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“Umlani Bushcamp provides the Big 5- food, friendly atmosphere, wildlife, comfort , relaxation”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Umlani Bushcamp provides the Big 5- food, friendly atmosphere, wildlife, comfort , relaxation”
Reviewed 17 May 2010

Our family of 3 (us +15 yr old daughter) spent 3 nights @ Umlani as part of a Peregrine Tour. As we were the only people on our tour we were glad to have the fantastic people and atmosphere of Umlani. We saw so many animals and birds on the 6 game drives, ranger Ginger and tracker Hendrick were fearless letting no tree or bush get in the Rover's way when in pursuit of such animals as Wild dogs, leopard, rhino etc The highlight of the adventure was spending the night in the Treehouse. We saw a male leopard on the way to the Treehouse but there was not much around all night. A little daunted at the prospect of being so high and without a loo, I decided to spend a few hours and then get picked up and return to camp. In the morning, spotlighting still didnt show much and I decided that I just "had to go", it was at this time that Kira pointed out the leopard at the bottom of the ladder to the treehouse. Not surprisingly I forgot about anything else but spotlighting the beautiful creature below us, hoping he didnt feel like climbing the tree! Great excitment and our own private close up experience with him. We loved Umlani, staff excellent, food terrific and environment wonderful, hardly any mozzies either. Hoping to return another time soon. Loved it.

Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank AnnieHMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 25 March 2011
Thank you for your review of Umlani Bushcamp we appreciate it. Marco
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Vancouver
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2010

I cannot say enough about Umlani. The staff were fantastic (especially the trackers and guides/drivers), the food good, the game viewing great but overall it was the ambiance that won me. The setting in the bush was lovely and the candle light due to no electricity made the entire camp very romantic after sundown.

Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank frequentflyer7489
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 25 March 2011
Thanks a million for your review of Umlani Bushcamp I appreciate it very much. Regards Marco Schiess
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lymington
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2010

7 hours a day in the bush which passed like lightning, gorgeous food, free drink, excellent bed, attentive staff. Whay more could you ask?

Living in a hut with no electricity was great fun, the location, just across the dried up riverbed from a busy waterhole, was great: you could sit in the bar and watch the animals moving through to drink.

Charging phones and cameras was easy, meals with the staff were fascinatng and an excellent way to learn about Africa.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LymingtonSailorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, 25 March 2011
Thank you for your review of Umlani Bushcamp I appreciate it very much hope to see you again one day. Marco
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somersham, Cambs
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2010

This was the first stop on a three week holiday, and it proved to be a superb start to a holiday of a lifetime.
The drive into the camp was an interesting experience, we drove along a dirt track and through a couple of dry riverbeds for 4.5km, encountering a male giraffe feeding right next to the track and a little further a herd of Impala crossed our path. Not to bad a journey when the weather was dry, but would have been a little more difficult had there been a lot of rain.
On arrival in camp we were made to feel very welcome and were shown to our Hut. Within an hour we were in our Land rover with Ginger our Ranger on our first game drive. We were very lucky and saw all the big five in our first drive. Ginger was very knowledgeable on all the wildlife we encountered not just the big five.
The food through out our stay was superb and varied and served with a smile.
There is no electricity in the huts or dining areas, it is lit by Paraffin lamps which gives the whole camp an authentic feel. It does make for an interesting experience undressing and dressing in near darkness. (I arrived at 5.30am for our first morning drive with my T-shirt inside out, but no one apart from my wife was in the least bit worried)
After the morning drive breakfast was awaiting us, we then had the rest of the day to relax, either sleeping swimming in the pool, reading or having a chat and discussion with other guests on the deck overlooking the waterhole where there were always buffalo and other animals to watch.
Lunch was heralded at 2pm with the beating of the drum. Afternoon drive was at 4pm.
All in all a very relaxing start to our holiday.
My best experience was when ginger found a Leopard and we followed and watched it for 45 mins, really fascinating
When we left after breakfast on our last day the staff seemed genuinely sorry to see us leave.
Absolutely no doubt that we will be returning in the future for some more wonderful experiences and a friendly welcome.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cuzzy_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, 25 March 2011
Thank you for your review of Umlani Bushcamp its very much appreciatted. Marco
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 24 January 2010

Umlani provided us with the perfect end to our honeymoon in South Africa. We stayed 4 nights in January, having spend 8 lively nights in Cape Town and 2 more refined nights in Stellenbosch. I arrived trying to have low expectations about the animals we'd see on safari so as not to be disappointed. However, we left with all our expectations exceeded!

We were greeted with a bottle of honeymoon fizz in our bedroom which is always a great way to start :) And from there on in, the warmth and hospitality of Christie and her staff was just amazing. The rooms are all stand alone huts and the outdoor showers are actually brilliant! Despite scare stories from other guests about spiders and bugs, our room remained bug free except for the odd gecko which was great.

The food is fantastic and meal times are a real ritual, we left several kilos heavier than when we arrived! The days begin early, but despite not being a morning person, they are exhilarating and time just flies. Our morning game drives were followed by breakfast and usually a return to bed. We'd then head down to the pool for a bit and lie in the sun before having lunch and complimentary beers on the deck overlooking the water hole where you can see the animals come to have a swim and a drink. You then go out for the evening game drives which end with a drink of your choice from the 'mobile bar' in the landrover, watching the sun go down at a scenic point out in the bush. Probably my favourite time of day :) The social dinners are then followed by drinks around the fire and all I can say is, you must have at least one glass of Amarula before you leave!

We saw the 'Big 5' and so much more - our Ranger, Ginger, and Tracker, Shads, were amazing and go to great lengths to find good sightings and inform you about what you are seeing. The female leopard was just beautiful, we loved the baby warthogs but the highlight has to be seeing the wild dog with a kill on our last morning (thanks Sean!) - all I can say is, sleeping in and missing a drive isn't a good idea as you never know what you might miss.

I can't recommend Umlani enough, it's a real experience and one which, especially as the last trip on our honeymoon, will stay with us forever.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MrsKateG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Ill.
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 January 2010

My son (age 27) and I stayed four nights at Umlani in December. I'll echo the other reviews (see below) regarding the accommodations, food, etc. -- classy and great -- with the added note that all drinks are included in the price. They lost money on my kid. ...

The main camp activity is the two game drives daily. We had three different guides over our seven drives, and all were excellent in their own way. We saw four of the big five (no leopard), but the highlight was our last drive, the pre-breakfast drive the day we left. We had gotten kind of blase about regularly seeing spectacular wildlife

Jimmy, our driver, went into high gear when he was told a cheetah was nearby. When we found it -- Jimmy did a serious fist-pump, the first time I'd seen one of the rangers get that excited -- the cheetah had just killed a young impala. He was sitting over his prey, but he was nervous, not eating, his head on a swivel.

The reason quickly became evident, as two lionesses and a young lion sauntered up from behind our Land Rover. The cheetah ran off in a heartbeat, while the two mature lions had a brief argument, about 30 feet from us, over which one got the impala.

The winner then ran off, followed by the other two lions and then by us. When we caught up with them, the impala was now in possession of the pride's male lion. We then sat, again from only a few yards away and watched him consume his meal -- head, hooves, hide and all. When he was done, there was nothing left but a smear in the grass.

Wow, what a conclusion to our bush experience ...

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mk6945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2009

Stayed for 3 nights. The whole ambience was friendly, relaxed yet professional. Special thanks to the camp manager Giles and Louise (girl Friday from Durban who introduced me to Amarula after dinner!!!) Their efforts to make our stay memorable was really appreciated, thanks! They organised a special trip back to the bush to see lions eating a buffalo, when we missed the kill earlier, nothing was too much trouble, thanks again. Lots of nice touches, drinks around the boma, fire before dinner, sundowners in the bush on the way back from the evening game drive. then driving back to the camp in darkness with a search light to pick out (but not frighten) any noturnal animals appearing. The tree house, were you can stay overnight. a one-off experience. It was all excellent...We have had many safaris in other parts of Africa, and this rates among the best. Animals were not as plentyful as say in Kenya, but we had the best views of a Leopard at Umlani ever...and you should easily see the big five, suberb!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ScottishEagles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Umlani Bushcamp

Property: 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 #6 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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