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“Welcome to Africa”

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Shindzela Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Ames, Iowa
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Welcome to Africa”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We traveled extensively in several countries, and deliberately selected a wide variety of experiences and accommodation types. Shindzela was our favorite. We were drawn in my the "tent camp" distinction and the good (and well deserved) reviews, and left impressed and delighted with the experience. We stayed for two nights, and participated in three game drives. The property is contiguous with Kruger National Park and the camp is not fenced off from its surroundings, so animals in camp is both common and exciting. That said, I never felt at risk, owing in no small part to the constant presence of our guide, Johan. He welcomed us, ate with us, guided the drives (with the extraordinarily skilled Raymond as our tracker), walked us to our tents in the dark, and stayed alert to the presence of animals after we were in those tents. Our experience was inestimably enhanced by his calm, informative, and competent participation in our stay. The tents are set up on a wooden platform, with a thatched roof that covers the "porch" and a wooden add on at the rear that serves as the bathroom. They're comfortable and "exotic" enough to add to the feeling of closeness with nature. Meals are communal and uniformly delicious, with breakfast after the game drive, lunch at 2:30 (before the afternoon/evening drive) and dinner at around 7:00 PM. The drives are, of course, the centerpiece of the stay, and we saw a wide variety and (this is important and distinctive) spent plenty of time with the animals we found, often in amazing close proximity. Johan posts regularly to their Facebook page (lists of sightings for each drive, and, often, pictures), and those postings speak volumes about what you can expect to see. I offer my highest recommendation for Shindzela, and am grateful for the memories that we'll treasure associated with our stay at this property. OK, as for the title of the review: We flew from Livingstone to Nelspruit and rented a car for the drive to Shindzela (and beyond). We visited in June (Winter) and it gets dark at around 6 PM. We entered he reserve at around 56 PM and were informed by a gentleman exiting as we arrived that there was a "big bull elephant hassling cars" about 8 KM up the road. Swell. No elephant at 8 KM, but there was a Land Rover parked in the roadside ditch at 9 KM...and a very large elephant on our side of the road just ahead. We turned off our lights and watched for around 10 minutes, then the Land Rover group started up and drove by (on the way to the gate), offering the opinion that "he seems to have had his fun for the night", adding "Welcome to Africa".

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Paul H
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, 17 August 2014
Thank you Paul H!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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426 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
1 review
Reviewed 13 June 2014

The pictures on the website are good, but the camp is so much beter! The safari tours are great, with a tracker and a ranger, you feel save. And the food is also very good. Overall a great experiance.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Maarten O
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, 17 August 2014
Thank you Maarten O!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

We came for two nights after staying at a lodge in Klasserie (Africa on Foot, also lovely) to vary our experience. My mom was a little hesitant about the "tents" but they are really just nice rooms with canvas walls. The guides were great, and excellent trackers. We saw amazing animals, including the namesake honey badger itself in camp. Great food, friendly staff.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Allison B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, General Manager at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 17 August 2014
Thank you Allison B!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

We first selected a 10 day luxury safari at four camps/lodges in Botswana & Zambia, and while checking out the lux accomodations on Tripadvisor, we stumbled onto Shindzela. Because of the great reviews here, we decided to first visit Shindzela for three days. Shindzela was the highlight of our trip. The other camps and their staffs were very nice. it is just that everything about Shindzela gave us the experience we dreamed about. We were the only Americans; other guests were from Europe, Australia and Capetown, ZA.

Trackers Sam and Ray and Rangers Vaughn and Johan found game, answered questions, attended to our sundowners, etc. Yes, it was a bit chilly at night in our smallish, unheated tent, and the food was not exactly gourmet. But, our tent was clean as a pin and the king bed was to die for. The night noises were spooky at first, but this was a safari and there were critters out there. We saw many, many animals (4 of the big 5 species, no leopard). One night, we just returned from a drive and Vaughn showed up at our tent yelling "Chop, chop, hurry back to the Rover, there has been a kill close by." Adrenaline was pumping (a real thrill) as we bounded down a trail and through the bush to see wild dogs and hyenas. And so our side-trip to Shindzela was well, "Wow."

Barbara & Bill from Roanoke, Virginia

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hokiemon
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, 17 August 2014
Thank you Hokiemon!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Had a lovely 4 nights and was missing the routine of the safari when we got back home. It was more than I have imagined. Good food, great company in a very comfortable idyllic setting. It was a great introduction to safari and thank you Shindzela.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Kheng O
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, 17 August 2014
Thank you Kheng O!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 June 2014

We want to thank the folks at Shindzela Safari Camp for an amazing 4 night stay May 30 - Jun 3, 2014!! The game viewing was just fantastic - many thanks to our guides Sam and Johan - we will never forget those rides with the African Wild Dogs!! Saw many other fantastic animals. The bush camp was just as advertised; a real open African bush experience (no fences, wide open) with great people (all the staff and owners are just wonderful), food and fun. The tent cabins were great and very cool to stay in. And the food was fantastic. Many thanks to all @ Shindzela for a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: There are 8 tent cabins. All are similar. #7 and #8 are the furthest out.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank S_TOffner
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, 17 August 2014
Thank you S_TOffner!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorena
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

If you want safety in numbers, a spa, and luxury accommodations, this is not the place for you; but if you are up for free-roaming wildlife, no barriers, no staging, and the feel of the African bush in your veins, this is your place! Our intimate safaris with no more than nine guests per jeep and only two jeeps on the reserve consisted of six hours a day bouncing around in the jeep in the bush seeking our next wildlife experience. And we did not have 20 or 40 cars join us when we located the animals. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the bush and enlightened us on how nature works, down to the plants and the bugs, to create this magical environment. I was interested in animal signs and Vaughn was sure to point out lion, leopard, rhino, etc tracks for me. He also guided us to find all big five at least twice plus myriad other wildlife, including the severly endangered wild dog. Back in camp, with an authentic feel, the tents were large and comfortable with solar lighting but no electricity. It is like camping but with a large, comfy bed, running hot water, a flush toilet, and someone to make your bed and cook great meals for you. The owners and staff are friendly, helpful and caring and the price fit our budget perfectly. I would do this again with the Shindzela gang in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Diane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shindzela, General Manager at Shindzela Tented Camp, responded to this review, 17 August 2014
Thank you Diane M!
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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