On arrival we were immediately shown to our rooms, but there was no tour of the camp or what we could expect. In the room I found an impersonal letter stating the daily timetable and the names of the staff.
Once again my room was the furthest from reception, room 11 – the honeymoon suite. The room is ridiculously large. There is a massive chandelier, giant triple wardrobe, tables, armchairs, a big deep bath in the bedroom together with a shower, twin sinks, tea making facilities and an expresso machine, inclusive mini-bar, tray of fruit and decanter of sherry, electric blankets on the bed, bird and mammal guides in the room. Candelabras and fresh flowers are everywhere. There is also a radio and i-pod dock. Outside there is a covered patio with small private pool, sun loungers and tables and chairs. There is free wi-fi, however this is very intermittent during the day, although I had a full signal late at night in my room (although no signal during the day).
Unfortunately this luxury was a bit wasted on me as we only ever returned to the camp to eat and sleep and it was only on our final day that I saw the room in daylight. Each evening there would be a card left with the next day’s weather forecast. Despite the oppulence, I found the bed somewhat hard and didn't sleep very well.
As they were short on rangers, we had a freelance guide called Brendon and our tracker was Selby. Our guide was happy to go out all day, although this may be because he was freelance and I’m not sure the actual camp’s guides would have been as accommodating. Hot water bottles were provided on morning drives.
One highlight was the two wildcats that hung around the lodge after breakfast each day.
Regrettably I found the organisation in the camp to be chaotic and there was little sign of the personal service I have come to expect from luxury lodges in South Africa. We had booked lodges in the Timbavati in the hope of seeing white lions, but no-one in the camp was interested in our objective. Our guide, being freelance, did not know what was happening in the area and there seemed little communication with other guides.
The communal areas are quite close together so it is hard to get away from other guests unless you are in your own room. The food does let the camp down. The only saving grace is the desserts which are a work of art and, due to a chef not turning up, were created by Tristan the camp manager.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kings Camp reflects the charm and romance of a colonial past in a pristine corner of unspoilt Africa. Kings Camp is situated facing an open savanna plain with a waterhole, which is frequented by a wide variety of wildlife, day and night.Eleven generously spacious colonial suites are luxuriously equipped with air-conditioning, Victorian ball-and-claw bath, indoor and outdoor double shower, fully stocked mini-bar and private verandah. Dark tones of wood and thatch offset the natural colours of the bushveld. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kings Camp Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
- Kings Camp South Africa/Timbavati Private Nature Reserve