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Tswalu - The Motse

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

Highlights

- Huge private game-viewing reserve
- Outstanding services
- Spectacular views of savannah
- Family friendly

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Overview

The Motse, meaning ‘little village’, is comprised of nine individual legae, or ‘little houses’, set at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains in the southern Kalahari in South Africa’s largest private game reserve. This is the place to stay for those seeking the best sights over the savannah.

Six standard legae house two guests each, with three additional family legaes accommodating two adults and two children each in two bedrooms. The Motse legae overlook a watering hole in the savannah, such that guests can observe game such as sable and warthogs from their lodgings, whilst dining or enjoying the spa.

Each legae is spacious and immaculately furnished, with ensuite bathrooms containing indoor and outdoor showers, an open fireplace, a separate dressing and study area, and a covered sun-deck. The legae are built from Kalahari elements such as desert sand, red clay, stone, and traditional thatch. The main lodge contains two pools, an outdoor heated pool and an infinity pool offering unbroken views across the grasslands, a sanctuary spa and gym, a mezzanine library, satellite TV and an international wine cellar. Museum cases display rare artefacts from the area.

The service here is outstanding. There are a range of dining experiences on offer. Guests can dine in an open-air boma, on lantern-lit dunes, or under acacia shrubbery. Traditional Kalahari feasts are available, but any meal can be made on request along with access to an award-winning selection of wines. For an upmarket tented camp experience, a night in the Malori sleep-out deck directly under the ‘diamond sky’ is unrivalled.

The greatest attraction is the 250,000-hectare expanse of private Tsuwalu reserve for malaria-free game viewing. It is famous for its plains game, with over 70 species of mammals, including its two colonies of meerkats, sable and roan antelopes, and black-maned Kalahari lions. With experienced personal field guides and trackers going at one’s preferred pace, sightings of rare species such as the African wild dog, desert black rhino, aardvark, and pangolin are not uncommon.

Exclusivity and serenity is guaranteed with only a maximum of 30 guests at any one time in the Tsuwalu reserve, including its sister camp Tarkani. Aside from tailored game drives in open four-by-four vehicles are tailored to each group, the Kalahari can also be explored on guided hikes, including to ancient archaeological rock art sites, or on horseback safaris. Hot air balloon safaris are also for additional cost. Relaxation and wellbeing is also catered for with spa massages and yoga classes, which can be delivered in the privacy of one’s legae or in an outdoor tsala.

The Motse is ideal for children and families, with child-minding services available, a children’s menu, and activities such as the Children's Junior Ranger programme, where children are given a backpack of guides and tools and are taught archery, spoor identification, casting and tracking. The family suites each feature two bedrooms, leading to an expansive central living area and private terrace.

Nearby Alternatives

Tswalu - Tarkuni

The Northwest Province

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Family Friendly
- Incredible location
- Hot air balloon safari
- Great game to spot nearby

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews

(4.95/5)

  • The whole holiday start to finish was just fabulous, the accommodation was perfect and to a certain extent stunning at the Dar Hosnia in Marrakech.

    The transport, guides and staff at both locations were wonderful with a special mention to the Douar Samra team in Imlill. They were more than a bit special.

    The food at both locations was excellent and the ambience and fun we enjoyed in Douar Samra was beyond all expectations.

    We made many new friends whom I am sure we will keep in touch with way beyond this holiday.

    You put together a perfect package it was much more than just a great holiday it was a richly rewarding experience.

    Just finally to say a big thank you to you for organising one of the best trips we have had.

    Missingstuart w reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 15 April 2019

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

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