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“Most pleasant Kruger Park surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Orpen Rest Camp

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Orpen Rest Camp
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
146 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Most pleasant Kruger Park surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2011

I was not thrilled to be going back to Kruger after an absence of several decades. Tales of hordes of overseas visitors who show no regard for animal rights, noisy goings-on at camps at nite, and over-crowding on the roads had put us off. But an overseas visitor insisted that was where she wanted to go, so I was very lucky to get accommodation at the small Orpen Camp, just inside the Park at Orpen Gate. The Camp is right there on the edge of the plains where Satara visitors go to view the herds of game in the area.

The biggest change I noticed from twenty odd years ago, is that the nearby petrol station and the camp are now run by the most charming ladies who do an excellent job of welcoming visitors and being most helpful.

There are no more than 14 bungalows neatly arranged around a beautifully laid out garden with many trees. At the fence is a sparkling swimming pool on the visitors' side, and on the other side a watering hole for the animals, so while lazing in the pool one may observe the animals passing by! How cool is that.

The problems of the marauding honey badgers have been solved with a sturdy cage built around the fridge on the Kitchen terrace, and provided you close that at nite, and have put all your food inside, there should be no problem. The huts are well kept and are neat and tidy with excellent mosquito nets that seal the windows. There certainly was a safe in the cupboard for those who need that.

Within a 10 km range of the camp, we were lucky enough to see cerval cat, magnificent lion, elephant and a black rhino. The visitors using the camp were there to see animals and were off at first light - they also observed the camp rules and the place was most peaceful and quiet in the evenings. Accommodation costs a fraction of the newly built more private camps, and yet provides the kind of pleasant cosy atmosphere that those camps offer.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hirene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
Southampton
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2010

We stayed in a bungalow at Orpen for 3 nights earlier this month. The accommodation was clean, pleasant and spacious and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. The facilities were good and the camp was quiet. There is a swimming pool and shop available. Be aware though that there is no safe available in the bungalow, and that the doors only lock from the inside so you cannot lock your room when leaving the accommodation. Although this was a worry to us it was safe and none of our belongings were taken.
The highlight of Orpen is the view from the accommodation of the watering hole (about 150m away) was spectacular and we had breathtaking experiences of watching game, and many elephants so close, it was wonderful! There was also many birds on the site. We had wonderful experiences of the game at Orpen, and found it a good place to begin game drives from. There were also activities, for example night drive, accessible from Orpen.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank naomivictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2008

Would recommend this if you plan to drive into orpen Gate late pm or drive out of Orpen gate early am. Thats exactly what we did-since we had just driven 5hr from Jo'berg, we used this camp to stretch. Also, Orpen is a great place to stay if you intend to self drive the Timbavati route inside Kruger NP. Its a phenomenal game drive midway between Orpen and Satara camp. We followed the Timbavati river from Orpen and its just filled with wildlife.
Orpen is a very small rest camp in the middle of wilderness.The bungalow was clean and comfortable-nothing fancy. It had a small balcony with outdoor kitchen and grill. A honeybadger had built a home next to our room-so we were forewarned about storing food. There is a small store with snacks, packaged food and water which closes at 6pm. There is no cafeteria. The store reopens only 8am- so its a problem if you plan not to use the kitchen.
We took the night drive from the rest camp- it was okay. After having been on private game drives, Kruger drives are very ordinary but they are value for money. We saw a hyena, a civet, some buffaloes.

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank YpsiRt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2008

I was a little suspicious of staying at one of the camps right at an entry gate into the park, but we found the Opren Camp to be very quiet, very peaceful, and very nice, and far more intimate. Actually, it felt far more natural and less touristy than some of the interior big camps like Sukuza.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank Yakatack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Orpen Rest Camp

Property: Orpen Rest Camp
Address: Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #129 of 171 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Orpen Rest Camp is situated centrally on the western border of the Kruger National Park. It is a small camp that derived its name from the surname of the donor of the land, Eileen Orpen. The scattered trees and wide-open plains covered by sweet grass attract many browsers. This in turn, attracts the eye-catching cheetah, lion and leopard. Well known for its diversity of habitat and wildlife, Orpen offers visitors an excellent opportunity to experience close encounters with elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard in a natural environment. Wild dog, cheetah, zebra and giraffe are also indigenous to this area, a paradise for the wildlife enthusiast. ... more   less 

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