Umkumbe Safari Lodge is an owner-managed lodge situated on the banks of the Sand River in the southern section of Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, which borders the Kruger National Park and is consider being one of the best Big Five game viewing destinations in Africa.
The lodge faces east and has a magnificent view of the river and the rising sun.
We had no idea what to expect because it was our first time to the lodge. We were warmly welcomed by the lodge owners, Celeste and Herman before being shown round the lodge.
Celeste showed us where to find the tea and coffee station, which is on the large covered veranda and the big comfortable chairs make it a great place to relax and view the river.
Tea and coffee is available all day you just help yourself, rusks are provided early in the morning before your first game drive and lovely crunchies before going for your afternoon game drive.
The main area is under thatch and has a large lounge, with pool table and plenty of books to read; just off the side of the lounge is a small curio shop with plenty of little nick knacks and clothing.
The covered dining area is where we had lovely breakfasts and light lunches while looking at the fantastic view over the river. This is where I spotted a leopard walking across the river during breakfast one morning!
After the afternoon game drive drinks are served at the bar next to the dining area, which is another great spot with a view of the river.
We had all our dinners round a roaring fire in the large boma; a true bush experience is not complete unless you have eaten in a boma. The food was lovely, with home cooked South African dishes, like Bobotie, a South African braai and Beef Potjie, with salads and vegetables.
The swimming pool has a great view overlooking the river that often has animals walking along the sand banks or grazing near the reeds. The large wooden deck is the perfect place to relax with a good book and your binoculars.
Gravel pathways and a wooden walkway link the lodge's eight chalets to the main area; six chalets have a view of the river while two have a view of the lodge gardens.
All the chalets either have a twin or double beds, en-suite shower, mosquito nets and small veranda, while chalet seven has a bath and a shower.
The rooms are all spacious with plenty of room to move and four of the chalets have inter-leading doors making them great family chalets when needed.
We spent 3 nights in the lovely Zebra room - chalet eight, it has a bath plus an outdoor shower.
It is the last chalet at the end of the lodge; on two of the evenings we had company, three buffalo bulls sleeping in the river bed just in front of our chalet and leopards calling to each other nearly all night!
The lodge offers both morning and afternoon game drives with qualified field rangers. We has 5 great game drives with our ranger Jason - we saw three leopards in just 16 hours!
After breakfast, guided game walks are also on offer or you can relax at on the veranda or pool deck.
You can read our Umkumbe Lodge trip report here.
"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
"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both." - Don Stilton, Florida, USA
"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France
"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, BC, Canada
"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography" - Findtripinfo.com, USA