Motswari Private Game Reserve, Mpumalanga
Did you know?
‘Motswari’ means ‘to conserve and protect’ in the local Setswana language.
There is a particular kind of peace you find in a wild place. It is the serenity that comes from being within the quiet whirr of a balanced and dynamic ecosystem.
The wholeness of wild land is naturally spiritual. And the owners and staff of Motswari Private Game Reserve place a premium on this. Motswari, in the Timbavati area near Hoedspruit, embodies an authentic, respectful approach to running a game lodge.
Its eco-friendliness and social responsibility is certified by both Green Globe and Fair Trade in Tourism.
The Geiger family has owned Motswari since 1981, when Paul Geiger fell in love with the land and its beauty.
At the main lodge within the 30 000ha Motswari, the emphasis is on connection with the bushveld. By the end of the first day, an undeniable feeling of peace and serenity will have begun to seep into you, unannounced.
The main lodge has 15 spacious, air-conditioned suites decorated with an understated elegant simplicity. Visitors seem to find this addictive – there is a very high rate of returns.
There is a pool for hot days, and a comprehensive library with an internet connection. The curio shop is filled with interesting objects, carefully chosen and produced locally.
There is no gym or spa, but there is an art gallery. And if you feel inspired, why not sculpt or paint or express yourself in some way? If you’d like to leave it with the lodge, there is a sculpture garden for that very purpose.
The décor in the suites brings together nature and art through the media of stone, bone and wood.
The field guides are passionate and knowledgeable about the area. Timbavati is a rich wildlife area where you’ll find the Big Five. In fact, you may even be lucky enough to see a rare white lion.
Motswari is located within the greater Timbavati Nature Reserve, next to the Kruger National Park. And Timbavati is where the first white lions were seen in the 1970s. Every now and then, another is born to the lion prides in this area.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Motswari Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)21 427 5900
How to get here
There are daily scheduled flights to the closest airport at Hoedspruit. From here it is a 50-minute drive to the lodge. You could also fly to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (which has flights arriving from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg). From there it will take three hours to drive to Motswari. Motwari’s website has detailed directions for anyone driving from Johannesburg/Pretoria, Nelspruit, Durban or Phalaborwa.
Best time to visit
Summers (October to March) are mostly hot and rainy (usually the rain comes in quick thundershowers rather than long periods). Autumn through winter and spring (April to September) are more temperate and drier, with warm days and cool to cold nights.
Around the area
Hoedspruit is close by, and you’ll be fascinated by the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
What will it cost
Rates range between R3 000 and R3 500 per person per night sharing. This includes all meals, game drives and a daily guided walk.
The exclusive Geiger's Camp, which sleeps ten, can be hired for your exclusive use. Check the website for seasonal rates.
Length of stay
To truly relax, stay at least two to four nights.
What to pack
Bring informal clothing, comfortable shoes, binoculars, and your camera. And if you’re an artist, bring along your tools and materials.
Where to stay
Apart from the main lodge, you may want to consider the Motswari Private Camp, which has five en-suite bedrooms and is truly luxurious.