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“Serenity, comfort, and beauty”

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Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 23, 2012

It is hard to imagine a tented camp with a better balance of comfort, quiet, and style. The rangers are extremely knowledgeable and the staff is never ending helpful. The reserve offers a very good variety of game that can be seen up close and personal thanks to the skilled rangers. Nyala and other antelope wandering through the camp give a sense of being in the bush while still having every convenience that you could want. A good place for travellers who are truly interested in excellent game vfiewing but would never sacrifice comfort or style. It offers the personal touch that means true luxury. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Moonriser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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323 - 329 of 442 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2012

Living in South Africa I have been fortunate enough to enjoy many safaris both in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana but this recent trip to Tanda Tula was by far the very best I have ever experienced.

Being able to fly directly from Cape Town to Hoesdpruit is certainly a bonus, the flight is a little over 2 hours. The transfer to the Lodge takes about 45 minutes (depending on game sightings en route). A warm welcome by the local staff on arrival, a quick briefing and then you are escorted to your "tent". Under thatch and with a large wooden deck overlooking the
dry river bed", it is can hardly be called a "tent".

Thankfully NO TV and NO TELEPHONES but everything else to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

The games drives were truly memorable, a leopard sighting on the first afternoon followed by 3 more the next day - this was probably the highlight for me, simply because I have only ever seen leopard once before. Our ranger, Scotch and tracker, Isaac were amazing, they certainly went to extra mile to ensure we got the most out of every game drive. Their knoweldge of the bush was extraordinary, as was theur sense of humour !

The atmosphere at the lodge was so friendly and relaxed, I doubt anyone would have even noticed if I had arrived at dinner in my pyjamas ! This is largely due to the staff who are so proud of the lodge, it is obvious in everything they do and the way they talk.

By far the best safari experiences I have ever had., I just could not fault anything - plotting and planning how to return !

Room Tip: All rooms are the same with the same views,some have larger decks than others and some are further a...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Gwen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2012

Tanda Tula is a special tented camp in the Timbivati region of South Africa.
However,, even though the lodge offered tents, the experience was not one of "roughing it". Tanda Tula provided us with a zen like oasis where we could relax and take in the amazing wildlife in this area.
We loved our tent cottages. They enabled us to live closely with nature but included everything we would need for a peaceful night. There was great attention to detail and we loved our heated blankets, hot tea,wonderful shower,large porch, comfy beds and our glorious view. No wonder we hated to leave our tent!
Ryan, the chef, amazed us each day with fabulous fare and we looked forward to his creations in the Boma each night. At lunch he offered a wonderful spread of food and the bush breakfasts were amazing, too. Believe me, there was no roughing it in the dining area for us, either.
The staff was so positive and welcoming and we felt like family and loved the size of this intimate lodge. Our guide and tracker, Martin and Jeffery were the icing on the cake and we were so impressed!
Our entire experience at Tanda Tula was fabulous, complete with starry nights,elephants at the water hole and close encounters with leopards make us ache to return toTanda Tula.

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

As a family of six with kid ages ranging from 16 - 24 I was a bit skeptical about Tanda Tula's ability to keep us engaged. Wow were we engaged. We had never been on a Safari in the I simply can't tell you how wonderful Tanda Tula was. Tented rooms were better than most hotels - clean, comfortable, well lite and good to just hang in and watch the wild life. Great game viewing on the porch outside your bedroom. The game drives with Formen and Tracker Jack were outstanding. The beauty of Tanda Tula is there are no fences separating Kruger National Park which allows guides to go "off" trail to get closer to the animals - unlike a guided trip within Kruger. Crystal, Richard, Happy, Harry, Ryan and many more wonderful people made our stay so comfortable. Everyone there was sincerely appreciative of you being there. The lodge and dinning areas were outstanding. You won't go wrong at Tanda Tula!!

Room Tip: Tanda Tula has 12 tented rooms - all are equally fantastic.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Phil K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

We had been on Safari in Tanzania for about a week before arriving at Tanda Tula. We had enjoyed the various tent camps but Tanda Tula just set the bar for all safari camps. The accommodations were 5 star. The bed was very comfortable, the outdoor shower was fun, with much appreciated unlimited hot water. The food by the resident chef rivals many 5 star restaurants and there was an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal. We had the great fortune to go out on a game drive with each set of Ranger/tracker pair. They are committed to giving you the best wildlife experience possible. Whatever your particular interest is they will do their best to make sure you experience it. The entire camp staff gives you the best service possible. You get the feeling that everyone genuinely loves working here. Don and Nina are highly committed to their staff and give them most the credit for the success of the camp. You just can't beat the location or the wildlife you bump into in camp. The most memorable experiences are the bush walks. One day we were on a game drive with Civilized when he heard there were white rhinos in the area. He felt that an approach with the Land Rover would have been too intrusive so we got out and tracked them on foot. It is difficult to describe the heart pounding excitement you feel being so close to these magnificent creatures and at the same time being so vulnerable yourself. We approached, watched and left without the Rhinos ever knowing we were there, truly a once in a lifetime experience. If you only have a few days to experience a safari Tanda Tula would be your best bet. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Gayle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2012

This was our first safari camp after a stay in Cape Town. We had no idea what to expect and were a little nervous about everything! Louise met us and gave us our orientation. We were taken to our "tents" and then swept off to Tea and our first game drive with our guide Scotch and our tracker Isaac.
Within minutes we were no longer nervous but incredibly excited about our entire experience. The entire Tanda Tula family is incredible. You are met with the utmost in luxury, but since it is a small intimate camp, you feel like you are part of a family. Turndown included candy on the pillows and slippers laid out. Your wake up "Good Morning" is done with a tray of teas, coffee, and muesli. Getting ready at 5:30am was actually ok with caffeine on hand.
Everybody at Tanda Tula is fantastic, but if you have the chance request Scotch and Isaac. The cousins are amazing! Scotch and his bird book knowledge is unbelievable, just say the name of a bird and he will tell you the page and the section of the page, he was NEVER wrong. He has worked in Timbavati for 17 years and knows the reserve like the back of his hand. We would name what we wanted to see and he would find it. And within 2 game drives we had seen the big 5! And since it is a private reserve we never saw more than 2 other 4x4's. We saw a 1 hour old elephant, a 2 day old buffalo, a 2 month old white rhino, a hippo chase away a herd of 60 buffalo from a watering whole, and we saw the Pride of 9 lions on every single game drive. It was a dream!
The camp itself has amazing service. Pinky, pretty, happiness, Thaboo, Louise, and owners Don and Nina are remarkable. The chef was on break when we were there but the 3 course pre-fix meals were restaurant quality (we are huge foodies). Dinner in the Boma was amazing and since we were there with only one other family the meals felt like family dinners. Each night was something unique. Lousie the manager one night talking about South Africa and her experiences. Dinner with the owners Don and Nina was fascinating. They even set up a trip to spend some time with local children, which was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. The big treat was Foreman and Thaboo performing songs in the Boma that Foreman had written himself. We were so sad to leave.
Skip Kruger and stay at Tanda Tula in Timbavati, you will be in the lap of luxury but still see the monkeys on your roof or the Nyala on the path.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Shoopee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2012

We spent four nights at Tanda Tula in April, and were amazed by, well, everything. The absolute best part of the experience was our opportunity to have authentic conversations with everyone involved. Our driver, Civ and tracker Jack were over the top attentive, knowledgeable and interested in getting to know us. They took us off road to follow the animals, and showed us things that we had no idea were right there under our noses, like a lizard on a leaf that looked like it was part of a leaf, a nest of bird's eggs narrowly missed by the range rover because Civ was looking for them, to how to know when the leopard had been near here recently, and oh so many more things. They ate with us and shared their observations of their world, and our worlds with us. The other guests were also delightful companions to share the game rides with. It seemed like we had like-minded ideas about respecting the environment and the animals we were visiting. The accommodations were also just superb. From early morning wake up coffee, tea, and biscuits to the turn down of our beds and warming hot-water bottles in the bed. Everything was thoughtfully conceptualized and elegantly executed. I would characterize them as shabby chic: very top of the line everything, but a sense of comfort and coziness. Everyone was very attentive to making this a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Having been at other camps, what sets Tanda Tula apart is the PASSION, AUTHENTIC PLEASURE that the personnel, from the people that cleaned our 'tent' to our tracker and driver, to the owners who made it a point to introduce themselves to us over drinks had in getting to know us and share their world with us, and of course the abundant OPPORTUNITIES to get up close and personal with the animals. Other camps may make the claim that they create the opportunities to get up close with the animals, but the real deal happened for us at Tanda Tula.

Room Tip: Our room faced a river bed that teamed with animals coming and going. Within 5 minutes of getting to...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Beth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tanda Tula Safari Camp

Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve | Limpopo, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $547 - $3,394 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tanda Tula Safari Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tanda Tula Safari Camp in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park, offers a five-star personal wilderness experience in ultimate luxury. Here, in your own private piece of Africa, you will come face to face with nature as it always was, with not a fence in sight to inhibit your freedom. Set on the banks of the Nharalumi riverbed, Tanda Tula is shaded by stately trees and overlooks a water hole that attracts a wide variety of game from dawn to dusk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tanda Tula Safari Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Tanda Tula Safari Camp South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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