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“great spot to see the kruger”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 January 2011

My wife and I stay at Umlani for 4 days in early December--the place is fantastic! Kyle and Louise and their staff cannot do enough for you and the guides , Hendrix, Ginger and Elvis are wonderful when they take you out each morning and night for the game drives. They have a wealth of local knowledge and we saw absolutely everything you could imagine in wild life and fauna. The camp facilities are very nice, comfortable and in keeping with the bush environment. An absolutely great place and people.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank RobandCherie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2011

Thank you for your review of Umlani Bushcamp we appreciat it ,hope to have you stay again some day.

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349 - 355 of 446 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2010

We stayed at this bushcamp for 3 days earlier this year and were very sad when we had to leave again. This is a great experience!! It is in the middle of the park, with all the luxury you need, but still a very back-to-basic experience. The little houses are just great, and it is amazing not to have electricity. Every one here is very, very friendly, and they really take good care of their guests. Don't hesitate to book a stay!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ABBG_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2011

Thank you for your review of Umlani Bushcamp we appreciate it hope to see you back again one day soon

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Reviewed 5 July 2010

Myself and my partner Tony stayed at Umlani and had the most fantastic time. The staff were all excellent our guide Ginger and tracker Hendricks took us out every day and we saw so many animals I just cant list them all. The accommodation and food were top notch and many thanks to the staff (and their friends) that shared their knowledge and stories with us and looked after us so well Thanks especially to Christie, Thembi, Ginger and Hendricks.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank rhondacanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2011

Thank you for your great review of Umlani Bushcamp we appreciate it very much hope to have you come stay again some day. regards Marco

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Reviewed 15 June 2010

Umlani do have the possiblity of being a great place for enjoying wildlife including birds, reptiles etc as well as the south african landscape. However, I was really disappointed as the game drives did go to close to the big 5 and did disturb the animals. When moving away from the car the ranger followed the animals time after time. One incident made me really uncomfortable and angry. We were up close (3-4m) to a pack of 4 lions in a dried up riverbed. In the car there where four other people which I didn’t know . As the lions had a big kill the night before they where still tired, laying down and resting/sleeping. Then the other 4 people started to whistle and imitate roaring (not so loud but still) in order to get some reaction. They also stood up a little in the truck taking ”funny” pictures. None of this is allowed or ok. But the ranger didn’t act at all. Before we moved in I told him, we are disturbing the lions if going closer. And we did disturb the lions and did add an extra and unnecessary risk. Later the same game drive the car broke down in the bush and we got picked up by another truck (after using my cell phone as Umlani did not answer our calls via radio). Before the very same game drive the ranger had almost sarcastically said don’t bring your cell phones you will only lose them and we have to spend time looking for them. If the car had broken down half an hour earlier with we had been sitting with the noisy people in the riverbed by the lions. This incident took place Friday night. After that I didnt join any more game drive as I felt the approach was very wrong and not to my liking. On Saturday morning my opinion was confirmed as the game drive had been in a crowd of elephants being able to touch the elephants. To me this is disturbing and interruppting the animals in their environment in order just to satisfy tourists seeking thrills and pictures! Tourists that dont understand or care about wildlife or nature as a whole.


To summarize, I felt that Umlani showed a more touristy and “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” approach than I would expect. Umlani and its surroundings is so much more then only the fast ticking the box- approach for the big five. You have lots of birds and other wildlife. I thought Umlani would be guiding us in the bush on the animal’s conditions.


I do hope that this touristy macho attitude in the game drives is not what you want to be (or should be). I also want to pin-point that the staff in the camp (kitchen, cleaning, preparing the rooms) did a great job in helping us guests. My main critique is towards the game drives and the attitude shown there.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled solo
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11  Thank Johan_swe_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Umlani, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2010

Dear Guest

Thank you for your feedback. You brought this matter to our attention after your visit and we are in the process of addressing the issues raised. As promised we will get back to you as to how we address the issues.

We appreciate guest feedback as it is an essential part of keeping standards at a high level.

Thank you
Marco Schiess

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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
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 reviewResponded 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
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
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 reviewResponded 25 March 2011

Thanks a million for your review of Umlani Bushcamp I appreciate it very much. Regards Marco Schiess

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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
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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: £347 - £501 (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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