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“Rustic luxury---it's possible” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Umlani Bushcamp

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Umlani Bushcamp
Certificate of Excellence
toronto,ON
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Rustic luxury---it's possible”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2014

Chose this safari camp over others because it was advertised as "authentic" bush experience. What that means is that there is no electricity (rooms are lit by by paraffin lamps) and no internet, but you can charge your camera batteries and other devices. What you get is expert trackers and rangers, the big 5 plus, very good food (they accommodated our vegetarian requests) and comfortable rooms, all with ensuite. The bonus is that you can stay in their treehouse overnight, sited by a watering hole, for a whole other experience.
What you don't get is a private chef cooking for you! Umlani staff are friendly, knowledgeable and aim to please. A first-class experience at very reasonable rates.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
Thank you very much for your review .........and describing Umlani as a first class experience at reasonable rates. I am happy to hear you liked the tree house experience. Best regards Marco
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415 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2014

We stayed at Umlani in April and had such a fantastic time. The camp is in the middle of the bush so animals can come right through:) It is a very authentic experience. The camp has no electricity or internet which was wonderful. The accommodations and food were great. We were never hungry. All the staff were very helpful and knowledgeable. Our guides were Elvis and Derek who were wonderful. They always listened to what the guests wanted to see and did their best to find the animals. We saw so many animals on each bush drive. Elvis took us on a bush walk one of the days and showed us all about animal tracks and edible plants. He is extremely knowledgeable.
I would recommend Umlani to anyone that wants a wonderful, authentic and personal safari experience.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ccazzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review of Umlani and your recommendation to others for an authentic personal safari experience. best regards Marco
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2014

Thanks to Elvis (our guide) and Derek (our tracker), we had a wonderful experience and saw all the big 5 (several times)! And, loved Umlani - for the food, service, staff, the occasional animal walking through the camp, and the opportunity to "get away" from the world - no electricity and no Internet! It was a great adventure and we highly recommend Ulmani to anyone seeking a fabulous bush experience!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Elody C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
Wonderful review .....thank you so much for highly recommending Umlani .Elvis and Derek are happy to be mentioned. All the best Marco
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Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

We (my wife, children aged 7 and 9 and myself) stayed for 4 days and were spell bound. Facilities were well set out, camp was really well run, food was good, service was excellent, staff really friendly and the game drives... were out of this world. Saw loads of game on every drive including the big 5 on more than one occasion. Our guide and tracker Shadrack and Derek were knowledgeable, fun and had a great way of finding what we had gone to see- the animals.
Cannot fault the place and would absolutely recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
Nice to hear you were spell bound and found the Umlani experience out of this world. Shadrack and Derek appreciate the mention and we are most grateful that you recommed Umlani to other possible visitors....... thank you very much , Marco
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Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2014

An excellent bush camp and Safari experience. Good food, great atmosphere, committed staff and great wildlife. Not too big so you got to meet everyone and share your experiences.

One tip - the road to the camp is gravel and needs a car with good ground clearance. If there has been rain you may even need a 4X4 to get across the river bed.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor we are happy to read you found it to be an excellent safari experience.
Just for general information we grade our enterance road just after the rainy season which we have just done. For those without a 4x4 we will fetch and cross the river if flowing gently with our 4x4 Land Rovers. All the best Marco
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2014 via mobile

We were exceptionally lucky in our three nights at Umlani. With 9 on the truck our capable and knowledgeable ranger Sinhla and tracker Ifram managed to find lions, cheetah, 3 different leopards, elephants, rhino, hyena, a pack of painted wild dogs, and a range of other game. We witnessed a coalition of male leopards make a kill, a raw and emotional experience for all of us.

The camp is a camp - it is quite simple and yet welcoming, and comfortable if you can release the need to be connected, to have the comforts of home. I loved it. The food is fine given the constraints of the location and the local staff are committed, warm and engaging. The only suggestion we would make is that the experience would be enhanced by being able to drink a better quality wine than that included... And we would be happy to pay additionally for that.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank peppersnaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
Thank you we appreciate your good review of Umlani and I am pleased to read you had such excellent game viewing. Also thank you for your suggestion regarding the availability of better quality wine for sale I will institute this immediately we have had this request before. Best regards Marco
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2014

I have always dreamt of spending time in a bush camp and this exceeded all expectations. From the word go we were absorbed into the experience, with the awesome accommodation, great food and drink, and a feeling of anticipation of the wildlife viewing to come. We saw 4 of the big 5 which is pretty good viewing - we also saw a whole pack of wild dog, 25 or 30 of them which we were told is pretty rare. We were lucky enough to experience a chase, hunt and kill by the dogs too. Wow!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ex-Johnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schiess, Owner at Umlani Bushcamp, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
wow.... thank you for your awesome review ,we are super pleased to read that the experienced exceeded all your expectations . Hope you visit us again to bag the member of the big 5 you did not see and a good reason to return. A pack of wild dogs on the hunt is a rare sighting.
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Additional Information about Umlani Bushcamp

Property: Umlani Bushcamp
Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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