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“Wonderful experience!”

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Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience!”
Reviewed 27 September 2012

We recently spent two nights in Tanda Tula. It is really an amazing camp. First, any safari trip should include a tented camp, and I would definitely recommend Tanda Tula. Staying in a tent is a unique experience - the sounds of the bush, the cool winter air, wakeup by someone bringing a tray to your tent with coffee and tea, overlooking the riverbed and the bush - make for both five star luxury and a feeling of being out in nature. The game viewing is comparable to the other camps we were in - that is, plentiful and spectacular. Tanda Tula is somewhat more expensive than the other camps we were in, but alcohol and drinks were included. The level of service was exceptional. Forman and Given, our Ranger and Tracker, were great, always taking the time to answer our questions and explain what we were doing. Chef Ryan really cares about his food - the Kudu stew in particular was terrific. The rest of the staff is as friendly as possible. The camp is relatively small (we were 13 people and there was only one other family there) and felt really intimate. Breakfast outside on the riverbed was a nice touch. We loved it.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank tbird67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2012

We were lucky enough to be able to spend three nights at Tanda Tula last month. It's hard to put into words how much we loved this experience. The game viewing was exciting, the camp itself is comfortable and luxurious, but it is the people that make Tanda Tula extraordinary. The entire staff is welcoming, genuinely warm, and willing to do whatever they can to make your stay the best it can be.

Some highlights:
* The tented experience is wonderful. You get the charm and feel of a tent while still enjoying a hot bath and a king sized bed. It was a lot of fun being able to listen to the bush while going to sleep - we heard hyenas whooping and a leopard growling.
* The food is fantastic. Chef Ryan was obviously proud to present his food at each meal, and that pride is well justified. The food was interesting and most important, it was delicious.
* We loved the way they have set the rhythm of the days. There's some structure, to provide for game drives and meals, and lots of time for utter relaxation.
* The public areas of the lodge are well set up to allow for relaxation and socialization. I loved having a hot chocolate with Amarulla in front of the fire, chatting about the evening game drive just as much as I enjoyed checking my email on the deck overlooking the river.
* Dinners were communal affairs in the boma. As an introvert, I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this, but the staff hosts, and they turned out to be yet another highlight.
* We chose to go on safari because we were excited about the animals, and Tanda Tula and our guiding team (Richard and Isaac) did not disappoint. We checked off the big five, but we also had some really wonderful experiences: sitting in the middle of a large herd of elephants as they snacked in the early morning light, watching a hyena family play at their den, tracking a shy rhino and her baby on foot, following a leopard and her cub that was nearly as big as she was, seeing lioness patiently watching a massive herd of buffalo.

If you have the opportunity to visit Tanda Tula, you should. I am hoping we make it back someday.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2012

Tanda Tula is the best of both worlds: simple, in the bush, with animals roaming, yet very beautiful and comfortable. The small size of the camp and the thoughtfulness of the operations makes it feel that it's a low foot-print to the bush. You naturally get into a different rhythm, happy to wake up early to meet the lions, elephants, giraffe, or hyenas or many more.
We learned so much about the inter-relations of the ecosystem thanks to our guide Brandon, who has worked in the bush for 22 years. Every plant and animal has found its niche to survive. There are less game than in some other camps we went to, but the search makes it more fun, and we got to see all the big fives many times.
The food by chef Ryan is fabulous, so creative and delicious, even for vegetarian me. Meat lovers loved the venison. The whole team feels very attentive and happy to be there. There is a real sense of contribution to the community.
We were lucky it got warmer than normal in mid-august, so gloves ended up not being necessary for morning or evening drives. Pool was too cold, but we loved the outdoor showers.
The ultimate safari experience.

Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank julieONewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott, Louisiana
Level Contributor
92 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2012

When one reads "tented camp," you may think of the old tent days when we were kids. Tanda Tula will erase that thought quickly! Tented camps are more like Five Star hotel rooms! Super comfy bedding with nice, thick duvets. Fans in the room!!! Something I loved! Serviced every morning with bed turn-down in the evening and a nice little treat! Sherry in the room or wine, if you ask (or bring your own) and two nice lounge chairs on the "porch." Bathroom is gorgeous! Claw foot tub to soak in or enjoy a shower outside!!! I did both! They will wash your clothes...leave them in the laundry bag in the morning, by afternoon, they are on your bed, pressed and folded.

Food: where do I start? Chef Ryan....I wanted to bring him home! This guy can cook! And presentation is of 5 Star level! He describes every meal in such beauty! The Boma dinners are great! And breakfast in the outdoors! Awesome!

Civilized was our guide and Jack was our tracker. Civilized made sure we saw ALL of the Big Five, along with as many other animals as possible; birds, too. He explains everything he shows you, sometimes stopping the vehicle, to jump off and actually point out things and explain. Safari wasn't only about "seeing" the animals....it was a class on wheels.

Tanda Tula is a great place; its five star in everything but what really shines are the staff. Civilized and his beautiful wife, Dolly! Check out her bead work in the curio shop! No lady should leave there without one of her pieces! They are a beautiful couple! Look for Harry and Smiling at the bar; ask them about their non-profit work they do in their local village. You will be amazed at what these two young men are accomplishing! Ms. Jackie and Crystal are absolutely wonderful hostesses! We met the owners and what impressed us is...this isn't a "work place" but more of a family. We left with many new friends. They also seem to have a lot of "repeat" customers...we hope to become part of that group! If you go, tell them Becky from Louisiana said HI!!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank haaland0421
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, 4 September 2012
Dear Becky

Thanks so much for such a stunning review! Like I said when we met Don and I are nothing without our staff! They are incredible people whose passion for their work never ends. We loved having you both here and thank you so much for your enthusiasm. We look forward to welcoming you back to Tanda Tula. Fondest regards Nina & Don Scott
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reggio Emilia, Italy
1 review
Reviewed 21 August 2012

Wonderful time, excellent service. What a nice experience. with our ranger, Civilised, we saw all the five big fives. Recommended ...absolutely fabulous. We enjoyed the Boma evenings and the atmosphere. Pity we did not stay longer.
Giovanni and Francesca

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Razmig1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2012

Tanda Tula was absolutely amazing! This was our first safari and it is quite hard to imagine that it gets any better than Tanda Tula! Civilized and Patrick were our guide and tracker and we learned so very much from them on every game drive. Civilized was a great teacher! We saw the big five on our second game drive and then saw 2/5 on our walk back to camp after breakfast! We loved our afternoon walk in the bush to get an entirely new perspecitve. The game viewing was amazing and so incredibly close in proximity that we never even needed our binoculars. The accomodations, food and staff were over the top wonderful! They made out first stay in the bush a truly special and unforgettable experience!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hoover C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2012

It is hard to imagine a tented camp with a better balance of comfort, quiet, and style. The rangers are extremely knowledgeable and the staff is never ending helpful. The reserve offers a very good variety of game that can be seen up close and personal thanks to the skilled rangers. Nyala and other antelope wandering through the camp give a sense of being in the bush while still having every convenience that you could want. A good place for travellers who are truly interested in excellent game vfiewing but would never sacrifice comfort or style. It offers the personal touch that means true luxury. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Moonriser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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