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“Heaven in the Timbavati Bushvelt” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kings Camp

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Kings Camp
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Kruger National Park 1218, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Thornton Cleveleys, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Heaven in the Timbavati Bushvelt”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

This was our 2nd visit to Kings Camp and it exceeded every expectation. The rooms are old colonial stye, sumptious, spotless and very comfortable. Nothing is too much trouble. But for game viewing, we just can't imagine better. The rangers are very knowledgable and along with their trackers work hard to get you the whole bush experience, we got it in shedloads! If all you want is "The Big Five", they can give it to you (but don't expect it in 1 or 2 days, these are wild animals after all) but if you want to know about absolutely everything they can give you that too. We have every intention of returning again next year.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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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188 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (47)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2010

I can't say enough great things about Kings Camp. Food, rooms, staff, service, game drives, game drives, game drives.... and did I mention the game drives! The guide and tracker during my trip (Colbert and Sam) were amazing at tracking down animals -- big five, little five, ugly five (who knew!) -- pointing out birds, insects, stars and constellations, etc. We even tracked a pack of wild dogs and watched them take down an antelope. Just an amazing trip. I thought it might be a bit awkward to go to a private game reserve while traveling solo, but the staff was incredibly friendly and made me feel quite at home. The communal bar and library where guests congregated in between meals and game drives also made for a nice social trip. Loved the grounds and the random warthogs that wandered around. Food was impeccable and made to order at every meal. Somehow I managed to Forrest Gump my way into the 'honeymoon suite', which had its own private pool. Also a heated floor outside the shower -- now that was an unexpected little bit of heaven.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2010

We spent four nights at Kings Camp as part of our Honeymoon. Overall the experience was excellent.

Our game ranger and tracker were both highly knowledgable and really cared about showing the animals to you. We saw all of the Big Five multiple times as well as some of the Little Five and Ugly Five. We were also lucky enough to see a pair of White Lion cubs. We highly recommend asking for Colbert if you're thinking of Kings Camp.

The Lodge was beautifully appointed. Our room was very spacious with luxury furnishings and a good view. It was very well kept and spotlessly clean.

The Lodge staff were all incredibally friendly and their attention to detail was second to none. The little things were always in their thoughts, with such things as a hot bath after an evening game drive and a special meal in our room all thought of. The serving staff were very good and the food excellent.

In summary we couldn't recommend Kings Camp more highly!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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.
San Diego, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2010

Our family of 6 spent 3 nights at King's Camp in July 2010 after seeing several WC matches. Everything was fantastic - the rooms, the food, the personal attention, the game drives. 5 of our 6 game drives were excellent, and our guide/tracker Colbert and Sam were incredibly knowledgeable and able to find leopards and rhinos by following tracks we couldn't really even see. We saw the big 5 multiple times, along with lots of other animals - they even took requests to try to find specific animals. They have a fantastic outdoor viewing deck overlooking a water hole, and we spent hours between drives having cocktails and watching the animals troop through to the water hole - a herd of elephants, giraffes, kudu, etc. Lots of monkeys about, along with wart hogs mowing the grass. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

We stayed here as part of our honeymoon for three nights in June 2010. There were a few clues as to the level of personal service we were to receive even before we left the UK; we received an e-mail asking if there were any special dietary needs and also asking our expected arrival time. We were then e-mailed the managers mobile phone number who asked that we call him when our plane had landed in order that he would know when to expect us. Obviously this contact can be read in a number of ways, but it proved to be entirely positive.

The afternoon game drive had departed 10minutes before our eventual arrival so had we missed out? Not at all! When we arrived we were greeted by a number of staff/drinks/cold towels etc and our bags just seemed to simply disappear! They had a safari jeep standing by, and we were immediatley conveyed out to join the evening game drive. Added to this, we were supplied with beautifully presented boxes of drinks and snacks; in all a really lovely welcome after our journey!

Our room was simply stunning in 'colonial' style and well equipped with 4 poster bed and mosquito netting, aircon, free minibar, gorgeous bathroom (including an outdoor shower) and other lovely touches. Bearing in mind that this was our honeymoon, our cleaner Eunice (who we never actually met) left various lovely romantic quotes for us to read. The room was serviced every time we left it. I have added my own photos but the photos on their own website are a very accurate depiction. (www.kingscamp.com)

The food was excellent and extremely varied. On the first night we had what was essentially a barbecue within the camp but it was to a very high standard, the second night was a superb dinner in the restaurant, and on our final night we had a 'surpise' dinner at the end of the evening game drive in the middle of the African bush. The lengths that they must have gone to to acheive the latter must have been huge. Incidentally, all food and wine is included in the cost.

Game drives were excellent and far better than those that I've experienced before. We only ever had four or six people in our jeep which is an important point to take into account. We did see a jeep from another camp which had 11 people crammed into it; that must have been unbearable. The knowledge and enthusiasm of our driver Colbert and his tracker Sam cannot be overstated; they were both quite incredible. We saw the big 5 with ease, and in fact on our final drive saw all the big 5 in one trip including some rare white Lions. That alone was an amazing experience.

The overriding impression we received here was that none of the staff could do enough for you. Each and every one went to great lengths to make sure that your stay was nothing short of perfect.

I can offer no negatives about Kings Camp; it is a truly stunning place with brilliant staff. I did write a review of the nearby Imbali lodge three years ago and while those views still remain, Kings Camp has the clear edge for a number of reasons. We can't wait to go back here and highly recommend Kings Camp to everyone.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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.
Pelham, New York
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2010

I went to the reviews of King's Camp to re-live my wonderful experience there and realized to my chagrin that I had never submitted a review. I am embarassed at the oversight, so here goes.
We booked King's Camp based on a personal recommendation of someone who had stayed there twice. Our group of six came a few days after Christmas 2010 (myself, my husband, two adult children and their significant others) and stayed 5 nights. It was one of the most memorable experiences of our lives.
The main focus of a safari camp is the wildlife, and our experience was extraordinary. We saw virtually ever kind of wildlife (including a rare sighting of a mother cheetah bring back a kill for her three cubs, and a black mamba snake, perhaps the most feared and dangerous in Africa. ) Our ranger and his assistant were tireless in searching out and finding the magnificent creatures. My son was interested in the birds, and the ranger continually took the time to point out the different species. I cannot imagine that anyone has ever had a better viewing experience than we did in our five days.
The lodge itself is beautiful, small and intimate (11 beautifully appointed rooms.) We met several families from the U.S., including someone my husband knew through his business. Most meals are served in a lovely dining area that opens up to the outdoors if it's not too hot. The food was wonderful, although three full meals when you are not being particularly active is a lot to deal with. The quality was mostly excellent and the service just wonderful.
We did a lot of research for this trip, and looked at many options. Since we were paying the tab for a large group (it was the family Christmas gift), value was important. My daughter had stayed at Sabi Sands a few years ago and loved it but they couldn't take our group of 6. Same at Londolozi. We also heard Sabi Sabi was apt to be crowded. That was when we were told about King's Camp.
It's a given that a lodge of this caliber is expensive, but because we took three rooms for 5 nights, we were able to negotiate quite a good rate (about $450/ per person/ per night.) Places like Singita probably provide a higher level of luxury, but at twice the price, we weren't interested - and honestly, how much luxury does anyone need? This lodge provided a very high standard. The staff could not have been more accommodating and the total experience was fabulous.
My only complaint is very minor - there is no wireless internet access and only one computer available for guests in the main building. We would have liked to have another computer available to check e-mail and news. The case of the "underwear bomber" coming into Detroit created major flight delays while we were away. Since we had several connections, we would have liked a bit more access to news.
But make no mistake about it - we loved King's Camp and we will be back!

  • Stayed December 2009, 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.
San Francisco
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2010

I spent months agonizing over which lodge to stay at -- reading every tripadvisor review, talking to friends, and generally driving my travel agent up the wall -- and I'm so glad we chose Kings Camp.

What makes Kings Camp so special is the staff. They are a warm, welcoming family and will do whatever it takes to make your stay wonderful. The game drives were awesome. Morne, our guide, was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. Timbavati seems to be a little less crowded than Sabi Sands. We got to see the white lions!

The rooms are huge. The beds are very comfortable. Every night we returned from our game drive to a piping hot bath -- a wonderful way to end the day. I really appreciated the gym.

There are lots of options, but I highly recommend Kings Camp.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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.
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Additional Information about Kings Camp

Address: Kruger National Park 1218, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kings Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kings Camp reflects the charm and romance of a colonial past in a pristine corner of unspoilt Africa. Kings Camp is situated facing an open savanna plain with a waterhole, which is frequented by a wide variety of wildlife, day and night.Eleven generously spacious colonial suites are luxuriously equipped with air-conditioning, Victorian ball-and-claw bath, indoor and outdoor double shower, fully stocked mini-bar and private verandah. Dark tones of wood and thatch offset the natural colours of the bushveld. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kings Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Kings Camp South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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