We stayed in Tangala for three fantastic days last month and had an unforgettable time. We had spent a lot of time researching different places for our safari and went with Tangala as we had a limited budget and were told by our travel agent (Brett from Sun Safaris who I cannot recommend highly enough if you are booking a holiday in South Africa) that it would be an excellent value safari experience and that Jimmy was a top-class guide. We were not to be disappointed on either count.
I agree wholeheartedly with the last reviewer - it offers top class game viewing and comfortable accommodation at a fraction of the cost of other lodges. Jimmy was a fantastic guide, as knowledgeable as he was personable. He had an exceptional skill of getting into the right place at the right time.
We were within spitting distance of all of the Big 5 after our first day (2 game drives) but Jimmy also had an enthusiasm and depth of knowledge for all aspects of wildlife and ensured that we got a wide safari experience (as opposed to solely chasing after the Big 5). Other highlights were seeing 2 leopard cubs, a 3 week old baby elephant playing with the rest of the herd, seeing a huge 200 strong herd of buffalo charging into a waterhole, and lions devouring a zebra. As well as his skill and knowledge Jimmy also has a clear passion for wildlife which is infectious. His bushwalks were a great experience (something which are a particular passion of his) with us sitting 20m away from a pride of lions for around 20 minutes on the first walk (a very different experience from being in the jeep).
The rest of the staff are also excellent and extremely friendly. Liezl is a superb host, extremely welcoming and so nice and along with the other staff ensures you have a memorable stay.
The food is also excellent with lovely tasty hot meals at breakfast and dinner (you will not go hungry) and tasty snacks for lunch. Credit must go to Richard and Ricardo who like everyone else at Tangala are extremely friendly. Dinner in particular was a lovely experience with everyone sitting around the fire for a lovely 3 course meal while recounting the day's experiences.
Given the price we paid we did not have high expectations as to the comfort of the rooms but we were pleasantly surprised. While they are not luxurious, they are very comfortable (nice comfy beds) and the absence of electricity and the resulting kerosene lamps and lack of noise combined with the room itself make it very romantic. The bathroom was also much nicer than we had imagined. As so many people have reiterated to me since, it is an authentic African safari experience (while still very comfortable).
The setting in Tangala is great too with a waterhole out the back with a beautiful view of the Drakensberg behind the bushveld. We awoke on our first morning to find a pride of lions at the waterhole with the cries of hyenas taunting them in the distance.
Overall we had a fantastic time at Tangala and were sorry to have to leave. It was the highlight of 3 amazing weeks in South Africa. We found it fantastic value and very highly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An intimate and personal experience awaits you at Tangala Safari Camp which is located in the heart of the world renowned Thornybush big 5 Game Reserve bordering the Greater Kruger. The camp boasts sweeping views overlooking an expansive and active waterhole, with the majestic Drakensberg Mountain Range forming an impressive backdrop. With our eco-friendly camp, great hosting, comfortable accommodation and thrilling game drives, guests are assured an unforgettable experience. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tangala Safari Camp Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa