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“15 out of 10”
Review of Notten's Bush Camp

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Notten's Bush Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“15 out of 10”
Reviewed November 11, 2013

We are seasoned travelers who prefer the smaller more personal experiences wherever we go.
Nottens was recommended to us by an airline work colleague and we thank him.
From the moment we arrived at Nottens Bush Camp, our experience was just amazing.
If you can combine an amazing safari experience, five star accommodation not to mention the dining experiences, and lounging by the pool with a book and beer, you have the perfect holiday.

This is a family run Bush Camp (don't be fooled by the name) with generations of staff working there....a true testament to a great place.

There was a powerpoint in your room to charge your phones and camera batteries, a hot spot in the office to get your mail and we found the experience of the candlelight and lanterns in keeping with the ambience needed to attract the passing by of the animals.

I have never given anywhere more than 12 out of 10 in our 40 years of travel but I give Nottens 15/10.
We were lucky we had perfect weather, great mix of people and we got so see the big 5 and 4/5 of the ugly 5.

There were always a few little surprises for the guests along the way which made the experience even more special.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank nortonmaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2013

My husband and I went here for our honeymoon as a first safari trip for both of us. This was the first of two safari lodges we stayed in, and Nottens was my lodge of the two. Every meal here was absolutely delicious and all of the staff and other guests were so friendly and helpful. It felt like we were just a part of a big family. The first morning one of the guests realized we didn't have any hats or gloves and lent us spares that she had packed! (We didn't realize just how cold it would be driving around in an open top car at 6:30 in the morning on a winter's day in July. We bought our own hats at the gift shop later that day.) I realized by the second morning that Thomas had figured out exactly how I liked my tea, so he knew automatically how much sugar and milk to add for me. Its these little details that make your trip feel so special.

On the second night, we drove into this open Savannah kind of area when our guide, Thomas, pointed out, "Look, there's a dead lion over there!" Sure enough, we looked to the right of the car, and there was this dead lion sprawled out on its back. Of course, the other girl in the car and I were really upset, wondering what killed these two healthy looking lions and why we drove over to see this sight. And then Thomas pointed out that there was another dead lion on the other side of the car. The other girl and I were on the verge of tears when we saw the tail of one lion flip from one side to the other! We started yelling like we just witnessed a miracle as Thomas just cracked up laughing. Apparently the lions were just sleeping after a big meal, and the guide didn't expect us to be so gullible. We had a good time laughing at ourselves. On that same drive, our tracker and guide spotted a leopard eating a steenbok in a tree! A hyena took a little nap right in front of our vehicle while waiting for the leopard to drop remnants onto the ground. It was just an amazing experience.

FYI, if you're traveling in the wintertime, be sure to pack a ton of layers (think skiing or hiking kind of layers). When the lows are 40 degrees, it doesn't sound cold, but you're sitting on top of an open-top vehicle driving about 30-40 MPH, and its COLD early in the morning/late at night. Of course, the days increase up so that you can run around in short sleeves, so layers are a must. If going in the wintertime, be sure to ask for a hot water bottle before you go to bed.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Angel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maastricht/ the Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2013

'A magical atmosphere is created with the purposeful absence of electric lighting; the ambient candlelight and lanterns capturing an enchanting spirit of romance' implicates there's no place where you can read a book, you'll have your shower with candlelight. You should really know this before going to Notten's where they have passioned and dedicated staff and the best breakfast of our trip; the drives are exciting and exteremely pleasantly run by Mr. T and Gideon. It's simply a pleasure to be at Notten's, but there's one more observation: if the conditions are "right" you'll have all the beetles of the jungle around and in (sometimes) your food; if you bother you may consider another camp where they eat in a more protected room.
If you have 187 excellent reviews out of 201 (today) you probably change nothing; but Notten's management (David) should re-think their proposition, we think.
Peter van Minderhout

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank petervanminderhout_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredewricton
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

This was the second bush camp we visited in the Kruger private reserve area. It was more posh than the first we stayed in, but this did not detract from the great experience we had there. We saw the big 5, and many more animals, had very interesting game walks where we learned much about scat and other things. Food, service, vehicles, guides staff were all excellent. If someone is a bit queasy about something too rustic, this should fit the person to a tee.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Stig S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Old Basing, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

I spent three nights at Nottens with my husband and friends with two young sons. We all had a great time and especially enjoyed the food,game drives and swimming pool which is second to none and the welcome. It is a small, family run lodge and well worth a visit. I really enjoyed dinner when all the guests sat together and stories of the days drives could be exchanged. Will return.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 481Karen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
naperville , illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2013

Just returned from 3 nites, 4 days at Notten's Game Lodge. Rave reviews for wonderful hosts,
Drivers extraordinaire, Mr. T and Gideon, healthy food ( I'm vegetarian) Each meal had plenty of fruit and veggie dishes.
4 hour game drives 2x's a day, 1 1/2 hour informative walk each day.
Spa, beautiful pool, even workout room.
Oils lamps, and candles are only electricity, so be aware.
NO INTERNET OR PHONE SERVICE, so if you are looking for those comforts, best go somewhere else. There is a phone in office they are glad to let you use, but no other reception.
You are in the bush.....
Saw big 5 plus so many other animals and birds.
I will go back to this untouched paradise.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Angelica1220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Notten's was the icing on the cape for our incredible journey around SA. This place is an incredible fusion of luxury and style with the authentic experience of being in the bush. The camp is unfenced so you are literally in the middle of the Sabi Sand with wild animals free to roam through the camp. The rooms and dining areas are all lit by candles and paraffin lamps, adding to the authentic atmosphere. The family and staff are just so welcoming and naturally friendly. Dale was a great, exuberant host. The rangers and trackers are top notch and we saw so many animals at very close quarters (lion, leopard, rhino, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, various antelope and the endangered wild dog amongst others). An unforgettable and incredibly special place that I would recommend to anyone.
Thank you Nottens for making our stay so memorable.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jjcassidy123
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 #6 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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