- Huge private game-viewing reserve
- Outstanding services
- Spectacular views of savannah
- Family friendly
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.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019