| Travel, South Africa, Travel,

Boutique Safari

Beatrice Lessi

An Intimate Experience

Four years ago I went to my first Safari experience. I loved it, but it was in a big game reserve packed with people and cages. I felt like in a luxurious zoo and  didn’t really see much wilderness. So when I heard about Motswiri Private Lodge Safari in Madiqwe , 75’000 hectares of land to explore in a small team of a maximum of 10 people, I thought this could be the place for a real connection to the bush. I wasn’t disappointed – if anything I was a bit scared about how wild Africa still is.

In Motswiri there are 5 luxury villas, beautifully decorated with natural materials, local art and design.  I especially loved the outdoor showers and the Impalas and squirrels coming to watch you when you were washing yourself. For sure I had never experienced anything like that.

The staff of this small resort comes all from the same village, so they know each other since childhood and one can feel they are like a family. Roaring fires in the evening, delicious food and passionate guides who rally adore animals complete the offer.

boutique safari motswiri madiqwe

Natural materials and warm colours in Motswiri

Humour And Animals

I was particularly lucky because my husband, our three daughters and I happened to share our car and safari with four PWC  consultants who were a real example of British humour. They said everything so seriously that it always took me one or two seconds (I know – I am not the fastest one) to understand they were being ironic, so when I finally got the joke I laughed hard  – and late. They passed from sympathising for an Impala in the middle of a dazzle of Zebras (he must have a race issue…must be dating a Zebra and he’s in trouble right now) to plotting fake news on our car radio just to see all other tourists rushing to us (There is a lioness giving birth here! Actually she’s giving birth to an elephant!)

After all, in the wilderness you have to look for animals for a long time, so it might get boring – you need to entertain yourself.

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Guide for a minute


How To Make Girls Go Nuts For You

Andre, our guide, knew a thing or two about animals and also loved to share a laugh. When we all marvelled at a big bird falling like a dead weight and flying again the last moment, he said that this was a typical mating behaviour of a Red-Crested Korhaan.

Just try it: jump in the deep end at tremendous speed, stop and fly again. It always makes girls go nut for you!

When we had no luck and spent more than half an hour seeing nothing, Andre stopped the car and started tracking – which meant he smelled and even got poo in his hand to trace the animals. Business as usual.

When we stopped somewhere in the game reserve for our coffee break, he kept an eye on approaching animals. I think I had a half heart attack at least twice, when some Rhinos and then some Elephants came closer and closer and didn’t really look happy. Andre clapped his hands or made a noise that was obviously the right thing to do to calm the animals down. I was very impressed and also very happy when he promptly started the car to go away from an upset elephant – I think this was the only moment in my life I didn’t even think of taking a picture.

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You run and you are dead – lions with a prey

Some Images

Below, a collection of images I took during the Safari. I hope they give an idea of the beauty and fun we had, and of how happy I was to make such an experience with my family.

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Incredible sunset

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Zebras were calm and not that bothered by us

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The name Giraffe comes from the Arabic world Zirapha, meaning “elegant walker”

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All wrapped up in the cold mornings

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From zero to 120km/h in 3 seconds – faster than a Ferrari: a Cheetah


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Wild love – real love

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Calm? Not always! An elefant going for take-away food

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A sweet baby Zebra

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Interior in Motswiri

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A luxury villa in the middle of wilderness

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Breakfast with flowers