nThambo Tree Camp
nThambo Tree Camp is a small, intimate safari lodge in the massive, indifferent Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. You’re basically in a place which shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park.
We're talking west of the Timbavati and 60,000 whopping hectares either side of the Klaserie River. Wildlife sure can roam here. And roam it does. And frankly, animals don't care if they're in Klaserie, Timbavati, Manyeleti, Sabi Sands or the Kruger National Park. They don't even know that this whole caboodle is the Greater Kruger Park. But we do... Wilkommen.
The unfenced borders means wildlife can be in and around camp at any time. So much so that guides will escort you to and from your rooms at night. And there's an air horn in your room in case of emergency... eek. Wild. Watch out for trunks too. If you're in the splash pool. Herds do occasionally wander over for a drink from the pool.
There are beautiful views of the plain and a small waterhole in front of camp. Those mountains in the distance? The mighty Drakensberg.
There are five chalets which sleep two. Showers only and pedestal fans in each room.
All are positioned on stilts at eye level with the trees. You can think like a monkey or a bird and game watch all day. The waterhole in front of camp attracts a number of species day and night; warthog, baboon, elephant, even lion and leopard can be spotted in front of camp.
Splash pool with decking area; small watering hole in front of camp; WiFi in lounge area; fully stocked bar; small library area; boma area with campfire; dining area overlooking the wilderness
Evening and morning game drives are the business here. After breakfast you can go on a walking safari too if you fancy it. Night drives are an option and of course, of course, you may have a sundowner in the bush. Breakfast in the bush is available if you ask for it. And there’s lots of opportunities for bird watching and boma dinners around the fire.
The guides are at the top of their game. Wow, that’s horrific. Pretend you didn’t read that bit. But seriously the Shangaan trackers know their stuff.
And the animals are used to - and unfazed by - the open 4x4 vehicles so you can get within 5 to 10 metres of the larger predators; even while they're munching up a recent kill. If you can stomach it. The night drives allow you to see the nocturnal animals. Funny that. But your chances of seeing leopard in particular are a lot higher at night. They like to hunt undetected under cover of darkness. But they can fall foul of a full moon. You can imagine their muttering after a hunting fail. Blast. Who put that moon there? I mean seriously. I was THIS close...
The lions are famous in the Klaserie and their pride has been followed for years. In addition to the Big Five animals you may see giraffe, zebra, spotted hyena, baboon, hippo, crocodile, impala, kudu, vervet monkey, wildebeest, cheetah, aardvark and serval.
The camp is frequently visited by a pair of honey badgers. Ferocious little darlings feared by most big mammals because of their fearless attitude and tendency to aim for the groin in an attack. Ouch.
Birds that are regularly seen are owl, bee-eater, roller, eagle, bustard, hornbill, starling and shrike. Superb raptors soar the skies, perch in trees and survey the land. And the Klaserie has some of the best viewing of white-backed vultures because it’s a primary breeding area for them.
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