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“A real adventure in luxurious surroundings”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 May 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Umlani for 4 nights and took part in the daily safari drives. No matter what I say, it won't be enough to show my appreciation for the amazing experience we had there. The guides who took us out were so very knowledgable and went out of their way to make sure we saw the Big 5. Despite what some people may think, the animals are not just waiting for tourists to drive by and see them. It takes a lot of work from the guides to understand and track the animals and Umlani guides (particularly Ginger) are very dedicated to their job. We went out each morning as well as each evening. The meals were wonderful and the staff treated us like old friends. The evening sundowner drink while on safari was a favourite of mine. The bush huts we stayed in are a wonderful experience of their own and if you haven't ever showered in an outdoor shower, this is the place to do it. If you want the experience and feel of a safari but not feel like you're camping, this is the place to do it. This was one of the most relaxing, inspiring and special experiences I have ever had.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank sallyinaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2013

Wow...... thank you it was a pleasure reading your review. Your review will inspire us to keep it up and it was special for us to hear how much you enjoyed the experience. thanks again Marco

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280 - 286 of 460 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2013

We spent two nights in Umlani bushcamp but I wished we would have stayed longer! Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the Umlani family and they introduced us to this wonderful camp. The camp itself is not large, which makes the experience even greater. The rondavels (tents) are just amazing: you could hear all the animals during the night and also the bathroom just outside the tent was a great experience. The knowledge which was shared was outstanding, and very passionate. The fact that there was no electricity in the tents was a great experience too.. no lights, only candles which added value to the already great atmosphere. The food was delicious and we were taken care off during whole the time being there. The game drives were unforgettable too. We have seen the whole Big Five and also some other wild cats and hyenas. We have stayed in many different accommodations already but I can honestly say that this must have been the best. Thanks again to the wonderful family of Umlani, we enjoyed every minute being there!

Room Tip: All tents are good!
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Bas_891991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 17 May 2013

Thank you for your review on Trip Advisor ,I was pleased that you felt no electricity (no lights) added value to the already great atmosphere. The Umlani family hope to welcome you back some day in the future.

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Reviewed 29 April 2013

Words cannot describe our experience at Umlani. Not even the rain could dampen our spirits at arrival. The warm and welcoming atmosphere from our hosts David and Gavin to the rest of the staff made it an amazing experience.

The staff went above and beyond to enhance our experience of the bush like enjoying a glass of amarula around the bond fire to warm us up after the evening drive. Meal times were always a treat as the food was spectacular and good conversation was had all around. The game drives are breathe taking, and can only be understood first hand. We were there for 2 nights and the game rangers made sure that we saw the big 5 including leopard with its kill. The game rangers have extensive knowledge of the bush and the experience they provide is truly amazing..

Lastly, I definitely will recommend Umlani as the best place for a TRUE african experience. We could keep writing forever, but I hope this has given the reader an idea of the beauty that is Umlani.

Miguel and Victoria

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Miguel7Andre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2013

Amazing review thank you , your description of the place ,the Game drives, good conversation and the staff going above and beyond is very helpful to us and others. I especially appreciate that you consider it the best place for a true African experience. best regards Marcio

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Reviewed 28 April 2013

We spent 3 nights there(wish it had been longer) from the time we were met on our arrival by David the manager to his wishing us a safe journey it was Amazing! We had nt read any reviews before and so were pleasantly surprised to find the huts had no electricity but all the comfort you need for the short time you spent in them. The game drives were fantastic and we saw almost all animals (missed wild dogs & cheetah's). The guides & trackers were really knowledgeable and the staff were friendly and always willing to help, the meals were great and we were fortunate to be able to share them with great people. We have already recommended to everyone we talk to!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2013

Thank you for your review and for recommending Umlani to others .I was very pleased to hear that you found your stay to be Amazing. best regards Marco

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Reviewed 23 April 2013

What the game lodge guest really wants to experience is the wildlife, and we saw it all, lions, leopards, elephant buffalo, hyena and much much more.
The camp needs to be part of the experience too, and it definitely was. The camp chooses to be without electricity and uses this to its full advantage. (It has won a number of sustainability awards). It was wonderful to come "home" after the game drives at night and walk through a camp lit up by lamps and fires. The camp itself is small and personable, set above a riverbed and has a small, refreshing pool. You can also spend half a day (or night) at a treehouse 3 kms away on the water and read a book as you keep a watch out for animals. The rooms are tastefully African and quite open. I loved the open sky shower. You can lie in bed at night under your mosquito net and listen to the African sounds, including a few hyenas. My kids were excited by the tracks they found the next morning. One of the highlights at this camp was having the evening meal transferred down to the dry riverbed where we enjoyed our meal and fine wine in the candlelight, protected by a roaring ring of fires. A great effort by the staff.
The best part of the camp however was the manager, a host more accurately put. He is passionate about the camp and what it represents and welcomes everyone as a friend. I have never before experienced a camp manager welcoming his guests back to the camp personally after every single game drive.
This game lodge will appeal to the discerning game park visitor that has been to a few camps before and is looking for something different.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2013

Great review thank you ,your review and description of the experience is a wonderful reference for travelers looking for something different as you mentioned . David is over the moon with your special mention of him. All the best Marco

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Reviewed 21 April 2013

Umlani was welcoming from the start. A group of huts, traditional rondavels with comfy beds under mosquito nets. There's no electricity here so the oil lamps were on all night at a comforting low level. You could here scuffles and grunts from the outside and in the morning, you could play tracker with the prints. It was boggling.
Morning and afternoon drives with lots of animals and an excitingly close encounter with a rhino. The guides were brimming over with knowledge and stories of the animals. Coming back in the evening to talk around the fire in the boma followed by dinner by candlelight. The food was lovely and the starlight conversations with people from all over the world we will remember forever.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank helkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2013

Thank you for your review I am glad to hear that Umlani was welcoming and that you enjoyed the experience also that you will remember your conversation with people from all over the world forever.
Marco

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Reviewed 21 April 2013 via mobile

Make sure Elvis is your guide/ranger. He's a local that knows the area and animals very well, and has the energy to make your game drives memorable.

The rooms/huts are fine. Nothing fancy, but comfortable enough.

The food is pretty good, though rustic in a way.

The grounds are great. You have the watering hole across the dry riverbed. The paths a nice. The "bar" area is great and relaxing, and affords views of the watering hole, where many animals could be spotted during our stay.

This place is not for the faint of heart though. Animals regularly came through at night - buffalo, leopard and a nyala (or similar... We saw it during the day and weren't quite sure). We heard the buffalo at night and the staff confirmed the tracks in the sand/gravel around the grounds.

Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank BostonMikeD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2013

Thank you for your review and recommendation , Elvis will especially enjoy your comment about him ,.
all the best to you Marco

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Additional Information about Umlani Bushcamp

Address: 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: £364 - £518 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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