So…I am not against camping, as a child we spent many weekends camping in game reserves, at the beach and even in our garden. But these days, I’m not so keen. It’s just having to unpack and pack-up your entire ”home” that gets to me! Tented camps give you the best of both worlds; it offers the ‘in the wild’ experience but you don’t need to waste valuable game-viewing time looking for lost tent pegs. Tamboti Tented Camp at the Orpen Gate is my new favourite camp in the Kruger Park. It is the ideal self-catering camp in terms of setup as well as location. The area is rich in wildlife and the perfect base from which to explore the Park. I just wish we could have stayed longer… glamping for sure.
Each tent is tucked in among the dense bush with a view of the Timbavati riverbed (frequented by elephants, lions and hyena). The bush path to the tent is an adventure in itself – especially at night (don’t forget to pack a torch). The budget option has amenities like plug points, a fridge and a fan to escape the intense summer heat. We had everything we needed to make our own bushveld cuisine. Although the bathrooms and kitchens are communal, they are spotless. There are a few luxury tents available for those wanting a few more frills as well as 4-bed tents which are perfect for families.
Why stay here?
At most other camps, there is little privacy from other travellers. Because these tents are separated by lush trees and shrubs, it creates the sense of remoteness and it feels like you are having the ultimate deep-bush experience. You are only aware of your neighbours at night when you can smell their braaivleis!
These tough little creatures have become a menace in the camp because they are experts at opening the garbage bins despite the Park authority’s attempts to create badger-proof lids. Keep your eyes open for them at night. Also, steer clear – those claws are mighty intimidating and a standoff would be foolish. Furthermore, keep your foodstuffs locked up in the crate provided – our packet of Flings was too close to the edge and managed to fall prey to a honey badger on day-patrol. I didn’t have enough time to snap a pic when one chap paid us a visit one afternoon, but there’s always next time.
Great wildlife sightings
We spotted elephants and kudu crossing the riverbed right from our porch. Zebras, impala, black backed jackal and a pair of bateleurs were sighted along the road to the camp. The ultimate bush experience must be listening to lions and hyenas calling while lying in your bed at night. You convince yourself that sound travels faster at night; they are miles away. Only to spot their tracks in front of your tent the next morning…A