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“A treat in the bush!”
Review of Notten's Bush Camp

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Notten's Bush Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A treat in the bush!”
Reviewed May 9, 2012

We were recommend to go here by Imagine Africa as part of our honeymoon and we were thrilled by our choice. The rooms are extremely comfortable, and the fact that there is only candlelight and paraffin lamp in the room in the evening adds to the feel of being in the bush. Little honeymoon treats were also evident in the room.The staff are exceptional, many of them have been there for 20 odd years, and nothing was too much trouble for them. As it is a relatively small lodge, all the guests got to know each other so it was very sociable, and we were made to feel like part of the family by the owners.The game viewing was extremely good - we saw all of the big 5 on numerous occasions, and had an extremely close encounter with a leopard! The food is extremely good - it never stops coming and is of high quality. Our driver, Thomas was very good fun and extremely knowledgeable. Would recommend wholeheartedly for people wanting good game viewing in an extremely comfortable and friendly setting.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank emma c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
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English first
Santa Barbara, CA
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

Three nights and days were a joy. Had to get used to the lack of lighting in the rooms--candles and paraffin. Once the routine is established this is less important. Getting roused at 5:30 a.m. in the dark can be daunting but it is part of the ambiance and does add to the sense of adventure. One has the feeling that a good part of the bush treks are per-programmed in the sense that certain "regular" animals are in place to make sure no day tour is unrewarded completely but still the surprise at coming upon a leopard calmly walking the road or seeing two bull elephants engage in an encounter was remarkable. The nature of the area accessed by this lodge (Sabie), and others in the area does not allow the open expanse of the veldt scene but the total species in the area is remarkable. Wouldn't recommend the hiking treks except as exercise though this may vary by season. The staff was friendly but some had limited English language skills leading to confusion at times. The food was very good to excellent and the wine selection was good.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RHSSantaBarbara_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Fantastic personal service and great food. The rangers were excellent, we saw all the interesting animals several times. Not luxurious, but a really feel-good place. We had our own veranda. looking out on the plain. Max 18 guests make sure you get to know the other guests. Kids 11 and 15 loved the place too. The lack of electricity is just making it more exciting. Absolutely a value for money experience

Room Tip: We had the familyroom with two bedrooms, outside shower and bathtub, all to the right with a view...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank norztn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2012

This was the first trip we had made to Nottens- but wont be the last. The rooms were wonderful (we had 5 and 7)- with sofas, outside table and chairs and loungers and outside showers. Food was delicious- particulalry the night we had a fillet steak brai in the boma: the home made bread and in particular the cheese muffins were too moreish- we all piled on pounds! The swimming pool is a decent length and helps to work off the excess!
Game drives were incredible- we found leopards on 5 out of our six trips and also met up with a big pride of lions- but the highlight had to be a leopard strolling up to the jeep whilst we were drinking our sun downers- followed the next day by 2 rhino ambling past as we drank our early morning coffee!.
Also want to mention how helpful Dave was in driving our car out of the reserve- the road in to the camp is 10 km of roughish dirt track and proved taxing for our ordinary hired saloon car on the way in- so the camp drove arranged to drive us and our bags out in the jeep , lightening the load in our car . Great camp, great staff.

Room Tip: Room 5 has a great view, room 7 is palatial!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Parslow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2012

My wife and I have just come back from Nottens and Having visited 5 other lodges in the Sabie Sands reserve in the past found them to be wanting in all areas other than their hospitality which was outstanding. The food was basic but very nice and well presented,staff need more training.
It is very rustic having no electric lights in the rooms and around the camp but we found the accommodation less than average compared to the other lodges with similar prices,where private plunge pools,plug points in the rooms (for hair dryer and camera charging) and general comfort are superior in all areas.
Their two game guides Joe and Thomas who are both lovely people and obviously know the bush and game very well were a little lacking in communicating other aspects of the bush when we were not seeing game. At the other camps the guides gave a running commentary on the surrounding bush and smaller animals,birds,insects and fauna some of which we found fascinating and made the drive very interesting.
We enjoyed our stay but would choose another camp next time

Room Tip: Ask for one of the newer upgraded rooms with a plug point.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BruceBruce13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2012

Purposefully rustic, this family-run camp exceeds expectations in game-viewing, dining, and comfortable appointments while in the "rustic" confines of the camp. Purposefully using kerosene lanterns and candles after dark, the camp has an intimate feel that brings you even closer to the animals that literally surround you. In addition to the family of vervet monkeys that occasionally hang around the camp, we also witnessed an elephant chomping on vegetation just outside our room. We had excellent viewings of all the big five, and our guide/tracker combination of Chase and Fox provided insight on animals big and small. A fabulous experience, we have been spoiled and may not be able to go anywhere again for such an intimate safari experience.

The food was excellent and the rooms were comfortably designed. Dinners at the long communal table lead to closer acquaintances with you drive-mates, and you will by no means go hungry!

Know that it is a 45-minute drive from the gate to the camp, and if you arrive after sunset, it may be difficult to find your way-- just keep going straight until you see the signs for notten's!

While there is purposefully no electricity, there is a wall outlet in each room to recharge your camera batteries or other devices. You might as well turn off your phone, as the only place you'll get reception is in the camp's main office. This is a good thing, though, and just further helps you connect with the environment around you.

Game viewings are often as intimate as the comforts at the camp. At times, we were the only vehicle around a pride of lions, a baby rhino, or even leopards mating.

While the cost per night is high, we thought the experience was well worth it.

Room Tip: Room 3 is small, but intimate! Very nice. No exercise facilities to work off all the sitting and...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ktowner6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights at Notten's in March, 2012. This is the closest experience you'll ever get to the real thing. Notten's is one of the most authentic private game reserve experiences we've had in our travels. It's not over the top but extremely comfortable. The food is exceptional and every meal is a surprise. The candle lit dinners were out of this world. Dave Notten, Dale and the Notten family treat you as one of their own. In a travel world that's become luxurious but impersonal, Notten's took us back to another time, another era when luxury meant warm, attentive and polite service at every turn. We loved our game drives and thought our two rangers, Jeff and Fox, must be two of the best at Kruger. We saw the Big 5 not once but several times. What a great place! We want to go back.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sachimukerji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Notten's Bush Camp

Property: Notten's Bush Camp
Address: 622 Hazyview, Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Notten's Bush Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Notten’s Bush Camp is a jewel within the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Mpumalanga, which means “the land of the rising sun” in the locally spoken language, Shangaan. Notten’s is an exclusive and private safari lodge personally run by the Notten family. This beautiful, intimate safari lodge is situated within one of South Africa’s finest natural sanctuaries the Sabi Sand Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park. It is a destination that will truly touch your heart and soul.Each private suite is elegantly styled, spacious and cooled by ceiling fans. A magical atmosphere is created with the purposeful absence of electric lighting; the ambient candlelight and lanterns capturing an enchanting spirit of romance. With splendid panoramic views, this private game lodge is the perfect place for peace and relaxation while watching animals meander past. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Notten`s Bush Camp Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Notten's Bush Camp South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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