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A luxurious, stylish safari lodge with spectacular wildlife encounters
We love the African bush: watching leopards with their cubs, early morning coffee in the bushveld, nyala antelope walking past the pool, sundowners, romantic campfire dinners and relaxing by the pool. What more could you wish for? And it’s especially beautiful here at Kings Camp!
Experience the charm and romance of a bygone era, spectacular wildlife sightings and marvel at the beautiful views of the African grasslands at this luxurious safari lodge with nine stylish safari-colonial suites.
The 60,000 hectare Timbavati Reserve, with its shady acacia and mopane trees, small lakes and the Nhlaralumi River, is breathtakingly beautiful – a piece of pristine Africa on the western border of the Kruger National Park. The reserve was established in the 1950s by a group of landowners who wanted to conserve the area, the fences adjacent to the Kruger National Park were removed in 1993, and now guests have the opportunity to experience wildlife at its best on an area of 2.2 million hectares. The Timbavati Nature Reserve is home to 40 mammal and 282 bird species. The animals can even walk through the camp so you cannot walk around alone at night.
You can splash around in the pool overlooking a busy waterhole, sip a cocktail in the open lounge or bar and enjoy the excellent food in a romantic setting in the restaurant. Thanks to the kind and dedicated staff you will be spoiled all around.
Joof Alberts bought, renovated and opened this eco-lodge for discerning clients in 1995. Since 1998, it has been managed by husband and wife team, Warren and Lisha Moore, as if it was their own. Thanks to them and their dedicated staff, many of whom have been there from the very beginning, they manage to create an atmosphere, where one really feels welcome and at home.
“The magic of the Timbavati bush is waiting…”
High up in a tree-house style lounge you can enjoy the silence of nature.
The large honeymoon suite has a huge verandah with sun loungers, seating area, and private pool, a large king-sized four-poster bed, an open plan lounge with a comfortable seating area and a stylish open-plan bathroom with free-standing bathtub, double basins, and indoor and outdoor showers. You have plenty of space to relax, switch off and let nature work its magic thanks to the two large double doors framing the majestic landscape.
Wild animals visited the small waterhole in front of our suite. We saw some beautiful nyalas that are also depicted in the paintings in the suite, hornbills, and squirrels.
The wonderful Patricia: such a kind-hearted soul and just one of the many wonderful staff members at the lodge. Almost everyone addresses you by your first name, a very personal and warm gesture that really makes you feel at home.
“Kings Camp cordially invites you to join the spirit of mandleve and to walk with us into an eden of the past in this pristine corner of unspoiled Africa.”
The dark wood, the warm colors, the beautiful paintings, the golden picture frames, the massive chandeliers, and many striking design elements give the suite a palatial and at the same time intimate feel.
There is a Nespresso coffee machine, delicious sherry and a generously filled mini-bar in the suite.
Waterbuck Private Camp
The Waterbuck Camp overlooks a dry riverbed, has four bedrooms and can sleep up to eight people. It has a pool and a vast garden. This private villa offers privacy and pure luxury!
The camp has its own private game vehicle, ranger, tracker, chef, and housekeeper.
You have to get up early for the morning game drive. After a wake-up call, a fresh cup of coffee and a small snack in the library we left the lodge just before sunrise at 5:00 am (5:30 am in the winter). Actually, we were just hoping to see a few Impala antelope – but once again the safari gods smiled upon us, and we saw so much more!
Sunrise in the African bush is a fantastic experience and worth getting up early for. The animals are more active in the morning, so the chances of some rare animal sightings are better. Just remember to dress warmly, especially in winter.
How sweet and perfect are these young nyalas!
After listening to all sorts of beautiful birds, zebras, nyalas and loads of interesting information and stories from our ranger Neil, we made our first Big 5 sighting.
We found Ntumbi, a beautiful leopard lady, busy feasting on her freshly caught prey in a small embankment. Neil drove down the slope, and we had a fantastic view of the leopardess. The leopards here are used to the jeeps and therefore simply cannot be bothered by their presence.
Ntumbi even brought her prey up into a big mopane tree right next to us.
Just when we thought it could not get any better, Ntumbi’s 9-month-old boy appeared and lay down on the ground next to the jeep, watching us. What a breathtaking experience to be able to look such a magnificent creature directly in the eyes. Unforgettable!
In awe, we spent a small eternity watching the leopards. Luckily, there were not many jeeps driving around, so we had time to take in the moment. Brilliant!
Lazy and full, Ntumbi was just hanging in the beautiful mopane tree.
After this amazing experience, we had a small breakfast with fresh coffee and hot chocolate in a dry riverbed in the middle of the African bush.
Freshly brewed bush coffee with Amarula – there is hardly anything better!
On the way back to the camp we even discovered some rhinos – great that they are protected here!
At around 9:00 we happily returned to camp, having experienced a wealth of wildlife sightings and ready to enjoy a hearty breakfast at the restaurant. If you want to, you can go on a guided bush walk afterwards.
The spacious restaurant serves delicious, tasty meals by the log fire or on the large terrace overlooking the waterhole.
Breakfast is served buffet style. Scrumptious, warm egg dishes are made to order.
After relaxing for a while in your exquisite villa or enjoying a spa treatment, lunch is served between 13:30 and 15:00 with a beautiful view of the bush and the possibility of seeing some wildlife.
After a cup of afternoon coffee or tea in the library, we went on our next safari in the afternoon at 16:00 (15:30 in the winter).
The excitement when leaving is always tangible; you never know what you might see this time round.
We saw many animals on our afternoon game drive: impalas, kudu, giraffes, buffalos, wildebeests, rhinos, leopards and elephants.
These little elephant bulls gave us quite a show – so sweet. Annoyed, they ran towards the vehicle, angrily threw branches around, then tried to hide and even struck an impressive pose – incredibly cute!
But when the elephant mom got impatient, our ranger wisely decided it was time to move on.
We also saw Ntumbi and her cub again in the same spot as earlier the morning, still nibbling on their prey.
With a little luck, you can also see lions, cheetahs, hyenas and larger antelope like roan, eland, and tsessebe.
Lady luck was on our side, as we spotted yet another leopard. In the beautiful light of the sunset, we watched Marula and her 4-month-old cub.
Nothing is more amazing than having sundowners in the bush. With a gin & tonic in hand and some South African snacks like Biltong, nuts and dried fruit, we enjoyed the sunset.
At about 7 pm we went back to the camp. There we were warmly welcomed with a small aperitif.
After a refreshing drink at the bar, once you have had the opportunity to freshen up in your villa, it was dinner time.
In the private dining room with its stunning chandelier and romantic fireplace, sumptuous meals are served matched with iconic South African wines.
Dinner served by the open fire under the starry African sky is especially romantic.
This is how you imagine Africa! Heavenly!
Social commitment & animal conservation
Apart from animal conservation, Kings Camp also strives to help the surrounding communities in cultural, environmental and economic terms. The Timbavati Foundation supports local sustainability programs that involve 29 high schools and an ever-growing number of primary schools in the area.
Honeymoon & Wedding
Kings Camp offers a perfect and stylish bush setting for proposing, hosting a wedding with a colonial charm or enjoying a romantic honeymoon. Wedding ceremonies take place in the middle of the African wilderness in a dry riverbed.
Wedding Package from 1550 EUR (further information >>)
- Wedding ceremony in a dry riverbed in the heart of the bushveld
- Local flowers of your choice for the bridal bouquet and the bridal table
- Sparkling wine for the bridal couple
- Single layer wedding cake with a topping of your choice
- Local Shangaan dancers to perform at the ceremony or reception
- Wedding turndown for the bridal couple
- Gift for the bridal couple, courtesy of Kings Camp
In addition to a fitness room, there is also a beautiful spa. You can treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a regenerating beauty treatment at the spa or for ultimate privacy, in the comfort of your suite.
From the warm welcome to the farewell, we felt very much at home at Kings Camp. The suites are exquisite and offer loads of privacy. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful and the staff incredibly kind. Thanks to our excellent guide Neil and his tracker Donald, we had amazing and unforgettable safaris and wildlife sightings. The lodge is truly a haven where you can experience the African bush in refined luxury. The ambiance is wonderfully relaxing! If you would like to enjoy a unique, extraordinary African bush experience, we highly recommend this lodge!
Room: Six Luxury Suites, one Family Suite and two Honeymoon Suites with Pool
Flight: Flight nonstop from Frankfurt to Johannesburg in 10 and a half hours with South African Airways; the flight to Hoedspruit with SA Express takes about 50 minutes
Transfer: from Hoedspruit about 1 hour drive to the lodge
Air Temperature: 25 – 40 degrees Celsius in summer, 5 – 25 degrees Celsius in winter
Time difference: none
Best travel time: Summer is from September to April: it is very hot with high rainfall. Winter is from May to August: it does not rain, but it is considerably colder at night.
Vaccinations: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis A, rabies and hepatitis B (for long-term stays), adequate malaria precautions are advisable
Price: From 620 EUR per person per night in a Luxury Suite. This fee includes all meals, tea & coffee, mini bar, game drives, all beverages (excluding premier wines), laundry service, wireless Internet access
Note: Only children above the age of six are allowed
Special offers: 8-Night Luxury Bush Trilogy from 6700 EUR per person including flights (3 Nights Madikwe Hills | 3 Nights Leopard Hills | 2 Nights Kings Camp)
Specialties: Exciting safaris with great rangers, wonderful wildlife experiences also at the lodge, super-friendly staff, luxurious suites, delicious cuisine, extremely relaxing atmosphere
Perfect for: Couples, adventurers, peace seekers, romantics, nature lovers, animal lovers, and families
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Please note: Our stay was sponsored by Kings Camp. Thank you so much!
Nevertheless, the opinions voiced in this article are 100% our own!