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“Perfect Pafuri” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Adventures Pafuri Camp

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Wilderness Adventures Pafuri Camp
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3.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Makuleke Concession, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ludlow, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Perfect Pafuri”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

I thought long and hard about writing this review as I kind of want to keep Pafuri to myself, but realised that was a bit selfish and they deserve to get some recognition for this place. Having been to Kruger several times, we finally decided to venture 'up north', which we hadn't done before as many guides say that there is less wildlife to see. On the drive there we saw a hyenah carrying a buffalo leg in its mouth, a male cheetah marking out his territory along the road and a pair of hunting lions! The road was completely empty so we had all of these amazing sightings all to ourselves. Once in the far north of the park we saw an incredible variety of antelope, including the elusive Tsesebee, and a pair of cheetah cubs waiting for their hunter mother to return. On entering Pafuri camp we scattered a troop of banded mongoose and when we walked into the reception area there was an elephant with his trunk over the guest walkway eating from one of the trees. So, all of that put paid to the concerns about 'no wildlife'! On arrival at reception, we were greeted by our first names and instantly made to feel incredibly welcome. Having stayed at other luxury lodges in the park, one of the things we don't like is the overly fussy and mollycoddling that tends to be part of the experience. Pafuri was refreshingly different, in that it is luxurious but credits its guests with common sense and isn't overly pretentious - for example being told that if you encounter big cats on the walkways, don't run but remember to take pictures if you're close enough! Other lodges we've stayed at insist on escorting you everywhere and treating you like children, so this more grown up style was perfect for us. The 'tents' are beautifully furnished and very comfortable, with super snuggly bedding and extra blankets, which were most welcome as it was winter when we were there and very cold at night. You have both indoor and outdoor showers and the bathrooms are very well equipped. The tents are very well spaced apart so you get a great degree of privacy and are not overlooked by anyone, each with its own deck overlooking the river, where we sat and watched countless animals and birds drinking and going about their ordinary business. Antelopes come so close to the deck that you can practically reach out and touch them - in fact we had a female bushbuck and her tiny fawn nestling under our outdoor shower. There are no fences or wires in the camp, which is incredibly liberating and means that you really feel part of the environment and also means that you tend to be more alert and aware of what's going on around you. The food was great and the whole team at Pafuri were fantastic - open and friendly with great service, without being fawning or invasive. Our guide was terrific and although we didn't see much in the way of animals on the morning drives, the actual drive itself and the routes he took were spectacular and took in some of the best scenery in Kruger - including the beautifully eerie fever tree forests and the crocodile-infested Limpopo river. We only stayed for two nights and regretted not having booked for longer. Having been to Kruger four times, we thought that this would probably be our last trip as we felt we'd pretty much seen everything we wanted, but we will go back purely to re-visit the northern area and stay at Pafuri again as it is very different to the southern parts of the park - beautifully unspoilt and very quiet. If you like five star luxury that means everything is done for you and you don't have to think for yourselves, don't stay here - Pafuri is strictly for grown ups who enjoy being immersed in the wild and uncensored environment. We loved it and will definitely be back...

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
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English first
Helsinki
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

Big camp in quiet place, except if you don't like noise from animals :)
Two games drive per day, lions, leopards and elephant are moving around, be careful, this camp is open, there is no fences ...
The only négatif point I can find, is the fact that we can eat at fix time (10AM - 3PM - 8PM) it seems not possible to have something to eat between 10AM and 3PM.
Will go back there with all the family.
Good point, is that you eat with your guide ;)
Thx to Alween our guide (still waiting for news) ...

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

Pafuri Camp is full of surprises - good ones! (It did not matter if you were in camp or driven around on the concession, we always saw something new.) The drumbeats when coming into Camp makes you feel welcome. We visited from 25 - 28 July 2012 and found that the food was always served at the right temperature. The Food was deliciously flavoured with herbs and spices, We recommend the Beef fillet and Hake. The staff was friendly and the service good. Unfortunately there is no fitness Centre - therefore the "poor" in our review, and beauty treatments were done in our room. We hope that Pafuri Camp will soon have a room where these treatments can be done. We were treated well but had the expectation that we would be spoiled a little on our Wedding anniversay as we were asked beforehand if we are celebrating any special occasion.

Room Tip: Rooms 1-7 are more private - vegetation growing between them
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Ciotat, France
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

It is a pity such a great facility and location was spoilt by sub-standard food.

The accommodation and staff were great.

The location is superb.

But before you book, check if they have sorted out the kitchen. Cold, super salty overcooked is not what you expect from a high quality lodge.

Room Tip: make sure you ask for walking tours. The game drives are OK but the walks are the real highlight of...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Adventures Pafuri Camp, responded to this review, July 27, 2012
Thank you very much for the feedback.

The food issues you have raised have been addressed with the Camp & Concession Managers so that they are aware of the problems and can ensure that tasty, quality meals are prepared and presented to all our guests.

It is also good to note that you loved the location of Pafuri camp, the accommodation and great staff we have there.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

Thanks to Ally, Mandla, Ernest, Antoinette, and all the staff who made our stay such a memorable one. We enjoy birding and Ally was a great guide who called birds for us and quickly spotted them in the field. We also had two different sightings on our game drives of a Python and also crocs consuming something they had recently killed. Accommodations were also great. Wished we could have stayed longer than two nights! We loved having both an inside and an outside shower. We found the beds very comfortable! The food was very good as well. Also enjoyed viewing the river from the deck of our tent. We were able to see many animals from here.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2011

Pafuri Camp is a lovely place. The tents are luxurious! They are beautiful, very spacious and clean. The most impressive part is their service. As soon as I arrived, I was surprised that the staff addressed me by my name. They knew who I was and were expecting me! When I entered the room, I was impressed by the hand-made, hand-written welcome card and flower on my bed.

The staff here are very warm and friendly. From the guides to housekeepers, everyone addresses every guest by their names. I’m amazed how they can remember all the guests names, while there are so many guests and they come and go all the time! The staff are very attentive to your needs. They try their best to provide you with what you request.

The guides here are excellent! They are very knowledgeable, and they pay attention to every guest on the vehicle, make sure one gets their share of time to see what they are particularly interested in – animals, birds, plants, scenery… etc.

Pafuri camp is a wonderful place to stay!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, CA (USA)
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

Pafuri Camp is truly lovely, built on wooden decks about 2 meters off the ground. It has 20 "tents" in all and that can mean a rather long walk if you are at one of the ends. The camp overlooks the Luvuvhu River, with nyalaberry and jackalberry trees all around. You see a variety of animals walking by (often right under the decking) and getting drinks down by the river. The room I had (#15) was very large, with mossie netting, a lovely stone bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers. (My outdoor shower included a curious male nyala, watching from below the deck!) The daily schedule is a bit different than I was used to in my 4 Kenya camps: call at 5:30am with tea/coffee/biscuits at 6; game drive at 6:30 then back for brunch at 10am. Tea/coffee/sweets served at 3PM then a drive at 3:30, returning around 7PM with dinner at 7:30. In addition to the crook's Corner visit mentioned by other reviewers here (where S. Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet), I did an interesting "history" visit to Thulumela, a 16th century ruin about 20 minutes from Pafuri. It was a bit of a climb up to the ruins, but very interesting once I got there with my guide Edward (a wonderful guy!) and Trevor. The ruins included burial sites for the king and his family, sharpening stones, grinding stones, etc....all unearthed from the past. Though many say this is not a camp for the "big 5", I did see leopards,lots of crocs and hippos at Crook's Corner, eles (even a mock charge!) etc. Also many other animals such as mongoose, kudu, nyala, jackals, genets, civet cats. And of course Pafuri is famous for bird sightings. I am not a big birder, but did love seeing the unusual varieties such as the three-banded courser and the snake eagle.Also the beautiful lilac breasted rollers, the yellow-billed hornbills. We also had a sundowner in a huge yellow fever tree forest, one of only three in the world. The tree has a very distinctive light green bark, quite striking. The food and service at Pafuri were top notch, in my opinion. (I did not partake of the kudu carpaccio, however.) I also found some nice things in the gift shop, stuff that was unusual and not all the run of the mill souvenirs. I very much enjoyed Pafuri and would recommend it as a change of pace from all the big 5 camps!

Room Tip: If you have any issues walking distances, get a room close to the main building because it is one mi...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Adventures Pafuri Camp

Address: Makuleke Concession, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #125 of 144 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Wilderness Adventures Pafuri Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pafuri Camp lies along a bend of the Luvuvhu River shaded by enormous jackal berry and nyala berry trees. Its 20 tents are en-suite under thatch with indoor and outdoor showers. The main area, with its large decks, open-sided lounge and dining rooms and swimming pool, is perfect for relaxing and watching the wildlife drawn to the Luvuvhu to drink. The colourful fabrics reflect the culture of the Makuleke community with whom Wilderness Adventures has partnered at Pafuri. The camp and its walkways are raised off the ground, allowing wildlife to move undisturbed to and from the river. The Makuleke Concession is explored through a variety of activities, ranging from game drives in open vehicles to walks and trails and ideally complements the scenery, experience and game viewing offered in central and southern Kruger.Pafuri Walking Trail.This Trails Exploration is the ideal way to experience thespectacular, private Makuleke Concession of the northern KrugerNational Park. It is perhaps the best area for walking in the entire Park and is blessed not only with exceptional biodiversity butalso spectacular scenery, seasonally high densities of many large mammal species, a feeling of wilderness and remoteness, and asense of history.Using one campsite as a base, each day is spent in different parts of the 24 000-hectare concession, walking along the pathways made over the years by its animal inhabitants and following their tracks.Features. Undoubtedly the most remote and wild walking experience in South Africa, with a huge diversity of habitat, wildlife and birdlife. Experienced, knowledgeable and passionate guide walks with the guests throughout. Private access to the concession with no impact of vehicles. On-foot tracking experiences, big game viewing and outstanding birding. An exclusive and remote camp location. Access into the legendary Lanner Gorge basin and the mystic Limpopo fever tree forest.The season operates from 01 April 2014 to 31 October 2014, withdepartures every Monday and Friday. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pafuri Camp Hotel Kruger National Park

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