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“Amazing experience”

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Sausage Tree Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Sausage Tree was absolutely stunning. It has views of beautiful mountains, the tents are lovely, the dogs are friendly, the game drives were second to none and the food was some of the best I have ever had. But most of all, the staff are really something else - you feel completely at home and with a maximum of 10 guests the service is personal and prompt. We came for our friends wedding which was perfect - every detail was organised and it was smooth and intimate. The guides and trackers are very friendly and so knowledgeable, I felt safe and we saw so many beautiful animals up so close it was hard to believe. I only wished I could've stayed longer (and I was there 5 nights). I will definitely be back to join the Sausage Tree family again :)

Room Tip: All rooms are perfect but Tent 3 has a view of a water hole
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank tessa_812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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372 - 378 of 698 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014

Just back home after a fantastic 4 nights in the Sausage Tree camp.

Loved the tents, the food, the safari drives, the dogs and especially the people!

With a maximum of only 10 guests at a time, everything about staying here is really personal. You get to know the staff, the other guests and even a few of the wild animals (Limpy the lion, Ezulwini the big bull elephant and Willy the wildebeest to name a few).

Staying in a tent really adds to the experience - going to sleep hearing trees 20m away from your tent being torn in half by a herd of elephants - is something we will remember forever!

We always felt quite safe however both in the camp (surrounded by an 8000v electric fence) and on drives where the animals are sometimes within a couple of feet of the open vehicle.

The safari drives were lots of fun with Liam (the driver/guide) full of information about the animals and Temba (the tracker/spotter) picking out some incredible sightings in the dark (including chameleons in bushes, owls, bush babies and even a Genet.

We spent lots of time out and about, up close, with various groups of lions, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebra, hippos, impala, waterbuck, crocs and kudu. We also had occasionally glimpses of rarer species on the reserve including duikers, klipspringers, scorpions, warthogs, vervet monkeys, baboons, lots of exotic birds and a pair of caracals (see our photos for a few of our favourites).

Being a large but quite grown up reserve meant that the animals had to be searched for (unlike the Kruger Park where many large spaces can be observed from the tarmac roads). However, once located, the safari vehicles left the roads and got up close to the animals - often a little frighteningly close until we got used to it!

Back at the camp the food was excellent and we were never hungry. Drinks were reasonably priced and there was always tea, coffee and hot chocolate available (help yourself - no charge) which was appreciated before the early morning game drives and in the cooler evenings.

The tents were comfortable with a full bathroom (bath and separate outdoor shower), air-conditioning (and heating), fans, electric lights, plenty of electric sockets and a nice deck to sit out on and watch the bush.

Final mention goes to the staff - Sonya and Jason were great hosts at the camp and Liam and Themba really made the game drives special. The other staff at the camp were also unfailingly friendly.

We would highly recommend the Sausage Tree and hope to visit again before too long.

Thanks to all of you - you really made the end of our South African trip special!

Matt, Sorrell, Bronwyn & Naomi

Two tips:

We would echo what Emma said in the last review (Hi Emma - great to meet you both!) - combining a visit to Sausage Tree with a few days self-drive in Kruger works really well. In Kruger we 'observed' lots of animals (from within a car, limited to the roads and with lots of other cars around us). Sausage Tree safaris then let you get up really close to a few of the animals and give you a chance to 'become part' of their environment, hearing them, being noticed by them and even smelling them!

We took the transfer back to JNB via the panoramic route with C-J acting as both driver and guide. This was a lovely way to see a bit more of the country, including some incredible scenery and a chance to hear from a 'local' about how things work. C-J was fantastic and we would highly recommend that way of travelling back to the airport - a long day, lots of driving but well worth it in our opinion.

Room Tip: All 5 tents are great. 1-3 are on one side of the lodge and 4&5 close together on the other. 1...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Matt L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We loved Sausage Tree and highly recommend it. Apart from the lovely setting, great game drives, awesome food, and cosy safari tents, the bit that really made it for us were our hosts and the guides. They were so friendly and accommodating, nothing was a problem, and we really felt like we were at a home from home for a few days.

The accommodation is in safari style tents, which are beautifully set out with huge cosy beds, great linen and an outside (but private showers). They are all set far enough away from each other to feel private (there are only 5 tents, so 10 people at any one time), with balconies viewing over the bush. Incredibly peaceful. The shared area has a pool, with comfy seats and a lounge area to relax in, again with a view over the bush veld.

There are game drives every morning and evening, where the guides (who are super) tracked down whichever of the big 5 (and all the other animals that are just as interesting) are in the area. What sets this apart from Kruger is that it is a private reserve, meaning that you don't find yourself surrounded by a million other tourists jostling for position at each siting. Three delicious meals are served a day, the dinner around a campfire in the boma.

We were so sad to leave - we felt like we were leaving friends - and we are already plotting when we can go back, maybe in the rainy season when it is greener.

Thanks Jason, Liam, Themba, Sonya and the rest of the gang for your hospitality.

One tip - think about going into Kruger for a couple of days as well - it is a completely different experience, but self-driving in the big park is a great way to get around and explore.

Room Tip: We stayed in Tent number 1, which is right at the edge, and thus the most private.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank emmainsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We were there for 2 nights but we had a great time, seen all the big 5s. our ranger and tracker were brilliant, as was the hosts, who were friendly and jovial at all times. All in all a very good value stay! No issues with safety or anything. The tent-huts were cute, fit into the surroundings, and we had elephants visit us at night, though we didn't see them, we heard their munching through the trees. honestly great experience.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Tsai X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

I was uncertain about this place because so may reviews were from people with only 1 trip advisor review, but it turned out very well. The staff was great, extremely welcoming and friendly. The safari tent was super, with a big comfortable bed. The food was very good, served in front of a fire in the "boma". Wine and beer was available for moderate cost and overall we though the value was excellent. Two safari drives each day, morning and evening. We spent two nights here after spending three nights self driving in Kruger and while we saw many fewer animals in Balule than in Kruger, it was great to get close to them in an open vehicle and hear the guide's comments. Whereever you stay make sure you also do a self-drive for a couple of days in the big park itself!

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank canuck_at_large
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

My friend Pam and I stayed here for 2 nights before moving onto another camp in the same area as renovations were being done. This is hands down the best lodge ever. It really was the highlight of our trip. Most importantly, the hospitality there is unrivaled. We never got the chance to thank them individually so here it goes.

Lodge manager Jason: The friendliest, most outgoing and accommodating host anyone could ask for. He catered to our every need and always made sure we were comfortable. He is such a sweetheart, and very interesting to talk to after dinner around the campfire in the boma.

Ranger and Tracker Liam & Themba: Liam answered every single one of Pam's questions with a smile and you could tell he had an extensive knowledge and appreciation for the animals. Themba was friendly and very good at tracking. We saw so many special sightings such as wild dogs, cheetah and black rhino. Liam always personalised his drives to our needs, and gave us sufficient time to observe the animals behaviour in the wild instead of rushing us to take a photo and then drive off immediately like the other lodge we stayed at (We both said to each other we missed Liam and Themba 15 minutes into the game drive at the other lodge). You can tell he really enjoyed observing the animals as well and was excellent company.

Chef Orlando & Sebastian: Orlando your food is heavenly. We have both been to a ton of fancy restaurants and your food is absolutely perfect. We always looked forward to the next meal which was always served with a big smile by Sebastian. We got to try different meats such as Impala and Ostrich which were cooked to perfection.

We also met Richard on our last morning who was lovely and was very welcoming. We both LOVE the pets at the lodge and we really hope Josephine has a speedy recovery. We highly recommend everyone to stay here if they want a very personal and memorable trip. Thank you everyone at Sausage Tree! We will be back someday!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Karen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

To me, a great trip is made of a couple of important things : the beauty of the setting ; good/fresh food and mainly the warmth of people who welcome you!
I found this and so much more at Sausage Tree! A genuine, non pretentious place where you can enjoy the full experience that the bush has to offer!
Jason, Liam, Richard and Temba were so friendly and welcoming. We had amazing game viewing and a great dinner around the Boma, telling stories, in true south african style!
One of the place I'll make sure to come back, with all my family this time.
Thank you again a thousand times!
Marie

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Maroute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sausage Tree Safari Camp

Address: Cambridge 25, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 Speciality Lodging in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range: £300 - £372 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sausage Tree Safari Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the Balule Nature Reserve, Sausage Tree Safari Camp promises rich game viewing and spectacular views, as our boundary with Kruger National Park is open and the Northern Drakensberg Mountains form a majestic back drop. This family operated safari camp pride itself on the warm atmosphere and African safari tented accommodation it offers. Enjoy lantern lit dinners in our boma or open deck under the star studded African sky. Sunrise and sunset safaris in open 4x4 vehicles are the highlights of the day.The Safari Camp:Our African safari-styled tents are nestled in between Marula, Knobthorn Acacia and Sausage Trees and overlook a dry river bed, the bush and the Northern Drakensberg Mountains. Each tent is spacious and built in an elevated position with it's own special view. The tents are fully furnished and have their own private deck and ensuite bathroom with a bath and outdoor shower. Inverter or Eco based Air-conditioners are fitted in each tent ensuring that you stay cool during those warm summer nights... and can even be set to warm during those colder nights in winter. Insect gauze on all the windows and doors keep the insects outside where they belong. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sausage Tree Safari Camp South Africa/Kruger National Park

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