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“Amazing!”
Review of Camp Shawu

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Camp Shawu
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

My wife and I spent just two nights at Camp Shawu in Spetember 2013, and it was amazing!
For our first safari we were looking for something classic, canvas, Hemingway...
And we wanted to split the trip between Kruger and Sabi Sands to increase our chances of seeing a leopard.
For Kruger we researched several camps and thanks to Chrisna from “Siyabona” we settled on Shawu - mainly due to the watering hole.
Located in the extreme southeast corner of Kruger, Shawu is a smaller camp with only five cabins and just one Land Cruiser for the game drives.
This leads to a very personal environment, almost a family atmosphere between the friendly staff and the guests.
Simon was our fantastic ranger and guide, very friendly and very knowledgeable with a seemingly personal interest in finding and sharing the best wildlife. He went out of his way to make every game drive and the entire trip the best possible experience, sharing personal stories, setting up a cocktail hour in the bush, following the sound of a lion until we found it and offering driving directions to get to the next camp safely.
The watering hole by the camp made the game drives almost superfluous. From the common area, from our private deck or with the canvas rolled up even from our own bed, we watched hippos, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, crocodiles, giraffes and so many more animals all day.
The hippos are residents at the watering hole. And throughout the night they can be heard right outside the cabins.
The cabins and the common areas were clean and modern with a hint of classic safari, the food was very good with several meals spread throughout the day.
I wish we had staid at least one more night, and it would be hard to visit Kruger again and not stay at Shawu.

The personal service did not end when we left the camp either. I had forgotten a necklace in our cabin and after a few phone calls from our next lodging and a lot of logistical effort from everyone at Shawu and Shishangeni I was able to meet a security guard at the Nelspruit airport several days later who handed me my necklace!

We arrived at Shawu later than expected and missed the first evening game drive - construction on the “4”, bureaucracy upon entering the park, and the fact that you cannot actually drive to Shawu yourself, but leave the car at Shishangeni to be taken to Shawu by a ranger. These are things to keep in mind when planning time for the drive.
Also be aware that there are sometimes long stretches of the “4” without gas stations.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lars A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Cologne, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

We stayed in Camp Shawu for one night during a 4 day Kruger Safari.

The camp is beautifully situated at the rim of a big waterhole. You will be able to easily view a resident group of hippos, crocodiles, African eagles, pelicans and other animals from your deck (and also hear them during the night!). In addition, we had great game drives with a very knowledgeable guide who was able to trace a pride of lions (even with a fresh kill) on both days. So while this area seems not as abundant with animals as others in Kruger the drives were always very interesting. The best thing was a typical safari sundowner with wines, biltong and dried fruits served right at the vehicle in the bush.

The chalets are furnished very beautifully with a huge king bed and leather armchairs and we absolutely loved the gas fireplace in the evening. Food was good (lunch and breakfast were great, dinner was ok) and served at a big table to give you the opportunity to mingle with the other guests.

That being said, I still had to deduct some points for the following reasons:

• As others have already said, the deck furniture and seat cushions absolutely need replacement. In addition, the big deck should be used for lunch and dinner. Now it is kind of deserted as (some of) the chairs are broken and the pool is too small even for some plunging.

• The setup in the chalets with the see-through room divider as bathroom “wall” is really not very comfortable.

• The biggest drawback for us was the check in/out procedure that you have to do in the main camp Shishangeni. They do say that on the website, but what we didn't know is that Shishangeni is about 30 min drive from the main road and then you drive about 20 min back on the same road to Camp Shawu (and the same procedure on the day of check out). As we only stayed one night, we found this a lot of hassle. If you are staying longer, this might not be a problem. It would help to allow check in/out at every camp or set up a small facility at the main road.

So I would recommend Camp Shawu depending on what kind of Safari you have planned (on the road or camp based).

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Trillian82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rye, New York
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

After much deliberation, we chose this site for our two-night visit to Kruger Park. Situated on the watering hole make it the best place to view elephants, rhinos, giraffes, water buffalo, zebra, on and on. It was so exciting even in the middle of the night when it was dark you could hear all the animals coming to the watering hole to drink. The food and the safaris were good too.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Susan2424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I visited Camp Shawu as one of the first stops on our honeymoon. It was one of the most magical places we have been to. The morning and evening safaris are organized beautifully, but as other have said, one of the neatest parts is all rooms face the dam, in the afternoon you can relax on the porch and watch the animals pour in. It almost felt like cheating! The food was good and the staff delightful and very accommodating! For being in the middle of the park/safari, rooms are kept clean and tidy! Would highly recommend Camp Shawu.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank Zil1158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed at the camp for 3 nights last August as part of our honeymoon, the view from the bush suites are fantastic!
We spent a lot of our time on our deck and the animals came you us,the game drives on offer are good too.
The food at the camp is of good quality and adds to the experience.
Will be back one day, hopefully!!

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BushExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canmore, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

What a location! The camp is right on the edge of a dam which was a magnet for all kinds of animals. In a single afternoon just sitting in our tent waiting for the safari drive we saw: hippo, rhino, elephants, lion, giraffe, zebras, bush pigs and impala. The drives were equally rewarding, especially on the day we managed to see all of the big 5. Our guide Isaac had a dry sense of humour and an amazing knowledge of the flora and fauna.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank scotcan12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 3 nights in May 2013. The accommodation is very good, comfortable with fantastic views. Outside shower is a challenge in winter but this is minor thing. The staff are very attentive and the food excellent by any standard. 2 safari trips per day (the first at 6.00am) are very good. Managed to see the "big five" and plenty of other unusual animals.
Overall it is great place to stay, away from everything including wifi and mobile phones. Totally recommended.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Joe E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Shawu

Property: 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 174 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Camp Shawu 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Camp Shawu Hotel Kruger National Park

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