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“Great location, great people, great animals” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp

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Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp
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Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great location, great people, great animals”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

We really enjoyed our three night stay at Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp. It was one of the highlights of our three weeks in Southern Africa.

There are four separate accommodation locations at Sabi Sabi, each with their own character. Little Bush Camp has six huts and is usually limited to 12 people in total. Each is therefore quite private.

Safaris are held twice a day (6am and 4pm) with an optional extra walking safari. The driving safaris are in open vehicles with no more than 6 passengers which is better than a lot of safari places. Note that they wake you up at 5.30am for your morning safari so sleepyheads should stay away!

All safaris and food are included in the accommodation price as is most drinks.

We had asked for a river hut and got it – either huts 4,5 or 6 will get you this.

Positives included:
* We were welcomed on arrival by Jenna, the Acting Manager, who offered us a cold drink and gave us a camp briefing. She was always on hand over the next three days to ask how things were going and offer assistance. In fact, all of the staff here were friendly and helpful;
* there is a nice pool area
* there was lots of wildlife to be seen on safari (and sometimes in the camp itself!)
* our ranger made the effort to try and make people happy in relation to seeing the animals they wanted
* while the day spa and shop is at another Sabi lodge, they will drive you there if you want
* they feed you a lot
* the river view cottage had a lovely feel - almost like a home, very comfy
* Brett insisted he saw an elephant from the rear of the hut when returning from an outdoor shower (!!!)
* Joint dinners with other guests at night - which helped you get to know other people, though you could eat alone if you wished
* monkeys hanging around the eating area.

So that we don't sound like a dodgy advertisement, we tried to come up with some negatives:
* while the menu is three courses for each meal and there is plenty of food to be gobbled, the breakfast and lunch menus don't really change, so you might have to start eating the same thing if you stay there for more than 3 days.
* around meal time it occasionally felt a bit militaristic . Breakfast was at 9am, lunch at 2pm and dinner at 7pm. The staff were quick to serve the next course and it occasionally felt that we were under pressure to finish. While you didn't have to go to bed at 9pm after dinner, given that you need to be escorted to our room by a ranger you tend to feel a bit guilty about keeping them up when they ask you if you want to stay or go.
* they maybe could have visited the pool more often to ask guests lounging there if they wanted drinks.

Notwithstanding the minor negatives above, it was a very enjoyable three days and we would definitely consider going back.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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136 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Sydney
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2009

We had the most amazing 4 nights at Little Bush Camp. With only 6 rooms and 12 guests you get an extremely intimate, personal experience. Of course you come here for the game drives and we weren't at all disappointed. We saw all of the big 5 plus giraffes, zebras, baboons, warthogs, hyenas, wildebeest and the rare wild dog. Our guide, Retief was excellent with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area the fauna and flora. There are only six guests per landrover which meant everyone was comfortable and had a great view of the action. Other vehicles we saw had up to nine guests which would have given a different experience.

We had room 4 which must have been one of the best available. The room itself was beautiful with a bath, indoor and outdoor shower, well stocked minbar and a huge bed. The rooms terrace overlooked a small river and on two occasions a herd of elephants came down to drink. There were about 20 elephants of all ages literally 10 metres from our balcony. Amazing!

The food was a little hit and miss at times but generally of a good standard. It was certainly plentiful with 3 / 4 courses for both lunch and dinner as well as enormous buffet breakfasts and afternoon tea! The fees included local wines, beer, a good range of spirits, sundowner drinks (packed up to have whilst out on the safari drive) and all soft drinks - which we felt added to the value of our stay.

All of the staff and lodge managers were great and with so few guests the service felt very personal. They went to great lengths to ensure our enjoyment, comfort and safety. On our last day we had an early flight to catch and we were very impressed that they arranged for a car to come to meet us during the morning drive and take us to the airfield and also prepared us breakfast packs.

Little Bush Camp is the smallest of the 4 in the Sabi Sabi collection and in my opinion the best, given its intimacy.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Best, Netherlands
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2009

The rooms, the staff, the food are absolutely magnificant. Then there is the gameviewing, the rangers are briljant in reading tracks etc. They almost garantee you for seeing an leopard. There are only 6 huts, witch makes it an verry intimate lodge. It's fore sure one of our favorites.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2009

We stayed at Little Bush Camp for three nights in August. On arrival we were warmly greeted by the managers Michelle and Dallas. Immediately we felt at home and this continued for the remainder of the stay. The service was outstanding and it was like we were staying with a family. The lodge we stayed in was large and extremely comfortable with a well stocked and free mini bar. The beds were the most comfortable we had slept in for ages. Each night after a tiring but exhilirating safari the warm and cosy beds were turned down and the room ready for a much needed night's sleep.

As for the safaris they were truly an amazing experience. Our ranger Jabu and tracker Crimson were incredible in their knowledge and service. Each safari was exciting and informative and they both tried to fulfil our wishes on the animals we wanted to view. We were with two wonderful American ladies who made the experience even more pleasurable. We saw all the Big Five and some. Jabu was fascinating in his conversations and experiences which he gladly shared at the evening meal round a log fire. Jabu also took us on a foot safari which gave a completely different and fascinating insight to the bush surrounding the camp.

The breakfasts were hearty and tasty with lovely breads and pastries. However the cooked meals were not to our liking. We found them heavy and much of the fish and meat was covered in unnecessary sauces which masked their flavour. We have eaten in many hotels around the world and in Africa and for a high quality establishment this was not reflected in the food. However, this in no way marred the experience and there was more than enough to eat to keep us satisfied.

Sitting in the evening with the rangers and people from our landrover to share dinner was a fabulous experience. There was a lovely fireplace in the lodge that would have been great if it had been lit for us to sit in the sofas (after hours in the car) to warm up around with a drink before dinner.

All in all we had a fantastic time and would thoroughly recommend a stay in Little Bush Camp where the managers, staff and rangers will make the experience of game viewing in South Africa outstanding.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2009

My wife and I traveled to South Africa and stayed at the Little Bush Camp for the first part of our honeymoon. We had such amazing experience that we've been talking about it non-stop since. The overall experience far exceeded our expectations, and we'll love to return in the future to celebrate our 10 year, 20 year, 30 year anniversaries.

We booked our honeymoon trip with Rikke of GoAfrica.com and she was fantastic in her recommendations (she also expertly coordinated our whole trip including the second half in Mauritius). She set us up at Little Bush Camp as it is the smallest and most secluded of the Sabi Sabi Camps, perfect for our honeymoon. It is also the least expensive but with almost all of the same amenities as the other three Sabi Sabi camps. The camp consists of 6 luxury huts that are extremely private (with private decks, and outdoor showers overlooking the dry riverbed). If you want to visit the spa or the gift shop at Bush Camp (the biggest), you get driven in a land rover and have a mini-game drive! One day we saw just as many animals on the 20 minute drive to Bush Camp.

The staff of Little Bush really makes the difference from other vacation resorts. They made us feel like we were staying with family but in our own private house so we could escape if we wanted to. Michelle and Dallas, the managers, took care of everything and made our honeymoon experience special with a private dinner in our room, surprise gifts, and overall kindness. Retief and Eric our guide and tracker took us out on game drives, and were extremely knowledgeable on where to find animals and their behavior. We'd give bonus points for Retief's ability to recreate any animal's sounds. We even saw four our of the big five in our first evening game drive. Morning game drives during their winter (our summer) are very cold and windy as you are driving around in the open air vehicle. Remember to bring layers, including a hat and gloves.

Shadrek, the amazing chef, and the service staff delivered delicious meals where we appreciated the ability to try African cuisine and some of the best breads/pastries we've eaten, especially the double chocolate muffins and the croissants! We were never hungry as we were fed about every two hours (pastries, fruit tea and coffee at 6am before game drive, tea/coffee and snacks in the bush at 8, HUGE breakfast at 9, three course lunch at 1, tea at 3:30, sundowner drinks and snacks in the bush at 6, three course dinner at 7.)

We loved the private/social aspect of the camp. You have the ability to have a very personal, private experience if you choose, or there are plenty of opportunities to socialize and meet the other guests during group dinners, game drives, and around camp. We made friends with people from all over the world which made our honeymoon all that more special.

All in all..... this part of our honeymoon was luxurious, fun, exciting... all made possible by the spectacular Little Bush Camp.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Town
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

We had the pleasure and honour to have our wedding at Little Bush Camp.

We booked out the entire lodge for the whole weekend for just us 12 people, being our close family and friends.

Our wedding was in the lodge gardens with reception on the deck. It was not easy to plan a wedding in the middle of the bush, but with the help of Michelle and Dallas and all the other staff members we managed to get the wedding of our dreams.

The weather was not that great with heavy rain the night before, but it cleared just in time.

The food and hospitality as always was amazing. We have been to many lodges in the Sabi Sands Reserve and this is pure heaven.

Our game drives were very quiet, but Mike and Jason seemed to keep us all entertained. The weather meant that we could not go off road, but all was great otherwise.

We really like this place and the staff and it really felt that we came back again this time to visit old friends at the lodge.

The food was great and Shadrak the chef really went out of his way to keep us all well fed and happy. Really good quality food.

The rooms are stunning and very private. They are all a separate building with big deck with view on the river and lovely bathroom and outside shower. Very chic and decorated in a classy way with a hint of african decor.

We had a spa treatment in our room before the wedding and the ladies from the spa at Earth Lodge really did a great job and made us feel super relaxed.

Otherwise we will be back again and would really recommend having a small intimate wedding here for you and your family. Booking out the lodge for a weekend is really a great idea since you can tailor meals,times,drives etc to suit your needs.

The big fireplace really warmed us all from the cold and rain and is a stunning feature.

We had a close encounter with a female leopard and bay in the river bed opposite on of the rooms.

They were so great in setting up everything for the ceremony and reception and in letting my suppliers in and out of the park to deliver their things.

It is also great to go here is you are South African since they give great deals for local residents.

The pool is also stunning and hidden in the boulders with a lovely deck to sun tan or have drinks.

There is no honeymoon suite, but they really went all out to decorate the room with rose petals, sparkling wine, strawberries and cream, fruit basket etc and really made it romantic ans special.

The lodge really strives for personal touch and creating a homely feel and really treat you like royalty and family.

Thanks Little Bush Camp for giving us our dream wedding!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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South Florida, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2008

My husband and I (both 32 years old) just got back from our first trip to South Africa. We stayed at Little Bush for 3 nights. All I can say is that we did not want to leave and wished we had booked more nights there!

Our guide and tracker, Mike and Crimson, were wonderful. Mike has a true passion for what he does, is very knowledgeable, and his personality makes the safari experience so much fun! Leana and Etionne, lodge managers, were wonderful as well and made us feel at home.

Here is the deal with Little Bush, there are only six suites--this makes the stay so enjoyable because there are not many people there and it allows privacy; as well as, the ability to get to know everyone there. Little Bush feels more exclusive----Bush Lodge is huge (60+ people) so is not very private and many kids, Earth Lodge was ok but more commercialized and not as cozy---we did not get to see the suites though, Selati is smaller (not as small as Litte Bush) and looked as if it is very nice but does not have balconies on every suite. With how much we used our balcony, I simply could not stay at Selati because of our love of the balcony we had at Little Bush.

As far as the spa and gym go, you can be transferred to Earth Lodge for spa treatments and then brought back to the privacy of Little Bush. Forget about the gym---it is a joke. One bike and a stair stepper that both looked like they were from the 18th century. My hubby and I are big gym people, but realized that even if there was a nicer gym there that we would not have taken advantage of it due to the busy safari schedule and our love of relaxing and having a bottle of wine on our balcony in the middle of the day.

We took advantage of the Sabi Sabi package that was offered for Little Bush (check the website for deals www.sabisabi.com---you can book directly with Sabi but we got a better rate from Lianne at www.go2africa.com so we booked through her)) and did the 1.5 hour road transfer from the Nelspruit airport to Sabi. I highly recommend doing this as it allowed us to see the many villages that are outside of Kruger. We did the FedAir flight from Sabi back to Joburg at the end of our trip---be aware that the planes are VERY small and offer much turbulence---I was okay but hubby and some other passengers were sick from all of the motion. By the way, do not worry about the luggage issues with the flight from Sabi to JNB as there was no weighing of luggage. We did see a scale at the Fedair site in JoBurg so they may weigh the bags there though.

Be sure to request Suites 4, 5, or 6 as these have better river views. Hubby and I stayed in #5---have a look at our pics. There is a pool at LB but is not heated, so forget using it in winter. There is a mini-bar, carafe of sherry, tea/coffee, and water in the room. If you need anything else---like our midday bottle of wine---they will bring it to you. No TV---but why would you need it? At night it was very cold---all suites get a heater brought into the room for use while you sleep. There is an AC unit in the room but there was no need for us to use it as we were there in winter.

Overall, we had a wonderful time and would most defintely go back and stay at Little Bush. I only hope that we do not have to wait too long to get back! Enjoy!!! :):):)

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp

Address: Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Little Bush Camp is the smallest and most secluded of Sabi Sabi’s lodges. Styled with contemporary elegance, the 5-Star lodge is a showcase of safari chic in a relaxed environment. Ideal for exclusive use by small groups, there are six suites, all with en-suite bathrooms, private decks and heated spa bath overlooking the riverbed and surrounding bush. An intimate lodge, inviting lounge and outdoor boma welcome guests to enjoy the safari of a lifetime. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp Hotel Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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