Umlani Bushcamp provides a rustic bush experience that will give you a unique safari in the Timbavati Private Reserve. It offers simplistic luxury and 'getting away from it all’. The camp operates without electricity, wifi and air conditioning: allowing you to simply soak up the sounds, scents and sights of the surrounding bush.

  • Game rich area of Greater Kruger National Park
  • A rustic yet comfortable safari experience
  • Game driving in open safari vehicles, off road for game sightings
  • Walking safaris with armed and experienced rangers
  • Small, intimate safari camp - maximum 16 guests
  • More personal, less crowded game viewing
  • Swimming pool
  • Bush Lapa for alfresco dinners

Umlani Bushcamp is in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, lying on the western border of Kruger National Park. With no fences separating them, it forms part of the Greater Kruger National Conservancy which allows for the free movement of game in this vast area.

Thatch & reed traditional huts

Umlani is small and personal, with a maximum of 16 guests accommodated in traditional thatch and reed bungalows. Built in the style of the local Shangaan people, these huts blend in seamlessly with their surrounds. There are 4 doubles and 4 family units, each en-suite with an open-air bush shower. Mosquito nets and repellents are provided and the oil lamps and candle lights create a wonderfully romantic atmosphere in the evenings.

Game activities

Game drives are done in open safari vehicles and, unlike Kruger, they are permitted off-road to enable you to get up close and personal to game sightings. The Timbavati offers Big 5 game viewing in its more than 10 000 hectares traversing area, with sightings of all the animals you’d find in the Kruger Park, but with far fewer vehicles and crowds.

The traditional Shangaan rangers and trackers that will accompany you are incredibly knowledgeable about the local area and its creatures. They’ll go out of their way to show you unmatched sightings and explain the 1001 fascinating facts about the animals, the birds, the landscape, the insects, their traditions and cultures.

At leisure

Between game drives, you can chill at the bush bar and deck and watch animals visit the nearby waterhole. Or relax at the pool. There’s an exclusive tree-house a few kilometres away from where you can go for a few hours or for an overnight sleep-out (advance booking essential). There’s also a gift shop. Depending on the weather and your preferences, superb meals are served in the candlelit dining room or in the traditional reed boma with a blazing bonfire. Or out in the open surrounded by flares beneath the starry African skies.

Getting there

By road, it’s a good 6-7 hours drive by car from Johannesburg, and about an hour and a half from Eastgate Airport at Hoedspruit. Daily flights connect from Johannesburg and almost daily from Cape Town. Road transfers and charter flights can easily be arranged.

Our take on Umlani Bushcamp

Rustic, yet comfortable, Umlani consistently gets good reviews from guests, which always speaks volumes. We really enjoy this camp and it's great if you're looking for a bush camp experience with basic accommodation. If luxury is what you're after, perhaps consider other options. Umlani overlooks a beautiful dry riverbed and the game viewing in this area is good. It's well-established with a great track record and their friendly staff know how to make guests feel welcome and have a superb safari experience. An excellent safari choice when you’re looking to really get away from it all.

  • Accommodation and 3 meals per day
  • Daily game drives and optional bush walks
  • All local brand drinks
  • 14% VAT
  • Vehicle permit - for self-drives only (payable at the Timbavati Gate)
  • Conservation Levy, payable at Umlani Bushcamp
  • Premium-branded drinks and champagne
  • Items of a personal nature
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