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“First taste of Safari...Awesome!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tydon Bush Camp

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Tydon Bush Camp
Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa   |  
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Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“First taste of Safari...Awesome!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

This is our first time visiting a safari and we are glad that we made a right choice with Tydon. Gavin was an excellent host and he assured us that the safari experience was going to be great and safe, since we were all jittery about getting eaten by leopards. It turned out beyond our expectations with a luxurious stay at the bush camp but still so near to the wilderness. Without any TV, wifi, and phone connections, it was an excellent retreat from the usual life and really gave us the needed time for be in nature, to understand nature.

We were greeted with giraffes munching away on the leaves of trees near the entrance of the bush camp. We saw a Wildebeest at the waterhole which we can see from a lookout deck from our campsite. There was also a family of velvet monkeys that came into the nearby compound looking for food. These are the few instances where we felt staying close to the wild but never a hint of danger when we obeyed the rules.

The tentages was luxurious with nice bed and heater and ensuite toilet and shower. The staff made excellent African dishes every night and these are the only few times that we can get to try these dishes during the entire tour. Story telling at night was entertaining as we get to know the staff more on their life experiences.

Debbie and Stephen were a great combination when it came to games drives. We managed to see a leopard during the drive and track down a rhino on a game walk (though we need to keep a distance) and many small animals such as a bushbaby that untrained eyes are most likely to miss. In the Kruger game drive, Lyam was sharp in getting us to a close proximity where we witness a leopard carefully crawling towards its prey but was unsuccessful. And we managed to see some lioness sleeping beside the water some distance away.

This is a good place to begin a safari experience and we will definitely recommend to anyone who wants to visit Africa safari.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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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34 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Pittsburgh, PA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

I returned to Kruger park for another visit, this time with my daughter instead of my wife. Last time I stayed at the Tydon Safari Camp, so I gave the Bush Camp a try this time. The main difference is that it is within the Sabi Sands reserve, so its just a little electrical wire keeping you from the elephants and such (the small animals can just come right through).

Again we had a great stay; the "tents" are quite top notch, with nothing missing. The food is excellent, with a focus on traditional South African fare (if you don't eat meat they accommodate, but it probably wouldn't be quite as special). Gavin and his team make great hosts and go out of the way to adjust your trip based on your wishes. The guides were skilled at finding and safely getting you right up to the animals.

Staying in the Bush Camp means most or all of your safari drives are within the Sabi Sands; which has advantages to drives within the park proper (open land rovers, ability to go off trail, very few private vehicles swarming around). However I'd recommend requesting at least one drive in Kruger proper, if you are there for long enough, as its a bit of different experience. Also the morning walk is a highlight, don't miss that, if you like the idea of stalking game on foot. Quite exhilarating!

The access to the overlook is quite a perk, as you can sit and read during the afternoon lull while watching the to-and-fro of the wildlife using the water-hole.

In a five day-four night trip, we were able to see the big five (lions from a distance, on the very last drive!) plus hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, and lots of birds, and "shot" them all (digitally that is). The highlight was watching a leopard stalking a herd of impala; the hunt was unsuccessful but watching him creep up and get into position as the herd drifted his way was quite intense.

There is a tiny pool; not really much to speak of, but thats not what we were there for. Young kids aren't allowed in the Bush Camp; my daughter is 17, so not an issue. She had a great time.

I only have one photo of the camp (I was focused on the wildlife!), but you can check their website, it gives you an accurate feel for the tents.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

My Wife and I spent this past weekend at Tydon Bush Camp, Sabi Sand. The weekend was so enjoyable and was such good value for money that we will most definitely be back.
The luxury tented accommodation allows you to experience the sounds of the African bush but to still be safe and warm.
The food was tasty with generous servings and the Staff are friendly and always willing to assist.
Our Game viewing over the entire weekend was made enjoyable and interesting by Debbie who is knowledgeable and passionate about what she does.
Thank you all for a great time!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Having lived in South Africa for 2 years i have visited Tydon Safari Camp several times but this was the first visit to the Bush Camp and it was awesome.
Same high quality and attention to detail as the safari camp but smaller. (three tents - would be great for a family retreat) Food was outstanding as always, staff terrific, Debbie who manages the camp is an amazing guide and knows so much about the bush, animals, birds, plants, trees.
Unfortunately we are returning to live in Canada so was our last visit for a while but if you are visiting SA or live here please email Gavin and set up a visit it really is the best and i can't recommend it highly enough. Great beds, excellent showers in tent, good value for money without a doubt :))))

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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Minnesota, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Our four day safari provided us with a lifetime full of memories. The accommodations were extremely comfortable with heated and air conditioned luxury tents. The staff went out of their way to make everything perfect. The food was excellent and more than plentiful. Gavin and Vangie (the owners) and their sons were highly efficient in making our reservations, picking us up from our airport hotel, and for showing us an outstanding safari experience. They are down to earth, hard working people who love the bush and want to share that passion with others. Our bush guide, Debbie, was extremely knowledgeable and went out of her way to help find great numbers of animals that we were able to view at close range. She and her staff went out of their way to accommodate all of our needs. (Even getting us diet coke for our drinks.) It was a once in a lifetime experience and are looking forward to the next time we can visit Tydon Bush Camp.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

The title says it all - this was an awesome experience. You have to experience what it's like to stay in the bush camp at night. A beautiful velvet starry sky, with no sounds other than the crackle of the camp fire and the animals in the surrounding bush. The staff and other guests were uniformly friendly, the guides extremely knowledgeable, and the food was pure South African home cooking. Sure you could stay in some luxury lodge paying multiples to get 1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, but why in the world would you. This is as close as you can get to randomly pitching a tent in the bush, will still getting modest modern luxury - like electricity and a warm shower. I stayed in winter, and it was a great time of year for spotting animals. The days were still plenty hot (at least for me) with highs around 86f/30c, but quite chilly at night with lows in the 40s f/ 5-8c. If you go in the winter you will need plenty of layers that you can take off as the day gets warmer, and a winter cap and gloves for the early morning and night time game drives. No matter when you go, the best thing you can do is go - you will be glad you did. I did a three night/four day package and wished I could have stayed longer. Simply marvelous.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

Tydon Bush Camp is the smaller sister camp to Tydon Safari Camp - both are excellent.

First, a quick overview:

Sabi Sabi Reserve: Private reserve where you are allowed to drive off the road. No fences between it and Kruger, so all the same animals. Very few people. Very easy to get up close and personal with the wildlife.

Kruger Nat'l Park: National park where you are NOT allowed to drive off the road. LOTS of cars, lots of people, lots of people in the fenced-off camps within the park. You'll see pretty much everything in Kruger, but won't be able to get that close, unless the animals are next to the road.

Now as for why you SHOULD choose Tydon:

You will almost certainly have a better experience in a reserve than the national park, since you'll get much closer to the animals and see less people. Most private reserves are $1,000 per person, per day. Tydon was roughly ONE THIRD of that. The only things you'll be missing out on are the spa (Tydon doesn't have one) and the trackers who are paid to follow the lions and leopards and know where they are at all times (which to me, takes the fun out of things - part of going on a safari is the chance of seeing things, not the certainty. Otherwise, you're in a zoo!) Excellent service, very comfortable accommodations, amazing and friendly guides. In order to create a fair and balanced review, if I could pick one thing Tydon could do better... the only thing I can think of would be outdoor showers.

Safari Camp vs Bush Camp:

The Bush Camp is thirty minutes inside of the Sabi Sabi reserve and meant only for adult guests. The Safari Camp is closer to civilization, closer to the national park and more appropriate for children. There is also the option to do walking safaris as well at both camps, which are really neat.

If I were you:

Kruger National Park is worth taking one day's drive in, mainly to experience Kruger. But overall you'll have a much better experience and get much closer to the animals if you do most of your drives in a reserve. Whether you're at the safari camp or the bush camp, you'll be spending most of your time in the reserve. You can also talk to Gavin to arrange your trip to your perfection. To get excellent service at a fraction of the price, definitely go with Tydon.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Tydon Bush Camp

Address: Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 41 Specialty lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tydon Bush Camp in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Tucked away in the southern part of the world-renowned Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is our exclusive Tydon Bush Camp. The intimate Tydon Bush Camp is located inside Sabi Sand, which shares unfenced borders with the world-famous Kruger National Park in South Africa. This tranquil tented safari camp is ideally situated within one of the best game viewing areas of the prestigious Sabi Sand Reserve. Set within the Greater Kruger Park, our easily accessible, yet private bush camp awaits you. Accommodation at Tydon Bush Camp is in three comfortable tented-rooms with en-suite bathrooms. These semi-luxury permanent tents provide an authentic African bush experience in understated, traditional safari style. Each canvas tent is tucked away in the bush on a raised wooden platform, offering guests privacy. Every tented-room has its own little deck area, featuring a camping table and chairs for relaxing in nature. Guests can choose between tents with double beds or twin beds, all with en-suite bathrooms fitted with a basin, toilet and shower. These air-conditioned tents are equipped with side tables, bedside lamps, hairdryers and tea and coffee making stations. This completely private bush camp features an outdoor dining boma set around a campfire, for lantern-lit evenings under the stars. There is also a thatch-roofed dining lapa for serving meals indoors. The dining lapa is a combination of brick, canvas and thatch, and includes a comfortable lounge area.Guests can relax and enjoy the peaceful natural setting from the viewing deck, nestled in the indigenous vegetation at camp. At Tydon in Sabi Sand we ensure that you enjoy a safe and undisturbed safari experience, by only allowing children over the age of 16 to stay at the camp. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tydon Bush Camp South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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