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“Loved every second”

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Kambaku Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Kambaku is the perfect mix of African bush and first class accommodation/service. If you're looking for somewhere that feels like the African bush while still feeling pampered, this is the place to go. It's small (max 16 people) so the service is top notch and you never feel like you're getting lost in the crowd, and you're in the middle of the bush so that you can hear hyenas and lions at night and never know what you might see (incl. elephants, jackals, leopards) from the grounds (sometimes even from your room). Plus they have a resident family of warthogs that are always hanging out around the pool. Normally I'd like to try different places but with Kambaku I've been twice and am about to go for the third time.

If you're staying for a couple of days you'll very possibly see the big 5 (sometimes they see all five in one drive) as well as leopard and a long list of other equally awesome species (eg. zebra, giraffe, wild dog, cheetah, hyena, honey badger, lots of antelope and bird species...the list goes on...). The best part of staying at a private lodge like Kambaku (aside from the service) is the quality of game viewing - you'll definitely get up close and personal with most of the animals you see.

I've been on safari in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania and I can Kambaku has offered the best guiding out of all of them. The guides that work here really know their stuff and truly care about the bush as well. They will do their best to get you perfect photograph opportunities while respecting the animals, the bush and other vehicles in the area. The expanse of bush and the limited number of lodges in the area also make for intimate drives - sometimes you may not even see another vehicle your whole drive (and sightings are limited to max two vehicles at a time, so you don't have 20 vying for a position and ruining photos). If you're heading there ask for Van and you'll not only get a guide who knows just about everything there is to know about Africa, but you'll likely get some laughs and a bit of cheekiness along the way.

It's the little things that cinch the deal here - from the special dinner set-ups to the cute bed-time stories they leave for you at night, you won't regret booking your stay at Kambaku.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the waterhole
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Cara P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Hi Cara - thanks you for your lengthy review on your stay at Kambaku Lodge. You really managed to comment on the full scope of what future guests can expect from staying here as well as the personal feel that we have at the lodge! Looking forwards to seeing you again!

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Reviewed May 6, 2013

This trip to Kambaku was to check out the lodge for a larger group booking later in the year. We were certainly not disappointed. Everything was wonderful - the people warm and friendly. Accommodation excellent. The food perfect. And the dinner in the bush on our last night was a magnificent end to our stay. Van and Albert were excellent and we were most taken by their passion and knowledge of the bush. We will most certainly be back in September with our larger group. Our grateful thanks to Nicola and all the Kambaku family for a wonderful stay..

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank JeffC_Perth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 7, 2013

Hi Jeff - Thank you fro taking the time to write a review on your most recent stay here at Kambaku. You have been here before and we are so looking forwards to having the group stay later this year - it is going to be an amazing time and we are really excited. Well done for convincing Mike ! By September you will feel like family !

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Reviewed April 29, 2013

Prior to choosing a game lodge this time for our recent visit to South Africa, we researched and read many reviews on a wide variety of private game lodges next to the Kruger National Park. We finally chose Kambaku and we could not be happier with our choice. All the comments from previous guests about the owner/management team of Bryce and Nicola and their extremely dedicated staff were totally borne out by the most wonderful two days that we recently enjoyed at Kambaku.
Nicola, Bennett and Candice were waiting at the entrance with cold towels to refresh us after our long drive. From that moment on, the warm and caring manner of the entire Kambaku team, made our stay truly memorable. Nicola’s attention to every detail in the running of the lodge, and the beautifully prepared and presented food (always served in a different location of the camp, just to change things up a bit) was outstanding. The authentic African themed rooms, many of them overlooking the waterhole, were comfortable and well appointed. What also impressed us was the owners’ sensitivity to the environment as they have adapted solar power to operate the lodge.
But of course, the main reason for our coming to Kambaku was to see the animals and we have to say the entire game viewing experience was superb. We have been on many wonderful game drives in the past with very good rangers and trackers at other game lodges, however, going out on drives with Bryce and Albert took the experience to a new level. Their knowledge of the bush is extensive and Bryce’s love of the bush is evident as he shares information about the animals, birds and insects that we saw during our game drives. They themselves tracked and located the BIG FIVE. Most of the time, we were alone to enjoy the viewings without other land cruisers jockeying for better views and disturbing the animals in their natural habitat. We did not have enough time and would most certainly have liked to stay longer. One further aspect which we really enjoyed was the “flexibility” of staying at a smaller lodge where the rangers and trackers are not tied to specific time lines for game drives. For instance, if there’s word that the white lions of the Timbavati Reserve have been sighted, guests are offered the opportunity to go out irrespective of any game drive schedules. Bryce is also highly qualified and has extensive experience in taking guests out on game walks. Unfortunately we were not able to take advantage of the option this time around. – but we will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Room # 8 overlooking the waterhole was perfect
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 373michaelh373
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 7, 2013

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lengthy, in detail review of your stay here. You really have managed to highlight the little things that made your stay here memorable. We are glad that they do not go unnoticed! Of course the game drive experience is what you are here for, and we really do try and make it interesting as well as the experience of a lifetime. Going on a game drive here is aimed at being all encompassing, and not merely a rush to see the big 5 and tick them off the list. The little things in the bush, the smell of the morning dew, the birds and all the rest are as important to us as the big 5. That is why we strive towards being flexible, and if we know a guest has a special interest, then we will try our best to focus on that during the drives.

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Reviewed April 23, 2013

I can't say enough great things about our wonderful stay at the lodge. We went in March and it was perfect, apart from having to leave!
A small camp with an intimate, family feel and attentive personal service that was extremely professional, but not afraid to be genuinely warm and friendly.
Its refreshing to go to a lodge where the owners are there and an essential part of the service. Their passion for the bush and committment to making their lives there is reflected in the camp, through the fantastic staff and on the game drives.
The rooms are perfect - spotless, spacious, with gorgeous, tasteful interior design. They cater for the needs of the modern traveller in utmost comfort, but without losing the feel and atmosphere of the location and the rustic charm of the bush, where a lion may walk passed your door or family of warthogs trot by for their daily bath.
We had Bryce (the owner) for a guide. Extremely knowledgeable on the animals, the area and tracking. He was passionate about all things environmental, and will go extra lengths to try and get good viewings whilst having utmost respect for the animals and habitat. The only qualm would be that you may have to lock up your family - your wife and daughter may want to run off with this brawny man of the wild, your son will want him as their new action hero dad and well you might even find yourself falling for his earthy good looks, flowing golden locks and good natured banter! Alas, Nicola his wife is a wonderful host and keeps the camp running smoothly with help from the fantastically helpful Clarisse.
Highlight of the trip - being out at night in a huge lowveld electrical storm, intermittently lighting up the silhouette of a massive bull elephant right next to the vehicle. Also incredible wild dog and leopard sightings.
I will be recommending the lodge to anyone thinking of going near the area and I can't wait to go back in the near future.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to be similar - equally great and not far from the waterhole with passing animal traf...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rjimmys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2013

How can I respond to this amazing review...? All I can say is that we love that the passion shows through and is so infectious! We aim to provide memories that will last a lifetime and it sounds as if it is happening. We really do want you to feel as if you are surrounded by the bush, so that you can take it all in - every moment of your stay. We want you to leave a changed person - a person that is enriched by what the bush has to offer. We want o to be touched by the magic! We really do look forwards to seeing you again - luckily no two trips will ever be the same so there is always more to look forwards to !

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Reviewed April 19, 2013

When we arrived at Kambaku Safari Lodge we were met by the team and we immediately felt at home. The service was warm and extremely friendly.

The Game viewing was excellent, the Guide Werner and tracker Eric were very knowledgeable about the animals as well as the birds and trees/plants. The food was DELICIOUS! We had good laughs around the dinner table in the evenings.

We stayed in a room 7 which had a good view of the waterhole. On the day of check out i really did not want to leave!

Nicola, Candice, Van, Bennet & Eric, thanks for making us feel so welcome!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank 0202CarlP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2013

Hello Cape Town - what a pleasure to have had you up here and staying with us - I think we had as much fun as you all did ! I shall pass on the comments on the food to the chefs as they always do us proud. Nice to know that it was difficult to leave - that always means that you had a good time!

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Reviewed April 17, 2013

Kambaku is truly fantastic, especially if you are traveling with children. The owners and the staff try to make kids feel welcome, and not just "tolerated". I was there with a 4 and 7 year old in early January. I am a development economist, so my kids have traveled with me a lot (e.g. the 7 year old has been to 20+ countries in all inhabited continents) and they rated this as their most favorite trip.They felt happy and welcomed. They even took to the guide and the tracker very easily, and spent time with them. the connecting rooms close to the watering hole are a good choice for families. You may even wish to email them in advance of your arrival about what your kids like to eat, and they will try to accommodate.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mushfiq_Bangladesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2013

Hey there - we are so happy to hear that the kids had such fun and felt welcomed and at home. It can be difficult traveling with kids, especially on safari as the routine is so totally different to normal routine - so we really do try our best to make it exciting for them. We also feel incredibly responsible to offer the younger generation a life changing experience in the bush, and to teach them something that we hope will stay with them for the rest of their life - to appreciate and respect the bush and the animals in it, and to do what they can one day to try and help preserve nature, not destroy it.

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Reviewed April 12, 2013

There were four of us who travelled to Kambaku after a business trip in Pretoria. We were met with the most wonderful welcome. Lunch was waiting for us and the staff immediately felt like family. We were had the entire lodge to ourselves for 2 out of the 3 nights. It was great. The chalets were beautiful and modern. Bryce, Nicola, Van and Erik were incredibly accomodating. Van and Erik made sure we saw every animal we wanted to see (the Big 5)-including the beautiful white lions. It is amazing how attune Erik is with the scents and tracks of the animals. One morning I said I would like to see a rhino and Erik found rhino tracks. We followed them and saw the biggest male rhino. It was amazing. We saw a giraffe kill by the "Giraffe Pride" (which includes the white lions) and Van took us back for 3 days in a row so we could witness the circle of life. The lions ate first, then hyenas and then vultures. It was amazing. I celebrated my birthday while at Kambaku and they surprised me with a homeade chocolate cake! The food was gourmet quality and everyone was so accomodating. This was my second safari and most favorite. I will definitely travel back to Kambaku and would suggest anyone who reads these reviews to do so as well. Dont' bother looking at any other lodge. Kambaku is 40 minutes from the airport and has everything you want in a safari plus the exceptional hospitality. It really is like a 4 star resort!

Room Tip: Request a chalet next to the watering hole.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank SAB B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2013

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! You are so lucky to have seen the white lions - always a treat, and in your case a very special birthday memory ! It is also always interesting to watch a progression and the cycle of life in action during a stay - puts everything into perspective somehow . We look forwards to seeing you again !

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Additional Information about Kambaku Safari Lodge

Address: Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $295 - $1,577 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kambaku Safari Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kambaku Safari Lodge is nestled in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which can be found within the world renowned Greater Kruger National Park.The camp is well situated in this unspoilt natural wilderness area, home to an astonishing array of animals including the Big 5. Kambaku provides the ultimate escape from busy schedules, with eight well appointed thatched chalets overlooking our own private waterhole.Attracting guests from around the world, Kambaku offers superior standards in all of our facilities yet always maintaining a high level of environmental consciousness. Our dedicated staff will cater to the individual needs of our guests making for a truly memorable stay. With scrumptious bush cuisine in a relaxed, rustic setting our guests can truly unwind and immerse themselves in the restorative powers of nature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kambaku Safari Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Kambaku Safari Lodge South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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