We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Wonderful Camp in RSA”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Ohio USA
Level Contributor
126 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Wonderful Camp in RSA”
Reviewed 24 December 2013

Overall I give this camp a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I would definitely recommend this camp for those visiting South Africa and the Kruger area. Having said this, let me say I consider myself a rather seasoned safari traveler having done 6 month long safaris since 2004 to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. South Africa is wonderful for a first time safari, however for those more seasoned and used to safaris in Botswana and Zambia - the "purists" and traditional safari persons - this may be a bit disappointing as far as safaris go. But if you have to do a safari trip to South Africa, this camp will not disappoint.

Tanda Tula is quite a lovely camp. The camp tries to maintain the "feeling" of a real luxury bush camp (albeit with electricity and more modern conveniences than many true bush camps I have been to). The grounds are immaculately cared for and abundant in a wide variety of flora. The camp is surrounded by an electrified fence to keep out the larger animals (ie elephants) but you will find warthog, nyala, bushbuck etc... walking around the grounds and allowing you to get very near in proximity. The pool area is lovely. The pool is a good size (albeit it icy cold, but it feels great on a hot afternoon), there are plenty of chaise lounge chairs around the pool to relax on, try for one under an umbrella as the sun can get intense. From the pool you can see the waterhole in the distance and we were able to watch giraffe and impala and kudu coming to drink in the afternoons while swimming in the pool. The staff is TOP NOTCH!

Common Areas: The lounge and bar is typical of what you find in the african luxury bush camps. Sofas and oversized chairs often of leather and plenty of seating, books to read, and a well stocked bar area with a great bartender :-) - Ask them if they remember how to make a "white lion" (a drink created by a regular guide brought in to help named Martin) it is awesome! Dinners are served with all guests together in the Boma area and always a joy. Lunch is usually a buffet served in the main common area at individual tables organized by tent or "groups" traveling together (I was at times the only one at my table - I had no problem with that as I traveled by myself to the camp - however other guests "felt bad" for me and invited me to eat with them, as a result I met some lovely people at camp). Breakfasts began to be served in the dry riverbed when I was there as the season permitted it, it was a typical american style buffet breakfast with eggs and bacon etc... being prepared as they were ordered at the fire (see my picture).

Tents: The tents are in one word, luxurious. Large and spacious with a writing desk and a separate dressing table and mirror in the main tent area. They provide you with all you need (and yes sadly there is electricity for those who insist on using a hair dryer etc..). Your bed is large and very comfortable and there is even a heated mattress pad on it for those really cold winter nights. There are electric fans to cool you in the heat of the day. They supply you with some lovely liqueur in the room in case you don't want to trek over to the bar and lounge area. Writing and sketching tablets and pencils are also provided. Linens are top quality and the rooms are immaculately maintained. A turn down service is done for you, and often a small chocolate can be found on your pillow (or in my case on the floor as a squirrel decided to break into my room and nibble on it and was frightened away). I do not recommend having ANY food in your soft sided luggage in the room, as the squirrels will gnaw right through the luggage to get to the food (welcome to Africa). Management was so sweet they offered to pay to replace my duffle bag, which I found unnecessary, as the fault really was mine having had the snacks in my bag. The bathroom is separated by a curtain and is very spacious. There is an open closet and small safe for your valuables (and food stuffs) and a wonderful ball n claw footed bathtub for a nice long bubble bath after your morning drives. Your shower is located through sliding glass doors outside underneath the trees and overlooking the dry river bed below. By the way watch out for the monkeys in the trees, they don't always like it when you shower underneath them and they may throw things at you. On your private viewing deck in front of the tent are 2 chairs and a table overlooking the dry riverbed, you can sometimes see hyena and nyala impala kudu etc... walking in the river bed or crossing it. Be advised also do not leave items on your deck as the monkey like to run away with them! (This is Africa).

Food: Yummy! Thanks to everyone in the kitchen staff food was delish and plenty of it.

Game Life: Hmmm this is a tough one. Timbavati is known for its white lions, that was in part why I chose this camp to end my month long trip (sadly they had not been seen in some time when I was here, in fact they had moved on to the north). Game around the camp seemed sparse, but please understand game goes where it wants and at times there may be an abundance and other times they might move on, this is in no way a reflection on the camp itself. The really great thing about Tanda Tula is they have traversing rights with a few other "responsible" camps in the area and between ALL the camps there was great game viewing! Although there were a definite lack of ellies in this area (I had seen more than enough in the Lower Zambezi, South Luangwa and Hwange already this trip) there was still plenty of other game. I spent 4 nights here at camp, and saw the wild dogs twice (2 different packs one with its 3-4 month old pups), 2 rhino sightings - one while chasing the dogs. And of course abundance of giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala, birdlife galore, a couple of lion sightings (no cubs or entire prides but a few males and 1 female) and a couple of leopard sightings. Oh and I should mention as a bonus en route to the airport 2 cheetahs just happened to cross the tar road in front of us and rest up under a tree... a great sighting.

Recommendations: Ask for Scotch if you are an avid birder. The man knows exactly what page every bird is found on and what number the bird is in the book, he is amazing. He also has a knack for spotting all kinds of things! (It is instinct for him).


Negatives: Sadly they overload the vehicles with guests. At times we were 3 across in every row and a person was forced to sit in the front with the driver (a poor viewing platform IMHO). I am not used to this and this is really the only negative thing I would have to say as far as Tanda Tula goes. This is why I only give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Maybe this is one area they can improve on for next time.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Cindy-Milford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

422 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    392
    26
    3
    1
    0
See reviews for
84
224
18
5
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • 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
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
124 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

This was our first time on safari and it truly was once in a lifetime experience. From the moment you are Ickes p at the airport you are surrounded by knowledgable and passionate people. From your seasoned guide (Scotch) to a excellent tracker (Patrick) they found the "needles in the haystack" and we did to leave disappointed.

The acclamations in the luxury tents were amazing. Listening to elephants and hyenas in front of your door helped me realize that we were in the zoo not the animals.

Meals were excellent with a wake up call with French pressed coffee at the entrance to your tent. And then whisked off to see the beautiful animals in the bush. Breakfast waits in the bush then back to the large to relax and enjoy until lunch. A beautiful main lodge was full of books and comfortable furniture and always a smiling Harry at the bar to congregate at to share the animal stories of the morning.

After lunch back to relaxing and then tea and cakes at followed by a evening ride and enjoy drinks and watching the sun set.

Back tithe lodge you are greeted by staff and roaoring fires in the main loads and then the most incentive and exquisite dinners.

You felt Tanda Thula was not only a safari lodge. The owners passionate not only about the bush and protecting it but their staff. This was a family.

We loved our stay and made a lifetime dream a reality better than imagined.

Room Tip: There are many lodges all oer Africa but quality and service is excellent here and you cannot beat t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nocomment26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 12 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adam O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
20.4 mi away
Kapama River Lodge
Kapama River Lodge
#4 of 4 in Kapama Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 1,633 reviews
9.1 mi away
Motswari Private Game Reserve
Motswari Private Game Reserve
#1 of 17 in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 673 reviews
5.7 mi away
Kambaku Safari Lodge
Kambaku Safari Lodge
#3 of 17 in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 598 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
7.1 mi away
Senalala Luxury Safari Camp
Senalala Luxury Safari Camp
#1 of 14 in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 219 reviews
1.7 mi away
Kings Camp
Kings Camp
#7 of 17 in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 356 reviews
2.4 mi away
Umlani Bushcamp
Umlani Bushcamp
#4 of 17 in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 425 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Tanda Tula Safari Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with South African Hotels, Booking.com, Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your Tanda Tula Safari Camp reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Tanda Tula Safari Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Tanda Tula Safari Camp South Africa/Kruger National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing