Molori Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve
The word “molori” means “to dream” in seTswana and truly captures the essence of the Molori Safari Lodge, arguably South Africa’s most luxurious game lodge. This five-suite retreat, originally built as the owners’ corporate and family escape, was constructed in 2002 in the heart of the 75,000-hectare malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. In 2007 the owners decided to open the property to the public, at which point the retreat received a complete makeover transforming it into the intimate, local-chic Lodge it is today. Situated 400kms northwest of Johannesburg in South Africa’s Northwest Province, the reserve borders Botswana. The lodge offers breathtaking views of an expansive valley and the Dwarsberg Mountains, as well as of an abundance of game.
Catering to the well-heeled, discerning traveler in search of absolute privacy, relaxation and a genuine connection to their local surroundings, Molori Safari Lodge is anything but a typical safari camp. Guests who have experienced much and expect the very best will find in Molori a retreat without the pretense – one whose essence stems from extraordinary personalised service, style and comfort. The Molori experience is about every need being anticipated from beginning to end and is continuously evolving to provide repeat guests with a fresh perspective. The lodge strives to maintain personal relationships with each guest – before, during and well after the experience – from arranging a personal VIP airport greeting and expedited customs services at O.R. Tambo International Airport – to providing highly-customised game drives and gourmet meals in unique settings.
The Retreat Boasting an aesthetic that blends local elements with well-placed international design, the Lodge’s warmth, charm and comfort reign supreme in the five meticulous open-air suites, thoughtfully distanced from each other to offer maximum privacy. All of the suites boast spacious wooden decks, private infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling glass walls which fully retract to let nature in. Kirk Lazarus crafted local-chic interiors to soothe guests with neutral palates, streaming natural light and exceptional furniture by Fendi, Kenneth Cobonpue and Philipp Plein. Additional in-room amenities include telescopes, Bose iPod Docking Systems, espresso machines, wireless Internet, portable DVD players and mini-bars.
Both of the Premier Suites (named Ngwedi and Lesedi) at Molori Safari Lodge measure 232 square meters each (inclusive of indoor/outdoor space) and the Executive Suite (named Sephiri) measures 307 square meters (inclusive of indoor/outdoor space). All suites feature a large living area, bedroom and bathroom with heated flooring for the cooler months. The split-level Sephiri Suite, ideal for families, has two bedrooms, each with their own private bathrooms. The decks that extend from these suites are outfitted with luxurious Dedon daybeds for ultimate relaxation.
Molori’s two Presidential Suites, the Metsi Suite, which measures 593 square meters (inclusive of indoor/outdoor space) and the new two-bedroom Molelo Suite, measuring 619 square meters (inclusive of indoor/outdoor space) are breathtaking, both in size and opulence. While the Metsi Suite contains one master bedroom and bath, the all-white Molelo Suite features two bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom. Each Presidential Suite also features one or two dining areas, a service kitchen, spacious lounge, walk-in closet, rim-flow bath, an outdoor shower, private infinity pool and Jacuzzi. Both suites boast their own library/study equipped with a laptop and a collection of National Geographic magazines dating back to the 1940s, as well as a flat screen television equipped with Satellite TV and DVD player.
All guests are encouraged to take advantage of the two infinity pools and heated Jacuzzi at the main lodge, as well as the retreat’s second rim-flow heated Jacuzzi, situated on the highest mountainside deck for optimal wildlife viewing. Guests can truly unwind with a cocktail, a book, or a cigar on Molori’s many relaxation decks, including the prized reading and star decks which also feature Dedon daybeds. The main lodge library offers a large selection of popular books, and a well equipped humidor for guests to choose from various imported cigars (available at an extra cost). Also available in the main lodge is a Satellite TV and DVD player (portable DVD players are available upon request).
Discover adventure and connect to the wild on a Molori Safari game drive. Game drives take place during the day and at night in open 4×4 vehicles, safely accompanied by an experienced and armed guide. During the drive, your Molori game field guide will share his wealth of knowledge while tracking the Big Five and other endangered species like wild dog and cheetah, also uncovering the many hidden facets of the African bush. Equally exciting, the night drives reveal an array of nocturnal wildlife, including leopard, honeybadger and smaller members of the cat family. A whole new world awaits you at Molori Safari Lodge.
For close encounters with nature, Molori Safari offers guided game walks and the exhilarating experience of tracking animals on foot. On this experience you’ll immerse yourself in the rhythms of nature, opening up your senses to reveal an ancient language heard by animal trackers through the ages. Follow your guide as he reveals the big and small wonders of the African bush, its creatures, medicinal plants, hidden treasures and more.
Super Seven by Night
Discover nocturnal adventure on a night drive tracking Madikwe’s Super Seven. Using hi-tech torches, you have the rare opportunity to see into the nocturnal world of lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros, wild dog and cheetah. A whole new dimension is revealed on this exhilarating experience.
Molori Safari is involved in rhino conservation efforts and guests can by arrangement be part of an extraordinary hands-on rhino tagging experience – involving the notching, DNA sampling and micro chipping of the rhino’s horns. Guests can work on the ground with the vet and ecologist, in close proximity to the sedated rhino, or take to the air in a helicopter during the rhino search. The rhino tagging conservation experience is charged as a separate cost and must be arranged a week in advance. Guests of all ages can participate, with a high level of parental monitoring required for younger children. The rhino tagging experience begins early morning, between 6:30 and 7:00am, and runs into the early afternoon. Lunch is taken to guests in the bush or a late lunch can be arranged on return to the lodge.
Wild Dog Expedition
Madikwe Game Reserve is home to the endangered wild dog, the second most endangered carnivore in Africa after the Ethiopian wolf, with the current population of wild dogs in South Africa estimated at less than 400. The Molori Safari wild dog expedition shares with guests the intensive push to conserve and protect these amazing animals for future generations. Guests spend an early morning tracking down the Madikwe wild dog pack and learn about the pack’s strictly defined social hierarchy, the bonds between members and their superb, cooperative hunting techniques.
Water Hole Viewing Deck
Experience Madikwe’s wild life from the comfort of the Molori Safari viewing deck, which overlooks our own private water hole. Here creatures big and small arrive to take their fill from this oasis-like water source, providing guests with ideal game-spotting and photo-taking opportunities.
Game Field Guides
John D, Molori Safari’s resident game field guide, has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in his many years as a game field guide, most of which have been within the boundaries of the magnificent Madikwe game reserve. From young he walked the bush with his grandfather, learning about and collecting plant specimens that would be used in concocting potent medicinal remedies. John D’s love for exploration and discovery continues and is shared with Molori’s guests. He is passionate about spending time with families and children, opening up their experience of the African bush – from the antics of large species to the exquisite, tiny worlds of the smallest of creatures. John D is also a master storyteller, poo-ologist, re-assembler of skeletons and maker of disposable gwarri bush toothbrushes.