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“Made our safari dream come true”

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Chapungu Tented Bush Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights as part of our honeymoon trip round South Africa. When we arrived you could immediately tell the place was special. Straight away the relaxed feel and calm ambiance of the place settled us in, and we were positive about the coming days. Sure enough we were right. Micah 'best driver' and Derrick 'Magic Man Tracker' were our guides and they really set the experience to another level. They were funny, caring but above all knowledgeable. They knew exactly what they were doing at all times, and to see the animals in the wild with them was truly an experience we will never forget. The facilities at Chapungu too are unbelievable. The tents are genuinely luxurious. Beds are massive, bathrooms are spacious and clean, 2 visits from the maids each day keeps the place tidy. The food too was UNBELIEVABLE! I often worry, after previous experiences of all inclusive food packages, that food will be poor or more commonly sparse. However here there was more than enough. I sincerely hope what wasn't eaten didn't go to waste! And the quality too is exceptional.
Staff, amenities, facilities, it was all perfect. The trip was a once in a lifetime for us so accommodation HAD to be perfect in our eyes, and Chapungu really lived up to the bill. However one tiny minor thing was the ponchos - if you do get a slightest shower on the game drive then they are next to useless. I was assured that this matter will be rectified though, so with that, i would recommend the place to anyone

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Drhares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 November 2013

We stayed here in mid Nov for 4 nights and had a ball. We flew in to Hoedspruit and had a short 30 min bus ride to Chapungu where on arrival the staff were at the door to meet us. Sandra welcomed us to the resort with big smiles and home made lemonade - wonderful. The 7 drives we did were all out of this world. Sipps the rock star and Oscar to start with, then Derrick were the perfect guides. We were lucky enough to be the only guests on the drive for the first 3 and by then we'd seen the 5 a number of times. The sunset glasses of wine in the bush will stay with us both for a long time as will memories of the enormous rain storm on the last night with the male lion walking through the tent area!!! Less impressive were the evening meals I'm afraid. The food was often cold and seriously undercooked (not good with chicken). They seemed to struggle with dealing with the 16 of us at the same time; perhaps they should not insist on one sitting at the same table. The rock pool was wonderful, cool and a real pleasure during the gap between the 6am drive and the 4pm one. There were only 4 sun loungers though which with a full camp was simply not enough. Can recommend the spa at the main lodge, very reasonable prices and a good view of another more luxurious way of holidaying in the reserve, something we will probably try next time. Can't not mention Bishop, the coolest guy in camp who walked us back to our tent every night and who's squeaky boots woke us at 5 every morning.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Brands_03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2013

This was our first trip to Africa and a Safari so we were a little nervous about which Camp to stay at. As soon as we arrived the staff greeted us with open arms and made us feel at home. The Game drives were awesome with our ranger (Sipp) and tracker (Oscar). We stayed two days and saw everything including big 5, rare black rhino, rare cheetahs (7 in one area), plus much more. We also saw elephants chasing a large male lion out of their area. This was an amazing trip, an awesome lodge, and great people!!! Would definitely recommend!

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

We LOVED this lodge. We stayed at 3 different ones while in SA and this was our favorite. Staying in a tent so you can hear the animals at night is quite and experience. We saw most of the big five the first day and picked up the final one, elephants (a whole herd) while we were there. The staff was wonderful and "real" not overly patronizing but just friendly and sweet. The food was the best, Bobodie I loved! We had an elephant walk right through the camp and the resident Nyalas were ever present. The game drives were spectacular, it totally exceeded our expectations.
GREAT trip, I can't wait to go back
Jack and Sheri

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sheri s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

My wife and I visited Chapungu and stayed for 3 days, what a wonderful experience. We saw all of the Big 5 during our stay and we managed to see a pride of lions on a kill. Our driver followed a cheetah as it stalked its prey and we were lucky enough to witness the cheetah dragging its kill up a tree and settle down for a rest.
The management of the Camp were ever so helpful and made our stay something special

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BarryMPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

We spent two solid days on a self-guided tour through Kruger National Park before coming into Chapungu, so we had seen lots and lots of animals - but nothing like what we saw in Thornybush. Up close and personal!! That's the best way to express it. We parked right next to lions (lions eating, lions propagating, lion cubs, lions), cheetas, leopards, rhinos, and on and on. Right into the bush!

And the place! Although it has canvas sides, it's like no tent I've ever stayed in. Each tent is in it's own private area, not far from one another, but with a sense of privacy. After dark, armed guards walk you to your tent because there are plenty of wild animals roaming the reserve.

The main lodge is where everyone gathers for meals, family style. What can I say about the food that hasn't already been said. It was sumptuous!

And the staff - from the manager to the guides to the chef and kitchen staff, and the cleaning staff - all very expert in their respective fields, and all very friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: The road in from the main Thornybush gate is a little rugged. I had a rental car and it handled the...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank GraniteBayTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

We spent the nights of August 6-8 at Chapungu as part of a tour by Overseas Adventure Travel. We spotted elephant, hippo, and buffalo while still on final approach to the landing strip at Jackalberry. Within 24 hours we'd seen and photographed the Big 5 including both black and white Rhino, Giraffe, Leopard, and Cheetah. Got to see a lion kill "as it happened". The wildlife in Thornybush has to be seen to be believed.

The camp itself consists of "tents" (actually should be called canvas-walled, ensuite cabins). Meals were plentiful and excellent and the staff beyond peer in their attention to detail and willingness to advise and assist.

We just could not believe our luck in being able to visit this location.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tootsall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chapungu Tented Bush Camp

Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £222 - £816 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Chapungu Tented Bush Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the Thornybush Nature Reserve the nostalgic guest will find Chapungu Tented Bush Camp. Tastefully furnished in old world colonial splendour, in a style and class of a bygone era. Eight comfortable air-conditioned en-suite tents offer private and exclusive accommodation. Boma dinners are an occasion and an opportunity to select a bottle from the stock of fine wines and to savour the finest fare. Settle around a log fire to recount the days’ game experiences before retiring to the lounge for a night-cap, or the comfort of your tent. Our passion for hospitality and the excitement of dawn and dusk safaris in an open safari vehicle, ensuring close and unrestricted encounters with the wild. The more adventurous are encouraged to join an experienced game ranger on a walk as he interprets and discusses Africa's footprint. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chapungu Camp Hotel Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Chapungu Tented Bush Camp Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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