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.
- 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