Experience the real magic of Africa at Umlani Bushcamp. Our beautifully designed eco lodge is off the grid and beaten tourist track, offering intimate and thrilling wildlife encounters, award-winning meals and a chance to reconnect with nature in one of Africa's world-renowned, unspoilt wilderness reserves.
Stay at Umlani Bushcamp and explore the wonders of the Timbavati Game Reserve, a private nature reserve that shares an unfenced border with the legendary Kruger National Park.
Timbavati Game Reserve was formed in the 1950s, when a group of conservation-minded private game park owners on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park decided to pool their resources for their mutual benefit as well as that of the wildlife in the area. The individual farms were consequently joined to form a wilderness area that is today privately owned by 48 individual members.
Timbavati Game Reserve is situated on the Western boundary of the Kruger National Park and lies between the Klaserie, Umbabat, Manyeleti and Sabie Sands Reserves. In recent years, the fences separating Timbavati from the Kruger National Park were removed to form a pristine wilderness area of approximately four million hectares.
Umlani Bushcamp operates synergistically with other land and lodge owners in the Timbavati Game Reserve to offer guests a vast sanctuary of more than 10,000 ha of unspoilt African wilderness.
Accommodation in Greater Kruger - Umlani Bushcamp:
Umlani Bushcamp in Timbavati accommodates guests in traditional African reed and thatch huts as well as an Eco Rondavel, which all blend naturally with the environment and provide pure comfort.
All accommodation options have en-suite facilities including open-air bush showers for the ultimate stargazing experience. They also offer comfortable beds, crisp white linen, soft towels, mosquito netting, insect repellent and standard bathroom amenities. There is also complimentary bottled water, although the tap water is perfectly safe to drink.
The four double huts come with double beds, en-suite facilities including an open-air bush shower. Comfortably-fitted with white mosquito nets, crisp white linen and towels as well as with standard bathroom amenities, the huts also have bottled water (although the tap water is perfectly safe to drink) and insect repellent. A maximum of of two guests.
The four family huts each come with a double and two single beds, en-suite facilities including an open-air bush shower. The huts are comfortably fitted with white mosquito nets, crisp white linen and towels as well as with standard bathroom amenities, bottled water (although the tap water is perfectly safe to drink) and insect repellent. Each family hut can accommodate a maximum of four guests.
Built to enhance thermal storage qualities, it is lovely and warm when cold outside and much cooler when hot outside. Same “close to nature” experience with outdoor shower and bathroom but with little extra luxuries. Two guests can be accommodated in the Eco Rondavel.
Facilities at Umlani Bushcamp:
- Umlani gift shop for all your Umlani souvenirs
- Traditional African boma/dining room serving award winning meals
- Baby sitting and laundry services can be arranged by camp management
- Pick up and drop off airport services
- Pristine pool to cool you down on hot days
- Bush bar and deck overlooking the nearby waterhole
- Exclusive tree house 1.5 kms away from camp for bush sleepouts
Umlani Bushcamp in Camp Activities:
Umlani is renowned for our outstanding rangers and trackers, who will not only find you the game, but will also introduce you to the wealth of flora, fauna, bird life and cultural heritage of the region.
You will be taken out on two game drives per day, in open top 4 wheel drive vehicles. The morning game drive will leave at dawn and the night drive will leave in the late afternoon. There is always a ranger on stand-by for an optional morning bush walk.
During the day you can go on short walks with the ranger after breakfast, or lounge in the hammocks around the swimming pool sipping your favourite drink. Alternatively, laze away the day in our spacious bush bar and deck overlooking the riverbed and watering hole. For exclusive tranquillity there is a tree house about 2.5 kms from the camp overlooking a dam, where we can leave you for an hour or two with blankets and big comfortable pillows as well as a cooler box with drinks.
In the evening you will be treated to pre dinner drinks in the traditional boma around the fire, followed by one of Umlani's award winning meals in the candlelit dining room, or out in the open riverbed surrounded by flares and cauldron fires.
Activities in the area:
We advise you plan carefully so you do not miss out on the Umlani game drives and bush walks, but rather take part in these out side activities upon arriving or leaving Umlani, or if your stay is longer than three nights.
Apart from the wildlife safaris there are some optional daytime activities outside the Timbavati Game Reserve that are accessible from Umlani Bushcamp; these can be arranged by camp management. A transfer service can also be organised to and from the Umlani Bushcamp to any of the following activities:
- One hour microlight flight
- Early Morning Balloon Safaris
- Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
- Horse Back Riding
- Golf Courses (Hans Merensky Golf Course and Drakensig Golf Course)
Birding in the Kruger Park
With 13 varied habitats, Kruger National Park is home to one of the largest concentrations of birdlife and game species in Africa. Birding in the Kruger Park is a major draw card for all eco-tourists as it is reputed as being the finest birding location in Southern Africa.
Birding in the Kruger Park can expose keen birdwatchers to over 500 species but is best known for its large raptor species.
Birdwatching at Umlani Bushcamp
With 13 varied habitats, the Kruger National Park is home to one of the largest concentrations of birdlife and game species in Africa. Birding in this area, which includes the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and Umlani, is just spectacular and a major draw card for all eco-tourists as it is reputed as being the finest birding location in Southern Africa. There are over 500 species in the Greater Kruger National Park including numerous large raptor species.
Umlani Bushcamp Winter Months (May - Sep)
Warm clothes are needed for evening activities (thick jacket). Light sweaters are sufficient for midday
Umlani Buscamp Summer Months (Oct - April)
Light cotton clothing. T-shirts and shorts for everyday wear. Long sleeved shirts and cotton trousers for evening wear for warmth and protection from mosquitoes.
Clothing To Pack:
- 2 pairs cotton trousers
- 2 pairs shorts
- 2 long sleeved shirts
- 5 t-shirts
- 1 light sweater
- 1 lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
- 1 warm padded jacket in winter
- 1 pair good walking shoes
- underwear & socks
- swimming costume
- wide brimmed hat
- scarf & gloves in winter
- insect repellant
- high factor sunblock (the African sun is harsh most of the year)
- lip balm
- torch & batteries (head torch preferable)
- camera & accessories (remember spare batteries & more than 1 memory card)
- South African adapter
- anti-malaria prophylactics (speak to your doctor first)
- good quality sunglasses (preferably polarised)
- good book
- personal medication
Umlani Bushcamp is a Low-risk malaria area. However, please note that we do recommend Malaria prophylaxis be taken for health reasons.
A 25% cancellation fee will be levied on confirmed bookings cancelled within 56 days of arrival.
A 50% cancellation fee on total booking cancelled within 28 days of arrival.
Full payment on confirmed bookings cancelled within 7 days of arrival or not arriving without prior arrangement
* Rates subject to change without prior notice
Self-Drive Safari Car Hire:
Hire cars can be collected at any airport by arrangement with relevant hire company. Approximate drive time from Johannesburg to Umlani 6-7 hours, from Mbombela (Nelspruit) (KMI) to Umlani is 2 - 3 hours, Hoedspruit to Umlani is 35 minutes.
Self-Drive - Panorama Route:
Driving to Umlani Bushcamp via the Panorama Route is a scenic pleasure. A wonderful self-drive holiday route, the Panorama route encompasses Pilgrim's Rest, God's Window, Blyde River Canyon, Mac Mac Falls and other wonderful places. This trip is well worthwhile, taking in spectacular scenery as well as some quaint towns and villages. Driving to or from Umlani Bushcamp via this route adds about 3 hours onto your travelling time, but the scenery is so spectacular that it is well worth it.
Transport with Driver - Direct or via the Panorama Route:
Driving to Umlani Bushcamp from Johannesburg International Airport is easy. We can arrange your transportation to the bush camp via the Panorama Route, with lunch on the way. This could also be arranged on your return from Umlani to Johannesburg.
Daily Shuttle OR Tambo/Umlani - Umlani/OR Tambo:
Departure 06:30 OR Tambo to Umlani. Arrives at Timbavati gate at approximately 13:00.
Departure 11:00 Timbavati gate. Arrives at OR Tambo at approximately 18:00.
This shuttle service is operated by Ashton's Tours and can be arranged through our reservations. Approximate drive time is 6-7 hours