Wow, wow and wow again!! What an incredible stay at Nottens Bush camp! We have been fortunate enough to experience over ten other lodges in the Sabi Sands and this is hands down the best lodge! Our ranger Tinky was outstanding and the sightings were unbelievable, all the big five and more. The best leopard sightings we have ever had and some amazing photographic opportunities. The lodge is beautiful, peaceful and staff are amazing, so professional, polite and attentive. I was blown away by how proactive the staff were. I have never experienced anything like this before, they are always thinking about what their guests might need next. It was also great to have drinks included in the cost so you don't have to keep track of all the extras you add on during your stay. The food was plentiful and so tasty, we longed for each meal, although we need to get back into the gym now. Nottens even has a gym if you have time during your relaxing stay to have a workout. The 20m infinity pool was the best, we loved relaxing here on the deck chairs with a cocktail, dipping in as often as we could. The spa pool was also great to enjoy and was a bit cooler in the midday sun. It was the unexpected things that Nottens did that made this stay so memorable. On our first night stopping for sundowners they had set out a beautiful setting for the guests with lanterns, drinks, snacks and stories around the fire. I would highly recommend this lodge to couples and families who are looking for a truly memorable bush experience with some very special touches.
Thank you Nottens for the most wonderful stay. Keeping to your policy over the years of hosting limited numbers makes for a very special peaceful time with plenty of space and open air relaxation. The swimming pool was the perfect place to rest in between drives and walks through the bush.
With the very experienced guides and off road vehicles we were able to follow a leopard track and kill an impala. We closely observed cheetahs, lions, elephants and buffalo on our morning and evening drives and were able to hear and watch a baby rhino making sounds indicating to it’s mother that it needed to drink milk from her.
The sundowners, meals around the boma and sitting on the open verandah with views of the animals visiting the watering hole were magical. This is a destination that caters for everyone.
I look forward to returning to Nottens next year in August.
Boy, did we have a good time! we'd booked this a long way in advance as part of our three weeks South African extravaganza, flew to Jo'burg then transferred by internal flight to Skikuza from where a Nottens Bush ranger with jeep transferred us the hour or so journey to the camp. just the passage of the transfer saw us enjoying wildlife sights like never before and the driver/guide/ranger was only too pleased to dally and point out the animals and sights. We were still reeling from our overnight international flight and internal transfer when we got to the camp so declined the welcome drinks and got straight to our lodge accommodation which was excellent and exceeded expectations in so many ways: big room, big bed, big bathroom, low tech for sure but some electric lighting and aircon if needed. The views from our private verandah were spectacular and there was even an outdoor shower adjopining the big bathroom. Meals were taken in the main dining hall which had open views across a small plain with constant roaming of wildlife, zebras, elephants, buffalo, hyenas, etc. The food was superb at every meal, the service so freindly and attentive and with evening meals taken as a group event it was a wonderful opportunity to meet other guests. We enjoyed the swimming pool, there were gym and massage facilities, but of course the highlight was the twice a day safari drive which we took with our Shengan Ranger, Geoffrey and his pointer Avi; more......
The people, the facilities, the food and drink, the ambience and the game were almost perfection. We have never, in 5 camps over the years, had such caring, generous, kindly and helpful people. Dale was the consummate host; always asking if we lacked anything or needed another drink, another type of drink or anything at all. The main cabin and our wonderful, romantic room enticed one to stay forever. The food was over the top in quality and quantity. We were kept busy with game drives, so regretfully only used the large, beautiful pool once. Here we saw our 1st white rhino in the wild and our tracker and guide managed to find pretty well everything else we had hoped for. Notten's now, I believe in everyone of the cabins, has air conditioning; our #1 certainly did. We knew that the romantic candle and lantern light would be inadequate for reading in bed, so we brought the necessary headlamps.
Arrived at Skukuza airport to be greet by Jeffrey - a senior Ranger from Nottens. From their the Saffari began.
we took the short drive to the camp and en route spotted an Elephant and Giraffe. On arrival David Notten and Suzi (front of the house staff) welcomed us back. After light refreshments we went to our room (no 6 the same one we had on our first visit) Yes a few changes here. Mosquito nets over the 4 poster bed. Safe. 2 electric bedside lamps.
After high tea and meeting the other guests Jeffrey and tracker Rian we set off on our first exploration. On that very evening we saw 4 of the big 5. Dinner was lovely and plentiful. Dave joined us for our evening meal. It gave us a change to see all the staff were doing, especially the ones on holidays or leave.
I spent 4 nights at the camp and I never had a moment when I was not happy. The bush walks were challenging for me, but I was determined to finish each one. Ryan the new staff member accompanied us on the walks. This young man needs a lot of training as he seemed to know less that other return guests on the trail.
All of the guests were lovely. A special mention to Annette & Michael who kindly let us share their jeep for the duration of our stay.
A most memorial stay. with everything provided. The room was so cosy with a bath outside shower, and a basket of treats provided.
I was so relaxed at the lodge I had to be reminded the date and time I was being left back at the airstrip. I found the swimming pool so relaxing after the morning drive. A very special thanks to all the TEAM for making my 5th stay as special as my first. I want my enthusiasm for the place to hijack your curiosity. Comfort is not in short supply. I hope one day to return, that is if my health allows.