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“Our Lion Trip”

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Shindzela Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Our Lion Trip”
Reviewed 30 September 2012

We stayed 3 nights at Shindzela while on our honeymoon in Africa. From the moment we arrived we knew we had made the right choice. We wanted to experience the tented safari with the chance of animals wondering past and this is exactly what it is with that extra bit of luxury. The beds were so comfy and warm, we had the perfect night's sleep everynight. You are made to feel so welcome the minute you arrive and they can't do more for you. Monika, Peter and their team go that extra mile for you. The food is excellent, not that you need to eat loads when the only exercise you get is from the African Massage........ We were so lucky during the visit to see so many lions, it almost became a joke. The sundowner drinks were always in perfect locations. Definitely consider Shindzela on your trip.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Louise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Manager at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 31 October 2012
Dear Louise R,

Thank you very much for your very special review! And we are very happy to hear that you had a wonderful time!

Hope to see you soon
Take Care
Shindzela Team
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418 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sammamish, Washington
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2012

We (family of 4) stayed 3 nights at Shindzela in late August 2012. This is a wonderful, intimate bush camp safari - maximum 16 guests at a time!!! Dave (owner), Monica & Peter (camp managers/guides) and Warren (tracker) were extremely welcoming, warm, knowledgable & interested in teaching us all about the bush (wildlife, plants, birds, insects, etc.). This bush camp is perfect for pre-teens/teenagers - both our kids loved the experience and still talk about it. The tents were basic, but very comfortable with twin size beds, a side-table, small dresser, warm blankets & pillows. The solar powered lighting in tents & bathroom was adequate. The bathrooms had flush toilets, shower facilities (some tents (#4) had warmer water than others). The meals prepared by Mellita & her staff were simple buffet style, but nutritious & tasty (there was always a warm, satisfying "mmmmmmm" dessert after dinner!). The kids still ask for "mmmmmm" each night! We particularly enjoyed having our meals with other camp guests - we've forged new friendships from people around the world! The hot water flask tucked into each bed in the evening was a nice treat for the cold nights. The game viewing was above average & never felt rushed - saw hyenas/pride of lions/elephants/buffalo herd on our 1st evening game drive; met Harry the Hippo/solitary lion on our 2nd morning game drive; on our final morning game drive we saw a white male rhino. The sundowners were nice too! We took advantage of a walking safari one morning - although we did not directly encounter any wildlife, we did hear lions roaring in the distance. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of the sounds through the night from the comfort of our tent - roar of lions, elephant grunts, hyena and wild dog cries, etc.

This is a bush camp so don't expect to have connectivity to the internet, be able to use the cellphone or plug in your hair dryer! This is exactly the reason why we chose this camp - to get away from all things electronic & totally disconnect from the outside world for a few days!

We would love to revisit Shindzela some day! Thank you Dave, Monica, Peter & Warren for making our first safari a truly memorable & enriching experience!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank StPatrickGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Front Office Manager at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 28 September 2012
Dear StPatrickGal

What a lovely read! Thank you for your review, and i will make sure that the camp gets it!

We hope to host you and your family again at Shindzela
Take Care

Shindzela, Reservations
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Haarlem, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2012

Going to Shindzela takes some hours, but will help you to come in the right spirit. You will pass along bushfield along a sandtrack wthout seeing almost no car. Then you will arrive on a secluded spot with beautiful designed tents. Good comfort and very good aligned with the bushfeeling you are looking for. Then there is of course the thing you're coming for, the wildlife. Well, there can be plenty, even just around your tent. When it is dark you are not allowed to go alone to your tent because some predator might catch you. Twice a day there is a safari, and we were very lucky to have some great experiences.
Sam and Dave were leading our tours, and tehy did a great job. We could enjoy their life long experience in tracking and tracing, so if there is a grown or branch breaking miles away they will hear it.
Our first night we saw some large animals like buffels an giraffes, but what was especially interesting was a walking safari around a rhino. You could easily come close as long as we stayed quiet and did not move too much. Later we saw a huge herd of buffalos, maybe 3 to 400 coming to the dam. Later a pack of lions came in and went after the herd, we were almost in the middle of hundreds of buffalos rumbling and running.
The last morning was really special. We saw a pack of willd dogs that had chased an impala in the water of the dam. The poor thing was swimming from one corner to another one, and the dogs just posted a soldier on the place where it might think of getting on land. The neigbourhood hippos were disturbed in their sleep and decided to hunt down the invader also a bit, so the room for swimming become even more narrower. Finally the pack of dogs caught the impala and started to eat it out, beginning with the soft parts until it was dead. Then the hyenas cam in, attracted by the sounds of the hunting. Take a closer look by giving the search terms Impalahunt wilddogs on Youtube.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dick V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Front Office Manager at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 28 September 2012
Dear Dick V

Thank you very much for your kind words! We are so pleased to see that you had such a good time and game viewing experience!

I will pass on message to the Camp staff!
Take Care
Shindzela
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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 September 2012

My parents and I stayed at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp for two evenings and we loved every minute there and can't wait to return with the rest of our family to share this special place with them.
The cooks whipped up incredible South African meals right in the middle of the bush. The guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and managed to spot just about everything, from an elephant camouflaged in the bush to a chameleon sitting on a branch way after sunset.
I can't wait to come back and experience this place again

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Emma-Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Manager at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 11 September 2012
Hi Emma-Lisa L

Thank you so much for you great review!! I will forward this onto the camp as well! We look forward to hosting you and your family again!

Take Care
The Shindzela Team
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liverpool
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2012

We stayed here on 6th July for just 2 nights. On our 1st afternoon we saw lions and hyenas. We returned for a lovely evening meal beef pie with sweet potato.after dinner we got a warm by the fire before retiring to our tent. Can't believe the person above complained about the lack of bedside table or hangers. We had never been camping before and knew it wasn't going to be 5* accomodation, it's a TENT, for heavens sake. We were thrilled to hear hyenas outside and didn't need to worry about mosquito's or strange insects. Next day we found a buffalo carcass and the lion was guarding it from hyena and jackal and evening meal was pork and roast beef with roast potatoes and delicious gravy. Monika and Peter were very good hosts and our group was lovely, everyone got on and some even played the spit the impala poo game. we declined! All in all we had an amazing time and would recommend to anyone wanting a short safari.great value.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank chocolatemoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Owner at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 22 August 2012
Dear Chocolatemoose (love the name!)
Thanks so much for the review, and we are so glad you had a fun time at Shindzela. Lions have continued to give us fantastic sightings over the past few weeks. Kind Regards, Shindzela
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
139 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2012

I was so excited to go to a bush lodge/luxury tented camp, and was very sorely disappointed. For the price paid vs. what we actually got, I do not see this as value for money. However, let me focus on all the good stuff first:
• The staff are wonderful, friendly, accommodating and helpful. No matter what, they will try their best with what they have to make you stay as special as possible. They are unobtrusive, but chat to guests, and tell great stories around the campfire at night.
• The hot water bottles in the bed at night (as it was mid-winter), was a super touch.
• Everything was neat and clean and in good working order.
• I loved the little detail on the table décor for each meal, and the effort the staff go to, to make the area attractive for meal times.
• The outside shower area is a treat, however, in winter, use in the middle of the day as it’s a bit cold otherwise!!
• When on game drives that were rather dull (the animals just did not want to be seen on this trip, and this CANNOT be blamed on the Lodge) the guides really tried to give additional information about trees, plants, scat/dung, birds and other interesting facts about the bush.
• The bush walk each morning was wonderful and an opportunity to learn about the small stuff. Our guides were knowledgeable and pointed out an abundance of interesting facts on the flora and smaller fauna.
• The food was wonderfully “presented” by Millita each day, delicious and homely, but I make further comments below.
• The sundowner game drives were lovely, and a really spectacular photo opportunity especially with stark leafless trees against the setting sun.
• For a camp that only runs on solar-power, I think that the lighting in the tents was great – you can read a book before you sleep!
The not-so-good stuff (and I will state here that I do understand the logistics of a bush camp and its “special needs”, however with a little creativity things can be done differently):
• There are no hangers or anywhere to hang any clothes, and when staying for longer than a night, it’s nice to unpack (there are only 2 hooks on the back of the door). I hung my stuff over the window flaps!
• There are no bedside tables or a spot to put your reading glasses or book or tissues
• It is vital that on each game drive an experienced tracker is taken, as the combination of driver/guide and tracker meant that we got to see more. Our less experienced guides tried their best and did a great job, however, an experienced tracker is exceptionally beneficial. (Sam, you are quite amazing!!)
• For the price we paid, at least there should have been decent coffee – French press coffee can still be made as it does not require power! Surely a few individual presses, and a choice of ground beans would add a little touch of class here.
• Having the same lemon creams for every snack is just not acceptable. What about rusks, or homemade cookies? These can easily be made in bulk and dry stored, especially if you can’t get out to buy goods regularly.
• I note some comments about snacks or extras – perhaps you need to state in a sign that due to “monkey business”, goodies are safely stored but always available to guests.
• Suggestion – the website needs to clearly state that you should not expect to be able to charge batteries or phone or anything as solar power only works for this if there are really sunny days and enough power has accumulated. I noted how some foreigners were not impressed by this, and neither was I, thank goodness I had enough battery life for my camera.
• The food was exceptionally plain to say the least. Although delicious and filled the spot, there was little variety or interest. Pasta in various forms for 3 meals is a bit too much! There was a variety of flavours, however, overall it just seemed boring, lacking creativity or any “zhoozhness” to it
Overall, unimpressed, will not return and think there are better options. For foreigners I can understand how this place is wonderful and special if they have not experienced the bush before. As a South African, I have experienced better for less.

Room Tip: Ask for a tent by the river. Or ask for the one furtherest from the main part of the camp - it will...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Wolery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Owner at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 22 August 2012
Thank you for your comprehensive review. We will certainly take up some of your issues raised with the management in camp, and value your thoughts.

We would however, like to state that Shindzela is not a luxury safari destination, and we are quite open about this fact in all our literature. It was unfortunate that you had made an error in your booking dates, as we had the office and camp trying to locate you, late on the first day. Happily we were able to amend your dates upon reaching you a day later.

We have made changes to the camp menu's, and trust that guests will enjoy the new dishes. Additional solar and emergency generator power is now available.
Thank you.
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Solon, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012

We just returned from a three-week visit to South Africa, and, I must say, our time at Shindzela Safari Camp with the highlight of the trip. It was a wonderful experience--perfect in every way--and I am so happy that we had the good fortune to be able to stay there! From the moment that we arrived until, sadly, we had to leave, every aspect of our stay was exceptional, Dave and his two, very talented guides, Mike and Sam, made sure that we had lots of opportunities to view the wildlife, and consistently went out of their way to always make sure that we were having the best experience possible. Every single meal was delicious, the tents were cozy and comfortable, and I can not think of one negative thing to say about our stay. We will always remember our stay at Shindzela--it was an amazing adventure.

Room Tip: We enjoyed being near the water hole, where we could sit on our porch and enjoy the wildlife.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Scout0218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, Owner at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 22 August 2012
Hi,
We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay at Shindzela - it is always great to have fun and enthusiatic guests in camp. We hope you had great memories to take home and a bunch of safari snaps and video to show friends and family!
We do hope that you will visit again, and return to this special country. Your Shindzela team
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Additional Information about Shindzela Tented Camp

Property: Shindzela Tented Camp
Address: Johnniesdale Farm | Hoedspruit, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Shindzela Tented Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shindzela is an authentic tented bush camp situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, greater Kruger National Park. The camp accommodates a maximum of 16 guests and is unfenced, making it very much part of the wilderness. Shindzela is not built by an award winning architect, nor is it furnished by an interior designer. What you will find though, is a comfy bed, freshly laundered linen, and décor from local crafters and artists. Shindzela is a comfortable/rustic tented bush camp, where you can relax, enjoy our warm hospitality and immerse yourself in the African wilderness. We love our informal, relaxed atmosphere. Each safari tent is built on wooden decks, and has their own en-suite shower/toilet and hand basin. The camp also has a swimming pool and overlooks our little watering hole, from where you can watch animals come down to drink. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shindzela Tented Safari Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Shindzela Tented Camp South Africa/Kruger National Park

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