Mosetlha Bushcamp was started in the early 1990s as a rustic camp with basic facilities, a place where rangers-in-training and other wilderness enthusiasts came to learn about wildlife conservation during Operation Phoenix, a codename for the project to reintroduce wildlife into the Madikwe area.
As more and more lodges were built in the reserve and the number of tourists increased, Chris and June Lucas, with their daughter Caroline, opened Mosetlha to the wider public. But they kept the camp’s ecological ethos and relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere.
Situated in the heart of the Madikwe Game Reserve surrounded by the Big 5 and all other small species, Mosethla provides a unique and authentic bush experience.
Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe is South Africa's fourth largest game reserve at 75 000 hectares. This magnificent malaria free area offers you the opportunity to experience the magic of the Big Five and a true safari adventure. Situated in the North West Province bordering Botswana, Madikwe is just a 3½ hour drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria.
It is currently the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa and yet not widely known. The park is now 680 km² by itself, and 750 km², including the now incorporated privately owned land. A special feature of Madikwe lies in its unique location, a transition zone on the edges of the Kalahari, where several rare species occur naturally, and the bushveld. The reserve encompasses a diverse range of terrains which include mountains, rocky hills, seasonal wetlands, perennial rivers, mixed bushveld, savanna grasslands, Kalahari veld and thornveld. I am convinced this Park is one of the best secret in South Africa.
Managed by the North West Parks and Tourism Board and together with the private sector (lodge owners) and the local people, Madikwe is operated as a joint venture to stimulate ecologically sustainable economic activity based on wildlife, for the benefit of the people of the region.
The park is home to approximately 66 large mammals and roughly 300 bird species.
The centre of the park, known as Vleischfontein isalso the park headquarters. This is a parking space used for self-drive guests to Mosethla Bushcamp. Visitors to Mosethla Bushcamp can also make use of one of the two airstrips – Madikwe North and Madikswe South should they prefer to fly-in. It is also only a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg and easily accessible with a car with 5 main entrance gates.
Mosethla is a family owned and run camp that aims to provide guests with a unique wilderness experience as well as a close relationship that comes with a family run camp. They pride themselves on simplicity and do not have electricity and any other bells and whistles. Hot water is heated with donkey boilers, it does take one or two showers and/or toilet visits to get used to but you are instantly hooked to the surroundings and authentic feel of the camp. Settling into your cabin for the night with the night-time sounds in the background, really brings the feeling of being in the bush home.
With the prime location in the middle of the park, it is easy to access all parts of the park areas without long drives to get there. This is important when searching various type of animals on game drives as they are almost always on the move.
Breakfasts, Lunch and Dinners are always something to look forward to, every meal is very tasty and enjoyed around the table or boma fireplace. The staff at the camp are very friendly and always on hand to help if you need anything during your stay. A stay at Mosethla Bush Camp is like a experiencing a stay at a family home.
There is a communal bar available for enjoying those drinks, this is based on an honesty system. Your choice of drinks is packed into the cooler before your leave on your afternoon drive, they know there is nothing like a sunset stop with a G&T while enjoying the surroundings.
Afternoons can be spent relaxing around the communal lounge with some reading material or you can choose for some downtime in your cabin. They also have board and card games that can be used by guests, especially for families.
The camp is kept extremely clean and very well maintained. It is something that is very important and noticeable.
With the camp being unfenced, all rooms are raised wooden cabins, accessible by a few steps.
There are 9 twin cabins with two of them that are adjacent for families of friends travelling together.
Cabins have partly open sides and are arranged in adjoining or detached double rooms with twin beds and simple amenities.
The rooms have a lockable safe which is convenient for putting those valuables away. There are also the necessary tables for your bags and solar lights and lanterns that are provided at your doorstep at night. The beds are super comfy and settling in for the night while listening to the nigh time sounds is a memorable occasion. Duvets, pillows, blankets, and towels are all provided (And hot water bottle for those cold winter nights!)
Mosethla Bush Camp is one of those places that you simply fall in love with and once you have stayed there you will return to again.
When to go: Mosethla is great all year round but we suggest March to November when it is a little bit cooler.
Suggested length of stay: Nothing less than three nights to get an overall experience.
Insider tip:With the authentic camp and no electricity, embracing and absorbing the bush experience is key. You should also request Johnny as your guide, he has been part of Mosethla Bushcamp for 20 years and knows Madikwe like the palm of his hand.
Until next time,