Flow Communications

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.

Donkey
The "donkey" that will heat your water. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)

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.

Mosetlha bush camp
Mosetlha Bush Camp and Eco-Lodge is located in the Madikwe Game Reserve in the north of South Africa's North West province. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)

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.

Mosetlha Bush Camp cabin
Mosetlha's cabins are simple and sit lightly on the earth. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Lion yawning Madikwe
A lazy lion gives a mighty yawn. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha eco-lodge hare
Some of the small creatures, like this scrub hare, are as fascinating and photogenic as the bigger and more famous Big Five. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha warthog
A warthog enjoys a wallow in the mud. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha wild dogs
You might be lucky enough to see endangered African wild dogs, also known as "painted wolves". (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha spotted hyenas
Spotted hyena pups and adults in their den. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha buffalo
Robert Ruark, the American novelist, wrote that "a buffalo always looks at you as if you owe him money". (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha leopard
Leopards are shy in Madikwe, but there's always a hope of a lucky sighting! (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Madikwe cheetah
The cheetah is another endangered species you may be lucky enough to see in the Madikwe Game Reserve. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Burchell's zebra
Burchell's zebras drinking. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha sunrise
Sunrise in the Madikwe Game Reserve. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Mosetlha spotted eagle owl
Night drives reveal the secret lives of nocturnal creatures, like this spotted eagle owl. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Giraffe
Male giraffes, like this one, have no hair on the top of their horns, as they use them for fighting. Female giraffes often have big tufts of hair on top of theirs. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
Elephant
Elephants are my favourite African animals. (Image: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications)
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