Umlani Bushcamp – Reviews | Amenities | Highlights

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2021)

The Umlani Bushcamp is inside South Africa’s Timbavati Nature Reserve bordering with no fence onto the Kruger National Park. In this article, I am going to talk about Umlani Bushcamp.

Umlani Bushcamp: About

Umlani is a non-public concession within the central part of the Timbavati, a game-rich personal reserve comprising a number of homeowners, and a part of the 20 million-hectare unfenced wilderness space generally known as Higher Kruger.

Timbavati lies north of the extra well-known Sabi Sand Non-public Recreation Reserve – the latter well-known for dense animal populations, specifically leopard sightings, but in addition to the densest focus of business lodges.

The good thing about the Timbavati is that with far fewer lodges you’re much less prone to encounter different automobiles; recreation sightings are plentiful however much less predictable.

Umlani is definitely accessed from quaint Hoedspruit airport (below a one-and-a-half-hour drive).

Dwelling to the Huge 5 and an awesome number of wildlife, company, expertise fascinating safari drives and bush walks.

Set off the overwhelmed vacationer monitor; this safari lodge offers travelers with intimate and thrilling wildlife encounters, scrumptious meals, and an improbable alternative to reconnect with nature in one in every of Africa’s unspoiled wilderness reserves.

In the course of the day, in between wildlife viewing actions in Timbavati, guests might loosen up within the hammocks across the swimming pool and sip a refreshing beverage.

Alternatively, the bush bar and deck overlooking the riverbed and waterhole make for a fantastic place for socializing.

Visitors in search of privateness and tranquillity might go to the Umlani Bushcamp tree home which lies about 2.7 km away from the camp.

Overlooking a dam, guests might benefit from the purest nature around them for an hour or two comforted with blankets and large pillows in addition to drinks available.

Pre-dinner drinks are served within the night within the African fashion boma across the hearth which is adopted by the lodge’s scrumptious meals served within the candlelit eating venue.

The reserve’s wealth of birdlife, flora, fauna in addition to cultural heritage makes it a singular vacation spot.

Visitors get pleasure from two safari drives a day which is accompanied by skilled recreation rangers in open Land Rovers.

Departing throughout daybreak because the solar rises within the bushveld, guests have the prospect to come across the reserve’s untamed wildlife of their pure habitat.

The lodge’s nighttime drive leaves throughout the late afternoon.

Optionally available morning bush walks supply shoppers a strategy to discover on foot with the ability to study in regards to the smaller creatures which are sometimes ignored from the automobiles.

4 double huts with double beds, en-suite lavatory, and an open-air bath. This room kind can host a maximum of two guests.

The Household huts present one double, and two single beds accommodate as much as 4 guests.

The Eco Rondavel can sleep two company and affords guests nature expertise with out of doors bathe and en-suite lavatory in addition to luxuries and facilities.

Umlani was constructed on a shoestring within the 1990s when South Africa was nonetheless blinking underneath the highlight because it shed its pariah standing.

As tourism gained traction post-Mandela, funds and bush lovers alike remained grateful that homeowners Marco and Marie-Louise Schiess didn’t decide to remodel their rustic eco bush camp into yet one more luxurious lodge, including eye-watering worth tags together with personal plunge swimming pools.

With no cultivated gardens and a minimal constructing footprint (eight thatched huts related through rivers and paths; a dining bar and deck overlooking the riverbed and productive waterhole) that is glamping without the tents.

Repeat guests love the truth that there is no such thing as electricity, restricted connectivity, a comfy environment, and employees who have been right here so long its like coming residence to family.

Apart from strolling the eco-conscious speak, the camp is ethically managed, having fun with a Truthful Commerce Tourism certification for years.


Conventional amenities are pretty restricted: a small splash pool, bar and dining, deck chairs, and hammocks dotted about, but this minimal influence encourages a way of actual reference to the bush.

The luxuries are surprising: no electrical energy makes for a very romantic atmosphere at night time, and vigorous fireplace dialog between guests, aided by the dearth of Wi-Fi.

Escorted after dinner to your hut alongside lantern-lit pathways, the sense of being in an enormous wilderness is thrillingly genuine.

It is a hands-on, family-managed camp, and repair all through is superb. Skilled rangers, Elvis, Amos, and Martin, aided by their extremely expert Shangaan trackers –

Ephraim, Abednego, and Cupboard – be certain that each drive is a journey; automobiles are allowed to go off-road to get you actually near particular sightings, and you will notice a lot.

Apart from twice-daily recreation drives, guided bush walks can be found and beneficial.

Meals and Drink

Early wake-up is rewarded with the sizzling beverage and baked snacks. In the course of the morning recreation drive, there’s one other drink and snack cease; night recreation drives additionally function the compulsory and far loved sundowner.

Breakfast is a straightforward affair – recent fruit, yogurt, and cereal adopted by eggs cooked any method, served with a meat facet, and recent pastry of the day.

Lunch and dinner menus are rotated every seven days and served at a communal desk hosted by employees; a lunch of quiches, salads, and a freshly baked loaf may very well be adopted by a conventional braai, or a venison night – springbok shanks are a spotlight.

Vegetarians and particular dietary necessities are properly catered for, however require an advance warning.

Umlani Bushcamp Rooms

Lodging is spartan however comfy. Conventional round Shangaan-style reed-and-thatch huts, that includes meshing home windows, screed flooring, and built-in beds; for those who favor a more strong construction, two have been reworked into ‘eco huts’ with glass home windows and thermal partitions.

There’s impeccable housekeeping and candy touches – ‘welcome’ spelled in pebbles on the mattress on arrival; flip down at night time consists of dropping mosquito nets over beds.

No electrical energy, so no air-con; huts are cooled by breezes blowing via the mesh home windows – in summer, take a chilly bathe earlier than mattress.

The treehouse, positioned a few miles away from camp, might be prebooked for one night time at no further cost – it’s above a waterhole that may obtain a continuing stream of nocturnal guests, so don’t count on to get much sleep, but for most this is unforgettable wilderness expertise.

Activities at Umlani Bushcamp

Get up at daybreak, have a heat cup of tea or espresso, and prepare for the primary recreation drive; mornings and afternoons are when wildlife is most lively.

At Umlani Bush Camp, trackers and rangers are devoted to not simply exhibiting you the wildlife, however, portray an entire image of the native natural world. They’re honest and really passionate in regards to the heritage of this area.

Rangers are all the time on stand-by for a further bush stroll between morning and afternoon recreation drives.

Small discoveries unveil larger secrets and techniques of the bush; let a piece of skilled ranger information you and you’ll depart with a deeper understanding of this distinctive world.

Within the afternoon, enterprise out once more to absorb gorgeous mauve skies, painted with a palette of heat African colors.

Wildlife wakes up when the solar goes down, making the afternoon drive a deal with to your senses. After the drive, let the employees pamper you with one other delight that may fit your being: certainly one of their award-winning meals.


Double rooms from South African Rand 4059 (£213) per particular person in the off-season; and from South African Rand 5032 (£264) in excessive (youngsters underneath 12 pay 50 percent of charges).

All meals, native drinks, and recreation actions included. Free Wi-Fi, however solely at reception and for a number of hours every day.

A superb three-night particular features a complimentary shuttle from Tambo (Johannesburg) or Hoedspruit airport from South African Rand 12,320 (£646) per particular person. Charges exclude Timbavati conservation levy of R400 (£21) pp/night time.

umlani bushcamp

Entry for guests with disabilities?

Not appropriate.


Sure, there are 4 household huts, every with a double mattress and two single beds in the identical room, sharing an en-suite lavatory with an open-air bush bathe. Notice nevertheless that it’s an intimate camp, and unfenced.

Kids Coverage

  • All youngsters are welcome.
  • Free! One baby underneath 2 years stays free of cost in a baby’s cot/crib.
  • One baby from three to 12 years is charged 50 % of the room keep per night time and person in an additional mattress.
  • The utmost variety of further beds/children’s cots permitted in a room is 1.
  • Any kind of additional mattress or kid’s cot/crib is upon request and must be confirmed by the administration.
  • Dietary supplements usually are not calculated mechanically within the whole prices and must be paid for individually throughout your keep.


Timbavati Nature Reserve, Hoedspruit, 7985, South Africa.

00 27 21 785 5547

Facilities and services

  • Traditional African Boma/dining room
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Bush bar and deck overlooking waterhole
  • Treehouse 1.8 km away from camp for Bush sleepouts
  • Transfers
  • Babysitting
  • Laundry services
  • Gift shop.


  • Early morning safari drive
  • Late afternoon/evening safari
  • Morning bushwalk
  • Bird watching.

Nearby activities and attractions:

  • Microlight flight
  • Ringetani Acornhoek Village Tour
  • Elephant Back Safaris
  • TSAU – White Lion Research & Heritage Centre
  • Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
  • Horse Back Riding
  • Golf Courses (Hans Merensky Golf Course, Drakensig Golf Course.


  • Complimentary Bottled Water
  • Early morning tea & coffee and biscuit
  • Ensuite private bathroom
  • Housekeeping
  • Mosquito net
  • Outside Shower
  • Viewing Deck

Facilities Available at Umlani Bushcamp

  • Airstrip
  • Gift Shop
  • Hotel Bar
  • Lounge
  • Open Air Boma
  • Parking
  • Swimming Pool
  • Viewing deck

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