The Timbavati Game Reserve is a private reserve on the edge of the Kruger Park and it is low on people high on animals. And that's the focus at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, one of a handful of upscale safari lodges inside this private reserve of 60,000 hectares.
While all eyes, ears and attention is on the wildlife experience, the game viewing, the walking safaris and the night drives, accommodation is anything but forgotten. It has just been paired down to give centre stage to the magnificent game reserve.
Tandu Tula Safari Camp has 12 en suite rooms constructed on concrete plinths dotted along the ephemeral Nhlaraluni River. With a thatch hangar, the inner sanctum is a tented suite with a large front deck and a sprawling en suite bathroom that steps out into the open air.
Trimmings are minimal, with no noisy air conditioners to disturb the peace but you do get a cosy bathroom, slippers, hot water bottles, towels and most of what you'd find in a decent city hotel. Except for the wonderful setting and the wilderness noises on the other side of the canvas.
The main area is standard safari lodge MO with a large open-sided lounge and dining area and a tradtional boma for starlit bonfire dinners al fresco. A soft lawn occupies the centre of the safari lodge with a small pool to one side and a hide marks the start of the bush.
The camp is unfenced making for some interesting night time encounters and the occasional buck or herd thereof strolling through camp. Game drives and wildlife activities are excellent at Tanda Tula with fantastic guides and trackers. Sightings are not over-crowded though the rangers do notify each other when they spot any of the \"biggies\" like elephants, rhino, lion, leopard, buffalos. A host of large and small plains game along with many birds and interesting plants add to the bushlore on offer by your game guide.
All activities are included in the full board rate including morning game drives in open safari vehicles with guaranteed side seat and plenty of space; mid-morning bush walks; brunch in the bush and an afternoon game drive that returns by night.
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