Kambaku Safari Lodge is situated in the heart of the Timbavati Game Reserve that borders the western boundary of the Kruger National Park. The reserve is famous for its white lions, untamed wilderness and abundant game - including the Big-5 and Super-7 animals.
Kambaku means 'solitary bull elephant' and is named after one of the 'Magnificent Seven' elephants. These bull elephants, the big tuskers of the Kruger National Park, were known for their impressive tusks and can now be viewed at the Elephant Hall Museum in Letaba rest camp.
Guarding the entrance of the lodge is an impressive elephant skull with large tusks - this leads into the foyer (the only area you can get internet access), on the left is a small lounge area that leads to the office and on the right is the curio shop.
This stunning lodge with its beautiful rustic setting is situated in a semi-circle giving you a fantastic view of the waterhole where constant wildlife activity can be observed and enjoyed, either from the main lodge area the privacy of your chalet. The lodge is unique in that it relies only on solar powered panels for all its electricity.
The main area includes a large but very cosy lounge with huge fireplace, a bar just to the left of the lounge and a tea and coffee station next to a staircase that leads to a great viewing deck above the dining area.
Bryce, the owner of Kambaku Safari Lodge, is also a keen photographer so you will see many of his pictures hanging on the walls of the lodge.
The swimming pool is shaded by large tree but still allows enough sunlight for the sun-bathers to get their fill of sun-shine. It is also one of the places where brunch was served and all our meals were fantastic - our meals were taken at different areas around the lodge so we never got bored!
A delicious brunch is served after each morning game drive and this could be on the pool deck, in the dining area or under the covered veranda overlooking the waterhole.
High tea is served just before going on the afternoon game drive and this is usually served near the tea station or on the covered veranda.
We had really sumptuous dinners, one of which was in the Boma area, another dinner in the lounge area near the great fireplace and the third in the bush!
The one I will always remember is the bush braai, which was in an open space a few kilometers from the lodge. We were taken there after our afternoon game drive. There were lanterns everywhere, which lit up the area but also gave it a lovely atmosphere and the huge fire pit provided warmth though our dinner.
Gravelled pathways lead from the main building to the eight thatched chalets and this is where the legend lingers and the Magnificent Seven are remembered by name as each chalet is named after one of these magnificent big tuskers; Shingwedzi, Dzombo, Kambaku, Mafunyane, Ndlulamithi and Joao.
In addition, Kambaku Safari Lodge has a romantically decorated Honeymoon chalet that is called 'Classic'; with four post king-size bed, en-suite bathroom with both shower plus bath and a spectacular view of the waterhole from the private veranda.
Four of the chalets; Mafunyane (5), Ndlulamithi (6) and then Shawu (7) and Joao (8) have inter-leading doors linking them together, which makes them versatile for either a twin room or a family unit. All have private verandas with views of either the garden or waterhole.
Dzombo is a family chalet with a king size bed as well as two single beds in the second room, en-suite bathroom with both shower and bath; it does not have a veranda, but is close to the swimming pool.
All the chalets are equipped with 220-volt power points and lanterns for light; an overhead fan, four poster beds, crisp white linen and mosquito nets.
The lodge waterhole attracts many animals and the regulars like the warthog family come to drink and wallow in the mud during the day.
The bird life is great and we saw many bushveld and water birds at the lodge and on the drives.
There are two 3-hour games drives per day with experienced guides and trackers. The morning game drive may include a guided bush walk, the late afternoon drive ends with a drive in the dark as you head back to the lodge. This is where nocturnal animals, like the African Wild Cat or Civet maybe spotted, not to mention the leopards and lions!
Parting words how we enjoyed Kambaku Safari Lodge
Of course the highlight of our trip was to see and photograph the famous Timbavati White Lions in their natural environment plus the bush-braai dinner!
You can read more on our trip report page.
Also a big thank you to owners Bryce and Nicola, the lodge manager Candice, our guide Neil and our tracker Eric who were all very accommodating, hospitable, warm and friendly - we had a great time!
"Having a passion for the region itself and having to know about all dynamics, water holes and ideal roads for a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa
"Mario and Jenny take you to places that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA
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