A review of Tamboti Tented Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Eye to eye with a wild elephant

Tamboti tented camp is one of my most favourite places to stay in Kruger National Park, South Africa. It’s a satellite camp of Orpen and houses about 40 tents, around ten of which are luxury tents. After an opportunistic last minute upgrade we managed to secure a luxury tent and I was so impressed with the standard of accommodation offered, it’s on par with luxury tented accommodation in Kenya and beyond and I LOVED it!

The main tent had a door (yes, a door), which had a separate insect screen and stable doors, allowing you to view game from your bed 🙂 A separate tented corridor (yes, you read that right, a corridor) housed an electronic safe, a wardrobe and several shelves with dedicated lighting.  This led to a bathroom where there was a very roomy wooden panelled bathroom with separate toilet and a lovely warm, pressurised shower. The entire tent was light by subtle electric lights in the style of old gas lanterns, which was very tasteful and incredibly romantic.

We had an incredibly comfortable bed and, whilst I was worried about the absence of A/C it was really not an issue. A powerful ceiling fan provided adequate relief from the heat in the hottest season of the year (38 degrees by day) and we found ourselves snuggling under additional blankets come nightfall. The tent also housed a full size fridge freezer, away from the prying wildlife, and a sofa.

Outside there was a balcony (the tent is raised on a wooden platform) which had a stunning view over the dried river bed. This balcony housed a table, three chairs and a  fully equipped kitchenette i.e. toaster, kettle, hotplate, sink, lockable cupboards, plates, glasses, sherry glasses (!), cutlery (inc braai tongs etc), bowls etc  Just remember to bring a tin opener!

Each tent is perfectly positioned from the other to allow privacy and silence. It’s enchanting and bewitching. We sat night upon night gazing at the view, watching porcupines run across the river bed, and getting spooked by the sounds of elephants trumpeting nearby.

The tent’s veranda was the perfect location for sundowners and nocturnal wildlife spotting. We were in tent 39 which, we believe, had a honey badger set underneath. Each night we were privileged to be visited by these elusive but dangerous creatures. They’d pop their heads above the top step as we’d be enjoying a late night Amarula and, upon being spotted by our torchlight, they would scutter off as soon as they realised we were present. They’d then  revisit us (and awaken us) around 4am to raid our bins – but we’d be wise to them and would be awaiting behind our protective stable door with cameras ready to catch them in action. It  is an amazing chance to encounter such an incredibly powerful and nocturnal creature of the bush. That’s why I love Tamboti so much.

What’s more, guests are allowed to use the pristine swimming pool at Orpen which, believe me, is much needed after a dusty, hot 10 hours on safari!

It’s worth highlighting there are no shops at Tamboti, but Orpen has a well stocked shop 3k away which is staffed by the friendliest and happiest people we saw.

For further information on Tamboti tented camp, please visits the SAN Parks website at http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/camps/tamboti/default.php

Photos from our South African Safari are available in our Taraji Blue online South African photo gallery.

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