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“Bush Retreat!”

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Kambaku River Sands
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Bush Retreat!”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Thank you to the wonderfully welcoming, friendly and attentive staff at Kambaku for making our few days in the bush so special. As a couple and a family, we have been to the Timbavati many times over the years and one of the experiences we look for is feeling that we are in the bush and not some big hotel. The smallish camp at Kambaku Lodge with it's outlook over the waterhole and it's relaxed ambience fulfills that admirably. That doesn't mean a lack of comfort.....the rooms are stylish and very comfortable, the food absolutely delicious ( with dietary requirements catered for) and the staff professional but full of fun! Dinner in a different spot every night......all of them magical. Our ranger and tracker were very knowledgeable and didn't mind answering masses of questions! They also created special memories for us with all the sightings, big and small..... especially sitting quietly amongst elephants.

Thank you again to everyone......we'll be back! Jenny (Australia)

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Geoff111-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Hi Jenny -

Thank you so much for the wonderful review on your stay with us. We really do try at making every aspect of your stay special - nothing is too big or too small in the bush not to be appreciated and enjoyed. I will pass on your compliments to the staff too as they love hearing the feedback from guests. We look forwards to seeing you in the future again !
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186 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Having stayed in other lodges in the Timbavati before, we were very excited to try this 'new' lodge.
Rooms are large and wellapointed, very airy, do however consider some screening. Rooms are see through for everybody on the patway. Super large bathroom with both in- and outdoor- showers, soakertub and a loo with a view. Just great.
A small table and railing on the deck would have made the outside perfect
Meals are some of the best we have had in southern Africa, so far. Not to forget the singing chef, first time we have had the menu presentation as a rap.
Great sightings, however the white lions were unfortunately not in during our stay. Have to be back and check them out. We will be back to this lovely place again.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank HaChSo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Hello and thank you for your review on Kambaku River Sands! It is always helpful to receive feedback about changes we can make in camp to make guest's stay more comfortable, and we are looking into the screening idea between the rooms to see how we can best do it to blend in with the bush and feel of the camp. We love our singing chef and I am sure he will be delighted at your menu presentation comment ! Pity about the lions.. at least you have something to come back for !
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Kambaku River Sands was absolutely wonderful! Nicola and Bryce are just the most amazing hosts, and Bryce is the ultimate ranger, who made sure we saw everything! The accommodation, the lodge the food, the staff was fabulous. We highly recommend this gem in the heart of the Timbavati. The night the elephant herd came to drink water from the pool deck was surreal! The beautiful leopards we saw every day, the drives were just a dream come true! From Big Five to all the little fives too, they all came out to delight us. The lovely evening under the stars, around the camp fire, enjoying a bush dinner and sharing the stories of the bush was unforgettable. Thank you to all at Kambaku for a wonderful stay. We will return with family and friends.

Room Tip: pick a room, they are all great
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank annette m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 7 May 2014
Thank you for your review on Kambaku River Sands! The close up and personal especially with the elephants drinking out the pool - is often a winner ! We appreciate that our guides carry over more thank just the big 5 - as the bush has so much more to offer. Looking forwards to welcoming you back again!
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Utica, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Our trip was fantastic! From the food, to the accommodations, the gracious staff and the superb guides this trip was beyond our expectations. We visted in January and had a wonderful time. The guides enthusiasm and expertise allowed us to not only see animals but learn about the animal behaviors. During down times the excitement and fun continued as animals wandered through the camp. We not only saw the big five but saw many different animals (wild dogs, hyenas, birds, zebras, chameleons and many more) including mating behaviors at times feeling like we were in action movie! Our adult daughter who had been on several other safaris said the guiding at Kambaku River Sands was unparalleled. We were able to see animals up close and learn about different lion prides and relationships of the leopards. Wholeheartedly recommend Kambaku River Sands.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank RTR165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Thank you for the glowing review on River Sands - once again I am please to note that both the lodge experience as well as the fantastic game viewing has been complimented. I will pass on all the comments to the staff as they do us proud !
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Highly recommend Kambuka. The rooms are very spacious, the view over the dry river bed from your balcony with the elephants walking through is fantastic, and the main area in the lodge is very inviting to either have a swim in the pool or just sit and relax. Not that there is much time to relax! You are on safari at about 5 in the morning for 3 to 4 hours and then again in the afternoon coming back about 7.30 just in time to sit down to dinner with all the other guests and swap stories of either the days adventures or other experiences. Ranger and tracker were very informative and passionate about their job. Saw the big 5 within 24 hours including the famous white lion. Seeing the big 5 on the first day did not reduce the interest and anticipation of the following days at the camp. Each safari had its unique moments and all the animals were seen in different environments and there is a lot more to see than just those famous 5. Apart from the 15-20 different animal species, the birdlife, lizards and insects were all fascinating. All in all a wonderful experience that we will never forget.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank RobynCan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review on River Sands !One of the greatest attractions of the camp is the fact that there are no fences and that we often have animals wondering through the camp - anything from elephants to buffalo to hippos, and the occasion leopard and hyena ! It definitely makes you feel that you are deep in the African Bush. It is also very positive for me to see that the passion of our guides comes through - there are not here just for the job but for the love of the bush! We hope one day to see you again !
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Hoedspruit
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 April 2014

I went on a brief site inspection at River Sands, and was very pleasantly surprised. The rooms are luxurious, very open and incredibly spacious, all with private patio's and views of either the bush or a dry riverbed. The service was very good, as was the food. The afternoon game drive was very productive (lions twice, leopard twice!) and our guide engaging and experienced. The next morning I was met by Bryce, the owner, and we drove to Kambaku Camp for a brief inspection. The team at both lodges work well together, and there is no doubt in my mind that people will love their stay at either Kambaku Camp or River Sands!

Room Tip: At River Sands ask for a room on the dry riverbed, often elephants walking past!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Backroadsafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Hello and thank you for the review on your site inspection to River Sands. I am glad that you were surprised and happy with the both the lodge and the game viewing. we hope to see you in the future again, so that you can see how we are continuously growing and developing and bettering our lodge!
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

We were one of the first visitors to the newly renovated lodge at Kambaku River Sands. Kambaku exude the feeling that you are living in the open and wild which contributed to the excitement of the holiday. The camp is not fenced so we were told that we could come across animals within the camp. We were escorted to and from the rooms when it gets dark. There were teething problems with the rooms as the camp had only begun operations but the staff put in extra effort to try to resolve them. This was much appreciated by all members of our party. However what made the trip exceptional for us was our ranger, Dave. Dave was so enthusiastic about showing us the bush and animals as well as sharing his knowledge with us. Our first day out on safari was on Christmas day and what a day it was! Not only did we see all the big 5 but we also saw white lions which definitely gave new meaning to White Christmas! We enjoyed the evening meals with the rangers when we could reflect on the day out. The staff also put on a special Christmas dinner for us complete with entertainment by the kitchen staff. These are the touches that make Kambaku unique - what it lacked in sophistication of the lodge, it made up with the personable service provided by all members of the staff. For us, it definitely define our first South African safari experience and we can't wait to return again!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ai Loon Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Thank you for being the first to review Kambaku River Sands ! You were a memorable group for us, and we thank you for your patience with the teething problems - that have now all been ironed out. what more could we do than to make sure you had a white Christmas ! We are proud to say that all the personal touches experienced by our guests at Kambaku Safari Lodge, are being carried through to River Sands, as we wish to make each and every guest's stay the holiday of a lifetime !
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Additional Information about Kambaku River Sands

Property: Kambaku River Sands
Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve | Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kambaku River Sands 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kambaku River Sands is an unfenced camp perfectly situated on the banks of a dry river bed allowing animals to roam freely around and through the camp. The suites are set spaciously apart, allowing for secluded views of the unspoilt bush. The main lodge has a spacious lounge with two enormous open fireplaces, a pool and bar overlooking the waterhole, and well stocked wine cellar. This more exclusive lodge offer a bush spa and gym, spa baths and outdoor showers. Come and experience classic luxury in a pristine setting…with traditional Kambaku style and hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kambaku River Sands South Africa/Kruger National Park

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