We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“location great”
Review of Camp Shawu

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Camp Shawu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights in May. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The camp is in desperate need of some maintenance. I would rate this lodge a 3 star, but with some minor changes and attention to small detail this could easily be a 4 star lodge. The location is excellent, situated next to a big dam. You can sit on your veranda at see a lot of animals. The tents are very big, with an open bathroom. There is an outside shower. The lodge consist of 5 tents , making it nice and cosy. The staff were extremely friendly. The chef cooked our food with love. Can I recommend this lodge ? Yes if you go with an open mind , don't expect a5star lodge - but a place in the wild with friendly staff.

Room Tip: Room one is on it's own away from the other rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank zee55555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (95)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

43 - 49 of 95 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2013

After 2 nights of (very hot) camping and self driving in and around Lower Sabie, my husband and I were relieved to park the car at Shishangeni and finally relax. We were convinced there were no cats in the Kruger after zero sightings in 2 days, but our camp manager/ranger/maitre d'/fountain of all knowledge Issac assured us that there were. In fact, on our drive to Camp Shawu Isaac stopped the vehicle to point out a leopard. Five minutes with Isaac and already we had seen a cat! It was not only an incredible sight, but an amazing start to a fantastic stay. Other reviewers have raved about the location and views from the Camp, but you cannot really understand the magic until you witness it yourself. Some reviewers have complained about a lack of luxury, but I am not sure what they were expecting. You are literally in the middle of nowhere, sleeping in a tent that is beautifully furnished with nice touches like a clawfoot bathtub and fireplace, you have your own deck with a private animal show, you are fed 3 huge (and delicious) meals and 4 snacks each day by very friendly and kind staff members, it will never be crowded due to the maximum capacity of 10 guests, and you have at least 6 hours each day of game drives with knowledgeable rangers like Isaac who can track a lion in the thickest bush in the height of rain season. What more could you possibly want? While there is no guarantee you will see the Big Five on your visit, your chances are very good in this animal rich park of the Kruger and with excellent rangers on staff. My husband and I were completely enchanted by Camp Shawu and we are already planning to visit again.

Room Tip: All the tents are set up for maximum privacy but 4 and 5 are the furthest from the main common area.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Me and my family (all grown up children) visited Camp Shawu in December. Upon arrival we were first taken to the main lodge, Camp Shishangeni, before we were transported to Camp Shawu. At Camp Shishangeni everything looked quite comfortable with aircondition, television, wifi and breakfast buffet. Almost like a hotel.

When we arrived at Camp Shawu we quickly understood that this was different, and certainly not like a hotel. There's no aircondition (there are fans in the ceiling above the bed which makes it good to sleep on a hot night), no tv and no wifi. But Camp Shawu has something the other camps in the area lacks, and it is what makes Camp Shawu so much better: Location. The location is simply amazing. From the porch you have the most fantastic view of a huge water hole were the animals come to drink during the day. Only from the back deck of the main house we could see impalas, wildebeests, giraffes, warthogs, water buffalos, rhinos, elephants and of course the water hole occupants; the hippos! I truly enjoyed spending the hours between game drives on the back deck watching animals, taking pictures and reading without any technological disturbances (except from my camera). Oh, and the feeling you get when a huge elephant is passing by from approx. ten meters distance! Can't be described.

Other than this the huts are lovely, clean and comfortable. The wall facing towards the porch is actually a tent wall, so it can be opened. So nice when the breeze come in towards night. And the staff is really sweet. The woman in charge, Hazel, was so fun and lovely. She did everything she could to make our stay as good as possible.

The game drives were also incredible, we saw the big five and so much more. Our driver had both knowledge and respect for the animals. He knew when to get closer and when to keep a distance. As there are only room for ten guests at Camp Shawu and it wasn't fully booked when we were there, we had a lot of space in the car. Good for photgraphy!

I recommend Camp Shawu if you want a good piece of luxury, but can manage without all of the everyday necessities you have at home. You should also be able to appreciate the feeling of being close to the nature, and far from the rest of the world. I know I will treasure the memories from these days for a long time.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Tmlc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I should have written this much, much sooner, because no other place I have ever been has deserved as excellent a review as I can give Hazel, George, Leonard, and the rest of Camp Shawu.
My husband and I took a trip to South Africa using Wild Journeys. It was an amazing experience. One part of our trip took us here to Camp Shawu for a few remarkable days. Let me tell you about it....
We arrived at the larger camp and had a private driver take us to the smaller camp. I can't describe to you the feeling you get when you venture down these rugged roads and all of a sudden there is a giraffe or an elephant only feet from you. It felt like I was in Jurassic Park, the movie! Such an exhilarating feeling! Our driver took the time to stop and explain things about the park and about the animals and allowed for some amazing photo ops (although I must say, seeing as how I wanted to experience my safari and not be hiding behind a camera, all I had was my little Nikon point and shoot Coolpix camera and my iPhone!)
When we arrived at Camp Shawu we were greeted by Hazel who brought out a beverage and showed us to the back deck where we looked upon the watering hole in astonishment. Who needed to leave? It was all right here! Hazel showed us to our "tent" and while I loved the accommodations (more on that later) I was a tad bit disappointed in the view of the watering hole. It was a bit farther than the other four "tents" available, and you just didn’t see quite as much. I knew I could go to the main deck any time I would like and was still just happy to be here. I was pleasantly surprised when Hazel came back a few minutes later and asked if we wanted to be moved to another tent. You see there was a family of four coming the next evening (parents with two teenaged children) and originally she had them in tents next to each other. Since we arrived first and were even staying longer, she thought it right that we should get the tent with the better view. I was so appreciative of her for doing so when I hadn't even asked or mentioned my disappointment at the only-slightly-not-as-great view. I just thought that was really going above and beyond for us.
Now - for the accommodations... I felt like I had won the lottery. I felt totally undeserving of such a great place to be. I should tell you up front that this was our first safari and that my husband is a self-employed musician and I am a school teacher. We travel a lot, but we don't stay in first class hotels because our enjoyment is in seeing the country we are vacationing, not the inside of the hotel room. So - we are not used to top not luxury. This, to us just-your-average-Americans, was luxury. The pictures tell the story, so I don't have to describe. They do the place justice. Yes, the toilet was behind a partition, but that mattered none to us, yes the claw foot tub was in the open, and I loved it. The shower was open and outside and I enjoyed it immensely. I smile as I think about it! Every night after returning from dinner (more on meals later) the fireplace in the room was lit and the room ready to retire in. Sleep was comfortable in the fabulous bedding and although the sound of the hippos was crazy loud in the middle of the night, I recorded it and listen to it often, missing the sounds of the hippos for the first nights after we left.
In the morning, we were brought out of our slumber by the soft voice of Hazel, (or was it George?) saying "Good morning" outside our door to tell us it was time to rise. We were off before sunrise on our morning safari tour. The animals, the birds, the trees, the landscape, the sunrise - all so worth the early morning wake up for. Leonard was our guide. I can still hear his laugh ringing in my ears and it brings a smile to my face. He was awesome. Truly awesome. He also accompanied us on all our evening game drives where we stopped to have wine and snacks as the sun went down. On our travels with Leonard, we saw amazing sights with amazing commentary and learned so much. I saw 4 of the Big Five because I chose to stay back for one game drive, but my husband saw all five. To see a cheetah right there in front of you – wow! Each time after we returned, there was Hazel, greeting us upon arrival with a flashlight if it was dark, a blanket if it was chilly, a glass of something delicious if that was what we never even knew we needed until it was provided for us.
Hazel was something special. So accommodating, so funny, so helpful, so calming. I am a picky, picky eater. I don’t expect anyone to change meal plans for me, I just adapt to whatever I’m given and eat what I can. She asked about all my aversions and provided me with other options. I, the picky, picky eater, loved the food at Camp Shawu. Everything I had was delicious! I also loved the company! You get to meet really interesting people when you are together at a small place like this in the middle of nowhere. By the time we left, we made good friends with a few of the wonderful people we shared time with. I am sad that I haven’t kept up with correspondence with them. Getting back to the “real world” brings distractors which sometimes makes keeping in touch harder and I hope to at least get a message to them in the near future. Get to know your fellow guests.
I need to go back to the watering hole for a minute. We went during the dry season (July) and the large watering hole brought all the animals to us. In fact, I even skipped one of the game drives to stay and watch the sun come up over the watering hole and was rewarded with serenity that I can’t imagine ever being matched. As I looked over my beautiful surroundings I wrote personal messages to the staff that made our experience so wonderful and included these messages with our gratuity at the end of our stay.
Now, as I have said, we aren’t used to high end accommodations, but I can’t imagine most people thinking this place was anything less than spectacular. On our last day I spent every last moment I could staring out at the animals and listening to the hippos. Hazel gave me a hug and I wept silent tears at having to leave.
I would go back here and redo this part of the vacation in a heartbeat if the world wasn’t so large and full of unseen sights. (or if money wasn’t an obstacle!)
Hazel, Leonard, if by chance you are reading this, thank you again. I tell people about you. You are remembered. I hold you, and the wonderful place that you have made so special, dear in my heart.
Carrie and Doug from Wisconsin, USA

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank carriefromwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

This was supposed to be a luxury camp. The accommodation was disappointing, although adequate. it consisted of a large tent with mud/buffalo dung walls. A large double bed with a mosquito net was quite pleasant, but the toilet placed behind a screen was fairly shabby.
The walkway to and from the restaurant was quite pleasant but when wet was slippy and so unsuitable for those with a mobility problem. It was also unlit. The ramp to the restaurant was also lethal for able-bodied as well as disabled.
The food, although adequate was by no means luxurious, and the camp, although catering for only a maximum of 10 people ran out of some staples during my four-day stay, such as tomatoes and Windhoek lager.
The game drives were very good and there were many animals seen during the trip, even from the room and the restaurant which both overlooked a dam at which many animals came to drink and wallow.
However the overall memory and impression was that the lodge was overpriced, and although adequate, was not worth the expense

Room Tip: There are only 5 and all seemed similar
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Jon2512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

This place is absolutely AMAZING!!! We were there for three days and had the best safari experience (and we had been to Kruger many times before)!The hotel is inside of the park and everything about it is great! Great room with a balcony overlooking the water where you can see animals passing by while resting - a little noisy at night because of the proximity of the hippos (don't let it turn you off, just bring an ear plug - the experience is great!), great food and great safaris! It was the first time we actually felt likt the guides were trying really hard to find the animals. So, all you do is eat the amazing food they serve, sleep in the amazing room and go on great safaris. Couldn't get better than this. It's not cheap, but definitely worth it!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Simoniinha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012 via mobile

This was easily our favourite place we stayed in on a trip through Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. The location is marvellous and accommodation is lovely. The whole side of the room opens up onto the lake where we saw at least 14 different animals, not counting birds. Lovely decoration, thoughtfully arranged, including a lovely bath which you can sit in while watching the wildlife just a few metres away.

Probably the best part was the food. A great selection and probably the best steak I've ever tasted, followed by the nicest lamb chops I've ever eaten the following evening. The amount of food on offer was quite remarkable too... must have gained a couple of kilos in just a few days.

The game drives are brilliant fun and we saw some amazing sites, including three separate groups of lions, the big 5 and loads more... highlight was seeing two lions mating, we stopped about 6 feet away and they didn't even notice us! The guides were very knowledgable and enthusiastic. It's such an advantage being on a private concession as you have the sites to yourself. There were never more than 2-3 trucks around at any point, compared to 30 or more cars you would get stopping at anything of interest in the rest of the park. Sweet seclusion!

We also stayed as the sister camp Shonga for two nights which was equally welcoming and lovely, though Shawu just tipped it by being by the lake.

  • Stayed: August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank David E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Kruger National Park
5.7 mi away
Shishangeni Private Lodge
Shishangeni Private Lodge
#89 of 175 in Kruger National Park
275 reviews
6.3 mi away
Crocodile Bridge Safari Lodge
Crocodile Bridge Safari Lodge
#71 of 175 in Kruger National Park
112 reviews
16.6 mi away
Mjejane River Lodge
Mjejane River Lodge
#1 of 3 in Hectorspruit
211 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
12.8 mi away
Maqueda Lodge
Maqueda Lodge
#2 of 33 in Marloth Park
390 reviews
11.5 mi away
Bushwise Safaris
Bushwise Safaris
#5 of 33 in Marloth Park
331 reviews
53.4 mi away
Imbali Safari Lodge
Imbali Safari Lodge
#56 of 175 in Kruger National Park
412 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Camp Shawu? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Camp Shawu

Address: Mpanamana Concession, Crocodile Bridge | c/o Shishangeni Lodge, Kruger National Park 1340, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #112 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $88 - $924 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Camp Shawu 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA so you can book your Camp Shawu reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Camp Shawu Hotel Kruger National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing