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.

“Not Memorable”
Review of nThambo Tree Camp

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
and 2 more sites!
nThambo Tree Camp
Certificate of Excellence
golden, colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not Memorable”
Reviewed November 20, 2011

Just back from several days at nThanbo and were a bit disappointed. Like other recent travelers there, we found this camp in serious need of on-site management and supervision, and there is a serious lack of personnel to meet the needs of guests. We never met the camp director and were not welcomed or thanked by anyone in management for our business. In all, there were 3 cleaning/cooking staff and our Guide, Isaac, for all 7 guests...they worked their tails off trying to please and did a good job. But one could see that they were totally overwhelmed and exhausted. The rooms were basic and without charm, and hot water was barely adequate. Food was simple and served cafeteria style; nothing fancy, but adequate. Game viewing is good...we saw a lot of animals. In general, this might be a good camp with some enthusiatic on-site management, more staff and more attention to maintaining its facilities and vehicles. However, overall, we would not go back and would not recommend this camp to anyone else. If this is your only time going to Africa, try some other camp with enought staff and management on site to make it a memorable experience.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank guthrierj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

387 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    325
    49
    8
    5
    0
See reviews for
46
219
43
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2011

We recently spent several nights at nThambo Tree Camp. The camp desperately needs an onsite manager. Earlier replies on this site from the "manager" about understaffing are expectedly defensive--it's apparent he knows the camp has problems.
The guide and tracker do a great job finding game--as committed as any guide could be, but he's also asked to serve the food, get the drinks, clear the tables, serve as the handyman and attend to every wish of the guests. He maintains an excellent attitude (and was rewarded by guests for his attempts), but It's an unfortunate and seemingly exploitative situation. There is no one making sure the guests are welcomed--the camp has a real void in that sense.
Game viewing is terrific and all efforts are put forward to ensure guests see the Big 5, which we did in a matter of a few hours. However, the vehicles need attention--spikes poking through seats are dangerous; tires are badly worn and vehicles are rusted. The camp generally has a utilitarian feel, but with very kind, attentive, albeit overworked personnel. (We have visited other safari camps and this is not the norm.)
Temperatures while we visited were in the high 30's and 40's (celsius), yet there were no fans in the rooms and often there was no cold water for drinking although guests are charged for drinking water. There is a "pool", but it was not maintained and none of the guests was willing to enter the water although the weather was very hot.
On a couple of occasions, a woman who appeared to have some relationship to the owner was present for brief periods, but never even spoke to the guests, much less made them feel welcome or their business appreciated.
In sum, for the game viewing, nThambo was great. From all other perspectives it was well below expectations, but offers tremendous potential with good onsite management.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank happytrails500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2011

Overall, we had a great experience, and the accommodations were nice... just what we expected for a "tree camp" in the "bush". Game drives were also great... but to be fair, there was one Camp attendant - Isaac, who was wonderful, but was responsible for EVERYTHING... morning coffee, morning drives, including tracking, morning walks, meal set up, evening drives, sundowners, etc., etc. He did a great job, but really one additional staff member (not including the kitchen ladies who cooked and left after every meal) would have been nice. It's just impossible for one person to handle all of that, and it's awkward to have to ask over and over for water, cold drinks, etc. Additionally, the hot water was intermittent in our tree house. It was supposedly fixed, but when it turns cold 1/2 way through every time you take a shower, it's not fixed! There was no electricity available at the camp on the first two evenings... not a big deal, but poor Isaac had to run back and forth to the other camp to help the guests charge their phones, etc. One more thing... just to be aware of. Meals are served family style and while the food was fine, simple, but o.k., there was never enough for seconds if in case you wanted to go back for more. We didn't starve of course, but would have been nice to indulge a bit on a second helping, even of salad, if we were so inclined. Happy to discuss further off line and can also recommend another camp close by that looked pretty interesting.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank henriandkim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
aofbrett, Manager at nThambo Tree Camp, responded to this review, November 10, 2011
Thanks for your feedback. Please allow me to respond to your comments. Firstly game rangers are expected to be with the guests from 5am until the guests go to bed. It's standard in the safari lodge industry where lodge staff work 6 weeks on and then take 2 weeks off. Isaac is supported by 6 housekeeping staff and other members of staff that are assisting with pick up and drop offs.

Please note that nThambo is an eco-friendly camp and electricity works on solar power supported by generators where necessary. All chalets have sufficient electricity to provide lighting and heat the gas for the showers. All guests are requested to charge electronic equipment while the generators are on. In your case, this did not seem adequate. We understand that Isaac tried to meet your needs by going back and forth to the other camp, adding to his commitment to you. We feel your comment that electricity was not available is very misleading as we provide sufficient electricity to meet most needs while at the same time trying to remain eco-friendly and provide a quite peaceful safari experience environment for our guests.

nThambo provides exceptional value for money in terms of being a comfortable eco-friendly camp in a game rich wildlife area. We pride ourselves on our traditional safari camp experience and cuisine. We appreciate your positive feedback on Isaac. He is a great asset to nThambo and we hope he will remain with us for many years.

Thanks for your feedback we always strive to make improvements where we can.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Odessa, Ukraine
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2011

Our Safari package in this camp was organized by Ashtons Tours. Our special thanks to Mymoena Davids who have arranged this tour, patiently and promptly answered all our questions. Everything was just amazing. Each day we have had 2 safaris guided by very experienced and knowledgeable guys Ian and Izaac. We not only tracked down and watched a lot of wild African animals but also receive a very qualified information about them. Even about stars and constellations in African sky we were told. Ian was never in a hurry to use his personal time. He was sitting with guests, answering our endless questions, late into the night, though he was getting up very early to arrange everything for a next game drive. It was so great to sit together close to the fire before a dinner with a glass of nice South African wine. We liked our room with all the amenities inside. It was cleaned regularly and our bed with mosquito net was grandmotherly prepared for night. The food was very varied but always tasty. Even having more money, we would prefer this camping style for safari experience because you are closer to nature and feel yourself as a part of it. Thank you, we will be back.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NatalyOds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 14, 2011

My husband and I recently stayed at nThambo for 5 nights and recommend it highly. We were there for a very special occassion - our wedding - and the staff went well out of their way to make our day perfect. They certainly far surpassed the expectations we had of the day and put together some lovely, unexpected, touches to make the day memorable - from the champagne, flowers and cake to the very cool wedding Land Rover! We can't thank them enough.

The 'tents' were great, very comfortable and with amazing views. The communal area is also nice to relax in during the day and the splash pool is great for cooling off in. The area is so quiet and tranquil you really feel like you're getting away from it all.

We were certainly spoilt food wise with 3 cooked meals a day, you won't go hungry here! There was a lot of variety too - you don't get the same meal twice.

The guides Jan and Isaac were outstanding. I have done numerous safaris in the past and they were probably the best guides I've ever had. It wasn't just their knowledge about the big animals, but also all the smaller animals, the flora and fauna. I forgot to say that we were lucky enough to see the Big 5 in one game drive before breakfast on our wedding day (I'll never forget that!) but the sightings are made even more special by a policy in the reserve which means that you'll never get too many cars bothering animals (this can be a problem in the national parks and can spoil the experience for both you and the poor animal being followed). The highlight of our honeymoon for me (other than our wedding obviously) was spending time with a pride of 15 lion chowing down on a buffalo they'd caught the night before - nature at it's best!

You won't regret booking nThambo - we certainly hope to return some day.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vickie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristol
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2011

I've just written a lengthy Trip Report on nThambo, but wanted to put a review on here too. nThambo is my first safari experience, during my first visit to South Africa, and I have had the most amazing time.

I stayed 4 nights, after arriving on the Ashton's transfer from Johannesburg, which was arranged for me when I booked, and met by Izaac, one of the guides, who told me what was what, and settled me into my room. The rooms are lovely. As is mentioned in other reviews, they're raised chalets, wooden structures with canvas walls. I loved this, as you could have the room as open or as closed as you want, while at the same time, always letting in the sounds and smells. The food on camp was also very good, cooked beautifully by the lovely ladies there, who always had a smile.

The drives were amazing. I saw the big 5, and one of the famous white Lions! There were an abundance of Elephant, as well as Impala, Steenbok, Kudu, some amazing birdlife...I was not disappointed with anything. I loved the closeness to the wildlife, that was exciting but intimidating at first, but once you relax, and realise the guides are totally aware of what is going on around you, and of any risk, the nerves go, and the experience is simply exhilarating.
I went on a short bushwalk, or about an hour and a half, which was fun, and informative, and something everyone should do.

I experienced a mix of good and bad weather...the hot days were lovely, but the canvas seemed to keep the cabin cool, and the cold days were very windy, but somehow, I was toasty warm once in bed. The rooms have mosquito nets, but at this time of year, I didn't use them. I didn't see any creepy crawly other than the cute little jumping spider! The only thing that paid me a visit in my cabin was a tiny lizard! The bathroom area is clean and the water consistently hot.

I really liked the small, intimate nature of this camp, and, as a single traveller, appreciated how easy that made it to get to know the other guests. There are only 5 chalets, so no more than 10 guests at any time. The guides are super impressive, and know their stuff. I am in awe of their skills, and really enjoyed their company.

On this trip, I laughed alot, I ate well, I experienced things I had only dreamed of, and I fell in love with the area, and the animals. I'll be back to find that elusive Cheetah!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BristolLynny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2011

I spent 3 nights at nThambo in June this year and, other than my first day when there was a lovely couple from Holland staying there, I had the place to myself. I was so lucky, it made my experience feel so exclusive, like a VIP. Jan and Isak were exceptional guides, so knowledgable and with an obvious love and respect for the bush. My accomodation was superb; I loved coming back to my hut, perched some 3 meters above the ground, so quiet, so peaceful(except when the hyenas kicked off one night - what an impressive sound!!). Every drive I went on yielded new treasures, new animals and new photo opportunities. I was truly blessed for the experiences I had during those 3 days. A special mention must also be made to SUNSAFARIS whom I booked this trip through. Natasha deserves an extra-special mention for her advice, guidance and attention to detail in everything she did, and her work ensured that I had the trip of a lifetime. Thank you Natasha, and all the gang at Sunsafaris.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank huxtapan
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 Klaserie Private Game Reserve
15.9 mi away
Kapama River Lodge
Kapama River Lodge
#4 of 4 in Kapama Private Game Reserve
1,661 reviews
16.6 mi away
Kapama Buffalo Camp
Kapama Buffalo Camp
#2 of 4 in Kapama Private Game Reserve
387 reviews
0.8 mi away
Africa on Foot Camp
Africa on Foot Camp
#3 of 14 in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
329 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.6 mi away
Senalala Luxury Safari Camp
Senalala Luxury Safari Camp
#1 of 14 in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
233 reviews
1.9 mi away
Baobab Ridge
Baobab Ridge
#2 of 14 in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
177 reviews
1.6 mi away
Gomo Gomo Game Lodge
Gomo Gomo Game Lodge
#6 of 14 in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
421 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to nThambo Tree Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about nThambo Tree Camp

Property: nThambo Tree Camp
Address: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Klaserie Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Klaserie Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
nThambo Tree Camp is a safari camp located in the Klaserie area of the Kruger Park. The camp offers daily morning and afternoon game drives to view the Big Five. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, South African Hotels, Priceline and Agoda so you can book your nThambo Tree Camp 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:
Nthambo Tree Camp Hotel Klaserie Private Game Reserve
nThambo Tree Camp South Africa/Klaserie Private Game Reserve

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