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“Once in a lifetime experience”
Review of Tydon Safari Camp

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Tydon Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 21, 2012

I spent three days at Tydon Safari Camp and had a wonderful experience, far beyond what I could have imagined. Traveling solo after being in Cape Town for a week of business related activity, I had some trepidation, but was immediately put at ease by Gavin, Vangie and their staff. Their safari camp is relatively small, and the overall atmosphere is that of being in an adventurous family and not part of a tour business. First, the accomodations were excellent. Iwas in a large platform tent, fully equipped with a porch, twin beds, full screens, a separate area with a sink, toilet and shower, electric lighting and outlets, a fan and even air conditioning (which I only needed for a brief time on the first day). It was immaculately clean, comfortable, spacious and well decorated. There were perhaps 6 or so such tents in the compound, as well as a swimming pool and a very attractive house where we could relax, read, drink, converse and have our breakfasts. I felt that I made good friends with the other guests immediately, and part of the fun was just being with interesting people from all over the globe. In the short time I was there I went on safari in Kruger with Debbie, and went on early morning and late evening safaris in Sabi Sands with Lyam. Their ability to find wildlife and to describe what we were seeing was uncanny. A highlight for me was an early morning trip into Sabi Sands where I was able to sit in the tracker's seat of a Land Rover, with literally nothing between me and the wildlife. Lyam was able to drive off road, and I now have a new appreciation of these vehicles capabilities! I saw so many animals, including all of the big 5 and many many more animals which were equally beautiful and interesting. Particularly memorable were the elephants (babies, toddlers, Moms and bulls) which at times surrounded us on all sides and a young male leopard (image attached), who came within a foot of me as I sat in the tracker's chair. Still can't believe that! Back in camp, Vangie and Gavin treated us to hearty authentic outdoor South African meals, nicely complemented by ample suppiles of wine and beer, with delightful conversations. This ranks as one of my favorite trips ever, and I am enthusiastically recommending Tydon Safaris to any of my friends who are even thinking of going to South Africa.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Bruce P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 11, 2012

My friend and i had limited time so just booked in for a 3 day safari and weren't sure if this would be enough. On reflection i think we should have adjusted our safari to at least 4 days but had a fantastic and saw so much in the time we did have including the big 5 and many more. It was great going into kruger but we really enjoyed sabi sands too as we were able to go offroad and for night time drives to see different aspects that we couldn't in Kruger. The accommodation was fantastic, basically a nice hotel room but just in a tent. The hospitality far exceeded our epectations. We were picked up from J'burg by Gavin and taken to the camp, on arrival we were greeted by the rest of his family and the guides. For the rest of our stay they were always on hand to make sure we were ok, comfortable and most importantly had a drink!. The evening were really nice spent around a campfire listening to their stories of game drives, animal sitings, life in kruger etc. and eating delicious food, with the wine flowing. The weather was gorgeous while we were there (beginning of october) so it was nice to relax by the pool in the daytime. It got a bit cooler at night on the game drives but a jumper was fine for this. All the game drives were really fun and our guide (Debbie) was really good at explaining all the different birds/animals we saw and giving some info about them. We were then driven back to j'burg via the panorama route which was an added bonus as we wouldnt have got a chance to see God's window etc. if this hadnt been offered. All in all we had a really fantastic time and would highly reccommend Tydon. Definitely go for at least 4 days if you can to enjoy a bit more time in sabi sands and hopefully a walking safari which we missed out on due to time.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Joanna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Tydon Safari Camp is a truly amazing place. We had 4 days of exceptional wildlife watching in Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, spotting the big 5 and so much more.

The level of service at the camp is exceptional. Gavin, Debbie, Jackie, Liam and Steve ensured that every moment of our stay was perfect. Their knowledge of both parks and the wildlife therein provided us with so many amazing sightings including mating leopards on our first evening, 3 rhinos on the walking safari, 4 other leopard sightings and a family of cheetahs on our final afternoon. Back at the well designed camp they ensured that the atmosphere was very relaxed and that we were well fed and entertained.

We had considered driving around Kruger in a hire car and I can't stress how pleased I am that we chose Tydon instead. I doubt the experience would have been half as good without the ability of the guides to find an abundance of wildlife on which they could then educate us, not to mention the great views available from the jeeps.

We're desperate to go on safari again and will definitely return to Tydon when we next visit Kruger.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Terry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

I feel the description of Tydon needs to be broken into two parts, the hospitality (tents, food, hospitality) and the Safari (tours, guides and vehicles).

Additionally, the time of year you visit and the weather you encounter will color your opinion of your trip. We were fortunate to be at Tydon at the end of August and the weather was decent (hot and cold but no rain).

Hospitality:
Gavin and Vangie run a first class operation. To begin with, the staff is amazing. The food is great and plentiful; the tents are very comfortable and spacious. We had a lovely Boma dinner the first evening we arrived. It was fun to enjoy the camp fire and company.
The tents allow for ample room and provide hot and cold showers. I admit I was hesitant at first for the idea of tents, but found the experience to be worthwhile and not Spartan as I feared.


Safari:
The location is great and allows access into both Sabi Sands and Kruger National Parks. We were able to do night safaris in Sabi Sands, seeing a bush baby, giraffe, elephants, cape buffalo, a hyena and more. Each of the guides we worked with (Debbie, Jackie and Steven) were knowledgeable and extremely personable. If you get a chance to take a walking safari with Steven you will learn more about animal tracks and poop than you can ever imagine. Debbie was very helpful taking photos for us of a leopard cub (due to crowds and jeep placement she had the best angle) and Jackie shared her great knowledge of the animals and flora we encountered.

We had two days in Kruger and were very fortunate to see the Big 5 both days. We also saw a honey badger, zebras, giraffe, hippos, hyenas, tons of birds, baboons, vervet monkeys, wildebeest, warthogs and the list goes on. Our second leopard sighting was amazing as were two of the lion encounters.

Tydon uses two types of jeeps, covered for Kruger and uncovered for Sabi Sands. It was nice to experience both. On cool mornings or evenings make sure you ask for a blanket to block the wind.

Thank you for a wonderful experience!

Room Tip: There are no bad tents at Tydon
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jessica_H_513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We stayed with the Tydon gang from 29th Aug-31st Aug on our first family safari & already are looking forward to a possible second time with them;) While booking our trip, we had many options, but the deciding factor was the fact that they did their game drives in 2 locations, Sabi Sands & Kruger park, making sure that you get the best of both. Price wise, it is similar to other lodges in Sabi Sands( I did a lot of shopping around & price comparisons before deciding on them) but what sets them apart is the personal experience. From the email exchanges with Gavin & his wife Vangie(who answered my multiple questions every time), to the excellent guides Debbie & Jackie, to the great tasting food & the very comfortable tents with everything that you need, what sets the experience apart is the personal touch. Gavin himself picked us up from Johannesburg airport & drove us back to camp( a 10 hour round trip). Then he still cooked for us that night. Our sons who are predominantly vegetarian, even converted to eating chicken, once they had tasted a bit of mine;)

The game drives were excellent, with Jackie, our guide willing to patiently stop & wait while we took pictures of the game. Her knowledge of the animals & birds was extensive. And then after long drives through the park, we would come back to a delicious dinner, prepared by Gavin & everyone would gather around the fire to swap stories & pictures about the day. Dinner was always followed by delicious desert. The wine was plentiful;) No better way to end the evenings!

Everything that we wanted was provided for- from a basket of laundry(N$150-well worth it) to Jackie sitting with us at breakfast that last morning & identifying every animal we had seen from our photos(so that we didn’t forget any by the time we got home) to the boys having their own tent. We loved it;) And the icing on the cake was seeing the big 5!;)

Are there cheaper or fancier options out there-sure! But like they say, you get what you pay for & we found our experiences & our memories well worth it! Would not hesitate to recommend them very highly!

Gavin is also opening a newer, slightly more posh camp in November- we hope to go back some day & revisit;)

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank manasi_kar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

Tydon Safaris offers the best of the bush with the comforts of home. We did the 4 day Kruger Park and Sabi Sand Experience. This all-inclusive package provides the best of both worlds with everything taken care of in between!

From the beginning, Gavin responded to all of our inquiries in a prompt and professional manner. Our guides, Liam and Debbie were absolutely excellent! They really shared their passion and knowledge of the bush and animals; it was really special to watch them at work.

The camp is wonderful - definitely a labour of love with impeccable attention to detail! The limited number of tents makes it feel like a more genuine and personalised safari experience.

Thank you Gavin, Vangie, Liam, Debbie, Jackie (even though we only met you briefly!), Tyron, Donovan, and the rest of the team for all of your hospitality and a really special safari experience!

Tydon Safaris combines a high degree of professionalism and attention to detail with a homey atmosphere in the bush! I would not hesitate to recommend it 100% and I cannot wait to return!

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
2  Thank Claire L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

If tripadvisor had a 6 star rating, Tydon Safaris would definitely deserve it! I am a young professional from Toronto currently working in Johannesburg. I recently visited Tydon Safaris with two of my co-workers over an extra-long weekend. Gavin and his staff provided us with the perfect safari experience! We did the 4 day Kruger and Sabi Sands package and were very lucky to see all of the big 5 (including a baby leopard!!). Gavin’s rangers (including his 2 sons) were amazing! They were extremely knowledgeable and taught us a lot about the bush. Everyone at Tydon was very friendly and approachable – it felt as though you were visiting friends for a weekend. Although the atmosphere was laid back, every aspect of this family-run business exuded professionalism. Their attention to detail in every aspect of the weekend did not go unnoticed. It is apparent that they have put a lot of effort into ensuring they provide their guests with a flawless visit and they have definitely succeeded in doing just that! The amazing food (based on family recipes) and the tent accommodations completed the perfect bush experience while providing all the comforts of home. The thing that sets Tydon Safaris apart from their competition is Gavin and his family. You can immediately tell how passionate they are about the bush and that they are dedicated to providing a top-notch experience to each and every one of their guests. The only complaint I have about my time at Tydon Safaris is that it was not long enough! I will definitely be returning to visit my friends at Tydon again and I recommend that you do the same – I promise you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Erin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tydon Safari Camp

Address: Shaws Gate, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: $100 - $150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestling in the shade of indigenous trees, this visual oasis of inspirational elements combines to culminate in this magnificent Tented Safari Camp. Intimate and comfortable, yet simplistic combined with excellent service, the Camp creates a traditional African Safari feel to your journey, and you can be forgiven for thinking you were transported back in time to an unspoilt and unexplored Africa. Sharing its borders with the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve which forms part of the Greater Kruger region due to having unfenced borders with the Kruger Park, Tydon Safari Camp offers guests a unique opportunity of staying in permanent semi luxury tented rooms and experiencing wildlife game drives and bush walks in the Sabi Sand as well as the Kruger National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tydon Safari Camp South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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