100%
Members Recommend
5.0
Excellent 437 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • All meals, drinks (excluding alcohol), unlimited game drives, round-trip transfers to the Morukuru Game Reserve airstrip or Morukuru Entrance Gate and more are included in the Jetsetter rate
  • The private-villa safari lodge experience
  • Each villa has its own safari vehicle with a ranger and tracker on hand to accompany you on game drives at any time
  • Chatting about the day's adventures around a fire in the boma after sunset
  • No fixed schedules
  • Choose from ranger-led bush walks or traditional jeep safaris
  • Being serenaded by the voices of animals while dining alfresco
  • Morukuru goes out of its way to welcome children

What To Know

  • Additional person charges are collected at Morukuru
  • Sunrise and sunset are the best times for seeing animals on game drives
  • Personal chefs prepare meals to individual tastes
  • Children must be 16 years old to participate in bush walks, but kids of all ages can go on game drives
  • Gratuities are not included; It is recommended that guests make a small donation to the Morukuru Goodwill Foundation
  • Check with your doctor before your trip about vaccines

Amenities

  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Classic Lodge Modern living room property chair condominium Lobby home Suite mansion Villa

Overview

The Review

Personalization is taken to a new level at Morukuru, a dreamy trio of private, boutique safari villas in South Africa’s wild and wonderful Madikwe Game Reserve. Guests fill out a “wish list” detailing their idea of a perfect trip prior to arrival, and then the staff brings it to life with meticulous attention to detail when you arrive. Forget structured schedules, set meal times and large group outings. At Morukuru, you’ll piece together your own fantasy bush adventure.{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/863/prop-99144-1312484265-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Each of the villas have stylish decor that mixes modern and South African touches.”}

My favorite South African wildlife reserve (and I’ve been to almost all of them), Madikwe was created in 1991 to protect species that were quickly becoming endangered. Two decades later Madikwe is thriving. Thanks to Operation Phoenix, a six-year project that brought more than 8,000 once-native species back to the land, Madikwe is now home to healthy numbers of all the Big Five, more than 350 species of birds and a large pride of lions (more than 70 big cats still roam the bushveld up north by the Botswana border).

Unlike most Madikwe lodges — where game drives and meals are shared with other guests staying at the same place — here, the three villas are rented exclusively. Schedules are designed entirely to suit your group’s fancy.

Morukuru not only welcomes children, it caters to them specifically. I love the attention to detail, like backpacks stuffed with age-appropriate bush swag waiting on the kids’ beds upon arrival. Each unit comes equipped with a dedicated staff – a chef, a butler, a maid and a nanny if necessary – plus its own ranger and tracker team commanding a private 10-seat open-air safari vehicle, which gives you the flexibility of when to go on game drives and for how long.

{“type”:”headline”,”text”:”Morukuru Lodge”} Combining stylish, modern African decor with yesteryear’s hospitality, Morukuru Lodge has a lived-in yet posh ambience, complete with an outdoor living area and enough bedrooms to accommodate six adults and four children. I especially love the elegant bathrooms, which come equipped with an outdoor shower and private balconies for wildlife viewing.{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/10355/pgal-27306-1300469974-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The Morukuru Lodge sleeps six adults and four children.”}

Arrange for a candle- and starlit dinner on the infinity pool’s broad deck, which is poised over the swift-moving Marico River. Take a siesta in one of the comfortable loungers surrounding the pool, then wake up with a bush shower in one of the quiet nooks along the veranda that runs around the lodge’s perimeter.

{“type”:”headline”,”text”:”Owner’s House”} Shaded by a mighty morukuru tree, the pride and joy of the Morukuru Family epitomizes the elegant lodge of colonial South Africa. It’s a charming sleeping choice for up to four.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/10355/pgal-89704-1300469975-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The Owner’s Lodge is more intimate; it sleeps up to four.”}Separated by a central living area, the two spacious en-suite bedrooms are kitted out with modern decor and private balconies. Featuring up-to-date digital entertainment and Internet access, it is full of decorations crafted by the local community. There’s a formal receiving lounge and an elegant dining room.

Hide out under the whispering green canopy of the tree and listen to the call of birds in one of the designated R&R zones. Two terraced balconies provide the perfect place to create Out of Africa–esque dining, an experience that comes with crystal stemware, crisp linens, candles and silver cutlery.

{“type”:”headline”,”text”:”Farm House”} Lush green landscaping with soulful wide open views and a mod, earth-friendly design are hallmarks of the Morukuru Family’s latest addition: the old-turned-new Farm House, which is on a private reserve abutting Madikwe proper.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/10355/pgal-67566-1300469974-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The Farm House has five spacious bedrooms for 10 travelers.”}The trendy haven is 15 minutes and one hill away from its sister properties, so you’ll enjoy total seclusion — it’s like having your own game lodge. The house sleeps up to 10 people in five rooms that boast bushveld views through giant windows. This is the kind of place where butlers serve made-to-order cocktails beside the infinity pool in between customized game drives. Taking your dinner in the bush boma is highly encouraged (although it depends on the weather).

How to Get There

Morukuru
Madikwe Game Reserve
North West Province, 00000 South Africa