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“A Real Taste of Africa”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Real Taste of Africa”
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Umlani was a wonderful experience and a must do for anyone thinking of going to Africa. It combines a true rustic natural feel with comfort.
The accommodation was a wonderful experience. The food is excellent and the camp itself is truly memorable.
David, the host, has an infectious enthusiasm for the area and has a remarkable story of how he got there. Be sure to ask him when you're there.
The rangers and trackers are truly amazing people with a wealth of knowledge and a keen eye for spotting the animals on the twice daily safaris.
If you want the real taste of Africa, then you really should go here.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very similar. They are huts with en suites in a very natural setting. which ever o...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank skynnylyzyrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
Thank you for reviewing Umlani on TA and recommending us as a "must do" . best regards Marco
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431 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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Perth, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

David and his staff were excellent. They made our stay there memorable. The facilities were brilliant for bush camping with a few modern conveniences but still maintaining the bush experience. Game drives were excellent, Shaddrick as the driver and Robert as the trekker you couldn't have asked for a more professional team. Nothing was too difficult for David to sort out including sourcing some battery power for our friend's breathing machine, thank very much to D-Dog aka David. You will see us again.

Room Tip: Every room on the property was excellent.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Masons_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
Thank for review on TA , we look forward to seeing you again . best regards Marco
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darmstadt, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013

I just returned from a 12 night safari trip to South Africa where I spent five nights at Umlani Bushcamp. Umlani was the first campI selected for this trip because of the TA reviews that described the authentic nature of the camp.
I loved my stay at Umlani Bushcamp. From the moment you check in you realize that you're in a very different camp.
No cell phone reception, no WiFi, no electricity (except for charging your camera batteries), you are in "the Umlani bubble" as David, the manager, explained. The atmosphere in camp is very friendly, informal and just wonderful. There is a complete focus on the wilderness experience in the camp and on game drives without any of the distractions of cell phones or computers.
I had asked for a remote room and was given Riverview 1, a short walk from the main camp in complete isolation. It was a perfect choice for me, more rustic that some of the luxury camps but very spacious and comfortable with hyenas or buffalo visiting outside the tent and calls from nearby leopards and lions every night.
A unique feature of Umlani Bushcamp is their tree house, located at a waterhole some 5 min from camp. You can spend the night there or just a few hours during the day. I was very fortunate to go for three visits and loved watching the wildlife in complete peace and quiet.
The game drives in comfortable vehicles were excellent due to Ginger and Derrick, our ranger and tracker. We had spectacular and close encounters with just about any animal we wanted to see, especially lions and leopards. Ginger also took us on a very interesting bush walk.
The bar area, where lunch is served, has a nice view of a waterhole with lots of game activity. I enjoyed the food and the lively conversations during lunch/dinner or while enjoying drinks in the Boma.I was lucky to experience a very rare and special event where dinner was served in the dry river bed, lit by campfires with buffalo and hyenas watching from the bushes and a leopard roaring from nearby.
I fully recommend Umlani for anyone looking for a unique and authentic safari experience and a great camp atmosphere.

Room Tip: I had asked for a room away from the main part of the camp and stayed in Riverview 1, about 100m fro...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank joe64331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
Thank you for your informative review , it will help travelers understand the type of experience Umlani offers . We also appreciate you recommending us to other TA users . all the best Marco
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Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2013

We have just returned from our holiday in South Africa which culminated with a visit to Umlani for their "3-day special" which was great value. The whole atmosphere of the camp is a back-to-earth experience. The whole team always had a smile on their face and went out of their way to be accommodating. We even almost missed our transfer bus on our last drive because we persuaded our driver that we would rather risk that then miss the view of a female leopard with her 2 cubs - Thanks Ginger!!
The whole experience from the welcome, the food, the drives, the overnight in the tree house, the buffalo brushing against the outside of the hut at 3am, and the mornings spent overlooking the animals visiting the watering hole was simply outstanding. I, my wife and 13-year old son will never forget it.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank FamilyP-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 23 August 2013
Thank you for your review of Umlani and mentioning that our three night special is great value .
I am also happy to read your experience of Umlani was outstanding and that you and your family will never forget it. Hope to see you again some day in the future. All the best Marco
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Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 August 2013

Of all the places we visited in our African adventure, Umlani continues to stand out in our memories. The staff, accommodations, food, and surroundings were exceptional. When David, the charming camp manager, suggested that we spend a night in their tree house, 3.5 km from camp, he told us it would probably be our only chance to be "unsupervised in the African bush!" He also told us it would be an experience we would not soon forget. He was right! And, the entire Umlani experience is one we will not soon forget!

Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Pegwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 23 August 2013
Thank you for your review and the mentioning the tree house experience.I am pleased you thought Umlani stood out in your memories of your Africa adventure
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tzaneen, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed 12 August 2013

We had a wonder full time, staff were very friendly, informative and help full.We had a very comfortable bed and spacious room.The tree house was a good touch. Timbarvati is only an hour from our home, Ill be back.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Bok726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 23 August 2013
thank you for the "wow" we appreciate your review and look forward to your return visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 August 2013

From arrival to departure from Umlani the staff were incredible. Happy all the time and helpful and on top of their game. An absolute pleasure to experience. The rooms are stunning and comfortable. Food, breakfasts, lunch and suppers were outstanding - compliments to the chefs. Our stay overall was truly one for our books and we have recommended and will recommenUmlani to anyone and everyone. We did not expect to see not even half of the animals that we did. Learned a lot from rangers and guides etc. Will be back. Five stars

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Kiley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 12 August 2013
Thank you for your review it was a pleasure to read ....... the Umlani team will be very proud that you thought they were incredible and on top of their game. We also appreciate you recommending us to other travellers . all the best Marco
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #5 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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