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“It's all true”
Review of nThambo Tree Camp

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nThambo Tree Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“It's all true”
Reviewed 5 November 2013 via mobile

Before booking this place I read the reviews and couldn't really believe that absolutely everyone had given 5 stars. After spending 4 nights in nThambo I now understand why.
Located in the middle of the bush the lodge has 5 rustic but beautifully decorated huts. A large four post bed with mosquito netting, a great shower with hot water and a balcony with a marvelous view of the bush make for a supreme place to spend the nights. We even took a couple of naps in the early afternoon and the breeze an the view made us sleep like babies. One important thing to keep in mind is that you'll have lots of bugs at night. They won't get into the bed thanks to the net but if you're afraid of bugs/mots this is not the place for you.
The game drives were incredible. We saw the big 5 within 24hrs and then again on the next day. We even found wild dogs (a rare sighting) and even lion cubs and baby elephants!
None of this would have been so nice without the incredible service of Kevin, Isaac and Francois who made us feel more like friends than guests. Thank you guys !

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Jorgepilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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386 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013

We stayed at several camps during our safari and nThambo was definitely the best game viewing experience.
The rooms are very rustic but in a charming way. They are open on the top and we had bats flying in our room. You have mosquito netting around the bed, but if you are afraid of bats and bugs, I woudn't suggest staying here. We also had quite a few spiders in our room. The rooms are private but you do hear everything around you. I could hear the man in the tent next to us sneeze. The amazing part of this camp is that you truly are surrounded by wildlife. We had hyenas around our room each night and found leopard footprints in the dust under our room. It is a truly awesome experience and you feel safe because you are up high. We did have an issue with the hot water in our shower not working but Kevin, our guide, was quick to address the issue and it was fixed within a few hours.

The game drives were awesome each and every time! We saw so much wildlife. Within the first few minutes of our first drive we saw lions and elephants! We had some amazing encounters here. Our guide even took us back out one night after we returned from the drive because he heard impala distress calls and wanted us to see the leopard that had been lurking around the camp. We all piled back into the game vehicle and found the leopard. It was very exciting! One night we even walked around camp with the guide and a black light to look for scorpions! I almost had the feeling here that we were visiting friends instead of at a lodge or hotel.

The food was very good and plentiful. I had a bit of an issue because I am a vegetarian and they weren't quite sure how to address this. (This was not unique to nThambo) They served me a veggie burger patty prepared in a different way each night. I never went hungry though, the always had amazing and very fresh salad and delicious side dishes. The food is simple (roasted chicken, butternut squash, salad etc. but it was hearty and very good.)

The best part about nThambo is that it the experience feels so exciting and authentic. The other lodges had a very contrived feeling about them (Disney safari anyone?) but nThambo felt organic and spontaneous at all times. We truly had the best game viewing here. We only stayed two nights but I wish we had stayed more! Thank you so much to Kevin for making it a memorable time! I hope we can return someday!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank EBDRJD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

We recently had a really wonderful time at nthambo with our lovely hosts Chad, Isaac and Kelly. They made us feel like an honoured guest in their home not a cleint or customer at all. From the warm welcome to the fireside and dinner table chats we experienced the best hospitality here and had the chance to meet the other travellers also. This is a very small camp with a maximun of 10 people in 5 treehouse tented lodges. When we were there the number was between 4 and 8 on various days including us so it is very personal service. The main asset is the staff here who all work incredibly hard to make it run this well and feel like such a special experience, there is nothing they won't do to make your stay comfortable. They all work 7 days a week for 6 weeks before they get a 2 week break, being first up at 4am and last to bed so please tip generously as they really deserve it.
The food was delcious home cooked fare and healthy too, even the cooked breakfast was not greasy. They tried very hard to accomodate other dietary requirements you just let them know in advance so they can prepare. We loved Happiness' bobotie in particular.
The best thing was the game drives which were SUPERB!! I spent a week in Kenya previously and did not see as much all week as I did here in one day. Once we saw the entire big 5 in a single game drive! Another time we saw a pack of wild dogs with a kill, a very rare sighting. The biggest advantages to being in the Klaserie private game reserve (with an unfenced border to Kruger) are that you get the same animal population but can drive off road to track the animals and get a closer view, without this we would not have got such good leopard sightings. Our ranger Chad kept constantly in touch with the few other rangers in the same reserve to share animal spottings so we all saw more and did some serious off roading to get us to the right places. We also had our own tracker, Isaac who is of the local Shangaan tribe (renowned as some of the world's best trackers) and learnt tracking skills growing up. Unlike Kruger where you can have a crowded queues of 20 cars around a lion here they have a 2 car policy between rangers so they don't crowd or pressure the aminals which is nice to see. This just meant we very occasionally had to wait maybe 5 minutes for our turn when one car left as the game reserve only has a few cars around anyway. We got close enough to smell the leopards and lions both on the night drive and early morning. The vehicle was open top so everyone got good views and they had blankets and ponchoes for us all in case of wind or rain.
The rooms were also very comfortable, charming cabins on stilts with thatched rooves, 4 poster bed with mosquito net and hot showers. There can be a lot of insects getting in though as it had tented walls and a raised roof so if you have a phobia this may trouble you but then so would Africa in general! At night we fell asleep the the sounds of the bush, we even heard the not so distant roar of lions more than once (not loud enough to wake us though). We were very sad to leave and will always have fond memories of this place. Highly recommended, all the reviews are right. I can't think of a single person who would not like it here, except maybe someone with insectphobia

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank SXR101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aiken
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2013

The overwhelmingly positive reviews of previous travelers greatly influenced our decision to choose Nthambo; everything was as good, or better than expected. The tree house hut was tastefully decorated, clean, & comfortable. The food was plentiful, delicious, and healthy. Harvey, our guide, and Isaac, our tracker, were the best. Harvey is like an encyclopedia of knowledge about the animals, birds, & bush. Yolandi keeps everything running smoothly at the camp; the kitchen & housekeeping staff are doing a wonderful job. we spent 3 nights at Nthambo, and would very much like to return.

Room Tip: I'm not aware of any room being better than any other.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2013

My wife and I were fortunate enough to experience our first taste of the African bush at nThambo and what a pleasure it was. We quickly bonded with Enoch (the best tracker EVER), Francois (the "Ranga" ), who found 4 of "the big 5" on our first night safari and Harvey whose depth of knowledge on all aspects of the bush was encyclopaedic. The next day we saw a leopard to make it a complete 5. The camaraderie developed with the other guests made our visit even more pleasurable. If you want an individual, personalised experience, then this is the place for you. Everything works well, nothing is too hard and you come away feeling the wrench of leaving family. Thanks for the wonderful memories nThambo!

Room Tip: All tree houses are equal
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Boz1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2013

We spent four wonderful nights here, in what was, for us the true 'African' experience. Having a tree house and verandah looking out over the bush, and with a waterhole two hundred yards away was incredible. During our time there, we saw the 'big five' many times over, plus cheetahs. Elephants came several times to the waterhole. The food was first class, and the staff, guide and tracker could not have been more kind and expert.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ScotlandMacscotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2013

Nthambo is a small lodge, which has accommodates a maximum of 10 people. The tent huts are spacious, and cleverly designed on stilts. The front of the tent can be left open so that you can lie on your bed looking down on a flat vista beneath you. What better way to wake up in the morning? The food was excellent, and had the feel that you were being entertained in someone's home, rather than in a lodge. Gawie and Enoch were extremely knowledgeable, and made every minute in the bush fascinating, be it driving, walking or night drives. My only criticism was that 10 guests on a land rover is a bit too much, especially if they have all been in the bush for varying amounts of time. Excellent value!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank neiljeffrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about nThambo Tree Camp

Property: nThambo Tree Camp
Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Klaserie Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
nThambo Tree Camp is a safari camp located in the Klaserie area of the Kruger Park. The camp offers daily morning and afternoon game drives to view the Big Five. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nthambo Tree Camp Hotel Klaserie Private Game Reserve
nThambo Tree Camp South Africa/Klaserie Private Game Reserve

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