Have you really visited South Africa if you haven’t been on a safari? We don’t think so. We even took this bucket list item to the next level by staying in a tented chalet smack in the middle of a private game reserve. Chances of wildlife near your private deck are real. Yes, our stay at Muweti Bush Lodge was definitely one of the highlights from our trip to South Africa!
We stayed at Muweti Bush Lodge for 3 nights in March 2018.
Muweti Bush Lodge, part of Greater Kruger National Park
Muweti Bush Lodge is an intimate lodge, situated in Grietjie Game Reserve. They have 3 tented chalets looking out over the reserve. You’ll feel connected with the bush, while keeping a safe distance from the wildlife.
Grietjie is a private game reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This is what they call the joint venture between the Kruger National Park and the Associated Private Nature Reserves. Only recently the fences between these reserves were removed, meaning the wildlife can now freely wander around an area of over 20,000,000 Ha. People can’t however. The borders are still marked by branches and the guides know where their “jurisdiction” ends.
It’s not a huge reserve (you’ll start recognizing the area after a few drives) so you do have to get lucky with the animals that happen to be inside the borders. On the plus side, you can get closer to those animals and it feels a lot more intimate!
We’ll write all about our safari experience in both Kruger and Grietjie in another blog post.
A typical day at Muweti Bush Lodge
Muweti Bush Lodge is more than just a place to stay. They provide breakfast, a light lunch and a South African dinner. Every morning and afternoon, there’s a guided safari, or game drive as they call it. All in a relaxed, homey atmosphere. Here’s how a typical day at Muweti Bush Lodge looks like.
Morning game drive
The first order of the day is the morning game drive. It usually leaves about 30 minutes before the sun rises, but the hour of departure is discussed the night before. We always went with the recommended hour, 5:45. You leave before it’s getting hot, when the animals aren’t yet hiding in the shade. And if you’re lucky, you can see a gorgeous sunrise from the car.
A game drive at Muweti Bush Lodge takes 2.5 to 3 hours. Somewhere in the middle there’s a coffee break. Your guide, Reinhardt in our case, brings whatever drink you “ordered” the night before and some rusks, a typical South African breakfast snack.
The rest of the safari will be spent driving around, seeing what you can you find. Keep your eyes open and try to spot some wildlife before your guide does!
Breakfast will be served after the morning game drive. You usually have a few minutes in between to freshen up. Maria, the cook, will make you some eggs as you like them and there’s muesli, yoghurt, fresh fruit, and homemade bread as well. We absolutely loved having breakfast on the deck, with a lovely view over the pool and the reserve.
A light lunch is included in your stay at Muweti Bush Lodge as well. Before and after you have time to lounge at the pool, take a dip or a nap, or check in with your homebase (the WiFi is surprisingly good there!). Meanwhile, keep your eyes and ears open (and your camera ready) for passing wildlife.
If you’re not into relaxing by the pool, you can book one of the activities or tours on offer at Muweti Bush Lodge. Consult their website for more information.
Afternoon game drive
There’s no such thing as spotting too much wildlife, so there’s an afternoon game drive as well. At around 16:30 (depending on when the sun will set) we hopped in the open 4 wheel drive vehicle for another 2.5 to 3 hour safari.
Again there’s a break during the game drive to watch the sunset and drink a beer or some wine, or whatever you prefer. Apart from the drinks, the afternoon game drive is more or less the same as the morning game drive: driving around and trying to spot and photograph wildlife.
Dinner will be served after the afternoon game drive. When you arrive back at the lodge, Mike and Laura will already be waiting for you by the campfire for some drinks and small talk. Of course there’s some time to freshen up too, if you like.
During our stay we were treated to 3 delicious South African dinners: curry, braai, and potjie. A curry needs no explaining, and a braai is like a barbecue, but over an open fire. We hadn’t heard of potjie though, which apparently is a traditional South African dish too.
Our Dutch speaking readers might have guessed: potjie is actually a stew cooked in a three-legged cast iron pot (potjie) over an open fire. The pot kind of reminded me of a witch kettle. This stew had venison, vegetables and potatoes in it, and was absolutely delicious!
Maria served us a starter twice, and we finished with a dessert every night. Well, technically we finished with a shot of Amarula (a cream liquor reminding of Baileys) every night, the “punishment” for spotting an elephant on one of the game drives of the day. We were lucky!
Back to the desserts. We had a lovely lemon cheesecake and a piece of milk tart, but my favourite was the malva pudding, served with a scoop of ice cream. Had that several more times during the rest of our trip in South Africa!
Why you should stay at Muweti Bush Lodge
Our stay at Muweti Bush Lodge definitely exceeded our expectations. Here’s why we will probably go back one day and we think you should too!
We loved the close connection to the bush and the wildlife. We fell asleep to the sounds of nature in our tented chalet, and could watch passing wildlife from our private and the main deck. With 2 watering holes just outside the walls of the lodge, there’s a real chance of seeing elephants play with water from up close. Hope you’ll be as lucky as us!
At Muweti Bush Lodge you’re not only intimate with the bush, but with your fellow guests, the staff, and the owners as well. Mike and Laura are a very welcoming and helpful couple, making us feel at home from the moment we drove through the gates of their lodge. Think campfire talks, home cooked dinners, and intense game drives.
We even went on an impromptu game drive one night, when Mike got a message from one of the other lodge owners who spotted some lions. On our way over there we saw a hyena, apparently a rare encounter (score!). That definitely was an exciting game drive, as we were in an open game vehicle, only about 30 meters away from 5 lions laying on the ground roaring at one another. You had to be there.
A stay at Muweti Bush Lodge comes with 3 home cooked meals per day. Maria took care of the food while we were there and we loved every meal she served us. She’s an awesome cook and a lovely person!
Maria’s husband Reinhardt was our guide on the game drives. He knows a lot about the wildlife in the reserve, telling us about their tracks, their behaviour and why they look like they do. While looking for game (what they call wildlife) he also pointed out some trees and other vegetation, explaining their significance for the animals and the locals. We had great fun and learned a lot!
Not only the people and the atmosphere are top notch at Muweti Bush Lodge, their location is pretty great too. The lodge is within a private reserve, making the wildlife encounters and connection with the bush more intimate. Moreover, it’s only a 45 minute drive away from the famous Kruger National Park, should you want to do a day trip.
As we take our work with us on our trips, a decent WiFi connection is important to us as well. To our surprise Muweti Bush Lodge, while being the most remote, has one of the best WiFi connections of all the places we stayed at in South Africa.
Muweti Bush Lodge – Practical Information
A night in one of the tented chalets at Muweti Bush Lodge will cost you 3,450R (~ $291 ~ €236). Note that this doesn’t include the conservation fee of 10R (~ $0.84 ~ €0.69) per person per day. Check out their website or Booking.com for up-to-date pricing information.
This price includes a tented chalet, and 3 meals and 2 local game drives per day. Our chalet had a bath, shower and toilet, a double bed with a mosquito net, and a private deck with 2 comfortable camping chairs. We gladly made use of the fan that was provided, but didn’t need the portable air-conditioning. Bed linen, towels, a 5L water bottle, and tea and coffee supplies were included as well. Oh, and free and good WiFi!
When booking a stay at Muweti Bush Lodge, they email you detailed driving instructions. We definitely appreciated it, but don’t worry, it’s pretty well signposted, and Google Maps seemed to know the way as well. Note that you have to sign in at the main gate of Grietjie Game Reserve, and tell them where you are going.
The lodge is located in a private game reserve, meaning you’ll be driving over some dirt roads to get there. All perfectly doable though. Keep an eye out for wildlife on the way, because this will be your first short game drive! We spotted quite some animals driving to and from the lodge. Imagine conversations like this: “Make a right here?” “Just a second, uhm, yes!” “OMG, there’s a giraffe standing here!”.
There’s an infinity pool at Muweti Bush Lodge, where you can escape the heat in between game drives (pool towels available). In the bar area there’s a fridge with cold drinks. Mike and Laura will ask you if you like anything, but they have an honesty sheet as well for when you help yourself.
If you have your own car, you can park it for free within the walls of the lodge in the shade.
Greater Kruger National Park is within a Malaria risk area. Consult with your doctor to take the necessary precautions to prevent malaria.
We had an awesome glamping experience at Muweti Bush Lodge! They did a great job at creating a connection with nature while still providing all the comfort one might wish for. You might have already noticed throughout this post, but I’m really excited about our stay. And the drinking elephants just outside the lodge walls were an awesome bonus!
We received a discounted stay at Muweti Bush Lodge, but this did not affect our honest review of this safari lodge near Kruger National Park.
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