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“A Real bush experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shindzela Tented Safari Camp

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Shindzela Tented Safari Camp
3.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Johnniesdale Farm | Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
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Caterham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A Real bush experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

We can't recommend Shindzela highly enough, we had a truly magnificent 3 nights there and only hope we can go back one day. Having lived in South Africa for 3 years some years ago we had stayed in several safari camps, including some far more costly than this, but this was our most enjoyable experience . The place does what it says, a 'real' bush experience orchestrated by David, a man who is so obviously passionate about the bush and keen to share it with others. The camp wants for nothing, it is very atmospheric all the necessary amenities are there. The 'tents' are very comfortable, the feeling of not being fenced in certainly heightened the experience and it was lovely to lie in bed listening to the sounds of the bush going on around us at night. We had the tent furthest away from the dining area etc, and I would highly recommend that. The staff were all wonderful, Dave and Stephanie our delightful guides took us on walking safaris where we came across a family of 5 rhino with a baby (at all times we felt completely safe and that Dave was in control of a situation). Having been on safari before and seen the Big Five many times we were just as eager to see the smaller inhabitants of the bush and our tracker and guides didn't disappoint, with night sightings of a chameleon (don't know how they spotted that one), interesting birds and insects etc. Afternoon visits from Wanda the warthog who came to scratch those hard to get at places on the tree trunks and side of the pool was all the entertainment we needed! The ladies in the kitchen didn't disappoint either, homely meals, well prepared were the order of the day and lovely drinks and snacks when out on game drives meant walking safaris were a must! There honestly was nothing we could fault. Just keep on educating people that there is more to the bush than the Big Five and you can't go wrong. Fantastic value which we will recommend to friends

Room Tip: The room furthest away from the camp overlooks the river bed and has many passing animals and is ver...
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  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shindzela, Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Dear fabhols_12

Thank you very much for your wonderful review! We are delighted to hear that you had a wonderful time!

I will pass this onto the guys at camp!
Take care and looking forward to your return
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

We have been travelling for 7 months thru africa and europe, and this was our best experience of the whole trip! Apologies for the late review. peter and monica were our guides and are deadset legends. Saw a family of rhino, giraffe, lots of antelope, rare sivet and tracked lion, and when we had morning tea after the game drive, a herd of maybe 30 elephants walked straight past the car! Saw lots of antelope on the walks, the african bush.is.fantastic. As is the lux camp tents, with hot outdoor (private) showers. And the lovely ladies put a hot water bottle in ur bed after the night drive! The food is homely and top shelf, all really lovley people, who care about nature, are know wat they are talking about. also met some great guests, who have similar views on the value of nature and real safari, not "stupid tourists" Very good value too. Cant wait to save up and come back to africa, and stay with these guys! Thanks so much! I may even join in the poo spitting contest next time peter! (its only impala poo guys, dont freak!)

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shindzela, Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear brad_d174

How lucky you are to travel for such a long time! Thank you so much for the great /excellent feedback, we appreciate it immensely! I will pass on your message to the guys at camp!

All the best, and hope to see you soon
Take Care
Shindzela Team
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Ingolstadt, Germany
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

We stayed there for 6 nights in September. After beeing welcomed by Peter we went to our tents. Nice, large tents with bathroom on a wooden platform in a beautiful location. Every morning we did a beautiful walk with Peter and Warren (you guys are great :-) ). Twice we could get on foot very close to a herd of elefants. Monika, Peter, Warren and Sam do a very professional job.We always felt very safe and comfortable. Saw lots of animals from lions (a pride of min 20) to a very rare sighting of an amazing Pangolin wich made Warren almost to be beside of him with joy. Food was tasty and always of good quality: a special thanks to the kitchen team.

On the whole a wonderful experience. We new what to expect and we got more than that.

Thanks for the wonderful time.
Cheers from Gerlinde, Magdalena, Peter and Herbert

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 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.
shindzela, Front Office Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear herbel

Awesome! Thank you for your review! I will most certainly pass on your kind words to the guys in camp!

Glad you had a great time!
Take Care
Shindzela Team
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at Shindzela while on our honeymoon in Africa. From the moment we arrived we knew we had made the right choice. We wanted to experience the tented safari with the chance of animals wondering past and this is exactly what it is with that extra bit of luxury. The beds were so comfy and warm, we had the perfect night's sleep everynight. You are made to feel so welcome the minute you arrive and they can't do more for you. Monika, Peter and their team go that extra mile for you. The food is excellent, not that you need to eat loads when the only exercise you get is from the African Massage........ We were so lucky during the visit to see so many lions, it almost became a joke. The sundowner drinks were always in perfect locations. Definitely consider Shindzela on your trip.

  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shindzela, Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Louise R,

Thank you very much for your very special review! And we are very happy to hear that you had a wonderful time!

Hope to see you soon
Take Care
Shindzela Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sammamish, Washington
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

We (family of 4) stayed 3 nights at Shindzela in late August 2012. This is a wonderful, intimate bush camp safari - maximum 16 guests at a time!!! Dave (owner), Monica & Peter (camp managers/guides) and Warren (tracker) were extremely welcoming, warm, knowledgable & interested in teaching us all about the bush (wildlife, plants, birds, insects, etc.). This bush camp is perfect for pre-teens/teenagers - both our kids loved the experience and still talk about it. The tents were basic, but very comfortable with twin size beds, a side-table, small dresser, warm blankets & pillows. The solar powered lighting in tents & bathroom was adequate. The bathrooms had flush toilets, shower facilities (some tents (#4) had warmer water than others). The meals prepared by Mellita & her staff were simple buffet style, but nutritious & tasty (there was always a warm, satisfying "mmmmmmm" dessert after dinner!). The kids still ask for "mmmmmm" each night! We particularly enjoyed having our meals with other camp guests - we've forged new friendships from people around the world! The hot water flask tucked into each bed in the evening was a nice treat for the cold nights. The game viewing was above average & never felt rushed - saw hyenas/pride of lions/elephants/buffalo herd on our 1st evening game drive; met Harry the Hippo/solitary lion on our 2nd morning game drive; on our final morning game drive we saw a white male rhino. The sundowners were nice too! We took advantage of a walking safari one morning - although we did not directly encounter any wildlife, we did hear lions roaring in the distance. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of the sounds through the night from the comfort of our tent - roar of lions, elephant grunts, hyena and wild dog cries, etc.

This is a bush camp so don't expect to have connectivity to the internet, be able to use the cellphone or plug in your hair dryer! This is exactly the reason why we chose this camp - to get away from all things electronic & totally disconnect from the outside world for a few days!

We would love to revisit Shindzela some day! Thank you Dave, Monica, Peter & Warren for making our first safari a truly memorable & enriching experience!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shindzela, Front Office Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Dear StPatrickGal

What a lovely read! Thank you for your review, and i will make sure that the camp gets it!

We hope to host you and your family again at Shindzela
Take Care

Shindzela, Reservations
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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Going to Shindzela takes some hours, but will help you to come in the right spirit. You will pass along bushfield along a sandtrack wthout seeing almost no car. Then you will arrive on a secluded spot with beautiful designed tents. Good comfort and very good aligned with the bushfeeling you are looking for. Then there is of course the thing you're coming for, the wildlife. Well, there can be plenty, even just around your tent. When it is dark you are not allowed to go alone to your tent because some predator might catch you. Twice a day there is a safari, and we were very lucky to have some great experiences.
Sam and Dave were leading our tours, and tehy did a great job. We could enjoy their life long experience in tracking and tracing, so if there is a grown or branch breaking miles away they will hear it.
Our first night we saw some large animals like buffels an giraffes, but what was especially interesting was a walking safari around a rhino. You could easily come close as long as we stayed quiet and did not move too much. Later we saw a huge herd of buffalos, maybe 3 to 400 coming to the dam. Later a pack of lions came in and went after the herd, we were almost in the middle of hundreds of buffalos rumbling and running.
The last morning was really special. We saw a pack of willd dogs that had chased an impala in the water of the dam. The poor thing was swimming from one corner to another one, and the dogs just posted a soldier on the place where it might think of getting on land. The neigbourhood hippos were disturbed in their sleep and decided to hunt down the invader also a bit, so the room for swimming become even more narrower. Finally the pack of dogs caught the impala and started to eat it out, beginning with the soft parts until it was dead. Then the hyenas cam in, attracted by the sounds of the hunting. Take a closer look by giving the search terms Impalahunt wilddogs on Youtube.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shindzela, Front Office Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Dear Dick V

Thank you very much for your kind words! We are so pleased to see that you had such a good time and game viewing experience!

I will pass on message to the Camp staff!
Take Care
Shindzela
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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

My parents and I stayed at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp for two evenings and we loved every minute there and can't wait to return with the rest of our family to share this special place with them.
The cooks whipped up incredible South African meals right in the middle of the bush. The guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and managed to spot just about everything, from an elephant camouflaged in the bush to a chameleon sitting on a branch way after sunset.
I can't wait to come back and experience this place again

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shindzela, Manager at Shindzela Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Hi Emma-Lisa L

Thank you so much for you great review!! I will forward this onto the camp as well! We look forward to hosting you and your family again!

Take Care
The Shindzela Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shindzela Tented Safari Camp

Address: Johnniesdale Farm | Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Shindzela Tented Safari Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shindzela is an authentic tented bush camp situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, greater Kruger National Park. The camp accommodates a maximum of 16 guests and is unfenced, making it very much part of the wilderness. Shindzela is not built by an award winning architect, nor is it furnished by an interior designer. What you will find though, is a comfy bed, freshly laundered linen, and décor from local crafters and artists. Shindzela is a comfortable/rustic tented bush camp, where you can relax, enjoy our warm hospitality and immerse yourself in the African wilderness. We love our informal, relaxed atmosphere. Each safari tent is built on wooden decks, and has their own en-suite shower/toilet and hand basin. The camp also has a swimming pool and overlooks our little watering hole, from where you can watch animals come down to drink. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shindzela Tented Safari Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Shindzela Tented Safari Camp South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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