Responsive image

Kambaku River Sands

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Stylish owner-run safari camp
- Tranquil location in private reserve
- Pool, spa, gym, and wine cellar
- Good game viewing including Big 5

Speak to someone who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our specialists on 855 686 7694

Enquire

Overview

Kambaku River Sands is an upmarket safari camp in the private Timbavati Reserve within the greater Kruger National Park area of northeast South Africa. This owner run establishment sits in a tranquil spot by a sandy riverbed, shaded by jackelberry and leadwood trees. The camp offers strong hosting and guiding, along with ten well-appointed thatched suites, a swimming pool, wine cellar, gym, and spa. The Timbavati offers good year-round game viewing, and is home to the big five, plus hippo, hyena, wild dog and more.

The main lodge comprises open-sided and spacious lounge, dining, and bar areas, with vaulted ceilings and open fireplaces for cooler evenings. Outside, a decked terrace overlooks a nearby waterhole popular with wildlife. A cosy ‘boma’ area is great for sundowners and alfresco dining, whilst the camp’s inviting infinity pool provides respite from the heat and is often visited by passing elephants and buffalo! The onsite spa offers an indoor pool along with sauna and steam rooms. There is a fully equipped gym, a wine cellar, and a gift shop on site. Wi-Fi is available in communal areas.

Activities focus on morning and afternoon game drives and guided walks with informed and enthusiastic guides, whilst keen ornithologists will enjoy spotting the abundant birdlife from a nearby bird hide. Back in camp, enjoy a workout in the gym, indulge in a massage or beauty treatment at the spa, or just relax in the pool.

The accommodation comprises ten spacious suites with high, thatched ceilings. Each tastefully designed unit has a king or twin beds and a generous ensuite bathroom with WC, twin basins, a spa bath, and double walk in shower, plus an indulgent outdoor shower. All suites have air conditioning, a minibar, and hot drink facilities. Sliding doors lead onto a private veranda with seating and tranquil views of the surrounding bush.

Children aged 12 years and older are warmly welcome at Kambaku, and extra beds can be provided upon request. Note that the camp is unfenced and wild animals do roam through. Although it is unlikely that wildlife would approach people or accommodation, parents are reminded to supervise children at all times.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 511 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Can't praise tour dust enough, they helped us to create a holiday of a lifetime that has given us family memories we will treasure forever. From start to finish the whole experience was exactly what we wanted and more. Due to covid we waited 2 and a half years for this trip but worth the wait.
    Carly

    MissingCarly R reviewing Value KwaZulu-Natal Safari and Mauritius on 07 November 2022

  • Hi Lisa

    We had an absolutely fantastic time, thank you! My comments here contain just very minor things which could have improved it - please don’t take it as any criticism of the holiday which we absolutely loved, but small tweaks which could have improved it even further!

    Cape Town
    Arrival and transfer were superb - lovely to be met straight off the plane and smoothly transferred straight to the waterfront.
    You should note that Lawhill no longer has a dedicated reception - this caused a couple of issues getting into the accommodation and meeting our guide. Just worth letting people know as nothing which wasn’t overcome with a couple of calls to the complex reception.
    The accommodation itself was ideal for us - spacious, clean and a great base to relax and go out to dinner.
    Our guide from AWOL, Bevan, was first class - really friendly knowledgeable and great with the kids. 10/10!
    The tours were a perfect balance for us of interesting stuff for adults and children
    If I could change anything from our holiday, I’d have had an extra day at leisure in Cape Town, so much to do in the city itself.
    Also worth noting the cable car to Table Mountain seems to be closed during August - just worth noting in advance as we had planned to do that. The aquarium was a good second best though which the kids probably enjoyed more!
    Departure was a pain - our car didn’t turn up at 4.00 as per the schedule which was a pain, particularly that early in the morning. On contacting them, they said it has been booked at 4.45 - an extra 45 mins sleep would have been good - just worth double checking those in future.
    Madikwe
    Transfer to Madikwe was superb again and really easy
    Accommodation was good - I guess this might be because we originally booked a couple of years ago, but the bed for the kids was a bit small for a 9 and 11 year old. Our bed was so big however that Chloe just bunked down with us so no problem at all. Food and service was first class.
    Our safari guide, Pride, was amazing. I’d recommend a private safari to anyone - we were able to be flexible with times and destinations (for example on one day he picked us up a couple of hours early to we could drive much further into the reserve which was rewarded with some cheetahs, another day we went on an all-dayer rather than morning and evening) - mixing things up to see more made a great experience even better.
    Transfer back to Johannesburg was just as easy
    Johannesburg hotel was ok - nothing special but for a transfer hotel it did what we needed!

    Mauritius
    Transfer to and from the resort was seamless
    The resort is lovely - food, accommodation and facilities all great. After such a busy start to the holiday we didn’t really take full advantage of all the water sports but anything we did do was really easy and great fun. Would definitely recommend it to others!
    For a family like ours the drinks package wouldn’t have been good value so pleased we just went full board (having a few drinks during the day and a bottle of wine with dinner our bill came to about £450)
    Just to note a specific plus from the resort: I has some issues with my banking whilst away - the resort waived the fees on my phone call back to the UK to sort it out. Little things like that really make a great impression and reflect so well on the management.

    Thank you again for all your work helping us get there in such difficult times. Great memories of a superb holiday for all the family!

    Best wishes
    Matt

    MissingMatt W reviewing South Africa Madikwe Safari and Mauritius on 31 August 2022

  • Hi Lisa

    I don’t know if you collect feedback but thought it might be useful for you! Happy for you to use any of my comments in testimonials etc.

    We had an utterly amazing holiday and firstly I want to thank you for your patience during what was a very frustrating process for all of us / my procrastination, then covid, date changes, flight cancellations / I can’t quite believe we got there in the end and the trip lived up to all our expectations. Our itinerary felt pretty much perfect so thank you for all the advice and steering in the right direction.

    Thank you also for your flexibility in terms of allowing us to book certain aspects of our trip independently (Cape Town) and then adding flights at a later date. The flexibility to do this and change dates etc was brilliant.

    Originally we intended to self drive, mainly to save cost and then I got nervous about it and we had transfers for the whole trip. Once we were there I was aware that pretty much everyone one was self driving and that the N2 route was actually quite straightforward. In retrospect we could have done self drive however my husband and I both agreed that for us the transfer option was probably best. Although a straightforward route, the N2 is quite a hairy road with lots of trucks and there was a definite etiquette for driving and overtaking. Our son is quite anxious and I think he would have found the driving stressful and so we feel we made the right choice.

    It obviously meant that we were not able to do any self drive safari but this did not matter, I would not have wanted to the advantages of being taken with someone who can spot things we would never have seen, imparting huge amounts of knowledge and having the right vehicles for going off road were worth every penny.

    St Lucia, this was a great place to start our safari, we did a night drive (highly recommend), a day safari up to Cape Vidal and also a boat trip on the estuary. Would recommend all of it. Our accommodation at Lidiko Lodge was comfortable and they do a lovely breakfast on a gorgeous terrace. The rooms are quite dark and although there was nothing wrong with it, it was probably our least favourite accommodation on our trip.

    Ghost Mountain Inn, we arrived here after 4 full on days in Cape Town and then 2 days in St Lucia so were ready for a bit of a rest and it really was lovely. We had lovely rooms, enjoyed the pool, food and did a fantastic trip to visit the local Zulu village and then a morning game drive into Mkhuze park (they have hides here and it was wonderful to watch the animals come to the waterhole to drink) it felt slightly more intimate than watching them from a vehicle.

    Rhino River Lodge, undoubtedly the highlight of the trip. It was a wonderful experience from start to finish. The food was lovely, the level of service was amazing (little touches like hot water bottles on your seat at dinner and hot flannels and an aperitif handed to us as we returned from our evening game drive. It was 3/4 star rather than 5 star and the rooms were quite rustic (very comfy beds) but we really liked that (not 5 star people) and felt very comfortable with the children who were made very welcome and there were food options to suit them (although mostly they ate the adult food but nice to have an alternative, simpler option). The ONLY downside is that you can hear the N2 from the lodge and initially it bothered me a bit but actually it was such a fabulous place it didn’t really matter in the end but maybe something to flag to other clients.

    Fairlight Beach House – I’m glad we only had 1 night here as actually the weather at this point was not great but it was a great place to gather ourselves before the flight home (I would NOT have wanted to go straight from Rhino River to the airport to fly home). Lovely, super comfortable place to stay and we spent the morning watching dolphins and whales breaching less than 100m from the shore line.

    My only regret is that we didn’t make it to Drakensburg Mountains (Rorkes or Fugitives Drift). If I was planning the trip again I probably would just do 2 nights (instead of 3) at Ghost Mountain and add one extra day to give another 2 nights to get to the mountains.

    Thank you Lisa and I really hope that we will have the opportunity to do another 'Big Trip' at some point soon and book through you!

    Josine

    MissingJosine B reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 30 August 2022

+
See more reviews

Decisions...

Stop searching and speak to someone who knows.

Enquire Now