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".
- 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