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“Oh my gosh!!”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Three days of amazing experience in the Greater Kruger National Park staying at a bush camp Umlani!Stayed in little huts (comfortable) with no electricity to add to the charm of the bush and open shower. Six incredible game drives.Oh my gosh! The animals we did see! So much to tell but what I can say this time spent here at Umlani was one of my high lights in South Africa. The staff were wonderful and made our stay very comfortable. You hardly saw them! But they produce very good meals and kept our rooms very clean. The pattern for the three days were Knock knock at 5am for pancakes and brekkie. Out for a game drive. Back for brekkie. A walking safari one morning and the next time spent in the treehouse by the waterhole. Lunch.
In the afternoon another game drive follow by a sunset drink.. Once arrive back in camp a sumptuous South African meal waits us hungry people.
Our driver Ginger is so cool and knows his job inside and out and is a very good tracker. Words cannot put the experience down in actually seeing all the animals. You must go and live this experience yourself.
I saw elephants, giraffes, zebras and THE BIG FIVE many, many times....the list was long. A must do on your list to South Africa is to visit and stay in this camp and be looked after by all the beautiful people who operate this camp in the national park.

Room Tip: A jumper for the afternoon game drives as can be a bit cold sometimes.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2013

Thank you a really nice review , a am happy to hear that Umlani was one of your high lights on your South Africa trip. The team and I appreciates you recommending other travelers to experience it for them selves. all the best Marco

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262 - 268 of 453 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013

If you want to experience the real African Bush book your stay at Umlani Bushcamp. The staff are very friendly, the food excellent and the wildlife experience out of this world!!!!! We saw the “Big5” in one drive! If you have stayed at Umlani Bushcamp once......you will return!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CarinaKruger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2013

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor we look forward to welcoming you on your next visit .
best regards Marco

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Reviewed October 11, 2013

Approaching Umlani our excitement grew as we soaked in the the harsh environment, characterised by the thorny acacias that line the roads to the camp. Our guide had talked up this place so we were excited to see what it was all about. We were not disappointed. This was the best place at which we have ever stayed! Basic, but clean and comfortable accommodation in huts was complimented by simple but tasty food. The friendly staff and personal touches, like being greeted every time we returned from safari, added to a wonderful and memorable wildlife experience.

Then there was the safari drives. Almost brand new Land Rovers eclipsed any of the safari vehicles in which we subsequently drove and the lack of roof was an added bonus. Our guides were fantastic (Chadrick and Robert) and drove skillfully and carefully to ensure we got good views and great photos of the big five amongst many other (and missed Hunting Dogs by only minutes). The protocol in the Timbavati for animal watching/bothering wildlife was also better than anywhere else in our experience (Botswana and Zambia), which added to our pleasure and minimised the impact on the animals.

Don't miss this place, it is amazing!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Stuart_Cooney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2013

Thank you for your great review ,I am really pleased you thought Umlani was amazing . Thank you for mentioning the wildlife viewing protocal and the new vehicles. That should generate some interest hahaha best regards Marco

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Reviewed September 17, 2013

I recently stayed at Umlani Bush Camp with some clients that I brought there to do a private safari, and as usual was blown away by the total experience. The staff are super friendly, and its nature at its best here. No electricity, no wifi, because the reason that we go there, is that you connect with Nature ... and that's what its all about. They have also just won the best 3 star lodge in South Africa for service excellence !!!!

Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
2  Thank capeguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2013

Thank you for reviewing Umlani on TA I am happy to hear that you appreciate experience we offer and its the reason you use our camp. Just for the record we do supply internet connection in the Umlani office should you or your clients require a internet connection . best regards Marco

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Reviewed September 2, 2013

Umlani was a wonderful experience and a must do for anyone thinking of going to Africa. It combines a true rustic natural feel with comfort.
The accommodation was a wonderful experience. The food is excellent and the camp itself is truly memorable.
David, the host, has an infectious enthusiasm for the area and has a remarkable story of how he got there. Be sure to ask him when you're there.
The rangers and trackers are truly amazing people with a wealth of knowledge and a keen eye for spotting the animals on the twice daily safaris.
If you want the real taste of Africa, then you really should go here.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very similar. They are huts with en suites in a very natural setting. which ever o...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank skynnylyzyrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank you for reviewing Umlani on TA and recommending us as a "must do" . best regards Marco

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Reviewed September 1, 2013

David and his staff were excellent. They made our stay there memorable. The facilities were brilliant for bush camping with a few modern conveniences but still maintaining the bush experience. Game drives were excellent, Shaddrick as the driver and Robert as the trekker you couldn't have asked for a more professional team. Nothing was too difficult for David to sort out including sourcing some battery power for our friend's breathing machine, thank very much to D-Dog aka David. You will see us again.

Room Tip: Every room on the property was excellent.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Masons_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank for review on TA , we look forward to seeing you again . best regards Marco

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Reviewed August 26, 2013

I just returned from a 12 night safari trip to South Africa where I spent five nights at Umlani Bushcamp. Umlani was the first campI selected for this trip because of the TA reviews that described the authentic nature of the camp.
I loved my stay at Umlani Bushcamp. From the moment you check in you realize that you're in a very different camp.
No cell phone reception, no WiFi, no electricity (except for charging your camera batteries), you are in "the Umlani bubble" as David, the manager, explained. The atmosphere in camp is very friendly, informal and just wonderful. There is a complete focus on the wilderness experience in the camp and on game drives without any of the distractions of cell phones or computers.
I had asked for a remote room and was given Riverview 1, a short walk from the main camp in complete isolation. It was a perfect choice for me, more rustic that some of the luxury camps but very spacious and comfortable with hyenas or buffalo visiting outside the tent and calls from nearby leopards and lions every night.
A unique feature of Umlani Bushcamp is their tree house, located at a waterhole some 5 min from camp. You can spend the night there or just a few hours during the day. I was very fortunate to go for three visits and loved watching the wildlife in complete peace and quiet.
The game drives in comfortable vehicles were excellent due to Ginger and Derrick, our ranger and tracker. We had spectacular and close encounters with just about any animal we wanted to see, especially lions and leopards. Ginger also took us on a very interesting bush walk.
The bar area, where lunch is served, has a nice view of a waterhole with lots of game activity. I enjoyed the food and the lively conversations during lunch/dinner or while enjoying drinks in the Boma.I was lucky to experience a very rare and special event where dinner was served in the dry river bed, lit by campfires with buffalo and hyenas watching from the bushes and a leopard roaring from nearby.
I fully recommend Umlani for anyone looking for a unique and authentic safari experience and a great camp atmosphere.

Room Tip: I had asked for a room away from the main part of the camp and stayed in Riverview 1, about 100m fro...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank joe64331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank you for your informative review , it will help travelers understand the type of experience Umlani offers . We also appreciate you recommending us to other TA users . all the best Marco

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Additional Information about Umlani Bushcamp

Address: 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: $433 - $635 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Umlani Bushcamp 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Umlani Bushcamp, a rustic yet exclusive lodge, accommodates guests in cozy en-suite reed and thatch rondavels. Early morning and evening game drives are in open four wheel drive vehicles accompanied by experienced rangers and trackers offers exceptional game viewing opportunitys. Umlani makes the whole event personalized and specializes in escorted walks into this unspoiled wilderness. Umlani, meaning Place of Rest, was established in 1990 by Marco and Marie-Louise Schiess, in the central section of the Timbavati Nature Reserve, which is part of the greater Kruger National Park. Umlani is the perfect nature lovers choice. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Umlani Bushcamp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Umlani Bushcamp South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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