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“Incredible experience”

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Kambaku Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Incredible experience”
Reviewed 1 July 2012

An incredible 3 days of relaxation, education and over indulgence. Bryce and Nicola are the most wonderful hosts, enthusiastically assisted by their more than capable team who were always on hand to ensure that our every need was catered for. Bryce's extensive knowledge, which he imparts willingly and passionately made every game drive or walk memorable, his knowledge on everything from animal behaviour, to the identifying of the wide variety of birds, trees, grasses and insects opened up a whole new world leaving us determined to return to this piece of paradise. His knowledge and the way he shares it is quite unique and remarkable. The accomodation was first class overlooking a watering hole that was always a hive of activity. The cuisine was really outstanding with everything home made/baked and absolutely delicious. I have no hesitation in recommending Kambaku to both fellow South Africans or foreign tourists for an experience of a lifetime.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Colin196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 8 August 2012
Hi Colin - Thank you so much for the glowing review of the lodge, staff and experience. It is great to see that even the smaller things about the bush can be fascinating and worth coming back for. we are striving to achieve an increase in return guests as we believe this shows our dedication to outstanding and personal service. No less can be expected from an owner run lodge! Looking forwards to seeing you in the future!
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Bend, Oregon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 June 2012

Kambaku Lodge should be on everyone's "bucket list"! We spent a delightful 3 days with amazing animal views and impeccable personal service. Bryce is both extraordinarily knowledgeable and entertaining as guide, and he and Albert are remarkable trackers. He and Nicola made us feel totally welcome and pampered. The staff was helpful and friendly. The food and its presentation were excellent and varied. The individual touches were delightful. The range of animals and the intimacy as we saw them was awesome. There aren't enough superlatives for this wonderful place and its great hosts.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fletcher97702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 28 June 2012
Thank you very much for the wonderful review on Kambaku. We are pleased that we could have provided you wish such a memorable experience! We will pass your comments on to the staff and the chefs and wish you all the best over the next year - when the going gets tough at least you will have some lovely memories!
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Ulverstone, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2012

My family highly recommend staying at Kambaku. we had 5 days at the lodge in which we were thoroughly spoilt. OUr 12 year old thought the place was great and loved the game drives.We had a day or so when the game viewing was a bit sparse but on other days there were animals everywhere. our room was near the water hole and it was great to sit and watch the procession of animals. Can't speak highly enough of the staff. they all put in 100% and then some! it is a small enough place to give a real feeling of being the only people there. really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank TassieEmmetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 28 June 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to review Kambaku. Game viewing can be a bit erratic at times, but overall the animals usually oblige ! Glad to hear that there was animal activity to watch from camp as well, and that your daughter enjoyed her safari experience. Thank you for the lovely feedback on the staff - I will pass it on to them.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2012

What a privilege to have spent 4 awesome days at Kambaku! The whole experience from the very first moment to the last lingering second was amazing.Bryce and Nicola make every moment special, , all the staff are friendly and the service impeccable..The accommodation is beautiful, newly refurbished and tastefully decorated to a very high standard.The twice daily game drives were mind blowing! The Big Five the Little Five , the endangered, the "ugly" and the beautiful! Bryce and tracker Albert found them all for us.Thank you guys, you are the best! Lions each day, leopard 3 days in a row!,wild dogs, rhino, elephants, nagappie, white tailed mongoose,right to the last morning when the 3 young lions killed the buffalo!! There is not much else to top that list...and I have been on many trips to Kruger, there is nothing that can compare with the personal, dedicated attention (and lots of fine thoughtful details) that this awesome team spoil their visitors with.The special meals and teas, thoughtfully prepared, and served in different locations each time. The sunrise and sunset "spots" so carefully chosen by Bryce to stop at on the drives, ensured stunning photo opportunities too. Well done to you all, and thank you a million times for the memories. Annette Montgomery

Room Tip: Room facing the water hole is an added bonus!
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank annette m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 28 June 2012
Thank you for the amazing review, although I think the animals really came out of the woodwork during your stay ! One could not wish for more ! We are pleased that all the personal touches are noticed, as we pride ourselves in offering that personal service and spoiling our visitors! Thank you too for mentioning that the rooms are newly refurbished - all the new photos will be up and running everywhere in the next week ! It was our please to host you!
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Hout Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
72 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2012

This is, without any doubt, my best safari experience!
Kambaku is managed by the owners Nicola and Bryce and therefore the service is impeccable : we were welcomed at our arrival by Bryce and offered a refreshment while our luggage where taken to our bungalows.
I was lodged in Joao which overlook the waterhole regularly visited by all kind of wild life. My daughter was in the adjoining room. Both rooms were spacious and decorated tastefully. Nicola makes sure that you feel very welcome and leaves a welcoming card on your bed, at night you get a rolled bedtime story (different every nights). What a nice gesture!
Bryce was our ranger and Albert his tracker. Bryce being the owner, there is no fixed safari duration, should you track something of interest and want to keep on watching or looking for it, so be it! One day we stayed out well over the normal 3 hours, we wanted to look at a female leopard in the hope her cub would show up and.... what a reward!
His knowledge of the area and of the animals to be found in Timbavati is very extensive.
We managed to see, on top of the big 5, a leopard mum and her cub feeding on an impala which she had perched up a tree, 2 female hyenas nurturing their cubs, crocodiles, monitor lezards, beautiful birds and even a very rare specie of vulture. To top it all, on our last safari, we encountered some wild dogs!
My only regret is that we could not stay a little bit longer!

Room Tip: Joao is a family unit with 2 interleading rooms just opposite the waterhole which allows for great v...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 19 June 2012
Thank you for this wonderful review - we are so glad that the little things go noticed and that them, along with all the most amazing animal sightings, made this trip a memorable experience for the two of you. We know that being in the bush is what it is all about, and not the duration of the game drive! I have had a look at your Facebook page, and am suitably impressed with the photos - good luck sorting them all ! We look forwards to seeing you regularly at Kambaku.
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New Jersey
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

My husband and I just returned from our trip to South Africa where we had the privilege of staying three nights at the Kambaku Safari Lodge during our safari portion of the trip. The lodge truly exceeded our expectations! From the moment we arrived at the lodge we were treated like royalty, offering outstanding service, constant attention to all details and a homey feeling.

Upon our arrival in the early afternoon, the lodge staff welcomed us very warmly by the main entrance, offering us a delicious cocktail and great smiles. We met the owners, Bryce and Nicola, along with their daughter Paityn, who live right at the lodge. We were also introduced to Werner and Phillip (rangers), Albert (tracker), Clarisse (assistant manager) and some of the waiting staff. It turned out we were the only guests at the lodge during our stay (that week was part of the low tourist season) so we had all the staff attention to ourselves, talking about pampering!!

Clarisse kindly showed us to our chalet and briefed us in on the lodge logistics and schedule of activities. The lodge has 8 chalets in total. Our chalet (Joao, #8) was located towards the end and had a great view of the waterhole. Room decor was simple, colorful, clean and well appointed. Loved the poster bed with the draped mosquito net! All the rooms have an overhead fan to keep the room cool; they also provide mosquito repellent and bug spray. In the evening, we would find bed-time stories and some candies on our bed, which was a very nice touch to welcome us back to the room for a restful night.

Shortly after our arrival we were invited to enjoy afternoon tea and some snacks at the main area (lounge), then headed out to our first game drive with Werner and Albert. It was just an incredible and unforgettable experience for us, being our first safari trip. Shortly after the drive began, we ran into a very large (200+) herd of African buffalos, and Werner did not hesitate to drive off the road into the bush to get close (and I mean really close!) to the buffalos, what a great to start a safari!! Visitors are advised to stay sitting at all times in the jeep, that way the animals don't feel threatened and simply don't mind the vehicles.
We were paying close attention to all the information that Werner (the ranger) and Albert (the tracker) were exchanging during the drive; their dynamics were very enjoyable to watch. They both showed their professionalism, dedication, passion and knowledge throughout all the game drives. Werner was also in radio communication with other rangers in the area during the game drives in order to share reports of interesting animals (particularly any of the big 5) being spotted in the area.

The afternoon game drives also allowed us to spot animals that become more active after sunset (like wild cats, civets, hare, etc.). Albert would carry a big spotlight that we would sweep through (left to right) in the dark to try to spot animals in the bush, it was certainly an interesting a very unique experience. We spotted a honey badger one evening (a very rare sitting which excited our ranger very much!). Also, buffalo herds seek water to drink in the morning and late afternoons, so we were able to see them gathered in the waterholes in few occasions, great sights!

The game drives overall were quite productive and very rewarding, as we were able to spot 3 of the Big 5 (elephants, buffalos, and a female white rhino with its baby rhino) in addition to zebras, giraffes, Kudus, waterbeds, impalas, a hyaena, warthogs, baboons, jackals, wild cats, lizards, mongoose, bats, reedbucks, monkeys, eagles, and different species of birds (hornbill, Lilac Breasted Roller, guineafowl). Unfortunately, could not spot any lions or leopards even though our tracker and ranger found fresh tracks on the roads… that will be saved for the next safari trip.

The meals at the lodge were simply outstanding, and the staff always ensured we were properly fed. Before the morning game drives (which start at 6 am) they serve hot beverages and biscuits. There is always a snack stop during the game drives. After the the morning game drives a delicious and varied buffet style brunch was waiting us, which would really fill us up for the rest of the afternoon. There was also tea time before the afternoon game drive. After returning in the evening we were served a fabulous dinner, each evening having a different theme. One of the dinners was held in the Boma under a clear starry night and surrounding a nice bonfire. During the last evening of our stay we were pleasantly surprised with an intimate dinner for my husband and myself at our chalet's veranda, surrounded by lanterns, and the whole setting decorated with flowers, wow!! The staff offered this special dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary which had happened the week before. Terrance (a.k.a. Terry, the waiter) did a fabulous job waiting for us that evening, even sang for us, what an unforgettable evening indeed!!!!

The staff also went our of their way in trying to accommodate our clothing needs since my husband's luggage never made it to the Kambaku lodge from Johannesburg. They tried to track the luggage with the airport and other lodges, they took care of the laundry for us and even gave my husband a Kambaku polo-shirt as a gift. Can't thank them enough for all the attention and fabulous service they provided.

All in all, it was a truly memorable stay and would not hesitate to go back to Kambaku for another safari trip to Kruger area. Highly recommend this lodge to anyone considering to visit Kruger area and looking for comfortable, exclusive accommodations and exceptional service and setting. Thanks tot he whole staff for making this vacation a once in a lifetime experience!!

Room Tip: The rooms that face the waterhole are particularly recommended since they offer the chance for guest...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank cgparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 25 May 2012
Thank you so much for this lengthy and well thought out response. We really appreciate the time that it must have taken to provide so much information about the camp, staff and game drives, and we are sure that many future travelers will find this review very informative and helpful. We are so glad that we made your first safari trip and anniversary holiday so memorable and special, as memories stay forever. We wish you all the best, and look forwards to your return for the elusive lions!
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Coolangatta, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2012

My husband and I went on our first Safari last month to Kambaku lodge. We were blown away by our experience, and couldn't have asked for anything more. When we were looking for a lodge we wanted somewhere based in the Timbavati area, because that is where the gaming is better. We found Kambaku Lodge and then realised that not only did it offer amazing gaming, but we also got a lodge that was run by a beautiful family that had a passion for the bush. The knowledge of the tracker Eric and the Driver Bryce was priceless, they never made us feel like we asked too many questions and they ALWAYS went that extra mile to get us an incredible experience. The gaming was unbelievable we saw the big 5 within 2 game drives, and also got to experience really rare sightings like Lion Cubs, Wild Dogs, Servile and Leopards mating. The food and Service of the Staff was outstanding. Dinners were different every night, and the attention to detail was never over looked in anything they did. We would recommend this lodge to couples, families and groups. Loved it, and can't wait to come back to Kambaku.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Briarley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this review, 15 May 2012
Thanks -

We look forwards to seeing you and spoiling you again !
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Additional Information about Kambaku Safari Lodge

Property: Kambaku Safari Lodge
Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kambaku Safari Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kambaku Safari Lodge is nestled in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which can be found within the world renowned Greater Kruger National Park.The camp is well situated in this unspoilt natural wilderness area, home to an astonishing array of animals including the Big 5. Kambaku provides the ultimate escape from busy schedules, with eight well appointed thatched chalets overlooking our own private waterhole.Attracting guests from around the world, Kambaku offers superior standards in all of our facilities yet always maintaining a high level of environmental consciousness. Our dedicated staff will cater to the individual needs of our guests making for a truly memorable stay. With scrumptious bush cuisine in a relaxed, rustic setting our guests can truly unwind and immerse themselves in the restorative powers of nature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kambaku Safari Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Kambaku Safari Lodge South Africa/Kruger National Park

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