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“Natural Connection”

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Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
60 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Natural Connection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

Following an 1880’s Africa Explorer theme, Hamilton’s Tented Camp is everything a luxury safari accommodation establishment should be. Romantic tented suites are spaced far apart under ancient Jackalberry Trees, connected by raised wooden walkways. Set in a private concession right within the central, Big 5 game-rich area of the Kruger National Park between Skukuza and Satara, visitors have access to exclusive roads as well as their own private game viewing deck, with each suite overlooking a different curve of the Nwatsitsontso River.

The tents embrace the safari theme, with khaki-green canvas walls, oil lamps, a colonial style writing desk, old trunks and glossy wooden floors. The extra-wide King size beds are draped with white mosquito nets, while decked in gorgeous white linen. With air-conditioning, electricity, a generous wardrobe, a glorious slipper bath overlooking the river and a private outdoor shower, this stay is both traditional and sumptuous.

We choose to stay in Tent 6, the furthest away from the restaurant, overlooking open veld. The suite is surrounded by windows, with two sets of double doors opening onto the riverfront deck. From the suite we see giraffe gliding past above the trees, and we hear an elephant munching. In the night we hear the call of hyena and hippos grunting, and we wake to the sound of a lion roaring so close by we need no further motivation to get up and head out for the morning game drive.

Delicious meals are served at individual tables on an expansive deck overlooking the river. We watch an African Civet cat slink through the grass right below the deck and we drink a toast to our happy discovery of this wonderful place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Berenice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stacy C, Manager at Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Thank you for your lovely feedback. We are delighted to hear that you were happy with your tent and that the animals were in top form around your tent during your stay with us.
Hamilton’s Management & Staff strive to give each and every guest the best experience they possibly can, and we are pleased to hear that you left with fond memories of an unforgettable holiday.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Hamilton’s in the future.
Yours in Hospitality
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292 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

We had a memorable four night stay at Hamilton's in July 2013.You will feel like you have stepped back in time.We asked for tent 1,when booking (based on previous reviews) and we were lucky and got our request. From the seamless checking in. It was a olde worlde experience, a trip back in time and a vision of the colonial bygone era.The staff were fantastic, well trained and attentive. Our ranger Tuen did is best to find us the big five, alas we only got the "three". But as a previous reviewer stated its not just the big five there are many other animal's, bird's and fauna to see.e.g Honey badger (pair) its only the second time in 15 years visiting the kruger we have spotted them.When you visit the park you take your chance.The tent was fantastic overlooking the dam and very private. If one had to be hypercritical you could find fault e.g soapscum around the outside shower.....need's attention and the deck needs a little tlc. But this is the bush and you accept the little attention to detail when you a mesmerised by the moment.The food was very good on the first two night's being swordfish on the first evening and kudu on the second evening.Alas there needs a little thought for guest's staying more than a three day cycle. Malva pudding and poached pear for sweet four night's in a row is a bit much and one would think the management could get the chef to be a little more creative.
Also swordfish on day one and day four...........again its not that difficult to have a seven day meal cycle for lodge of the "star rating".
On our last evening "our anniversay" we were given a suprise candlelit dinner with sparkling wine in our tent served at our discretion.
It was a wonderful suprise, after the initial shock of being told to "inspect our tent" as the monkey's had got in whilst we were on the game drive ( this was a ruse to show us "our suprise" but walking from the main camp to the tent imagining the damage by the "little white lie" about the monkey's !!!!!!! It took a little while and a couple of glasses of red wine to really enjoy the moment..........I suggest a different approach for "future suprises" or elderly guest's. Overal a great experience and relaxing stay away from cellphone's and wifi and the busy lives we all lead........ we will definately be back in the future.

Room Tip: Tent 1 has a view of the dam and the rest have a view of the river.We stayed in tent 1 and would re...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank bigmanJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stacy C, Manager at Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Dear bigman
Thank you very much for the review and I am happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. Tent 1 is indeed a magical suite, I am also happy to see that you enjoyed your room surprise. I will discuss the manner, in which the staff, get the guests to the rooms with them. I agree with you, they might have to start using a less “drastic” excuse to share the surprise with the guests. The issue of menus being repeated, shall be taken up with the Camp Managers and Chefs, thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.
We’re look forward to welcoming you back to Hamiltons in the future.
Yours in Hospitality.
Arno du Preez
Resident Manager
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
95 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

We went to Hamiltons in June 2013 for a long weekend. We were surprised as to how long it took us to get there - allow yourself 3 hours from entering the park to get to Hamiltons, otherwise you will be caught in the park after dark (and they probably won't let you in at the gate if you're too late).

Hamiltons is a magical gem situated in a very animal-rich area. The sand road that leads from the camp to the rest of the park is probably the best game sighting road you can take. We saw so much on the drives.

Hamiltons has quite a colonial feel to it, and the decor is very traditional "safari" style. We loved it. There is a small river running in front of the camp, and the resident hippo sunbathes in full view of the camp every day (and makes delicious hippo grunts all through the night). The bird life is also very rich, and you are likely to see kingfishers, storks, babblers, eagles and vultures.

The staff are very friendly, and will do absolutely anything to make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

The food was ok - all very tasty, but huge portions, and not very "delicate". I was the only one to order fish for dinner one evening, and ended up with an awful case of food poisoning, which left me bed-ridden for 2 days. It definitely is not a good idea having fish in the bush! Stick to the game meat.

The game drives were pretty good. We saw a fair amount of game (we actually saw more driving our own vehicle around than we did on the game drives), but the rangers are very knowledgeable and eager to show you as much as possible.

We would definitely go back again (i would just be more careful with my food choice!)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SH27380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stacy C, Manager at Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear MonsterBabes,
Thank you very much for your review, and thank you for taking the time to write it. We are always delighted to get such positive feedback from our guests. I would however like to clarify two points in your review.
1. Food not very delicate – I am glad to confirm that we will be contracting one of the country’s top Consultant Chefs to help out in this department. She will also be designing new menus for Hamiltons. Our newly appointed Executive Chef will also be joining the team on the 1st of September 2013.
2. Food poisoning – I am so sorry to hear about this. I can confirm to you that our food is delivered to us twice a week and we only use the freshest ingredients sourced from the most reputable suppliers in the area.
I am glad to see that you have every intention to return and we are looking forward to hosting you again.
Yours in Hospitality
Arno du Preez
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

This is my second visit to Hamitons and yet once again I was blown away. From arrival to departure, the service was outstanding, The staff give new meaning to the word "service excellence" and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome and looked after. Game viewing was excellent, our game ranger was Joe and he was very informative and also went out his way to show us what he could. Food, well where do I begin, absolutely lavish and decadent. I think what made the experience so special was the fact that when you were relaxing at the tented camp, the game would walk past throughout the day. I even had a "resident" hippo wallow outside my tent in the river bed. It was SUCH a special experience and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to go on a safari experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tracey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stacy C, Manager at Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Dear Tracey

Thank you very much for the beautiful feedback received regarding your recent stay at Hamiltons Tented Camp. I’m delighted to see that the staff took such great care of you and your family and that Joe went the extra mile to give you an “all round” Safari experience. The hippo is still there, in front of the tent you were staying in waiting for your return. We hope to welcome you back to Hamiltons again in future.
Yours in Hospitality.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Hamilton's for 4 nights during our honeymoon and we LOVED it. I understand that there are more hotel-like (concrete walls and such) places to stay in Kruger for those who always need walls and such but we loved the timely elegance of Hamilton's and that we felt that we were part of Kruger not separate from it.

We were warmly greeted when we arrived from the airport, quickly unpacked and made it on our first evening game drive, which we weren't expecting so was a treat. All of the staff were very friendly and accommodating, and as many mentioned Ronny always has his jokes on hand to keep everyone in light hearted mood. The food was very good, I can agree that it would be nice to see a bit more variety on the offerings but can certainly appreciate the effort that is placed daily to make quality food out here in the bush! I loved the nights we had game options for dinner (think it was Kudu), I could have done some different game every night it was all soo tasty but also I can understand that some city folk (hey I'm a city folk too) don't want to try anything new (shame) and want their chicken/bass/pork etc.

Our guide in the bush was Joe and he was great. Very knowledgeable, easy to talk to and you could tell he is super into what he's doing which only keeps the enthusiasm high and is appreciated when you spend hours in a truck looking out for an animal! We were very lucky to see all 5 of the big 5 (Myself I saw, kid you not, 8 leopards during my stay) and loved that Joe would go off the road to get a closer view of the lions and leopards etc. I saw him while we were there manage very well a difficult client who joined us one day who desperately wanted to see a lion and then wanted to leave once we found one (afraid), no doubt it must have been exasperating for him but he kept his professional cool and they only person who had a word with this person was my husband (he would have wanted to go play with the lion if he could have ;)).

Just a very memorable trip and an excellent experience at Hamilton's and Kruger, we had picked them because it was recommended by a South African friend and she definitely did not lead us wrong. We will plan on coming back some day, until then keep up the good work!

Room Tip: We were there when the water was low so would have preferred tents 1 or 2 (there was a resident hipp...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ChrisGB4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington
Level Contributor
73 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Every previous good reviewer is telling the truth about this corner of Kruger's Garden Of Eden. The few non excellent reviewers must have had real bad luck as this place is an old world, colonial jewel. We LOVED our time here; the food, the hospitality, the serenity, the animals, the birds, the flora, Joe our guide and Lisle the manager who looked after us and my bumbling with our room safe. And the fantastic, friendly staff who were so good humoured and kind. Remember, there is more to see than the Big 5, don't be blindsided by desperately seeking them or looking through your camera only. This place is magic, special and unique.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank fisheyeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nisha D, Manager at Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for the positive feedback. Your every comment is appreciated as this affirms that we are on the right tracks to make your holiday a memorable one, and one that is value for money. Feedback such as this further inspires us to improvise on our service levels and product offering. We look forward to welcoming you back at Hamiltons Tented Camp
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

We wanted to have a 1st Kruger experience but as close to nature as possible. We were recommended Hamiltons Tented Camp and what a great recommendation that was. The entire set up is very small with only 6 tents in the camp with a central lodge/ tent to relax and enjoy meals, drinks and english high tea! The camp is surrounded by different animals that you can literarly watch from your private porch or the central lounge area. Hippos, a crocodile, monkeys and we even had a large elephant visiting us. But of course the safaris are the real thing. Joe our ranger/guide really knows what he is doing. He spots every tiny little animal and also gets very close to the larger big 5 and really gives you the confidence of being so close to both the animals as well as the people in the cruiser! The overall service you experience in the camp is outstanding quality and the staff is making you really feel at home away from home! We especially enjoyed the short stories of Ronny one of the waiters. Very entertaining!

Room Tip: All 6 tents are nicely tucked away and separated for complete privacy and all overlooking the river...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Roelant H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nisha D, Manager at Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful feedback. Hamiltons Tented Camp is luxury personified with uncompromising elegance and service. It offers views of the Nwatswitsonto River and superb game viewing. Our experienced and informative rangers are always excited to share their knowledge of the largest animal to the tiny dung beetle. After an amazing day out in the park, it is always such a pleasure to return back to the camp to relax and listen to the amazing stories told by our butlers. We hope to welcome you back soon at our beautiful Hamiltons Tented Camp.
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Additional Information about Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp

Property: Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp
Address: Mluwati Concession, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 171 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Named after Colonel Stephenson Hamilton, who was instrumental in establishing the world famous Kruger National Park, Hamilton's Tented Camp reflects a safari adventure of the early twentieth century, where grace and style were the epitome of luxurious living. Historically themed along the lines of a big game hunter’s camp encompassing the bygone era of the early 1900’s, Hamiltons Tented Camp allows indulgence in pure luxury, combined with the sounds and smells of the African bush. Six magnificent canvas tents, complete with teak floorboards, dreamy mosquito nets and a superb view of the seasonal river, are linked to the main lodge area by raised timber walkways amongst ancient Jackalberry trees. Uncompromising elegance and breathtaking beauty identifies Hamiltons Tented Camp with open tented lounge, butler service and personalised cuisine.All tented suites have a romantic slipper bath and outdoor shower overlooking the Ngwenyeni Dam, private veranda, air conditioning and an intercom service.Spa treatments are available in the privacy of your room. Safaris in 4x4 vehicles, bird watching, self drive in the Kruger National Park and guided safari walks by prior arrangement.Children over the age of 8 years are welcome and are accommodated in their own room. The camp is situated in a malaria area. Gate entry fees are applicable and charged per person per day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp Hotel Kruger National Park

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