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“Rustic, authentic, and unbeatable adventure”

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Shindzela Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
san francisco, ca
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Rustic, authentic, and unbeatable adventure”
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Shindzela is the place you go and plan your return while you're still there. It's a refreshing experience to find yourself amidst the wildest bush of Africa and know that you're being taken care of. Upon arrival a family of elephants took a stroll through camp, if only to remind me that I have arrived in their territory.

I got lucky and saw all the big boys (lions, rhinos, buffalo, oh my!), but it was the little things that really made me fall in love with Shindzela. From Sam's passionate trail blazing, to safari stories told fireside, to a sunset beer at the water hole, and ending each night falling asleep to the giggling hyenas outside my door, Shindzela creates a safe and rustic home in the wild for all visitors. The safari on foot left me catching my breath both because there's nothing like a brisk sunrise hike through the bush, but even more breathless because you never know what animal is lurking beyond the next baobab. And I'll forever be in awe of the sharp eye of all our guides who can spot a fresh lion pup foot print from a mile away.

My room was cozy and comfortable, and made complete with my nighttime hot water bottle from Gertie. The food is fabulous and company of staff is unbeatable.

Shindzela gives you an authentic and rustic safari experience that I recommend for families, couples, and the adventurous solo traveler.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank olivegirlSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Shorewood, Wisconsin
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014

I echo all the positive reviews. I appreciate too that the Camp did not over sell itself. Good food, excellent, hard working staff and a superb environment is what they sold, and delivered.
Our driver Sam, and his partner, the tracker Raymond, were knowledgeable and very hard working, putting in extra effort to make our experience memorable.
The camp is off grid. I was given a tour of their home designed and built solar installation and it's very impressive. Andre,the operator of the camp, is justifiably very proud of it.
I've never had an experience like this before, and probably won't again. I'm very glad that it was with Shindzela Safari Camp.
I thank everyone there for their willingness to give us their knowledge, dedication, humor and warmth.
I will dream of my experience for the rest of my life.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank mjheider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

Brilliant. Absoultely brilliant. I'll keep it short, because my post is pretty much going to be a reflection/repetition of all the good reviews that previous travellers have posted.

1) Ridiculously experienced, knowledgable and humourous guides and trekkers (Sam, Johan, Kenneth). You know they mean business, when you ask for lions, and they trek for it to give you a great view (like 10m away) of a mother and her cubs. Not forgetting bashing through the jungle with the safari vehicle just to get a close up view of elephants. And also catching a golden timing of these majestic animals frolicking at their watering hole. They were also always on a lookout for our safety too! Ask a question and you'll get it answered with a 5 star response!

2) Food. Wahahaha. I'm Asian, but the food was absolutely fantastic and suitable for all palates. If they happen to be serving lamb shank and impala, you're up for a treat!

3) Accom. 2 big beds with a nice toilet and heated showers to boot.

4) Exclusiveness. You are in the middle of nowhere (yet there's wifi, at reasonable costs lol). No hordes of tourists. Just you, maybe 10 more guests tops, 15 staff and lots of impala haha. Buffaloes and elephants and hyenas sited near our camp too! Directions to the camp is also very clear, if you are self-driving (forget about the GPS, it's not going to help you)

5) Worth it! Errr for the price you are paying, oh my goodness, you have got to be kidding me. This is an absolute steal for the experience you're getting!!!

Thanks so much guys for the wonderful safari experience :)

Room Tip: All rooms are the same, and good!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank hanselin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We stayed at Shindzela for five nights in September. I wouldn't have changed it a thing about our trip. The Game Drives were amazing- we spent most of our time with Sam. He would take us all over the area and found lions, rhinos, herds and herds of elephants... Buffalo! It was great. And he would answer any questions we had. The tracker was also fantastic- he would just jump off the jeep and track down any animals. I would pick this experience over any other safari experience because you really get in with the animals. The camp sites were great- super warm even though it was cold out. The thick blankets kept all of the cold out. Every night we would have delicious dinner by the camp fire and talk with people from around the world. The shower was warm, but simple. The toilet, shower and sink are all in the back of the tent. It is a bit rough- this isn't necessarily a five star hotel. But, its not for lack of comfort or fantastic service. If you have any hesitation, read the rest of the reviews. You will not regret your stay here and it is worth every penny.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sonya G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We stayed for two nights at Shindzela - an amazing time. Authentic experience, close to nature (and lots of animals, possibility to see the big 5 if lucky/ we saw 4, missed the leopard which they had seen the day before we arrived) and friendly staff. No unnecessary luxury, but all the nice comfortable anmedities. Our guide was really knowledgable Beautiful Dinner by the fire under the sky full of stars. We can highly recommend Shindzela Tented Safari Camp.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank Adrian_XYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cary, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

I must admit I had very high expectations for Shindzela and every one of them was met. The overall experience was even better as we had friends from Italy join us and they apparently had a very enjoyable experience as well. We cannot really fault a single aspect of our stay. From the moment we arrived, meals and the quality of our guide Sam who deserves special mention as he was tasked with hauling our group around on his own while the other guide had help in the form of a tracker. His knowledge and ability to track from a moving vehicle was nothing short of astounding. The game viewing was fantastic and even though we did not get the big five in this trip we did see lots of Buffalo, Elephant, some lion and a host of other wildlife and birds. The food and service was impeccable. They manage all this out in the bush with little electricity. Kudo's to Andre and Eugene the owners for the job on the solar setup they have and even some wireless in the communal are. What a great time thanks Shindzela team!

Room Tip: We had tent 7 as recommended by other travelers it was great... Do the same if you can
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

If you are looking for a truly African safari experience, then you will not go wrong by booking with Shindzela Tented Safari Camp. We spent the 16-20 December 2013 in the bush with the animals. You may not see the herds of wildebeast or various antelopes that you see in the Serengeti but what you do get is up and personal quality time with the animals that you do see. Johan (guide) and John (Shongan tracker) were a superb team. Because Shindzela has only 8 safari tents for a maximum of 16 people, we became acquainted with other guests as well as the guides and trackers as well as the support staff. If you are looking for a star rated air-conditioned room with tiled baths and hair dryers and a spa experience, Shindzela is not for you.

Camp: Unfenced and shares a long border with Kruger National Park. We were not allowed to drive into Kruger. In the Shindzela, we were usually the only vehicle so we could stop and be with the animals as long as we chose. The owners and their guests were seen from time to time but their drives were usually at different times. Information was shared but we didn't associate.

Accommodation: A safari tent is a room with canvas walls, bed with clean linens, duvet, and mosquito net. You get the star rating because your room is made-up for the evening while you are on the evening game drive and made-up while you are on your morning safari. Your bathroom is an outdoor-enclosed addition to the tent so you really feel like you are camping! There is a hot water shower and a flush toilet. It takes a little bit to learn how to adjust the taps so you aren't scalded or frozen! At 4:00 AM this is a true camping challenge. You are provided with shampoo, lotion, and mosquito repellent cream. At night a mosquito coil is lighted and placed in the bathroom to keep the pesky mosquitoes away from you.

Food: Abundant! Good, hearty meals are served buffet style. Maleta calls you to dine three times a day by banging on her drum. When everyone is in the dining area, she says, "Hello. Breakfast or Lunch or Dinner is ready. We gonna have..." She rattles off what she has prepared for you and when she gets stuck for the English word one of the guides will be ever so helpful and make her laugh. The best part of the list for dinner is "We gonna have...and MMMM for dessert." accompanied by a wide, beautiful smile that lights up her eyes. Sometimes the guides were also your wait staff or bar tender.

Game drives: It is always luck of the draw as you should well know. We were there for 8 game drives, one was an extra one because lions were spotted one morning and we had to quickly down our breakfast and go out one more time. One of the scheduled drives was our walking tour, which was definitely worth taking because we saw the small ecosystems of flowers, grasses, insects, birds, etc. We were never disappointed with our drives because we always saw something. Johan took the time to get us close to whatever game we found and would allow close-up viewing (this included lions, Cape Buffalo, giraffes, elephants, birds). Because Shindzela has the right to go off road in their concession, we would crash into the bush to get close to the animals. Johan would get us close then shut off the engine and we would sit and observe in a relaxed manner. We definitely got better at relaxing on every drive. Granted, it is hard to relax when you are in an open vehicle just about ten feet from a male lion! Johan's passion for his work is evidenced in the quality of his explanations. We learned a lot of new things and had other knowledge reinforced. The group was quite congenial and we all teased and laughed a lot, even John's hand signals conveyed his sense of humor and that he was listening to the conversations. On the last full day, we saw all the Big 5 in one day as well as a newborn elephant! We discovered that it was newborn because the birthing sac was found and later the placenta and umbilical cord was found on the road. When we looked more closely at the baby, we could see the umbilical cord.

Fabulous experience you won't forget because of the 200+ photos you will take!

Room Tip: Best tents are 5, 6, 7. 8 is good if you really want privacy. Do be aware that after the evening gam...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Checkingthelist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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