If you recently read my post about our honeymoon itinerary (and if you haven’t, go read it now!) then you will know we had an absolutely incredible time on safari in South Africa. I can say, without a doubt, that the absolute highlight of that trip was our four nights at Newmark Hotel’s Motswari Game Lodge in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve.
We chose Motswari because we wanted an incredible safari experience as well as a little slice of luxury, and we got both of those things ten times over.
The lodge is in the bush and there is nothing between you and the wild. That meant that almost every day, some wild animals strolled right into camp. Warthogs joined us at lunchtime, leopards made overnight visits and we were often joined by a beautiful male Nyala chomping on the bushes. We even got a visit from an elephant, who came and said hello right at our front door!
The lodge is split over several small bush huts – each room is a separate hut and there are separate dining areas and a pool area.
The food was delicious – muffins and coffee before the morning game drive, a hot breakfast when you get back, a sumptuous lunchtime buffet and a three course evening meal. We ate like kings and each meal was tasty, traditional African food including springbok, kudu and kingklip.
My favourite of the day was lunch – salads, cured meats, pastries and more, followed up with a slice of cake and some homemade lemonade.
We were woken up at 5:40am every day with a knock on the door letting us know that it was time to head out into the bush. We got dressed, grabbed our cameras, had a light bite and loaded onto the safari vehicles.
Each van had three rows of seats, along with the ranger and a seat on the front for the tracker. You stay with the same ranger and tracker for your entire stay and they try to group you with people who are staying for a similar amount of time for you.
This really works because it means you build up a rapport with the people you’re with and it also means you’re not going off to see the same animals over and over again. It means the longer you stay on there, the more time you have to hunt out different animals!
The morning game drive lasted about 3 hours and we would stop in the middle for a coffee and a rusk. It was cold when we started out but it soon warmed up and we would be peeling layers off by the time we were heading back to camp.
The afternoon / evening game drive followed the same format – out and about for 3 hours then home in the pitch black for dinner around a roaring fire.
The Giraffe’s Nest
One of the main reasons we booked to stay at Motswari was because of their tree house in the bush, which they call The Giraffe’s Nest.
The nest is about a 10 minute drive from camp – far enough away for you to feel as though you’re completely on your own out there! You can book a stay in there any night of your safari and it’s absolutely amazing.
Despite only being a tree house in the bush, the facilities are incredible – a full bar, a huge comfy bed and even a shower (although I can’t guarantee there is any hot water!). The front of the nest is completely open, meaning you really feel at one with nature. You get an incredible view of the stars and you can roll back the roof to really feel like you’re camping out.
When we stayed there, we got woken up at 2:00am by some elephants stripping the trees underneath us and we watched a pack of wild dogs drink from the watering hole in front of us. Truly a once in a lifetime experience and one we will never forget.
Staying at Motswari was an absolutely incredible experience. I can’t tell you how much I loved it! The staff are so friendly and helpful, they really went out of their way to make sure we had the most amazing honeymoon. The rangers and trackers are knowledgeable and dedicated – they are intent on getting you up close and personal with the animals and are a fountain of knowledge about the South African wildlife.
If you’re considering going to South Africa on your honeymoon then I can’t recommend Motswari enough. This post is in no way sponsored by them or affiliated with them, I just had the best time!
It’s not a cheap place to stay but bloody hell it is so worth it.
Have you been to South Africa?