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“Fantastic experience with great people”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience with great people”
Reviewed 7 January 2012

First the disclaimer, this is somewhat primitive. These are open air huts and there is no fence surrounding the camp. If you are squeamish or accustomed to only 5 star hotels, this is not the place for you. There are critters everywhere and the animals have free access to the camp.

Having said that, if you are willing to deal with a few critters, you will be handsomely rewarded! David and his staff are fantastic. They are accommodating, friendly, and genuinely interested in ensuring that all guests have a great time. The food is delicious and always involves local cuisines. The camp is an oasis of relaxation. You can sit on the deck, sipping the free drinks, and watch any number of animals drink from the waterhole. The actual photo safaris are with guides and trackers who are friendly, knowledgeable and willing to talk about the plants and animals encountered. We saw 50+ different kinds of exotic animals. On one trip alone, we saw all of the big 5. The white lion was a special treat.

Probably the highlight of the trip was the night we spent in the treehouse. It is about a mile from camp in the middle of the bush It overlooks a waterhole with a resident hippo and crocodile. We were left alone with flashlights (electric torches), mattresses covered by mosquito netting and a radio in case we needed help. During the night we heard an assortment of sounds but the highlight was when a pride of lions killed an impala on the other side of the waterhole and we were treated with sounds of growling and roaring all night long as they fought over the kill. I can't imagine a more authentic experience.

Room Tip: Rooms 7 and 8 are on the edge of the camp and thus closer to the roaming animals!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ddarche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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431 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2012

Umlani is unique!! We were pleasantly surprised with the rooms and especially happy with the attention and service of the staff! Authentic Safari atmosphere. The no electricity just adds to the experience... lamps added to the Umlani "feel"!
Great staff that went the extra to insure your happiness. Food was amazing!

Thank you for a great trip for my family! I'd do it again, tomorrow! Hmmm...?

Be prepared for bugs. Nothing to worry about... just a lot of bugs. Aftre the first dinner, you get used to them and they are not a problem!

Room Tip: All good...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dr0119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London England
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2011

We stayed at Umlani in early Dec 2011. The place was just amazing from start to end. The service of the staff was excellent - they just can't do enough for you. The safari drivers were just superb and fun/friendly and they really know their stuff and go to every length to go and see an animal or just answer any questions you may have. As for seeing animals we saw everything and within 5 minutes of our first safari we had seen Elephants, cheetah, the resident hippo, fish eagle etc etc. The evenings are magical with candles etc and you actually forget you don't have electricity (there is a room you can power up your camera though). The food and drink was just superb and you were never hungry. If you want to stay somewhere authentic and natural and 'in the bush' then I would certainly stay here again. Thanks Umlani for such a lovely trip and wonderful memories.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank caz_ford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 13 December 2011

We stayed at Umlani for three nights in August 2011. As soon as we arrived the hosts were very welcoming and although we were late they still gave us a quick lunch and we were on our way on our first safari. The serivce and staff were fantastic, the guides were knowledgeable and the accommodation was comfortable. I would recommend this place to anyone. We would definetly stay here again. Paul and Heidi.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank HPC07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2011

I stayed 3 nights in Umlani Bushcamp and from the moment that I got there the service was excellent. They waited until I arrived before we went on a game drive. Elvis and Hendrik was great and very good with tracking the animals. David just made sure everybody was fine and he is a excellent host. You can see that he enjoys the bush. The treehouse was a great experience. Thank you for making the stay unforgettable.

Kind regards
Agnes Prinsloo

Felleng tours

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Felleng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
Reviewed 27 October 2011

Experiencing the bush at Umlani: We were there and got it. Unforgettable game drives with our rangers Ginger and Shady.
Staying in the bush at Umlani: They made us feel very special and very happy.

They have excellent food and excellent service. Endless hospitality every moment from David and all team members and staff.

Thank you for the honeymoon champagne. All foods, drinks, transfers, whatever, with no additional charge. Just paid the conservation fee to Timbavati.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lebovvski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethesda, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2011

We just spent five days at this unbelievable camp and loved every second. We saw the Big 5 in our first game drive as well as chased wild dogs as they stalked prey through the bush. Good food, great staff, and nice accommodations. It is a paradisw

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Thsnitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Umlani Bushcamp

Property: Umlani Bushcamp
Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Umlani Bushcamp 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Umlani Bushcamp, a rustic yet exclusive lodge, accommodates guests in cozy en-suite reed and thatch rondavels. Early morning and evening game drives are in open four wheel drive vehicles accompanied by experienced rangers and trackers offers exceptional game viewing opportunitys. Umlani makes the whole event personalized and specializes in escorted walks into this unspoiled wilderness. Umlani, meaning Place of Rest, was established in 1990 by Marco and Marie-Louise Schiess, in the central section of the Timbavati Nature Reserve, which is part of the greater Kruger National Park. Umlani is the perfect nature lovers choice. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Umlani Bushcamp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Umlani Bushcamp South Africa/Kruger National Park

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