Deep inside the wilderness of the Madikwe Game Reserve, just south of the border of Botswana, is a place of luxury, adventure and exquisite beauty unlike any other in Africa: Molori Safari.
‘Molori’ is the Setswana word for ‘Dreamer’. A fitting name for a place that evokes a surreal sense of detachment from the outside world. A place where you are immersed in the absolute wilderness and natural beauty of Africa, with its brilliant starlit nights and stunning daytime vistas overlooking the endless tracts of wild savannah that surrounds the lodge as far as the eye can see. And also a place of unparalleled luxury and comfort. Visiting Molori made me feel as if I had indeed stepped into a dream. A dream of the raw natural beauty of Africa, yet with the comfort and splendour of being treated as if you were royalty.
Molori is situated in the North West province of South Africa, in the world-renowned Madikwe Game Reserve. With its abundance of wildlife, Madikwe is a nature lover’s dream come true. It is among the best places in the entire world to spot the big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo) and is also a sanctuary to the highly endangered African Wild Dog and Black Rhino, as well as an abundance of bird species. Unlike many of the well-known National Parks, such as Kruger National Park, or the nearby Pilanesberg, access to the park for viewing purposes is restricted to official game viewing vehicles only, immersing visitors further in the African wilderness, without the tar roads and traffic of the mainstream National Parks. The professional and knowledgeable guides are not only experts at locating animals, they offer deeper insights into everything from the family dynamics of elephant groups to the tiniest detail of the bush environment.
It is within this pristine wildlife sanctuary that the Molori Safari Lodge is located. As we arrived at the entrance of the lodge, we were greeted by a crescendo of song as we approached, with the entire staff complement singing a traditional song of friendship, welcoming us to Molori. The hostess met us and introduced us to some of the staff, including the head chef, who made it clear that there was no menu, that anything we desired could be prepared, at any time. After this brief introduction, we were whisked away by golf cart to our suite.
Masterpieces of design, the suites at Molori are each unique works of art. We were lodged in the Metsi Presidential suite. The inside of the suite is beautifully designed, with very specific attention to detail given to each of the different living areas. Spacious, comfortable and beautiful, the suite is one of only five at Molori. The entire southern wall of the suite, stretching from the secondary bedroom, all along the living room and finally wrapping around the master bedroom, are floor to ceiling retractable glass panels, that step out onto the deck and pool, which overlook the endless savannah beyond. It’s clear why the suites at Molori had played host to celebrities from every corner of the world. It felt to me as if the suite itself was the only structure for miles, standing alone in the African wilderness, utterly silent save for the occasional cry of a Fish Eagle.
But while privacy and tranquility are of paramount importance to the highly trained and friendly staff of Molori, service was always the press of a button away, whereupon our butler would tend to our every possible need, whether it was asking the kitchen to prepare a gourmet meal at any time of the day or night, or to request transportation to the spa or reception area, where a driver would eagerly take us anywhere we desired.
Despite this, the suites are still walking distance from the main restaurant and bar, so we decided to walk, under a brilliant starlit sky, the Milky Way clearly visible to the naked eye, along with all the southern sky’s constellations, shimmering in the deep night sky of the savannah. Dinner was served in the main restaurant, in one of several private dining rooms, where our chef took us through the plan for tonight’s cuisine. As expected, the food is of the utmost quality, on par with any fine dining restaurant, easily the among best Safari Lodge restaurants anywhere in the world. Expect gourmet food and unparalleled service.
There is also a library, a spa and a stargazing deck. Molori also offers guests an array of personalized services, with everything ranging from VIP airport handling and expedited customs clearance, to setting up lavish lunches in the bush, with set tables and everything one could expect to find dining at the restaurant, with a Safari backdrop.
Considering all this, it’s clear that Molori is something unique. It is not simply a 5 star, ultra-luxury Safari Lodge in the world-renowned Madikwe Game Reserve. It is so much more than the sum of its parts. The owners of Molori clearly set out to create something truly special, a place that is unlike any other. A place that after leaving almost feels as if it were indeed a dream. Perhaps that is why they decided to give it the name meaning ‘Dreamer’.
Iwan is an avid traveller and writer, who writes for several blogs and has had articles in the Embassy Direct magazine, as well as on the StarTalk blog of Neill DeGrasse Tyson. Iwan is also a web designer and manages The Safri Guys website.