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“A must do safari experience”

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Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A must do safari experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2012

If you are planning a safari, you have to make Tanda Tula part of your itinerary. I stayed at Tanda Tula and at other camps near Kruger. The tented camp experience is unbeatably unique and the atmosphere the staff creates from the moment you arrive makes you comfortable and relaxed beyond belief. And, the food...OMG. Chef Ryan rocks. Foreman, our guide was knowledgeable and made the game drives very fun. He used his skills to find amazing animals that a lesser guide would have passed by. The tents are beyond comfortable and are totally not what you would expect. Its a must do!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Seth K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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417 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
153 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2012

We spent four days at Tanda Tula in April 2012 at the beginning of a months stay in Africa. Tanda Tula was highly recommended by our travel agent (Perfect Africa in Cape Town), who assured us that it would be an exceptional experience. What an understatement! We stayed at 6 different camps during our holiday and at the end of it all, Tanda Tula stands out as one of the very best. (If you want a sanitized, super-plush hotel-like experience, go to a Singita property. If you want an amazing and incredibly fun stay, Tanda Tula is the place to be.) It truly has a character and warmth all its own and plenty of plush comforts too. (I'm no camper, but I loved every minute of our time at Tanda Tula - Comfy brass-framed beds and a lovely deep victorian-style bath - and yes, there are hairdryers : )) and even internet if you can't bear to be without a techno fix).
Firstly, the staff were amazing. The atmosphere was so friendly, it was like visiting the home of old family friends. Every single staff member, from the owners to housekeeping, was warm and welcoming - nothing was too much trouble and everything was handled with good humour and a smile. All of the guides were friendly and knew pretty much everything there was to know about the area and wildlife.
A special mention goes to our guide, Foreman and our tracker Given. What a great team! We saw everything from cheetah, to white lions, leopard, elephants, buffalo, rhino - in fact, we saw almost everything there was to see and that was only on the first day! The Timbavati was rich with game and visibility was great. Foreman was an brilliant guide whose sense of humour and interesting stories made our game drives highly entertaining. He even managed to convince my two teenagers to get out of bed and go lion tracking at a quarter to five in the morning, in the dark! (It was cold, but a LOT of fun!)
The meaks were delicious and presented with pride by Ryan, the in-house chef. Every meal was lovely, but the BBQ breakfasts on the riverbank were simply the best - especially when a herd of elephant wanders across the sand river in front of you. The communal dining table made for a friendly and lively dinner conversation with other equally enthusiastic guests. Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed chatting with the staff and the other campers. It was simply good fun.
The rooms were permanent tents which gave the experience of sleeping outdoors, but had all the comforts of home and plenty of room to move. Lots of hot water in the outdoor showers (and the occasional vervet monkey peeking out of the trees at you). The indoor bath was fabulous and deep - plenty big enough for two : )) The brass beds were very comfortable and had plenty of pillows and a nice warm duvet.
During our holiday, we stayed at a range of different camps across South Africa, Botswana and Zambia and of all of them, Tanda Tula is a standout performer for pure warmth and genuine friendliness. It is a place you feel truly welcome from the moment you step inside.
An experience not to be missed and one you will always remember with pleasure!

Room Tip: They are all private and look over the sand river. Any room is a great one !
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank wanderingbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

Surely the best safari camp in all of SA! I can't stress it enough.

The rooms are luxury tents, which is really nice because it's almost like camping, except with goose-down comforters, hot outdoor showers, and all the luxuries of a hotel. They also have a bush hideout where you can stay for a few nights, which is an increfible expetience that I would definitely recommend.

The food is superb and the location of dinner is always changing. We even ate breakfast out in a dry riverbed a few times! Not to mention the staff is so fun to talk to and so very helpful!

The game drives were AMAZING. Formen was the perfect guide, providing us with just the right mix of fun, facts, and Jeffrey and Formen both found incredible animal sightings! We focused on both the big and the small, getting excellent accurate information on both. Formen also taught us a little about tracks and tracking, and with just some giraffe tracks on the ground, he found out that the giraffe was a male and it was running away from lions. We spotted the lions a few seconds later!

We saw the Big 5 all in a day numerous times! Unlike other reserves, you rarely see a different camp's vehicle, and the solitude is very nice, although not lonely.

Formen even arranged a private candlelit dinner for a couple on their honeymoon while we were there. So thoughtful and sweet!

All in all, incredible lodge, nice, super helpful staff, amazing guides/game drives, all in a picturesque bush setting. This is one lodge that you CANNOT MISS!!!

-- Heidi, Vienna, and Fritz Kuhn

P.S. Tell Formen and Jeffrey we say hi!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Mac tent -- the perfect distance away from the main lodge and overlooking the river...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank worldtraveler9871
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kunming, China
Level Contributor
52 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

We stayed at Chitwa Chitwa, Djuma Vuyatela, and Tanda Tula, and TT was by far the best, no question. We loved the rooms, because they made you feel in the bush, rather than at a hotel. The game was also amazing, as we saw the big 5 and more!

Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Fritz K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

My wife and I left SA in 1985 and we decided to tour South Africa with our children. TT was without doubt this was the highlight of the trip. The service was exceptional, the food delicious and the absolute attention to detail was delightful. However, the game drives with Scotch(who just loves his work) and the talented Isaac(tracker) was the highlight. Thank you for making those game drives the most unforgettable experiences for both myself and my family.

The accommodation was superb without being "over the top" like other private game parks we visited.

Massive thanks to Don,Nina, Scotch,Isaac, Thabo, Pretty,Pinky, Formen,Chris, Louise and the wonderful Alex.

Take care,

We will back-Brett

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brett0730
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

We stayed for four nights at Tanda Tula in late February and had a fantastic time. The resort was exactly what we expected and all of the staff were very attentive and extremely friendly. The game viewing was fantastic and I would absolutely recommend them for a safari. The accomodation is in luxury tents set up on a larger structure which we really enjoyed being more in the middle of the game reserve. There are no fences so there were great experiences right in the camp or viewed from our deck overlooking the riverbed.
Overall a fantastic experience!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GSLarson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
305 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 371 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

Ignore that Date of Travel - this is a belated Review of our Stay in mid-April 2008 (Sorry - been busy).

1st Camp of 3 of our Honeymoon - TT, Tintswalo, Leopard Hills, then off to Marlin Lodge on Benguerra Island, Mozambique.

We were treated superbly throughout, but it did start fabulously with a rose petal strewn bedroom and in the already run, hot bath on our return from the game drive. Diner was on our own Tent's deck under the stars with the sounds of the bush as a back cloth. Tough to beat, I dont care where you are

We saw the Big 5 that first afternoon drive, which to our horror was greeted by some, with the question "What's next ?" and they were serious.

I foreget our Guides name (sorry), but do recall our Tracker - Phil ! Brilliant or what. Apparently he's the best qualified for miles, and based on what he found for us, he's earned that accolade.

That word - relaxed

Food & service was excellent. Food was simple, fresh and plentiful, and not over engineered and fussy.

Tent was a very comfortable Meru-style, with proper bed and en suite and small wooden sundeck to sit out on and siesta. Ours was furthest from the Water Hole & Pool. A couple of the ones nearer the Main Building were in uregent need to TLC - maybe in last 4 years they've been dealt with - hopefully.

Water Hole proved a popular magnet for the almost daily Elephant herd visits (and other game, though they were the favourites). Wonderful to be so close, yet apparently safe behind a heavyily electrified wire. Ditto the swimming pool, even if that was a tad too chilly for me.

Brunches/Breakfasts held out in the bush were tremendously well received, brilliantly well done and a lovely surprise in shady hideholes in dry River beds. Very nice tough.

Ditto the Dinner one night - for all, not just us.

We stayed for 3 nights and believe that is an ideal period.

We remember TT with great affection and promised to revisit. We haven't yet, but still think we will - one day.

Reservation is focused on families with young children (under 12). They would have to be extremely keen on Safaring as being vehicle-based for that amount of time, might be too much for many. The Camp is NOT secure from predators at anytime .....

We were completely relaxed and comfortable however, and feel that the Escort-at-night & dusk works very well.

That word - relaxed - really summarises TT very well. It had a very relaxed feel about it, from the Management, to staff and Guests.

Room Tip: We did not see all of the Tents, so feel unable to comment. They all have the same Vista - looking i...
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Safariholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TandaTula, Owner at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Hi Safariholic

Thank you for taking the time out recently to write a review on your stay at Tanda Tula in 2008. We love hearing back from guests who have stayed at our safari camp.

You will be pleased to hear that myself and my wife, Don and Nina Scott, took over as partners of Tanda Tula Safari Camp shortly after you visited. A major focus for us in the last 3 years has been to refurbish the camp and address any issues which may have been present before we took over. We have already refurbished all our tents, and in line with our continued focus on responsible tourism, we have initiated various 'green' renovations such as replacing our decks with an environmentally friendly product, changing our lighting to LED and moving to solar water heating.

You'll also be pleased to hear that game viewing in and around Tanda Tula continues to be exceptional, with a few guests being fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the very rare white lions (occurring naturally in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve). Our head chef Ryan continues to amaze our guests with his excellent bush cuisine (which we too thoroughly enjoy!).

As you pointed out, our camp is not fenced in, which is why we currently welcome children over the age of 8. Our guests are still walked to and from their tents by a ranger each evening.

Hopefully we will see you back at Tanda Tula in the near future.

Kind regards,
Don and Nina Scott
Managing Partners
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 Tanda Tula Safari Camp

Property: Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve | Limpopo, 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 Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Tanda Tula Safari Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tanda Tula Safari Camp in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park, offers a five-star personal wilderness experience in ultimate luxury. Here, in your own private piece of Africa, you will come face to face with nature as it always was, with not a fence in sight to inhibit your freedom. Set on the banks of the Nharalumi riverbed, Tanda Tula is shaded by stately trees and overlooks a water hole that attracts a wide variety of game from dawn to dusk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tanda Tula Safari Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Tanda Tula Safari Camp South Africa/Kruger National Park

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