Enjoy breakfast while 30 elephants jostle at the waterhole below
Relaxed King's Camp gives you a real sense that you've travelled not only to another place, but to a more elegant era. There are just a few bungalows, all beautifully furnished, and the books, old cameras, typewriters and silver that are used in the decor throughout give a Downton Abbey touch. The lodge overlooks a watering hole that draws a steady stream of animals, so you can breakfast while watching elephants and their skittish young at the water's edge below. Your surroundings? The famed Timbavati Private Game Reserve, home to the Big Five, the small creatures and much more.
At the lodge
Overlooking the active King's Camp waterhole on a savanna plain, the thatched communal area is sophisticated yet invitingly comfortable. The open-plan lounge and bar areas are a good place to relax and soak up the tranquillity of the bush. Three gourmet meals per day are served in the dining area, under the stars or on the patio of your suite. The camp has wi-fi and air conditioning throughout. There's also an outdoor pool, a gym and a glass-and-thatch beauty spa.
There are 11 roomy colonial suites, including two romantic honeymoon suites. All suites are equipped with air conditioning, Victorian ball-and-claw bath, indoor and outdoor showers and, in the honeymoon suites, a plunge pool. All offer lovely views of the savanna and its wildlife inhabitants. There are monkeys in the camp so don't leave your things around; they're brazen enough to steal toast off your breakfast table! Each private veranda has a hammock. A separate four-bedroomed villa with its own staff caters for families.
Like most other game lodges, King's Camp offers morning and evening game drives with really clued-up guides, although the game vehicles may be cramped, making photography difficult. (You can hire a private vehicle.) You can also explore the savanna on foot, restore tense muscles in the spa or chill in the pool. And if eating could be described as an activity, there's plenty on offer for your culinary pleasure.