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“Unforgettable!”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Unforgettable!”
Reviewed 25 March 2014

This was our first safari bush camp and the whole experience was unforgettable! Apart from the excellent guides and abundance of wildlife, the bush camp was very rustic but perfect! We absolutely loved the cabins lit by candlelight, the great atmosphere at meal times, the charm of all members of staff. But without a doubt, the highlight was spending one night on a treehouse, right above a water hole - our family cuddled up, the animals below us, the beautiful stars above us - truly magical and an experience all of us will treasure forever.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank L N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 7 May 2014
We feel honoured to have been your first Widlife Safari experience and happy to hear you loved the cabins and enjoyed the atmosphere of Umlani. Also very pleased to hear that your tree house sleep out was your highlight and a memory you will treasure forever. Awesome thank you.
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431 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
220 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Great safari experience. Met all our expectations. Game drives were superb, made especially enjoyable by Elvis, our game driver, who was knowledgeable, witty and determined to find all animals. Saw nearly every possible animal the first evening (a stroke of luck), but continued to enjoy the remaining five drives as we saw animals in different environments and circumstances. Food was good, with plenty of variety and options. Accommodation is in reed-walled buts with thatch roofs. Note the following, so that you are not surprised. No electricity, cell phone service or wifi (despite what Booking.com says). Camera, phone and computer charging is available at a central location. Huts have solar flashlights which work well, but no chairs or tables —must go to the bar or dining areas to sit or work at a table. Like nearly all African places, beds had duvets which were often too hot if you used them and too cold if you didn’t. A sheet and a single light blanket would work better. We stayed three nights, which we enjoyed, but two nights is probably adequate if budgets or time is tight. Be sure to arrive prior to lunch served at 1:30. Tipping of drivers, staff and “hosts” is expected (the service was good), so budget accordingly.

Room Tip: We had Hut #8 which is centrally located and very convenient for all the public facilities (charging...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ron and Jeanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 7 May 2014
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor we are pleased to have met your expectations .Elvis says thank you for mentioning him "it feels good".
Thank you also for your valuable feed back concerning a lite blanket and your useful suggestions to other possible visitors.
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014 via mobile

Our stay with Marco and the team at Umlani was just what we had hoped for: submerged deeply into the bush, no unrequired pampering and unneeded comforts, yet with an attending and pleasant host and a superb team to cater for our every need. The rondovals are great and the beds very comfortable. Goodness, the chef, made wonders for us at all times - she even produced a surprise birthday cake for our daughters 14th birthday. The fact that the camp is solely lit with lanterns and bonfires adds another dimension to the sensation of being in the wild. Evening meals are consumed under open sky or around the large group table, while catching up on the day's sightings. Shady and Robert, our ranger and tracker, spared no effort to seek out the best sightings in Timbavati, and tracked down all Big Five and more during our wonderfull three days and nights. Hyena, white lion (!) and plenty of impala ("McDonalds of the bush", as Shady called out every time we found them, to everyones' amusement). The camp is small, so we felt very much like family. And no cell coverage - what a releaf - but though with the capacity to charge your camera - you will need this! We hope to be back.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank JMK_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 5 May 2014
Thank you for your great review on Tripadvisor we appreciate it . Goodness , Shaddy and Robert were happy to be mentioned .
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New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Looking for more of a rustic Safari experience with a personal and intimate flavor? Look no further than Umlani with its wonderful service, lamp lit huts and glorious location. I've been here twice and plan a third visit in the near future (from the US and UK). On both visits we were lucky enough to witness scores of Elephants move through the camp and even a pride of Lions spending the night on amongst the huts which made our hearts skip a beat the following morning when asked to temporarily remain inside! The tracking crews are second to none and the all round atmosphere/dining/socializing experience is one we'll keep coming back for.

Room Tip: All rooms are equal but some may be more subject to nosy wildlife than others!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 7 March 2014
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor .....happy to hear you returning in the near future. We are motivated by your sense of adventure and appreciation of the Umlani experience .

thank you ...all the best Marco
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

We recently spent 2 nights at the camp and thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. The huts are amazing, the team cannot do enough for you and we had the best (and comfiest) game drives of all the places we stayed. Our guides Shadey and 'milkandsugar' (sorry Robert) were really enthusiastic and managed to find us some amazing animals and some great memories. Do not hestitate to book and have a great time! Thanks

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank newboldi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Thank you for your recommendation and review of Umlani .....Shaddy and Robert will be delighted to hear that their game drives topped all the other places you stayed at.

best regards Marco
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Jerusalem, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2014 via mobile

I recently spent 5 glorious days at lovely Umlani (my second visit in a year) with 8 friends to celebrate my birthday (as I did last year). It was the best birthday ever. I was given a surprise birthday celebration at sunset on our last evening game drive. We arrived at our sundowner spot to find a banquet set up for us complete with sparkling wine, a birthday cake and snacks. The camp was as lovely as ever. The huts understated luxury is fabulous and the staff, service and food just perfect. Elvis our guide and Derrick our tracker were the best of the best - even finding me my birthday leopard as well as the illusive white lioness. A fabulous place that makes memories to last a lifetime. Look no further for a fantastic bush adventure experience. I can't wait to go back agin and again.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Jo O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Thank you for your lovely review on tripadvisor I am very pleased to hear that your Birthday celebration at Umlani was the best ever. We look forward to welcoming to back again. I will share your review with Elvis and Derek .

Best wishes Marco
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Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

After visiting about two dozen countries and hundreds of cities/towns around the world, I would rate the Umlani experience as one of the most amazing and authentic I've ever had.
Umlani is highly recommended for anybody considering going on a Kruger Safari.

Umlani staff went out of the way to ensure a very memorable first anniversary.
What I liked most was the absence of electricity and the open showers, it just made the bush experience so real.
The staff was very friendly, Thembi, Katy, Nanette and everybody else ensured we felt at home and we had a great time with you all.
Special thanks for:
1) Elvis for showing us an amazing time at the game drives, wealth of knowledge, humor and the 2 hour bush walk !
2) Derek for spotting the big 5 especially the Leopard on a tree during a Thunderstorm !
3) Chef Goodness for the amazing meals !


We would love to come back next time we're in South Africa.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank has1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Wow....... thank you for the awesome review. The whole team appreciates you highly recommending Umlani for other travelers considering a Kruger Safari .
Elvis ,Derek ,Nanette, Katy,Thembi,Goodness and the rest of the team all look forward to your next visit.

Best regards Marco
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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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