Umlani Bushcamp, Timbavati, Kruger National Park: Accommodation Review


Umlani Bushcamp
Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger National Park
off the R40 near Hoedspruit
Limpopo Province
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Accommodation type: Game Lodge
Number of stars: 3
Rooms starting from (per person sharing): R2050
SA Blog recommends? It’s Perfectly Suitable

Snippet
The showers are open-air, but – this is where the “stylish” part comes in – the water is heated with wood-fired furnaces, and cascades out of the overhead spouts with as much warmth as anyone could wish. In a similar vein, the reed-and-thatch chalets that comprise Umlani’s accommodation – you can book a two-person rondavel or a family-sized one – have no electricity. At night, light is provided by the bright glow of gas lanterns.

(See full review below.)

Low season specials? Yes
Breakfast included? Yes, and all other meals.
Dedicated non-smoking rooms? No
Staff friendliness (out of 10): 8
Staff competence (out of 10): Not reviewed

Room options: Double, Suite
Room comfort level (out of 10): Not reviewed
Noisy? No
Does the TV remote work? N/A
Fan or A/C? Neither (no electricity!)
Pool? Yes

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Concierge? N/A
Restaurant? Yes
Conference facilities? Yes
Three ink blot adjectives: Rustic, romantic, fair-trade
Value for money? Average

Booking information
Umlani Bushcamp
P.O. Box 11604
Maroelana 0161
Tel: +27 (0) 12 346-4028, Fax: +27 (0) 12 346-4023
info@umlani.com
www.umlani.com

Review
For those seeking a stylish “get back to nature” experience in South Africa, Umlani, in the private Timbavati Game Reserve – which shares a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park – seems a good bet.

For example, the showers are open-air, but – this is where the “stylish” part comes in – the water is heated with wood-fired furnaces, and cascades out of the overhead spouts with as much warmth as anyone could wish.

In a similar vein, the reed-and-thatch chalets that comprise Umlani’s accommodation – you can book a two-person rondavel or a family-sized one – have no electricity. At night, light is provided by the bright glow of gas lanterns.

The price per-person of a night’s stay might, at over R2000, seem a touch high for a 3-star establishment, but it’s important to bear in mind that this tariff includes all meals and drinks – not to mention the spectacular game drives through the Timbavati reserve.

Then, too, Umlani is Fair Trade-certified, which means that choosing it for a rustic, romantic safari sleepover benefits the local community, in terms of economic and social development. Umlani helps support a Shangaan cultural village and is committed to training community members in the hospitality and guiding trades.

Apart from the game drives and the cultural tours, various other activities are available at Umlani, including tracking game on foot, a microlight flight over the nearby Klaserie Big Five game reserve, early morning balloon safaris, and whitewater rafting trips. Last, as a visit to the Bush Camp’s website makes clear, the Timbavati area is a bird-watcher’s paradise – twitchers feast your eyes on Umlani’s marvellous A-Z birding list!