Kambaku Safari Lodge
Affordable, family-friendly camp, bordering the Kruger National Park
Kambaku Safari Lodge
Kambaku Safari Lodge lies within the Timbavati Game Reserve on the western, unfenced border of South Africa's much-loved Kruger National Park. The 540-square-mile amalgamation of private reserves offers an exclusive game-viewing experience that is far less-crowded than the adjacent National Park. It is also home to the infamous white lion population, thanks to a naturally-occuring recessive gene which gives the lions their pale, pearly coat. Besides the spectacular, undulating terrain, ranging from savanna bushveld to various kinds of woodland, the region offers potential sightings of the Big Five, as well as wild dog, cheetah, and plenty of other animals.
At the lodge
The camp's main area is charming but functional, with greater emphasis on comfort than style. Paved walkways link the thatched, open-sided lounge and dining areas, as well as the swimming pool. The large verandah is where meals are enjoyed, or simply a place to relax. There's a game-stocked children's room where kids can easily entertain themselves, a pool table (for all ages), and a library. A spa and gym are available at River Sands, Kambaku's sister camp, for those in need of a pamper or a workout.
The eight chalets are solid, well-built structures with high ceilings and traditional thatched roofs. Their best feature is their orientation: all are situated in a semi-circle around the lodge's water hole, allowing guests to sit and watch animals come and drink, from the privacy of their own verandas. All rooms are ensuite with showers and bathtubs. The large four-poster beds are equipped with mosquito nets. Three of the chalets are family units that offer private adjoining rooms and extra bathrooms.
There's plenty of diverse terrain to explore, on foot or by safari vehicle. A typical day starts with an early morning activity and culminates in a late-afternoon excursion with a 'sundowner' stop and a night drive. Game drives are frequently rewarding, with opportunities to see most iconic African wildlife, including elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo, and a host of lesser-known species. Walks provide a nuanced view of the landscape and the oft-overlooked species inhabiting it. Kids are well catered for too, with activities specially designed to help them engage with and explore the bush.