top land rover with professional field guides and trackers? 

Motswari - your gateway to the Greater Kruger National Park and host to Africa's Big 5. 


Mostwari is one of South Africa's jewels nestled within the Timbavati Nature Reserve, transversing an area of approximately 15,000 hectares sharing an open boundary with the Kruger National Park. 

The game lodge itself can accommodate e up to 30 guests at one time, across 15 luxury en-suite bungalows dotted around the camp. There is also the Geiger's Camp - which offers four luxury rooms, its intimacy  perfect for individuals or small groups of up to 8 people. The Geiger's camp is described as "the epitome of hospitable exclusivity". 

How do you get here? We travelled by road from Johannesburg, which is about a 6-7 hour self-drive, however there are some options to arrive by air which you discover in more detail here

Whats the Mostwari Game Lodge like?

We reached the lodge entrance at around 2pm after our long drive from Johannesburg that morning, from the moment we arrived we were greeted by the reception staff who radiated a friendly and warm energy and were ready to make us feel very much at home in the middle of the South African bush. 

It was clear from the moment we arrived that the staff couldn't do enough for you. With Motswari being such an exclusive lodge, only offering accommodation to 30 guests at any one time you definitely feel an immediate sense of serenity in your surroundings. 

After our greeting were given an overview of the daily schedule and then led over to our luxury en-suite bungalow, each room is named after an animal, ours was Nyala. 

The room was magical and the naturally-furnished interiors reflected the wonders of nature which exist just outside the windows. As Motswari is a four-star luxury lodge there are lots of little luxurious touches throughout, with hand-picked rose petals scattered across the bathroom and over the bed, even the mosquito nets draped over our beds looked graceful! 

I'll admit, upon arrival I felt slightly nervous because I was quite out of my comfort zone (anxiety levels racing!) and the thought of the first 3 hour afternoon game drive looming on the horizon did fill me with a little bit of fear.. 

I mean what happens if I needed to stop for the toilet? Where would I go? 

The truth of the matter was, I would just have to put those fears aside and if the moment arises I would need to experience my first bush-wee! For all of you wondering, yes I did experience my very first "bush-wee" - ha!

However, 3pm soon approached and we were off.. five minutes in and I'd soon pushed all my seemingly insignificant worries to the back of my mind, too busy being mesmerised by the beauty of nature all around and in awe of our very enviable spot on earth, right at that very moment. 

Thats enough of a teaser for now... I'll be covering the private game-drives in more detail in their own separate post soon! 

So facilities? Apart from the obvious - the wildlife and scenic African bush in abundance all around, if that's not enough to entertain you, there's two fully licensed bars, a swimming pool, gift shop, a library and an art gallery. The library also provides full internet access and 24/7 wifi for those who cannot bare to be too far from reality and their email inbox. 

Personally, I was just happy to sporadically litter my Instagram feed with plenty of pictures which inspired wanderlust and travel envy across the globe I'm sure! 

Meal-times are another unique experience. Depending on the season, evenings can be spent dining in the bush or inside the Boma. Meals are an truly exquisite experience, spent conversing over dinner with the other guests who share your game drives and even your game driver will join you (if you so please), which all adds to the extrodinary experience. 

Again - I will be coming back to this in a separate post! 

Daily Schedule: (Winter)

So what can you expect from a typical day staying at the Mostwari private game lodge? We stayed end of July / beginning of August so at the time it was their winter. 

The daily schedule for winter is as follows: 

Wake up - 05:45

Tea and coffee served in the verandah - 06:00

Morning game drive departs - 06:30

Game drive returns - 10:00

Breakfast - 10:00

Guide talk (mon, wed, fri & sun) - 13:30

High Tea - 14:00

Afternoon game drive departs - 15:00

Game drive returns - 18:30

Pre-dinner drinks - 19:00

Dinner served - 19:30

(You'll never be hungry that's for sure!)

Do bear in mind, the day itself is quite full on, and it can take a little while to adjust, especially if your not used to getting up so early even at home. However there is a solid 3-4 hour gap in the middle of the day which you can use to do as you please. 

For us, these couple of hours were usually occupied with pure relaxation, either taking nap back at the room, sitting out on the veranda with a drink in hand or spending a couple of hours by the pool with a midday swim. 

The Game Drives

Our excellent guide - Godfrey and our tracker, Jacky were a superb duo and made the private game drives an unforgettable experience, always full of knowledge and excitement at every turn. I can hand on heart say I have never experienced anything like this before. 

Again - as I've mentioned I will have a separate post which goes into detail all about our daily morning and afternoon game drives with Godfrey and Jacky. 

South Africa travel posts

Seeing as I took so many pictures and have so much to stay, I've decided the only reasonable option is to split out my stay at Mostwari into several separate posts. 

I'll have a post on; 

The private game-drives with pictures of all the animals we saw
A post on the bush boma dinners - just because I have so many photos of this too!

PPS. An added bonus - while staying with Motswari me and Alex were invited by Ethos Marketing (who do the marketing and PR for them) to stay in the Giraffe's Nest for the night - it's basically a treehouse, a unique sleep-out experience, in the middle of the south african bush that they offer. 

Have you ever been to South Africa? If so, where did you stay? 

Let me know in the comments section!


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