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Motswari Private Game Reserve

When To Visit Timbavati Private Game Reserve:
When To Visit Timbavati Private Game Reserve:
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"Situated in the northern part of Timbavati, this unique property stands for conservation and protection. This is a promise made to you during your stay here. Enjoy the unique scenery and the outstanding service and game-viewing experience."


Motswari Game Lodge is run by Newmark, a top hotel management company that was established in 1990. Newmark has a portfolio of properties spanning Cape Town, the Serengeti, and Zanzibar, and the company prides itself on its focus and drive. The lodge has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence! Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and Wi-Fi. Please note, a minimum age requirement of 16 years applies to safari walks, and guests must be at least 18 to take part in sleep-outs at Giraffe’s Nest Hide. Children aged 6 years and older are welcome here.


The lodge can be accessed via 70 kilometres’ road transfer from Hoedspruit. It’s situated in the Motswari Private Game Reserve, quite close to a seasonal river.


Guest accommodation consists of 15 bungalows, dotted about the bush. Each is made out of classic timber, stone, and thatch, to blend beautifully with the landscape. A few steps lead up onto a deck, where you’ll find a couple of easy chairs or campaign chairs and a table – this is a great spot for relaxing and enjoying your views! Every bungalow is designed to sleep a maximum of two guests, and some interlead to provide a superb option for families. Inside, you’ll find a king-size bed or twin beds with mosquito nets, bedside tables and lighting, ample storage furniture, and a separate seating area. Additional amenities include air conditioning, international plugs, tea-and-coffee station (with biscuits!), electronic safe, robes and slippers, and a hairdryer. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin with mirror over, and shower and/or bathtub. The total floor space of the bungalows ranges from 35 to 45 square metres, and each boasts traditional South African décor and plenty of style!

Motswari’s communal buildings are accessed from the guest bungalows along pathways through the grounds. In common with the bungalows, they’re timber, stone, and thatch structures, raised above ground level. The lounge is open sided and features comfortable sofas and armchairs around coffee tables, in addition to amazing views over manicured lawns as far as the Sohebele river. Guests also enjoy vistas of a popular waterhole! There’s dining furniture in the lounge too, so it’s a pleasant setting for laidback late lunches, for example, accompanied by a drink or few from the well-stocked bar. Other dining venues include the lodge’s open-air boma and the bush itself. Massages and other revitalising treatments are available from the mobile spa, and the swimming pool is the perfect place for relaxing between activities – it’s surrounded by sunloungers and also offers waterhole views!


Things to do at Motswari focus on the wildlife. The reserve forms part of the Timbavati Game Reserve, which is situated to the west of the mighty Kruger National Park. The border between regions is entirely unfenced, so hundreds of species are able to roam both areas. Motswari contains savanna, woodland, and river sources, and a lot of ground can be covered on expertly guided game drives, which take place during early morning and late afternoon into evening.

  • All Big Five live here – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can also expect to see smaller predators such as cheetah, hyenas, jackals, and wild dog, and lots of other herbivores including hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes. Additionally, there are over 350 types of bird, not least Montagu’s harrier, woolly-necked stork, harlequin quail, and southern carmine bee-eater.
  • Safari walks provide exciting opportunities to observe the feathery friends, as well as to scrutinise the reserve’s insects and plant life. This activity always takes place during the morning. Afternoon tea is the time to enjoy safari interest talks, presented in the lodge’s lounge by knowledgeable game rangers. And if by the end of the day you’re still hungry for safari, you can head out to Giraffe’s Nest Hide, a treehouse-style camp overlooking the Xanatsi Dam.
  • After a simple evening meal and drinks, you and a companion will clamber up onto a sleeping platform that has a king-size bed, seating area, and retractable roof. On an upper level, there’s an eco-bathroom. We highly recommend the hide to guests seeking something special during their time at Motswari, as falling asleep under the stars is certainly memorable. For more information about the hide, or anything else to do with staying at the lodge, please get in touch with a member of our team.

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.



Heading off the day after their wedding, John and Jac travelled to South Africa for a Winelands, Cape Town, and safari honeymoon with Yellow Zebra. Here Jac reviews their trip, detailing their favourite highlights and recommendations.

Timbavati Private Game Reserve

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