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“What a lovely surprise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tamboti Camp

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Tamboti Camp
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Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“What a lovely surprise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We stayed at Tamboi for two nights....wished we booked for a longer stay! We stayed in the en-suite luxury tent (overlooking the river dry river bed) with a nice deck and braai area. We woke the first night with some honey badgers on the deck!
It is private and really gives you the feeling of living in the bush. We find the tents to be comfortable, even during the second night's storm! We had some visitors like monkeys and squirrels.
We found the shop at Orphen gate to be good and stocked with all the basic requirements that tourist might have.
We wanted a late night drive, but could not take it, as they need at least 4 people to go on a drive. That was a bit dissapointing.
A lovely experience and we will for sure return to this special place!

Room Tip: I prefer the en suite tents!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
Dubai
Level Contributor
113 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 368 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

There are two types of tent available. One is with shared ablution facilities and the other has its own en-suite. I have stayed in both and recommend them highly. My choice is the en-suite tent which has a great deck and braai area. Most of the tents overlook the Timbavati river bed.

Location: One of the best. It is situated near Orpen gate which is centrally located and not as busy as the southern section. From Orpen there are many private game farms and rehabilitation centres within easy reach. Moholoholo wildlife rehabilitation centre is a must do. Private game reserves nearby include the Northern Sabi Sands, Timbavati and Kapama. One or two nights in one of their luxury camps will round off a perfect vacation.

Wildlife: The area around Orpen is well known for excellent sightings and simply by driving between Satara and Tamboti you may well get to see Lion, Leopard, Wild Dog, Rhino (black and white), Cheetah, Elephant, Nyala, Sable, Buffalo and a host of other species.

Tamboti is run by SANPARKS and is therefore in serious need of management. Do not expect any kind of service or pristine tents. The communal ablutions are normally kept very clean and the tents are serviced daily. Maintenance is hardly ever done so one may expect certain items to not work properly, broken steps and/or broken decking. Whilst some tents may have been renovated after the recent flooding you may still find certain tents in a state of semi decay, broken window blinds and mould/fungus growing on the canvas. Do not let this put you off. These are easily overlooked due to the location and in general the bedding is comfortable and clean (even if not the best quality).

If you take this tented camp for what it is and do not expect anything super luxurious then it is easy to have a great time.

You will need to shop for groceries outside the park as Kruger shops are notoriously expensive and the quality of meats, veggies etc is not that good. Tamboti is self catering and as such has a decent sized fridge in each tent for your groceries as well as cooking facilities. My suggestion is to buy wood and cook over an open fire in the evenings.

I love Tamboti tented camp and always look forward to going back there.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naracoorte
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Our second stay in this Sanparks Kruger camp only confirmed our first impression - this is one of the absolute gems of KNP!
With a choice of budget permanent tents (without kitchen or ensuite but with a braai) or luxury tents (including kitchenette, ensuite and braai stand) there is something for everyone. The charm here is the 'wildness' of the camp, the peace, quiet and the views from the tents over the river bed. Wildlife in and around the camp is superb.
Happily, Orpen camp is only a few minutes away, so you can restock provisions, get a cappucino from the coffee cart there and anything else you require.
For those using budget tents never fear the ablutions and camp kitchens are very clean and tidy although if you want the bathroom in the middle of the night it is prudent to get your friend/spouse/partner to accompany you - leopards do on occasion get into the camp!
Highly recommended for at least 3 nights but the longer the better!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
108 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

We stayed here for two nights in a 4 person tent. Our two boys liked the deck overlooking the (very dry) riverbed. This is a small, rustic camp but provides a hot water dispenser, as well as very clean communal ablutions. There is a newer section with self-catering units and bathrooms, but we couldn't afford these. My only comment is that the camp could really benefit from a central boma area. The tents are nice and private, but it was hard to meet others or chat about the day with other guests as happened at other camps. That said, Tamboti is a jewel - stay if you can!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

We spent two nights in this camp very near Orpen Gate and will definitely go again. The tents sleep 4 people although I would not like to share with 4 adults! Would be very cramped. When booking also book box of cutlery etc otherwise bring your own. Don't forget a torch. The communal ablutions were very clean and there was hot water available. Each night we were woken by honey badgers or a civet and genet which was very exciting. The camp over looks a river which was dry while we were there but must be amazing when full. Game viewing around the camp was exciting, with great sightings in including elephants, buffalo and leopard. If you like camping but not all the hard work of setting up camp, then this is the place to go.

Room Tip: Ask for tents 1 to 6 which are close to the ablutions, take a torch, own cutlery otherwise book a bo...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

We have stayed at Tamboti several times over the last 15 years and it continues each time to be a wonderful experience.

This time we stayed for one night in 2 x 4 sleeper tents. Tamboti is a few kilometres from the main Orpen camp which is where you just check in, the staff in Orpne are very helpful and night drives will pick you up inside Tamboti if you wnat to go. This tented camp has no facilities such as a restaurant , petrol or shop so you stock up at Orpen before driving on to the camp. Each tent has 2 -4 beds ( bedding and towels supplied), a fridge, fan , braai, outside table and chairs. Pots cutlery etc you need to bring with or hire from Orpen. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are communal and reasonably close to all the ternts. Most of the tents face the premiter fence which is along a dry riverbed.

Well kept and clean camp where you can sit out on your deck and listen to the animals throughout the night. We saw a black backed jackal, a civet and an african wild cat from our deck. Be careful to keep things closed as the baboons raid the camp on a regular basis overturning dustbins and being a regular nuisance.

Plenty of cats lion and cheetah in this area along with elephant and buffalo. Well worth a stay!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kempton Park, South Africa
Level Contributor
91 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

My husband and I are regular visitors to the Kruger National Park, normally camping and spending a minimum of 2 weeks at a time.
We decided to breakaway from Johannesburg for a long weekend so decided to rather book serviced accommodation for 4 nights than pack all the camping gear and pitch a tent– it was also mid winter.
We decided on the Tambotie tented camp as it is small and situated near the Orpen gate and rest camp.

On arrival at the Orpen Rest Camp – where one has to book in – we were greeted by very professional and friendly staff, who were willing to answer all our questions and explain the various activities offered.
There is also a lot of information of the notice board outside the reception area as well as lists of what animals / birds had been seen on the various bush drives / walks.
Once booked in, we proceeded to the camp which is a short distance away.

The tent we were allocated – after having booked on the South African National Parks website – consisted of a safari style tent put up on a wooden platform which was raised. There was a balcony in the front with a table and two chairs and also a braai (barbeque) facility for use. The tent looked out over the river. Inside the tent there were two singe beds, a large fridge / freezer combined, fan, cupboard with extra blankets and pillows, and an electrical light and power plug.
Both bedding and towels are provided and both were clean and the bed nicely made up. It was a good thing there were extra blankets and we definitely needed them.

There are communal bathroom facilities including a full disabled bathroom – the bathrooms were always spotlessly clean and tidy. There are power points in the bathrooms for hairdryers.
The communal kitchen facilities consist of washing up basins (with hot water), stove plates and a urn with hot water available 24 hours. The kitchen area was also very clean and tidy.

We booked a sunset bush drive priced at R 190 per person for 3 hours. We were picked up at our camp and we were very fortunate as we were the only two persons on the drive with the guide. Our guide was excellent and was very knowledgeable, and had a special interest in birds – overall a great guy. We had fantastic sightings, including a pride of Lion, a pack of Afican Wild Dogs on a hunt to name a few.

Tambotie tented camp is definitely a camp that I would return to in the future for its beautiful setting and peacefulness – I would however prefer to visit in a warmer time of the year as it was very cold at night.

Just one thing – there is a resident African Honey Badger in the camp who patrols at night to see what’s in the dustbins, so don’t get alarmed if you hear strange noises in the middle of the night. There are also Vervet Monkeys in the camp and they will grab items of food if left unattended.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tamboti Camp

Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #108 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Number of rooms: 15

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