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“Back to Nature”
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Our stay with Marco and the team at Umlani was just what we had hoped for: submerged deeply into the bush, no unrequired pampering and unneeded comforts, yet with an attending and pleasant host and a superb team to cater for our every need. The rondovals are great and the beds very comfortable. Goodness, the chef, made wonders for us at all times - she even produced a surprise birthday cake for our daughters 14th birthday. The fact that the camp is solely lit with lanterns and bonfires adds another dimension to the sensation of being in the wild. Evening meals are consumed under open sky or around the large group table, while catching up on the day's sightings. Shady and Robert, our ranger and tracker, spared no effort to seek out the best sightings in Timbavati, and tracked down all Big Five and more during our wonderfull three days and nights. Hyena, white lion (!) and plenty of impala ("McDonalds of the bush", as Shady called out every time we found them, to everyones' amusement). The camp is small, so we felt very much like family. And no cell coverage - what a releaf - but though with the capacity to charge your camera - you will need this! We hope to be back.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
3  Thank JMK_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2014

Thank you for your great review on Tripadvisor we appreciate it . Goodness , Shaddy and Robert were happy to be mentioned .

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250 - 256 of 467 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2014

Looking for more of a rustic Safari experience with a personal and intimate flavor? Look no further than Umlani with its wonderful service, lamp lit huts and glorious location. I've been here twice and plan a third visit in the near future (from the US and UK). On both visits we were lucky enough to witness scores of Elephants move through the camp and even a pride of Lions spending the night on amongst the huts which made our hearts skip a beat the following morning when asked to temporarily remain inside! The tracking crews are second to none and the all round atmosphere/dining/socializing experience is one we'll keep coming back for.

Room Tip: All rooms are equal but some may be more subject to nosy wildlife than others!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2014

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor .....happy to hear you returning in the near future. We are motivated by your sense of adventure and appreciation of the Umlani experience .

thank you ...all the best Marco

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Reviewed February 26, 2014

We recently spent 2 nights at the camp and thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. The huts are amazing, the team cannot do enough for you and we had the best (and comfiest) game drives of all the places we stayed. Our guides Shadey and 'milkandsugar' (sorry Robert) were really enthusiastic and managed to find us some amazing animals and some great memories. Do not hestitate to book and have a great time! Thanks

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank newboldi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2014

Thank you for your recommendation and review of Umlani .....Shaddy and Robert will be delighted to hear that their game drives topped all the other places you stayed at.

best regards Marco

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Reviewed February 23, 2014

I recently spent 5 glorious days at lovely Umlani (my second visit in a year) with 8 friends to celebrate my birthday (as I did last year). It was the best birthday ever. I was given a surprise birthday celebration at sunset on our last evening game drive. We arrived at our sundowner spot to find a banquet set up for us complete with sparkling wine, a birthday cake and snacks. The camp was as lovely as ever. The huts understated luxury is fabulous and the staff, service and food just perfect. Elvis our guide and Derrick our tracker were the best of the best - even finding me my birthday leopard as well as the illusive white lioness. A fabulous place that makes memories to last a lifetime. Look no further for a fantastic bush adventure experience. I can't wait to go back agin and again.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
Thank Jo O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2014

Thank you for your lovely review on tripadvisor I am very pleased to hear that your Birthday celebration at Umlani was the best ever. We look forward to welcoming to back again. I will share your review with Elvis and Derek .

Best wishes Marco

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Reviewed February 19, 2014

After visiting about two dozen countries and hundreds of cities/towns around the world, I would rate the Umlani experience as one of the most amazing and authentic I've ever had.
Umlani is highly recommended for anybody considering going on a Kruger Safari.

Umlani staff went out of the way to ensure a very memorable first anniversary.
What I liked most was the absence of electricity and the open showers, it just made the bush experience so real.
The staff was very friendly, Thembi, Katy, Nanette and everybody else ensured we felt at home and we had a great time with you all.
Special thanks for:
1) Elvis for showing us an amazing time at the game drives, wealth of knowledge, humor and the 2 hour bush walk !
2) Derek for spotting the big 5 especially the Leopard on a tree during a Thunderstorm !
3) Chef Goodness for the amazing meals !


We would love to come back next time we're in South Africa.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank has1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Wow....... thank you for the awesome review. The whole team appreciates you highly recommending Umlani for other travelers considering a Kruger Safari .
Elvis ,Derek ,Nanette, Katy,Thembi,Goodness and the rest of the team all look forward to your next visit.

Best regards Marco

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Reviewed February 18, 2014

We, as part of a group of 9 friends spent 4 days at Umlani last week. It was our first visit and return visit for one of the party. The whole experience was so good - no "shishi" ultra luxury - just real bush accommodation, great food to suit most palates, helpful, pleasant staff and the game viewing was outstanding. Special praise for our ranger, Elvis, whose knowledge, humour and all round ability was outstanding and Derek our tracker who always remained calm (even during the black mamba encounter!) and is a spotter like few. Thank you ALL for an experience we hope to be privileged enough to repeat

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Jean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you for your review of Umlani......I will print this review for Elvis and Derek to see your praises for them.
We too hope you manage a repeat visit some day in the future.

All the best Marco

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Reviewed February 5, 2014

excellent for those who like the small and big things of mother nature and also for those who don't, to make them discover that we're the intruders in their space...the place is wonderfull, the people nice and helpful, just some days out of this world!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Inge P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you for writing a review and describing Umlani as wonderful and out of this world.It is very much appreciated and a wonderful motivation for the whole team ....Thank you.

Best wishes 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: $521 - $752 (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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