I'm reluctant to give Tree Camp at Londolozi a less than stellar review, but I have to admit, our expectations of this place simply were not met, maybe in part because we relied heavily on the impressive reviews on Tripadvisor, as well as on the review provided by our friends who stayed at Londolozi (though they stayed at Founder's camp and had a different ranger and tracker). My husband and I spent the last 3 nights of our honeymoon here, and thought we had saved the best for last.
In some ways, our 3 days at Londolozi were the best part of our trip (namely, game viewing) and in others, we were less than impressed. After spending 5 nights at Capetown's Cape Grace and 2 night at Ngala Tented Safari Camp, both of which costs a fraction of a night at Tree Camp, we expected Tree to be spectacular in comparison.
In terms of accomodation and location, it is phenomenal, Tree camp is unbelievanly stylish and trendy. The rooms are enormous, complete with outdoor deck and lounge, plunge pool and outdoor shower (which didn't run warm water however). In terms of the atmosphere however, the rooms are not cozy at all and even feel a bit too manicured, which to some might translate into luxury, but for us it wasn't our style in the end.
The most important thing to note about Londolozi is that the game viewing is unparalleled, enough reason alone to stay there. Almost every game drive was filled with spectacular game viewing and the anticipation of what we would see next just continued to build with each amazing game drive. We saw all of the big 5 on several occassions, as well as most other animals, and even witnessed a wild dog kill of a baby impala. We could not have imagined such an amazing game viewing experience, especially because the camp we stayed at just before Londolozi did not prove successful in seeing even some of the big 5. The only negative comment here is that our driver and tracker, though very knowledgeable, were not very enthusiastic or talkative and mostly talked to us when we engaged them with questions or otherwise. Most of the time they just talked to one another, and on a few occasions, made us feel silly and inexperienced when we asked questions about some of the animals. They almost seemed bored with what they were doing. Another minor point, the game drives are pretty long, usually running 3.5-4 hours per drive, and it is customary to stop for coffee during the morning drive and drinks/snacks during the afternoon drive. In our case, our ranger didn't stop on most of the morning drives, and at times it was frustrating watching other vehicles stopped for coffee while we drove past them.
The chief complaint with Londolozi is the caliber of the food, given the price of the stay. The food was just okay, nothing to speak of, and in some cases, it did not taste that good. While most would agree that the experience of Londolozi is about the game viewing, for the expense of staying at Tree Camp, I would suggest that the food should have been superb. It was far from it, and the options limited during the lunch buffet. Perhaps it would have made more sense to stay at one of the other Londolozi camps to experience the same caliber of game viewing and equivalent quality of food, for half the price.
One last point, though the staff (butler and manager, etc) were polite and accomodating during our stay, we didn't appreciate that they were also somewhat cool in their hospitality. This is difficult to quantify, but their dispositions almost seemed forced or contrived rather than warm and friendly, which is the opposite of what we experienced at the other places we stayed at during our honeymoon. It left us feeling less than enthusiastic about our choice of accomodation for the last part of our honeymoon, and curious about whether we should have chosen Singita instead...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tree Camp embodies the very essence of Londolozi’s continuous striving to transcend and redefine the journey to the wilderness.This is a place of connoisseurship, leopards, orchids, lanterns and lead wood trees. Guests spend lazy afternoons on their decks, champagne in hand as they survey the ancient landscape, elephants feeding below in the river.Elegance and simplicity are the hallmarks of the Tree Camp sanctuaries. In every detail and feature, from the private swimming pools and contemplation decks (salas) to the Ralph Lauren wallpaper and chocolate plaited leather beds, this exclusive camp provides a matchless showcase of African excellence. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Londolozi Tree Camp Hotel Londolozi Private Game Reserve
- Londolozi Tree Camp South Africa/Londolozi Private Game Reserve