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“A wonderful safari experience and a great value!”
Review of Tydon Bush Camp

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Tydon Bush Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Evergreen, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“A wonderful safari experience and a great value!”
Reviewed 18 September 2013

My father and I just go back last month (mid-August) from South Africa having spent 7 days at Tydon, splitting our time between the main camp and the bush camp (this option may not be available for you, it wasn't that busy when we went). This review is for the bush camp, although almost all of it applies to the (slightly) larger main camp as well.

We arrived in Johannesburg in the evening and were picked up at the airport by a local B&B (Eagle Rock) that Tydon recommended for us. Just as an aside, it was very nice. The next morning we were picked up by Gavin along with 2 other guests and driven on the roughly 5 hour drive to the safari camp, stopping for lunch at a charming restaurant on the way where I had an assortment of wild game including ostrich, wild boar, and crocodile. It should be noted that the cost of this meal was not included in the package, although virtually all other expenses were. We arrived at the camp in the early afternoon, and after taking a short time to settle in we were on our first game drive!

The vehicles used on these drives are excellent; Land Rovers with 3 rows each holding 3 passengers, although they were never full at any point in our stay...for a couple of drives we had the vehicle to ourselves!. When going to Kruger National Park, you have to go in covered vehicles; the ones used when going to Sabi Sands private game reserve are open. The morning drives can be quite chilly (at this time of the year, anyway), and you'll definitely use the provided blankets! Dress in layers; a light jacket with a sweater underneath is ideal.

By the end of the third day, we'd seen the entire big 5. We were hoping for cheetahs and wild dogs as well, but never saw them (there just aren't that many of them in the area). I can't recommend staying for 5 or 6 days enough...while we had fulfilled the "checklist" of seeing the big 5 by day 3, the extra time allowed us the opportunity for better, closer encounters, as well as seeing some of the more obscure animals such as jackals and a colony of dwarf mongooses! On one of the night drives in Sabi Sands we encountered three(!) leopards, 2 males and a female. One of the leopards walked directly under me in the vehicle...I could have reached out and touched him!

The accommodations are what I would describe as "luxury camping". It was every bit as nice as a good hotel room, with a combination air conditioner/heater that kept the very roomy tent quite comfortable day and night. There's a good hot shower & toilet in each tent as well. The beds were firm, but quite nice.

The food was very good! Breakfasts were buffet-style, with all the usual cold dishes (cereal, yogurt, toast, muffins, etc.) as well a couple of hot ones (typically bacon and some sort of egg dish). Lunches were fairly light, but had more variety; chicken crepes, hamburgers, etc. Dinner is typically barbeque-style with many side dishes, as Gavin put it, he's trying to serve you the sort of food a South African family would serve to guests if they had them over for dinner. Beef or chicken on the grill was common, with other dishes as well. You won't go away hungry. Dinner is eaten around a campfire with the guides while everyone talks about the days experiences, although the conversations were very wide-ranging, when we had people from three different continents taking part!

The guides are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. It's a much more personal experience than being in a bus with 30 people while someone drones into a microphone!

Debbie is a guide who also runs the bush camp, and I can't say enough good things about her...she very dedicated to providing a good experience for all the guests, and extremely knowledgeable about the park and the wildlife in it.

Before we knew it, the trip was over and we were driven back to Johannesburg via the Panorama Route. There's magnificent scenery on the way back, but fog had moved in and we were only able to see about 50 feet in front of us! Oh, well...

A wonderful experience, I can't recommend it enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Gorillaman93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 25 August 2013

This is our first time visiting a safari and we are glad that we made a right choice with Tydon. Gavin was an excellent host and he assured us that the safari experience was going to be great and safe, since we were all jittery about getting eaten by leopards. It turned out beyond our expectations with a luxurious stay at the bush camp but still so near to the wilderness. Without any TV, wifi, and phone connections, it was an excellent retreat from the usual life and really gave us the needed time for be in nature, to understand nature.

We were greeted with giraffes munching away on the leaves of trees near the entrance of the bush camp. We saw a Wildebeest at the waterhole which we can see from a lookout deck from our campsite. There was also a family of velvet monkeys that came into the nearby compound looking for food. These are the few instances where we felt staying close to the wild but never a hint of danger when we obeyed the rules.

The tentages was luxurious with nice bed and heater and ensuite toilet and shower. The staff made excellent African dishes every night and these are the only few times that we can get to try these dishes during the entire tour. Story telling at night was entertaining as we get to know the staff more on their life experiences.

Debbie and Stephen were a great combination when it came to games drives. We managed to see a leopard during the drive and track down a rhino on a game walk (though we need to keep a distance) and many small animals such as a bushbaby that untrained eyes are most likely to miss. In the Kruger game drive, Lyam was sharp in getting us to a close proximity where we witness a leopard carefully crawling towards its prey but was unsuccessful. And we managed to see some lioness sleeping beside the water some distance away.

This is a good place to begin a safari experience and we will definitely recommend to anyone who wants to visit Africa safari.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank YeoZY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2013

I returned to Kruger park for another visit, this time with my daughter instead of my wife. Last time I stayed at the Tydon Safari Camp, so I gave the Bush Camp a try this time. The main difference is that it is within the Sabi Sands reserve, so its just a little electrical wire keeping you from the elephants and such (the small animals can just come right through).

Again we had a great stay; the "tents" are quite top notch, with nothing missing. The food is excellent, with a focus on traditional South African fare (if you don't eat meat they accommodate, but it probably wouldn't be quite as special). Gavin and his team make great hosts and go out of the way to adjust your trip based on your wishes. The guides were skilled at finding and safely getting you right up to the animals.

Staying in the Bush Camp means most or all of your safari drives are within the Sabi Sands; which has advantages to drives within the park proper (open land rovers, ability to go off trail, very few private vehicles swarming around). However I'd recommend requesting at least one drive in Kruger proper, if you are there for long enough, as its a bit of different experience. Also the morning walk is a highlight, don't miss that, if you like the idea of stalking game on foot. Quite exhilarating!

The access to the overlook is quite a perk, as you can sit and read during the afternoon lull while watching the to-and-fro of the wildlife using the water-hole.

In a five day-four night trip, we were able to see the big five (lions from a distance, on the very last drive!) plus hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, and lots of birds, and "shot" them all (digitally that is). The highlight was watching a leopard stalking a herd of impala; the hunt was unsuccessful but watching him creep up and get into position as the herd drifted his way was quite intense.

There is a tiny pool; not really much to speak of, but thats not what we were there for. Young kids aren't allowed in the Bush Camp; my daughter is 17, so not an issue. She had a great time.

I only have one photo of the camp (I was focused on the wildlife!), but you can check their website, it gives you an accurate feel for the tents.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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3 Thank BFM_MG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2013

My Wife and I spent this past weekend at Tydon Bush Camp, Sabi Sand. The weekend was so enjoyable and was such good value for money that we will most definitely be back.
The luxury tented accommodation allows you to experience the sounds of the African bush but to still be safe and warm.
The food was tasty with generous servings and the Staff are friendly and always willing to assist.
Our Game viewing over the entire weekend was made enjoyable and interesting by Debbie who is knowledgeable and passionate about what she does.
Thank you all for a great time!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

Having lived in South Africa for 2 years i have visited Tydon Safari Camp several times but this was the first visit to the Bush Camp and it was awesome.
Same high quality and attention to detail as the safari camp but smaller. (three tents - would be great for a family retreat) Food was outstanding as always, staff terrific, Debbie who manages the camp is an amazing guide and knows so much about the bush, animals, birds, plants, trees.
Unfortunately we are returning to live in Canada so was our last visit for a while but if you are visiting SA or live here please email Gavin and set up a visit it really is the best and i can't recommend it highly enough. Great beds, excellent showers in tent, good value for money without a doubt :))))

Room Tip: They are all good.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 July 2013

Our four day safari provided us with a lifetime full of memories. The accommodations were extremely comfortable with heated and air conditioned luxury tents. The staff went out of their way to make everything perfect. The food was excellent and more than plentiful. Gavin and Vangie (the owners) and their sons were highly efficient in making our reservations, picking us up from our airport hotel, and for showing us an outstanding safari experience. They are down to earth, hard working people who love the bush and want to share that passion with others. Our bush guide, Debbie, was extremely knowledgeable and went out of her way to help find great numbers of animals that we were able to view at close range. She and her staff went out of their way to accommodate all of our needs. (Even getting us diet coke for our drinks.) It was a once in a lifetime experience and are looking forward to the next time we can visit Tydon Bush Camp.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Denise E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2013

The title says it all - this was an awesome experience. You have to experience what it's like to stay in the bush camp at night. A beautiful velvet starry sky, with no sounds other than the crackle of the camp fire and the animals in the surrounding bush. The staff and other guests were uniformly friendly, the guides extremely knowledgeable, and the food was pure South African home cooking. Sure you could stay in some luxury lodge paying multiples to get 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, but why in the world would you. This is as close as you can get to randomly pitching a tent in the bush, will still getting modest modern luxury - like electricity and a warm shower. I stayed in winter, and it was a great time of year for spotting animals. The days were still plenty hot (at least for me) with highs around 86f/30c, but quite chilly at night with lows in the 40s f/ 5-8c. If you go in the winter you will need plenty of layers that you can take off as the day gets warmer, and a winter cap and gloves for the early morning and night time game drives. No matter when you go, the best thing you can do is go - you will be glad you did. I did a three night/four day package and wished I could have stayed longer. Simply marvelous.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chuck C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tydon Bush Camp

Property: Tydon Bush Camp
Address: Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tydon Bush Camp in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Tucked away in the southern part of the world-renowned Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is our exclusive Tydon Bush Camp. The intimate Tydon Bush Camp is located inside Sabi Sand, which shares unfenced borders with the world-famous Kruger National Park in South Africa. This tranquil tented safari camp is ideally situated within one of the best game viewing areas of the prestigious Sabi Sand Reserve. Set within the Greater Kruger Park, our easily accessible, yet private bush camp awaits you. Accommodation at Tydon Bush Camp is in three comfortable tented-rooms with en-suite bathrooms. These semi-luxury permanent tents provide an authentic African bush experience in understated, traditional safari style. Each canvas tent is tucked away in the bush on a raised wooden platform, offering guests privacy. Every tented-room has its own little deck area, featuring a camping table and chairs for relaxing in nature. Guests can choose between tents with double beds or twin beds, all with en-suite bathrooms fitted with a basin, toilet and shower. These air-conditioned tents are equipped with side tables, bedside lamps, hairdryers and tea and coffee making stations. This completely private bush camp features an outdoor dining boma set around a campfire, for lantern-lit evenings under the stars. There is also a thatch-roofed dining lapa for serving meals indoors. The dining lapa is a combination of brick, canvas and thatch, and includes a comfortable lounge area.Guests can relax and enjoy the peaceful natural setting from the viewing deck, nestled in the indigenous vegetation at camp. At Tydon in Sabi Sand we ensure that you enjoy a safe and undisturbed safari experience, by only allowing children over the age of 16 to stay at the camp. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tydon Bush Camp South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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