We are spoilt for choice for game reserves and bush getaways in South Africa, but one of my favourite places to visit is the Madikwe Game Reserve, located in South Africa’s North West province, on the country’s northern border with Botswana. We are privileged to work with many clients and friends in this beautiful reserve.
And one of my favourite lodges here is Mosetlha, a simple and small eco-lodge comprising pine cabins on stilts and open lounge and dining areas. You will feel truly in the wild here – there is only a single electric wire to warn elephants around the camp.
Water is heated with an old-fashioned “donkey” and you’ll use a bucket for a shower, which is all part of the eco-friendly experience that this special lodge offers. The camp is beautifully lit at night with paraffin lamps.
While Mosetlha (named after a local tree) is more simple than many of the five-star lodges Madikwe is well known for, it is wheelchair friendly and is comfortable.
The lodge is the second-oldest at Madikwe and has a great location, in the heart of the park. Madikwe Game Reserve itself was established in the 1990s. Thousands of animals were relocated here, to what had once been farmland, in one of the world’s largest game relocation projects, called Operation Phoenix.
Expect vistas of wild bushveld, low mountains, red earth and plentiful wildlife. Apart from its size and wild beauty, Madikwe is malaria-free, unlike the reserves in the eastern part of South Africa, such as the Kruger National Park.
The Mosetlha Bush Camp and Eco-Lodge is family-owned and the staff, many from the surrounding local communities, are warm and knowledgeable and are fabulous at spotting not only the big game, which abounds, but also the small creatures – a chameleon on a branch while on a night drive, an owl and a cryptically coloured nightjar ... Our amazing ranger even managed to find a tooth on the dirt road, lost by our seven-year-old!
The game is unforgettable – in three nights, we had spectacular sightings of all the Big Five, as well as cheetah, wild dog and a hyena den with tiny black pups.
Mosetlha is reasonably priced as it is not five-star accommodation, but what the lodge lacks in luxury it easily makes up for in warmth, great game viewing and an unusual, memorable experience.