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“Refreshingly different and definitely "glamping"”

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Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Refreshingly different and definitely "glamping"”
Reviewed 19 December 2013 via mobile

This was the second safari stop on our visit to South Africa and absolutely a highlight. It's difficult to find the right words to describe the atmosphere in Tanda Tula as it is quite unique and really felt like a home away from home. The "tents" are fabulous and create a wonderful environment that let's you feel closer to the nature all around but without sacrificing any aspects of the comfort. The best wake up call was the quite voice telling us breakfast was there at 5am. The food prepared with care and attention at ever meal was great, especially the bush camp breakfast after our morning game drives I wish I'd got the recipe for the pesto dressing which was a staple with the lunch salad!
Scotch and Patrick were wonderful guides and took every opportunity to make sure that we had the best experience. All the staff were great and nothing was too much trouble. When we arrived this was so very different from our other accommodation but did not disappoint in any way. This was another great suggestion from Alice at Aardvark! Thank you all for giving us so many happy memories during our time with you.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Hazel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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422 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

My husband and I traveled to South Africa for our honeymoon and our second safari stop was at Tanda Tula Safari Camp in the Timbavati Game Reserve. The moment we entered Tanda Tula we genuinely felt at home because of how friendly and welcoming everyone was. The camp is absolutely gorgeous with its lush greenery, free roaming wild animals, and waterhole oasis. We stayed in tent 11 located on the outskirts of camp. It was incredibly private and secluded, which is exactly what we wanted for our honeymoon. What really set Tanda Tula apart is how incredible the staff members are. The managers were all wonderful, especially Krystal, who is so sweet and tells the best stories! The game drives were absolutely magnificent and our ranger (Scotch) and tracker (Patrick) were so amazing. We really enjoyed every game drive with them and were so impressed with their knowledge (especially Scotch's bird knowledge).

Tanda Tula was truly an experience of a lifetime and my husband and I had the best honeymoon imaginable. The staff went above and beyond to ensure that our time with them was perfect. There were even a few honeymoon treats, but I don't want to spoil any surprises. All I can say is that everything exceeded our expectations and was simply extraordinary. Thank you Tanda Tula for making our honeymoon so special!

Room Tip: Tent 11 is very private and secluded with a beautiful view! Make sure to hook the carabiner around a...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ashley A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 28 November 2013 via mobile

Just spent four nights at Tanda Tula and it was the best time we had. The safaris were excellent and we had very passionate and knowledgeable guides. The food was outstanding as was Chef Ryan and his staff. We were welcomed with open arms and our every needs was taken care of. If we gon another safari Tanda Tula will be the place we stay.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Joyce C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013

The word "amazing" comes to mind when I think of Tanda Tula. When we first booked this trip, our friend who planned everything told us he loved the place and we would too. He kept trying to describe the tents, but it was not until we were there in the flesh did we really realize the little slice of heaven he kept describing. We cannot stop speaking about the experience at this safari camp. Our friends are ready to book now.

First, the staff...excellent service... from ALL the staff members; second, the game rides --Scotch and Patrick, my hat's off to you both. So incredibly professional yet friendly and personable...like family. Scotch, so determined to make sure we saw the BIG FIVE could be my big brother, and Patrick, quiet yet focused, he knows his stuff; third, the INCREDIBLE food....Chef Ryan and company, i need you here in the US...OMG, I ate way too much, but loved every minute of it. The food was fresh, beautifully presented and delicious. I love the fruit bread...and then there was the accommodations...our tent was definitely five star accommodations...extremely comfortable, clean and well appointed with all that we needed after a day in the bush. I loved the outdoor shower and used the tub just because it was there (smile)...

Our stay was made even more special by the Dowry Ceremony held for our friends Bev and Rodney. This was the first time Tanda Tula had hosted that type of ceremony and it was magnificent. On the dry river bed, our group enjoyed the ceremony and was treated to beautiful singing and dancing, followed by a meal fit for the occasion, prepared by Chef Ryan and his staff. As I look at the images from that evening I wish I was still there.

Back to the food, I loved the way chef presented the meal each night. His explanation of the menu left you anticipating the goodness of what was to be a very memorable dining experience. I loved dining with the other guests and hearing their stories and seeing their images from their game rides.

Krystal and Thabo... words cannot begin to describe these two individuals ...they were always smiling...all the while organizing and making sure our stay was perfect. I loved that about them. They had so many guest to take care of yet they made us feel like we were the number one guest at the camp. When you mentioned something to Krystal or Thabo, consider it done.

As a professional photographer, I was very please with the images I was able to capture on the game rides. Scotch made sure I was please with my images before moving on to the next sighting and if my shot was not at a good angle he made it so that I was able to get the best angles possible. I hope for a return visit to Tanda Tula, hopefully with a group of photographers ready for a life changing experience. Don and Nina, you have a first class operation at Tanda Tula...keep up the excellent work.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank annphotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Simply put, words are not enough. But I'll try anyway. Tanda Tula is an experience of a lifetime. The accommodations are magnificent, but the service and staff are what set this camp apart. From the moment you first engage with the staff via email (thanks Krystle!) to the moment you leave the camp (thanks Patrick!), you are given the best possible customer service and they foster a sense of community (e.g. through communal dinners that the owners/managers and their families host). The staff at Tanda Tula somehow manage to know how to make every single guest feel special. We arrived a little bit later than planned (watch out for the potholes if driving from Jo'burg), and the staff whisked us through the check-in procedures to ensure we were able to join an ongoing safari ride to see a very special sighting: the white lions of Timbavati. They certainly didn't have to go this trouble, but they did.

Little did we know that was the tip of the iceberg for the kind of service we would receive at Tanda Tula. Scotch was our ranger and Patrick our tracker; together they are an unbeatable combination. We saw everything out there, and then some. These guys are experts, and gentlemen to boot. The game drives are a ton of fun, as is the eating once you get back to the camp. The chefs and waitstaff are truly talented people. Delicious food and impeccable service (be sure to tell Pinki hello!).

The tents are awesome, the beds incredibly comfortable. These are just any tents. They're anchored to a concrete slab under a thatch covering. The tents are open to the outside with mesh windows and doors, but it really does give you that safari feeling and a genuine experience. The outdoor shower was one of our favorite parts...You never know what animal is going to come up and take a peek while you're showering!

You'll also see wildlife in the camp, from nyala to warthogs to impala to monkeys to honey badgers. And you'll hear a lion and hyena at some point during your stay. Don and Nina run a great operation...If you're looking for a safari experience in Africa, look no further. Tanda Tula will exceed all of your expectations.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Adam O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 November 2013

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to South Africa. I have to say that the highlight of the trip was five days at Tanda Tula. Our ranger Richard and our tracker Isaac could not have been better, every day got more eventful as we found the big five and much more. Richard was full of information and Isaac was just wonderful, up front and leading us on to find the lions.
The accommodation was five star (would give it ten if I had the choice). Chef Ryan surprised us each day with the most wonderful food, will have to go on a year long diet to get over it. His bread is terrific as was his magic basil pesto.
All the staff were so friendly and made us all feel at home. I left feeling that I was leaving family and will hopefully return one day.
Monkeys watching me bathe in the outdoor shower was quite an experience!
Now I am waiting to see the wedding photos Richard and Krystal.
Thank you Tanda Tula

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beverley W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
80 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2013

Everybody deserves Tanda Tula once in their lifetime. Laugh, cheer and smiles at the bar, boma and lounge area whenever we gathered. Endearing, efficient and charmingly cheeky staff that will steal your heart every time a coconut. At the Land Rover wheel (and on the jump seat) a combined 30 years of guiding and game tracking experience that will squeeze out of the Timbavati every possible quality sighting you ask for (tall order as it may have been…our White Lion order was timely delivered even if it was on the very last game drive). The rooms were impeccable, homely and welcoming, exuding practical and simple elegance, the showers hot or cold were utterly more-ish, the beds ginormous, and Tanda Tula’s iconic peacefulness will challenge anyone to rise from slumber… siestas in this patch of bush veld should be trademarked! Having Lion, Leopard and Hyaena waltzing through camp was a sobering and most exciting constant reminder of where you are. Thanks to the whole team for a most enjoyable time and wonderful set of memories.

Room Tip: I had room number 1 and it was bliss!!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank ChristianBoix
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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