It’s about a 6 hour drive from Johannesburg to Marc’s Treehouse Lodge. The lodge is located on the Motlala Game Reserve. We arrived at Marc’s in the evening and after a short orientation on what to do if we come across an animal, we were escorted to our treehouses. The long dark walk, via a dimly lit trail, to our treehouse was a little intimidating. I just kept asking, how far out are we? I could see why you needed a guide to show you to your treehouse, we would have never found it on our own.
There is no fence around the lodge area. We were deep in the South African bush on a game reserve and the animals were free to roam right up to your front door if they wanted to. The tree houses were spread out so you really got the feeling you were all alone.
Our tree house was on an embankment, there was about 6 steps made out of small round tree branches which made them awkward to climb. The outside deck overlooked the river. The sound of the river at night was very soothing.
After being escorted to our treehouse we were told dinner was being served so we had just enough time to drop off our suitcases and take a quick look around and then head back up to the main building. After walking for several minutes, we passed another treehouse. We looked at it and realized it was ours. Some how we had walked in a complete circle. We were so lost. Fortunately, another guest came walking by and showed us the way.
The treehouse walls were made of thin pieces of bamboo. The walls were pretty solid except in the bathroom where there was several gaps. In a number of places you could actually see outside, it’s a good thing we didn’t have any neighbors.
The bathroom was a bit ruff, I don’t think I was ever in there alone. There was always some creature in there with me. Several times I showered with lizards.
At the top of the walls was about one foot of chicken wire which kept out the mischievous monkeys. The floor was made of wide wooden planks. You could actually see the ground through the gaps in the floor boards.
We were told by the manager the first night if the treehouses were too extreme for us they did have some bungalow style rooms we could stay in instead. They also have tents you can stay in. I loved the treehouse but you really are roughing it. There is no heat, no air conditioning ( just a ceiling fan), no TV or phones. So if you needed something you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call, you had to actually make the trek up to the main building.
The walk to the main building wasn’t much less scary in the day time. There were often Impala, Kudu, and Nyala along the trail. One night about 15 minutes after returning to our treehouse after a group of hyena’s came by. They are very loud.
Each morning when we got up we could see foot prints from all the animals that had come by during the night. We often heard the animals at night but sometimes it was hard to tell what they were. One night we heard a noise that sounded like a woman’s scream. The following morning our guide told us it was a warthog.
Marc’s is just a few minutes from Kruger Parks Opren gate.
Breakfast and dinner were included in our rate. Breakfast was served on a deck along side the river. The monkeys usually came by to see what was for breakfast. They love the homemade muffins, they are incredibly smart and often worked together to distract us while one of them jumped up on the table to snag a muffin.
Dinner was served under a covered patio along side a fire. All of the guest ate together, it was very nice. All the food was delicious.
Marc’s Treehouse lodge was not only a great bargain but also a great place to stay for the real bush experience. I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it.