- Authentic eco-camp in private reserve
- Friendly, expert hosting and guiding
- Strong game viewing including Big 5
Kambaku Safari Lodge is a traditional, family run safari camp in a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park area of north eastern South Africa. This intimate, friendly camp sits in the secluded bush overlooking a busy waterhole in the heart of the extensive Timbavati Game Reserve. Along with the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant) Timbavati is home to the famed, rare white lion, wild dog, hippo, hyena, and the elusive cheetah. The region offers strong year-round game viewing and abundant birdlife.
Communal areas in the two-storey main lodge include a comfortable and spacious open-plan dining, lounge, and bar area, with an open fire for colder evenings. There is also a small library. On the mezzanine is a second lounge with a viewing deck, a pool table and a games corner. Outside is an inviting swimming pool with great views of the camp waterhole, and a pleasant ‘boma’ for alfresco meals and sundowners. The lodge runs on solar power, reflecting the owners’ commitment to the environment, with Wi-Fi available in the main areas.
Activities include morning and afternoon game drives, and guided walks, all with knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. Keen birders can enjoy birdwatching at the camp’s hide nearby. Spa and gym facilities are available at the lodge’s sister property, River Sands, with a complimentary shuttle operating between the two camps.
The accommodation comprises eight thatched chalets, including three interconnecting units suitable for families or groups. Each chalet is simply and elegantly furnished with either king or twin four poster beds draped with mosquito nets. All units have spacious ensuite bathrooms with a separate bath and shower. Chalets have overhead fans, but not air conditioning. Outside each unit is a private veranda with seating, ideal for relaxing and watching the wildlife congregating at the waterhole.
Children of all ages are warmly welcome in camp, and each young guest receives an activity pack upon arrival. An extensive kids’ activity programme includes bush walks, mini-beast spotting, star gazing, birdwatching, and jewellery and bow making, with the option to spend a day as a junior ranger. Cots, children’s menus and flexible mealtimes are all available, and a babysitting service can be arranged at extra cost. The lodge provides a kid’s playroom, along with a selection of children’s books and games, whilst the pool will appeal to guests of all ages. Note, families with children under five years will need to reserve a private vehicle for game drives, whilst there is a minimum age restriction of 12 years for guided walks. While it is very unlikely that animals would approach humans, parents are reminded that children should be kept under constant adult supervision.
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019