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Umlani Bushcamp
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Reviews (475)
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239 - 244 of 475 reviews
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Excellent for a reset. Getting away from your business and close to nature within seconds. The game drives are an experience. I never have been so close to wild animals, esp. predators! The rangers are well organized.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Burkhard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2014

Thank you for your review of Umlani , reset is a good analogy for what effect nature has on the human spirit.

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Reviewed 18 May 2014

You feel like you are in the bush, no electricity - oil lamps, open showers, wonderful cuisine and so authentic. The satff are wonderful, the safaris fantastic. The trackers (Elvis & Robert) really try to get you to see the big animals. We saw 8 male rhinos on one trip and we were so close.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Linda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

Thank you for your review .......... we are pleased you enjoyed the Umlani experience and found the Safaris fantastic and the staff wonderful . We hope to welcome you back again some day . Best regards Marco

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Reviewed 12 May 2014

We went to Umlani Bushcamp for 4 nights of our Honeymoon.

Rondavel Number 8
Private end Rondavel which suited us perfectly, with sun-loungers for basking in the glorious sunshine after an early morning bush drive. Outside shower, open bathroom. Comfortable very large bed. Shared our room with a Gheko which was fine, he was by the oil burner every evening waiting for his supper. He was successful on a few occasions that we witnessed. Had a lovely bottle of champagne waiting for us after our afternoon bush drive to celebrate our Honeymoon.
We could hear the wildlife literally walking by at night and Lions roaring in the distance.

Bush Drives
Excellent! We had 7 bush drives in the 5 days we were there. Saw the Big 5 (and much more) which was an experience we will never forget. The memories will stay with us forever. The drives are fairly comfortable if there are no more than 6/7 to a vehicle. It can be quite bumpy and at this time of year quite cold first thing in the morning and at night so warm attire is needed even though you may be in shorts in the day. They have blankets for keeping you warm. The spotters will do their best to find what you would like to see and they communicate with other spotters in the area who may have come across some of the big 5 so you should always get to see something on every drive. You may not see the big 5 and this was the case for a couple who only stayed for 2 nights so 3/4/5 nights would be the recommendation.
Shadrack and Robert were our driver and tracker. They were friendly and tried to accommodate our safari requests. (So 'thank you' to them) They prepare your coffee and tea on your morning drive and organise your 'sundowner' on your evening drive whilst watching the gorgeous sunset.

Bush Walk
This was an experience we will never forget. We went for 1 bush walk for 3 hours at 6am. Shadrack took us along with his rifle, at first we felt apprehensive about being so vulnerable to any wild/free animal that we would encounter but Shadrack was so professional all fears disappeared and turned into excitement. We tasted and sniffed different leaves and shrubs and found out some very interesting facts about trees and termite mounds. My husband won the furthest Giraffe poo spitting competition. Yes "Giraffe Poo" apparently you can't leave South Africa until you have had a go at this so it had to be done. I was not good at it at all.

Food and Drink
Bread/rolls was the most amazing bread I have ever tasted in my life. Literally melts on your tongue. Pesto with apples and celery was such a lovely combination. Lots of the food we ate was things we would never consider putting together but really worked well together and tasted delightful. We were well fed. Every meal morning, afternoon and evening we thoroughly enjoyed. We did on many occasions go up and have second helpings as food was served buffet style apart from second part of breakfast which was served to you as requested from choices given such as poached egg, bacon and beans but there was also a buffet option that you could have as well of fruit and cereal and yoghurt that was really tasty with the fresh fruit.
Drinks were all inclusive. The wine both red and white were nice. You could always have a lager or cider if you preferred. They had a selection of spirits as well. You have to try the Amarula.

Staff
Friendly. Morne and Melissa were our hosts who are expecting their first child any day now so hopefully their bundle of joy has arrived and is making them very happy! They were so friendly and often sat with us while we dined morning, afternoon and evening. Lots of great stories to tell and generally friendly and sociable people. The cooks and Boma staff were very friendly and efficient as well. Always smiling.

Overall Experience
Excellent! Loved every second of our stay and would highly recommend it to those who are open minded and happy to try out new experiences. You need to be quite sociable too as it is quite an intimate affair at meal times, which we are so that was fine with us. Having no electricity was no problem at all. But to charge your camera they had an area to do this which worked fine. No other need for electricity as we had torches provided in the room, brought our own and had oil lamps.
Having a hot shower at a cold 5am, in the pitch black under the stars (torch lit only) was an experience we will never forget but would recommend it to everyone.
You need to remember that you are in the bush and need your wits about you. Other animals will join you within the camp so be vigilant. (monkeys raided our rondavel) After evening meals and drinks we requested to be escorted to our room at around 8:30PM (you can stay up later if you desire) where we would be confided to the room until the morning so there is no walking around after dark allowed. The paradox of becoming 'an animal' in the cage is humbling. We were happy staying in the rooms as an early night is needed for the early morning starts.

Room Tip: Rondavel 8 was on the end so more private than most of the others
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank ThomasTC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

Thank you for your informative review , it will help possible travelers decide whether Umlani suits their respective preference .
We are very pleased to read that over all , you found the Umlani experience to be excellent and that you loved every second , particularly that you highly recommended Umlani to open minded ,social travelers who like to try some thing different.
Hope you can visit us again some day maybe for a future wedding anniversary ?

Best regards Marco

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Reviewed 12 May 2014

We visited Umlani after celebrating my brother's wedding. Bein able to see the animals in the wild going about their business as usual was amazing and definitely worth the visits from the spiders and frogs in our hut. The food was excellent and the atmosphere very welcoming and relaxed.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank JoTuo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

Thank you for your review ..... I am pleased to read you liked the atmosphere of Umlani and it was definitely worth the visit. All the best Marco

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Reviewed 8 May 2014

We stayed at Umlani from 10th - 13th April, we are 2 adults and our 15 year old daughter Emily. It was our 25th Wedding Anniversary trip and Umlani staff had left us some sparkling wine, and decorated the bed in our Rondavel - that made us feel very special indeed.

From the moment we got there - when lunch had been saved for us, to our first game drive, everything was superb. We knew we had no electricity in the Rondavels but the oil lamps and torches gave everything a lovely glow, we brought 3 torches with us which really helped in the dark.

Our driver - Sinhle and tracker - Ephraim were excellent. We saw so many animals and many very close up. Lions, elephants, white rhino, wild dogs, hyeanas, giraffe, zebra, leopard, hippo and many more. The 2 guys tried so hard to make sure all on the Land Rover saw as much as possible in each 3 hour trip. We did 6 game drives in all and certainly could have stayed even longer given the chance.

The food prepared by Goodness and her staff was lovely - expecially the evening meals, eating outside by oil lamp will stay in my memory for a long time. The experience of eating with other people in the camp, from different countries with shared experiences of the days game drives was great.

The housekeeping staff were also great, beds made up every day, clean towels and the mosquito nets made ready for us every evening, thanks for the little touches like liquid soap and shampoo in the shower. The outside shower - under the stars was a real experience and one that I would re-visit in the future given the chance!!

The staff could not have done more for us and Morne and Melissa were great hosts as were Katie and Thembe.

We all enjoyed the experience and would certainly re-visit there if we are coming back to South Africa in the near future. The biggest plus points were the intimate nature of Umlani and all the staff being there to help make the guests experience as memorable as possilble.

Maigread, Richard and Emily Wood - Hereford

Room Tip: We were a short walk from reception, no issues with the room or the area around us. We were escorted to our room by a guide or member of staff in the dark due to the fact that the camp is in the bush and guest safety was paramount.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Maigread 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 29 May 2014

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor we appreciatte it , Sinhle ,Ephram , Goodness ,Morne',Melissa ,Thembi and Katie are all pleased to have been mentioned . We are happy to read that you enjoyed the intimate nature of Umlani and we hope you can revisit some day again in the future. best regards Marco

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