100%
Members Recommend
5.0
Excellent 406 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

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 406 Reviews
Fantastic Family Vacation
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We enjoyed a remarkable 5-day stay at the Owner's House and felt totally pampered and well cared for by thoughtful, talented people who were committed to making our stay memorable. Our game drives with Evan and Gummy were delightful, as we were on a scavenger hunt looking for animals in their own territory. Ilse made sure that everything functioned smoothly at the House and the food was simply outstanding. As I told the truly gifted chef, if we did not love animals so much, I would have been thrilled to just stay home and enjoy the utterly amazing meals which we served at every meal. We had a fabulous time and are so thankful we enjoyed the animals and the hospitality, graciousness and skills of the wonderful staff each and every day. The house was extraordinary and perfect for a family with adult children. I recommend the House to anyone looking for an exceptional vacation. Thanks Isle, Evan, Asion, Sipho, Gummy, Susan, Khetha, Ellen, Patrick & Masego.

Thé diamond for a safari holiday in South Africa - Morukuru Family Madikwe!
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

What a privilege to have the opportunity to experience a Morukuru Family round trip. Because of a festive occasion, we let our dream come true to visit all the beautiful paradises of Morkuru Family in South Africa. Started at Morkuru Family group De Hoop we traveled to Johannesburg to fly to Madikwe via a charter. The transfer was well arranged by Morukuru. Although a visit to Madikwe and Morukuru was not the first time, the journey from the airstrip to the lodge was already a true experience (or just a real game drive). Nature was very green, the grass was high (due to the time of the year), so finding the beautiful big 5 was quite a challenge, literally a 'game'. But all expectations were exceeded in the normal half hour to the lodge. Elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes and the somewhat smaller animals we were shown together. Half an hour became a bit longer, but it was rewarded with all the wonderful things that Madikwe offers. Because we already stayed a couple of times in the Farmhouse (really recommended!) we chose this time purely for the variety for the River House. The lodge is modern and colorful and the rooms are equipped with every luxury, as we are used to from Morukuru Family. The large and long beds are a great luxury, separate bath (put the door open in the evening, step into the bath and enjoy the stars in the sky!), Separate shower, inside and outside, separate toilet, desk, huge wardrobe space to clear your clothes and the laundry service is a huge luxury! We were received by the complete Morkuru Family team and again it felt like coming home again. We were thoroughly spoiled by the entire team, nothing was too much to ask. The breakfast is delicious and this time Asion was our chef who made a real 'special' for us every morning. He also made more than excellent lunches and dinners, both at the lodge and in all sorts of surprising places in the middle of nature, which I will not reveal here. Thank you Asi for all your excellent meals, a real treat and all 5-star worthy (can I give 7?). Top! Sipho took care of the more than great drinks. After every game drive another surprise which drink he had mixed for us. Super! Then our ranger and tracker Brad and Boikie who took care of our game drives. What have we enjoyed all the drives! This time the cheetah made the picture complete, not to forget the white and the special black rhinos, lions with their youngsters, elephants, cheetah, you name it! We also had a bushwalk. Our guides Andrew and Brad took care of our safety. Always exciting and as a conclusion of the walk a beautiful breakfast at a more than beautiful spot in the Madikwe nature! It was once again a holiday in Madikwe that is engraved in our memory. Enjoy the spa, the beautiful pool on the river, the game drives, the food (and drinks)! Morukuru Family, you know yourself to surpass yourself time and time again. Compliments for yourself, because you deserve it and we have enjoyed it immensely. Thank you all so much. It was more than top! Keep up the good work Morukuru Team!!!

Game Reserve
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We spent three nights at Morukuru. It was the most incredible experience that we have had probably ever. The house was run by Rosemary and her husband Stefan was our guide. Upon arrival the entire staff of eight greeted us with song and warm wet washcloths along with a delicious welcome drink. House was magnificent and the staff was amazing. Stefan took us out twice a day for 3 to 4 hours. His wonderful tracker sat in the front on a high chair and guided us through many trails to find these beautiful animals. We did stop along the way and they would put out coffee and snacks. And one day we had breakfast out in the wild with a tablecloth and a hot egg casserole. Every time we returned Rosemary would be waiting outside with warm washcloths and a staff member always had a specialty drink for us. The meals were amazing the cook was phenomenal. Cannot rate this high enough. A must.

The most magical holiday ever!
Reviewed 3 months ago

Our family of 8 (from grandparents, down to grandchildren of between 8 and 11) stayed at Morukuru Farmhouse for 4 nights recently. I can’t begin to tell you how amazingly perfect it was and how much we have been raving about our stay there. In most places you stay, there is always something you think could be improved, however good it is – not here – it genuinely is perfection!

Everything was just the best – the stunning accommodation, the food, the setting, the reserve itself, the game drives but what really made it so special was the absolutely amazing staff that made us feel so welcome, so at home and so relaxed.

From Isaac’s tolerance and great humour in learning ‘The Floss’ dance from the kids; to Warren and Gummy’s patience, knowledge and sense of fun to ensure we experienced all we could from our game drives and ensuring that everyone from the youngest to the eldest was catered for and made to feel so special; to the fabulous food cooked by Sika and accommodating our different food requirements, and finally to Debbie and the rest of the team’s attention to detail ensuring our Easter stay was even more magical than we could have ever imagined.

For anyone thinking of staying at Morukuru, just do it! You won’t regret it. The Morukuru Farmhouse has a uniquely special place in our heart now. Thank you to all the team there for giving us all from young to old(er!), memories to last a lifetime.

Best house for game drive and stay in this area
Reviewed 3 months ago

This hotel is one of the best in the world thay re hospitality and acting like your family so nice they have many suprise and advertising for guest also we had amazing experience of lion hunted small animal and female lion had argument with male lion we are so close to them can felt every thing