Moditlo River Lodge – Affordable South African Luxury

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I have written a few hotel reviews before, and usually it’s in return for compensation of some form, usually a free or discounted stay.  It’s a huge perk of a job that otherwise doesn’t pay too well (between you and me, I’m very poor and you should feel sorry for me).  This hotel however, did not compensate me in any way or even know I was there.  Of course, I’m always completely honest in my reviews regardless of compensation, but the Moditlo River Lodge was so great that I felt the need to work for free to share it with you gorgeous folks.  That and I got such an amazing deal on the hotel that I sort of felt like a robbed them.

The Moditlo River Lodge is seriously one of my very favorite hotels that I’ve ever stayed at.  It’s the perfect level of luxury with out any of the stuffiness.  No matter how nice, I’m not a bit “stay at the resort” person.  I need to go explore.  This is perhaps the first resort I’ve stayed at for more than a night without feeling the need to leave resort property, a quick look at this resort and you’ll see why, and it’s not just that the property is full of adorable lions.

The Rooms;

Gorgeous rooms at the Moditlo Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa just outside of Kruger National Park

The 16 rooms are separated into 8 villas set in the bush surrounded by African wildlife.  Once inside, the rooms are impeccably decorated with exotic prints and windows open to the bush.

Gorgeous rooms at the Moditlo Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa just outside of Kruger National Park

Even the shower is made of glass, so you can shower in front of a warthog if that’s your thing.

Gorgeous rooms at the Moditlo Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa just outside of Kruger National Park

Gorgeous rooms at the Moditlo Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa just outside of Kruger National Park

While I was there I saw warthogs, baboons, and several varieties of deer/gazelle things (nyala maybe?  See, I learned stuff) but the big 5 can be found in the area.  In fact, after dark getting back to the rooms requires an escort in case of leopards or lions!  I didn’t see any near the room, but I could hear the lions close by one night.

The Food;

Braai in the boma at Moditlo River Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa for South Africa's National Heritage Day.

A stay at Moditlo RIver Lodge includes all meals, and one drink every night on safari.  All other alcohol is purchased separately for CRAZY cheap!  Seriously, the exchange rate really worked in my favor.  I had a bottle of wine with dinner almost every night and it usually cost around $7.

The meals had a good variety, and were so fresh and delicious.  Usually they are served in the dining room with the other guest, though I was there for National Heritage Day and we all celebrated with a delicious braai in the boma.  Every kind of meat imaginable served by an open fire.  It’s an African dream!

Dine with the locals at the Moditlo River Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa outside of Kruger National Park.

The dining room is pretty great too.  It boasts a lovely view and an opportunity to get very up close and personal with some of the local wildlife.

The Property;

Spend your days between game drives lounging by the pool at the Moditlo River Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa outside of Kruger National Park.

There are a few local attractions around the small town of Hoedspruit (I recommend the Endangered Species Center), but it’s easy to be content just staying at the resort.  There’s a beautiful pool, that was a little too cold for my liking, but I’m a huge baby about cold water.  Fortunately there is also a bar, so drinking mojitos by the pool is always an option.  I did not have a chance to try out the spa while I was there, but they do offer very affordable massages.

Spend your days between game drives lounging by the pool at the Moditlo River Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa outside of Kruger National Park.

The Game Drives;

This is what a safari lodge in South Africa is all about!  Guest at the Moditlo River Lodge are invited to partake in 2 guided game drives a day. The first starts bright and early.  Well, not bright still dark, but super super early.  I’m not a morning person by any measure, and I still think it’s worth it to wake up and catch the animals as they hunt for breakfast.  The game drive lasts about 3 hours with a picturesque coffee stop in the middle.

Start your day at the Moditlo Lodge with a morning game drive and scenic coffee break in the bush, and end each day with sunset cocktails.

The next game drive happens at sunset and includes on drink of your choice.  The reserve is home to the big 5 as well as some more illusive animals like African wild dogs.

Start your day at the Moditlo Lodge with a morning game drive and scenic coffee break in the bush, and end each day with sunset cocktails.

It’s not hard to tell why this is one of my favorite hotels in existence.  Best of all I got a steal on the room with an unfortunately named discount site called Daddy’s Deals (doesn’t quite have the same ring at Groupon)  I’d probably give up traveling and just live there forever if they asked me.  Just throwing it out there.












33 thoughts on “Moditlo River Lodge – Affordable South African Luxury

  1. Great post! Wonderful details in your post. Amazing photos you captured in your travel trip. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. I love the simple, elegant decor of Modlito Lodge and the way it blends with harmony into the landscapes. What a gorgeous spot!

  3. Amazing how close you are to the animals. I love the little houses.

  4. This place looks truly wonderful, must be such a nice experience to get so close to the local wildlife. Would love to stay in a place like this a truly great adventure 😀

  5. Wow, so close to nature. Those rooms look good. It must have been a fun trip I am sure. the only safari I have done so far is in Disney, would love to go for a safari in Africa

  6. This place looks fun! I like how the animals are right there.

  7. I love everything in this place. It is like living in a jungle with a wonderful neighbor around. I could hang out on the terrace all day and stare at the animals hanging everywhere. Nothing beats nature for beauty and the contentment that you’ll get from it was simply unexplainable.

  8. Thanks for these great tips. First of all, this lodge sounds too perfect. All the right comforts and still immersed in nature. Wow the wildlife there is amazing. And thanks for the tip on Daddy’s Deals too.

  9. That sure doesn’t look like the regular types of hotel… It must have been an adventure staying at a lodge in South Africa.

  10. Elizabeth O.

    It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city! I love the peace and quiet here and there’s good food too! I’m definitely thinking about staying here with the family.

  11. That sounds incredible! I love how the shower peers out too. I want to go. Do they have giraffes? Because they’re my absolute favorite.

    • Mags

      They do have giraffes! I didn’t see any at the lodge, but I saw loads on the game drives. Giraffes are my favorite too!

  12. Very interesting and exciting though I don’t think I care about taking showers in front of warthogs or anything else for that matter.

  13. the Moditlo River Lodge sure is a nice place to stay. I love the cozy feel of the rooms, the food, the ambiance. Although I don’t think I’d be comfortable taking a shower with a herd of animals watching me. Just wondering if the glass is two-way?

    • Mags

      It’s not, but there are blinds in the shower. It is a bit unnerving lol.

  14. wendy

    I love the fact that you could wake up and see nature right out your window. This looks like an amazing vacation!

  15. This is great to know! We went with elewana collection and this one looks fabulous as well!

  16. I’m doing a big Africa trip in November and this looks great! I can’t wait to check this place out. Saving for later 🙂

  17. We love safari and have stayed at both high end luxury lodges and self-drive budget options and several in between, and loved all of them. Like you, we aren’t into big luxury hotel resort type holidays – the attraction of a good lodge or camp like this is in the activities, in being surrounded by the natural landscape and seeing all the wildlife within that. I like canvas more than solid build, and I adore having an outside shower, properly open to the outdoors, but other than that, I think I’d love this Moditlo too. Looks great!

  18. Wow, an escort to get back to your room at night! This place was legit! I can see why you loved it so much!

  19. I can fully relate to that feeling when you write the review just because the experience was too good.
    Indeed great experience you had. I can’t imagine sighting a warthog like that and staying calm. Great pics.

  20. Ohhh wow, that is amazing!! Love that you can shower with a warthog, and the food looks great too! We’re definitely not resort people either, but I’m book marking this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  21. Cat

    wow this lodge looks so comfortable! I’m envious that you are so close to wildlife and get to see animals right outside your window. It really is an ideal place for people visiting South Africa!

  22. Fabulous, I see why you loved it so much. I did a similar review on a property that I never told them I was there until I sent the review. Two games drives a day sounds like plenty of opportunity to explore. And the coffee break is great too.

  23. I must admit I really wasn’t expecting much from the exterior of your room, but that next photo proves that first impressions aren’t always correct. Wow, this place truly does look great! I’ve been itching to go on a safari since our first one in Tanzania a few years ago and this might just be the next one.

  24. Barb

    It looks like a really beautiful place to stay. I love the huge bathtub and the beautiful terrace. Lucky you that you were able to experience South-Africa in the wild.

  25. Megan Jerrard

    It sounds incredible – the interior of your room is like WOW, and look at the infinity pool! I love that the rooms back right onto the bush – the wildlife opportunities are so cool – very close encounters! I can see why it’s your favorite hotel 🙂

  26. This is a lovely place in the wilderness. It seems to blend seamlessly into its surroundings. But showering in the glass panelled bathroom could give the scares, especially if a leopard turned up! But it must indeed have been a wonderful experience indeed.

  27. First I love your honesty 🙂 and then I fell in love with the hotel. A bathtub in a room is so amazing. Safari lounge, drink , … everything looks appealing

  28. It does look like a pretty incredible place. Those are the best – great finds that you just have to share. I so enjoyed the safari I went on in Africa, and I think a large part of it was due to the lodge we chose. It does have a major impact on your trip, from start to finish. Choosing the right place is really important.

  29. This place looks very cool and I totally understand why you did not feel the need to go out of the property, there is so much to do! Where is it located by the way? South Africa must be very large and I would be interested to know more about the lodge’s location. Thanks

  30. Very interesting! I love the place, I could stay here all day ^ ^ All I can say is WOW!

  31. Might have to spring for an experience like this one … great post!

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