Earlier this year, we went on our site inspection with Motswiri Safari Lodge. Motswiri has always been for us one of those lodges that not everyone knows about, but is absolutely beautiful. Being much smaller than the average lodge, their service levels are very intimate, cozy and just a brilliant overall experience.
The lodge is child friendly with a beautiful family villa with each room having its own en-suite bathroom.
With each suite beautifully decorated, it is brilliant for honeymoons, romantic getaways and small intimate bush weddings.
At a Glance
Service: Intimate and personal
Game Ranger: Amazing
Safari Vehicle: Good
We arrived at Motswiri Safari Lodge in the middle of lunch time. We were greeted by the friendly manager, Geraldine.
After the long drive, the welcoming smile, delicious welcome drink and a warm wet towel to wipe the travel from our faces was greatly appreciated.
Check-in was the standard of filling in the forms while the porters took our luggage to our rooms. Geraldine was there and explained all the rules of the lodge to us and afterwards she escorted us to lunch.
A recurring theme with Motswiri is surprising you with what they give you. At their price range, it is easy to think that one would get a more watered down experience. However, they quickly dispel this idea when you get there, and it starts with lunch
They offered the standard 2 meat dishes and 1 vegetarian dish for lunch. I ate the impala fillet and it was delicious. The chef is truly amazing and game meat in particular can be a challenge, but I was very pleasantly surprised by having one of the best pieces of meat I had eaten in a while.
The service during lunch was outstanding. With the lodge being small and very few guests being there, quite often places let their service levels slip. Motswiri didn’t, the waiting staff were always there with a warm smile, refilling our wine glasses and ensuring everything goes well. Furthermore, Geraldine was never far away and effortlessly ensured that the service went well.
The suites were another place where I was surprised by how amazing Motswiri really is. The rooms are warmly decorated and the en-suite bathrooms beautiful. At their price, I would have been happy with quite a bit less…but the feeling of getting more than you pay for is once again made obvious by the quality of their suites.
Afternoon/evening game drive
Koenie was our game ranger…and you would be hard pressed to find a more likable game ranger. With a truly friendly smile, warm manner with the guests and a beautifully simple way of explaining things, he sincerely shares his love for the bush with us.
We had a very good day on the drive, spotting some lions and some cheetahs, along with zebra, impala, kudu and elephants.
Koenie was a wealth of knowledge and he has a very interesting way of imparting that knowledge to us. Having been on many game drives and knowing a lot about the bush, Koenie still managed to provide me with quite a bit of information I didn’t know. One such tidbit was about the glands on impala which helps them find the herd if the herd scatters when a predator attacks. If you are ever at Motswiri, ask him about impalas and you will get a new sense of respect for one of the most common animals in Africa.
When we arrived back at the lodge, we were greeted once again by a smiling Geraldine. During our entire stay, every time she saw us (or any other guests), she had a huge smile on her face which made you feel so welcome at the lodge.
We were given a moment to go to our suites and freshen up and then we returned to the main lodge for dinner.
Dinner was where the Motswiri experience truly shined. Firstly, we saw a leopard drinking by the waterhole which you can easily see from the deck. It was absolutely stunning, and par for the course, Koenie was there telling us all about this specific leopard, which is the regional male. This made such a difference to the experience, with Koenie having such intimate knowledge of a specific animal that you are looking at.
After the leopard left, we sat down for dinner. The three coarse meal was brilliant, I had delicious soup for my starter, followed by kudu steak (which was once again beautifully done…and kudu can be really tricky to prepare correctly) and then for desert I had crème brulee.
The part that really stood out was how Geraldine came by each guest’s table and told them some of her adventures while living in the bush. It really brought that bush feel home and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It made me wish I could pack up my bags and just move to the bush.
Morning game drive
In the morning, Koenie very quickly got us into a leopard sighting. We followed a female leopard around for a good 30 minutes as she calmly walked through the bush. I must admit, Koenie really knows how to do the off-road thing and we were treated to an amazing leopard sighting, filled with the thrills of the rough off-road, ducking branches and bumping in our seats. It was a real bush adventure.
After the leopard, we managed to spot the wild dogs, probably my favorite predator in Africa. Fiercely loyal to the pack, amazing hunters and with an incredible social structure, these animals are truly something special. Koenie did a great job explaining to the guests why these animals are so special and once again, in his friendly manner, he gave me even more knowledge that I had before on these beautiful creatures.
Breakfast was not really something special. They had the usual breakfast spread of cereals and then they had a normal hot breakfast menu. It was literally the only time I didn’t feel amazed by Motswiri.
Don’t get me wrong, the food was good, but the expectations built up by the experience of lunch and dinner along with the rest of the experiences on offer at the lodge, made the “normal, standard breakfast” a bit of a letdown.
The thing that I like the most about Motswiri is the intimate feel of the lodge. The staff know your name and greet you whenever they see you. Smiles are a dime a dozen and you always feel welcome. It is truly a very friendly place and I must admit that when I left, I wish I could stay a bit longer.
The staff are what makes this place so special. They take a very good lodge and give it this intimate, friendly and welcoming feel which is what makes Motswiri so surprising and a stunning place to stay at.
No lodge is perfect and Motswiri is no exception. The very first thing that I saw that proved a bit of eyesore was the staff village. Driving in, you can’t help but notice it and it isn’t very tidy.
The view from my suite was quite dense bush, so I couldn’t see much. The lodge can’t help this, but I felt that I would have liked a better view for the time I spent inside my suite.
Motswiri Safari Lodge is one of those places that are full of surprises. With the rate that they charge, their quality level is much higher than I had expected. Being an entry level 5 star lodge, it didn’t feel like one.
Their service was personal, intimate and I didn’t feel like just another guest to be pushed through the experience in preparation for the next guests to arrive. I felt welcome, almost like a friend coming to visit.
I must admit, this lodge is undercharging for the level of experience that they provide. I would easily pay their rates and feel like I got the better end of the deal.