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.
- 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