1) Name of property and country: Kambaku River Sands, Timbavati, South Africa
2) Website address if known: http://www.kambakulo...rsand/index.php
3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). May 2016, no seasonal pricing, R5300 per person per night (no single supplement)
4) Length of stay: 4 nights (pay 3 get 4 offer)
5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what?: Internet research, Tripadvisor reviews, discussion with agent.
6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? : Some direct contact but booked via Jacqui Sive of Lodge Trackers. Everyone responded promptly and helpfully.
7) How many times have you been on Safari? 3 (plus one self drive in the Kruger c 10 yrs ago)
8) To which countries? All in South Africa
9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? Nottens Bush Camp, Sabi Sands
10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No
11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 10
12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Room 3, essentially private, overlooks dried river bed
13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Excellent
14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Good but not restaurant quality (fine by me), portions sensible and not over large.
15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Wide choice for brunch, dinner was set menu.
16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes?
17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? N/A
18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Fairly old Land Rovers.
19) How many guests per row? 2
20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? About 4 hours in morning, 3.5 hours in the afternoon.
21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Morning leaves at 6am, afternoon at 3.30pm. Had a private vehicle one day and could have stayed out longer if I asked (left for pm drive 20 mins early)
22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Large private reserve, lodges are reasonably spaced and not intrusive
23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Low
24) Are you able to off-road? Yes
25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. Yes - didn't get very long at cat sightings as only 2 vehicles allowed at once
26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Varied game. Famous for white lions. Had good leopard sightings and lions but standard colour!
27) How was the standard of guiding? Very good
28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A
29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: Guide on shared drives was good. Guide on private drive was very good - knowledgable and happy to drive slowly and to requests.
30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Yes
31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. N/A
32) Safaritalk trip report link: In progress
33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Good value Timbavati camp.
34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.