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Nambu Camp

R40, Klaserie Road Balule Nature Reserve, Olifants west gate, Hoedspruit, Maruleng 1380 South Africa
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Traveller (236)
Room & Suite (35)
Dining (13)

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About

#28 of 72 lodges in Hoedspruit
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Elevated above the landscape and built on an old anthill lies Nambu Camp, a 6-bedroom safari lodge located in the heart of the Olifants West Game Reserve. The camp overlooks a winding dry riverbed, bustling waterhole and the Drakensberg Mountain range. The Nambu property has been in the Drinkwater family for almost 40 years, passed down through the generations and home to many memories with both family and friends. The name Nambu means ‘river’ in the local language of IsiThonga, and this unique lodge has many ties to this natural source that flows through the traverse, from the family name to the flowing waters of the Olifant’s River nearby. Tawny eagles soar above and herds of elephants drink down below; this hilltop lodge is certainly a wildlife haven surrounded by nature.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Free breakfast
Golf course
Airport transportation
Business Centre with Internet Access
Baggage storage
Internet
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Fireplace
Bath / shower
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Trendy
Charming
Languages Spoken
Afrikaans

Location

R40, Klaserie Road Balule Nature Reserve, Olifants west gate, Hoedspruit, Maruleng 1380 South Africa
Nambu Camp
Getting there
Hoedspruit Airport
25.9 km
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Phalaborwa Airport
37.8 km
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70Reviews0Q+A8Room tips
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LysetteL wrote a review Feb 2024
10 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
On our 3 week trip through South Africa we stayed 2 nights at Nambu Camp and enjoyed 2 sunset game drives and 1 sunrise. Of our 3 week trip, our stay at Nambu Camp was our favorite. The staff was extremely thoughtful and nice. The room was very comfortable and the food was excellent. The game drives were amazing and afterwards we were always welcomed back by the staff and owner who were very always very interested and excited about our spottings. On the day of our departure the weather was not so good and the owner helped us reschedule our routes for the next days to get the most out of our trip. The best advice we could have gotten and very much appreciated l. Nambu Camp, thank you so much! Next time we travel to South Africa we will definitely come back. Roel & Lysette
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Date of stay: January 2024
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Make sure you drive an SUV, Nambu Camp is located inside the park and is only reachable via dirt...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Sun Destinations, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 2 weeks ago
Hi There, We are so grateful that your stay at Nambu was the highlight of your trip. We wish you could have stayed longer, but perhaps next time you'll extend the number of nights - we'd love that. Our guides are so passionate about the wild and only to eager to share their knowledge. Our top priority is making our guests feel like they're part of the Nambu family. Thank you for taking the time to write this heartfelt review. Kind Regards, The Sun Destinations Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Giles67 wrote a review Dec 2023
Swindon, United Kingdom36 contributions12 helpful votes
What an incredible experience, the whole team made me feel so welcome and looked after it was amazing. The early starts to get out and look at the wildlife are so worth every second. Terrence was unbelievable in his skill and his calm happy manner, he was superb at tracking and explaining everything, his knowledge mixed with a superb sense of humour made the game drives a totally addictive experience that you never wanted to end. He even managed to spot a chameleon at night, in the dark, as we were driving back at full speed. Unbelievable. I would recommend this location to anyone who wants to see a huge amount of local wildlife and also to enjoy a relaxing break between trips out. Definitely on my "to do again" list
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Date of stay: December 2023
Value
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Always a relaxing spot
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Sun Destinations, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 29 Dec 2023
Hi There, Thank you so much for your amazing review. We really appreciate your 5-star rating and the feedback. Our team always makes sure that guests feel like part of the Nambu family. We're happy to hear that you got to experience that typical warm hospitality from our team. Terrence is so experienced and passionate about the bushveld, and is only too eager to share his knowledge with guests. We really enjoyed hosting you - next time, we'll get Terrence to show you two chameleons at night! Kind Regards, The Sun Destinations Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Philipp L wrote a review Nov 2023
Berlin, Germany2 contributions
+1
From the moment the owner picked us up at the airport we felt truly amazed by the familiar atmosphere combined with the authentic and luxurious flair of Nambu Camp. Over the course of our 4-day stay all the staff members grew us close to our hearts and we had a hard time saying goodbye at the end. The lodge itself blends seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness, offering a perfect balance of comfort and adventure. The attention to detail in the African-inspired decor, combined with modern amenities, made our stay exceptionally comfortable. Even in the time between morning and afternoon game drives, we had so much to explore from the spacious sun deck, looking down at the waterhole or far into the wide savannah using binoculars on the lookout for wildlife. Our room (we booked room 1) was a spacious, well-appointed haven with clean and modern bathroom fittings and a comfy king-size bed. It also came with a private balcony that also provided a view of the savannah although we preferred the common sun deck. Since Nambu Camp only hosts a maximum of 12 guests at a time we experienced an ideal mix of privacy and engaging conversations. Our group got a long very well which enriched the game drives, meals at the long table and overall experience a lot. The staff at Nambu were phenomenal. Their warmth and professionalism shone through in every interaction. Our guides Terrence and Lybon were knowledgeable and passionate about conservation, providing insightful and thrilling game drives (I never thought to sit in an open vehicle with a group of lions passing by at a 2m distance). Also at the lodge each staff member went above and beyond to ensure our experience was memorable. Dining at the lodge was another highlight. The menu featured a variety of beautifully presented dishes, with a focus on local cuisine and besides delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners, there was always room for one more cake or cookie or some snacks at the sundowner stop during one of the afternoon drives. The wildlife experiences exceeded our expectations. In our 5 game drives we basically saw all of the Big-5 multiple times (including male lions, female lions and their cubs during the day and at night). One morning we also did a guided bush walk, which made us feel even more adventurous and provided a great opportunity to ask questions in a more private setting. Overall Nambu Camp offers an unparalleled safari experience. It is an ideal choice for those seeking an intimate and luxurious escape into the wilds of Kruger / it’s neighboring reserves. We left with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of South Africa. Highly recommended for an extraordinary adventure.
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Date of stay: November 2023
Value
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Sun Destinations, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 16 Nov 2023
Hello Philippl, Thank you for sharing your exceptional experience at Nambu Camp. We're thrilled to learn that your stay surpassed expectations, and we appreciate your kind words! We are thrilled that our staff, from the owner to the guides, contributed to making your stay memorable. Your detailed description of the lodge blending seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness and offering a perfect balance of comfort and adventure is truly gratifying as we take pride in the attention to detail in our African-inspired decor and the modern amenities provided for our guests. Your high praise for our guides, Terrence and Lybon, is truly appreciated. Their knowledge and passion for conservation, along with their ability to provide insightful and thrilling game drives, are integral to the unique experiences we aim to offer. Thank you for recommending Nambu Camp as an unparalleled safari experience. We are grateful for the opportunity to create unforgettable memories for you and look forward to welcoming you back for another extraordinary adventure. Safe travels on all your future journeys. Kind Regards, The Sun Destinations Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Lilian wrote a review Nov 2023
3 contributions2 helpful votes
Advertised as a camp that respects animals and its guests, we had the worst experience we have ever had in South Africa. The owner and staff were very unwelcoming and unpleasant. We had the unfortunate luck of having a room with water leaking through the roof, the owner did not apologise or offer any compensation or commercial gesture. In addition, having previously been in the Kruger National Park we were able to see very few animals, and the few that we saw did not seem to feel comfortable in this environment, the environment was very far from that of the Kruger while the reserves are stuck and after several searches we found that they had burned part of the reserve before our arrival (however this seemed to be kept secret by the establishment since they told us that it was due to the passage of elephants). So I wouldn't recommend this camp or reserve under any circumstances! I suggest you head for the Kruger where, for much less money, you can see animals that are happy and thriving in their natural environment !
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Sun Destinations, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 16 Nov 2023
Hello Lilian, We are saddened to hear about your experience at Nambu Camp and would like to provide you with some information to clarify the concerns that you have raised. The owner of Nambu Camp confirmed that upon your arrival, unfortunately, a roof leak had occurred due to adverse weather conditions. However, prompt measures were taken to address and rectify the situation immediately, and the owners sat down to discuss with you, no further feedback in this regard occurred. Nambu Camp is situated in the Greater Kruger area, a region renowned for its rich biodiversity and unique wildlife experiences. Unlike the Kruger National Park, the Greater Kruger consists of private reserves with unfenced borders, allowing for a more exclusive and controlled safari environment as well as creating a natural and dynamic ecosystem. This setup enhances the intimacy of the wildlife encounters, with fewer vehicles and a higher likelihood of observing wildlife in their natural habitat. The camp's location within the Greater Kruger area provides guests with a diverse and authentic wilderness experience. Nambu Camp is designed to offer a harmonious blend of comfort and immersion in the beauty of the African bush. Addressing the images you mentioned, amongst other things, your images depict Impala Midden, a natural occurrence of Impala dung resembling black dust. This is a common phenomenon in the wild and is not associated with intentional burning. The images of uprooted trees result from the natural behaviour of elephants, which uproot trees and consume bark as part of their diet. This contributes to the dynamic ecosystem, although it may temporarily alter the landscape. Along with the Impala Midden and the uprooted trees, this specific area contains Sodic soil, where plants naturally struggle to grow. I can confirm that no controlled burns have taken place recently. We are surprised to learn of your feedback regarding the owner and staff at Nambu Camp. Historically, we have consistently received positive reviews from our guests at Nambu Camp. Personally, I have consistently experienced the staff and owner at Nambu as exceedingly welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable, and warm. The guide and tracker boast extensive experience spanning many years and possess a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields. Our commitment to wildlife conservation is unwavering, and we assure you that the animals at Nambu Camp are in their natural habitat. Our experienced guides prioritise the well-being of the animals, ensuring minimal disturbance during game drives. Wildlife encounters are naturally unpredictable, adding excitement and spontaneity to each safari experience. Please feel free to reach out to us, should you wish to discuss further. Kind Regards, The Sun Destinations Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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BradH0ward wrote a review Sept 2023
Melbourne, Australia41 contributions41 helpful votes
+1
What a gem of a safari camp. You are greeted on arrival with a fresh drink and big smiles and it only gets better from there. The rooms are large and very clean and only used for rest, most of the time we were on game drives or relaxing on the balcony enjoying the view. There are only 6 individual rooms at Nambu so you are ensured of having a maximum of 12 people only. I was a single in a group of 3 people so there were 11 of us on our trip. Food is a changing set menu Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner each day and they cater for specific requirements. Every meal was plentiful and restaurant quality. Rose would always make a special occasion of food service and would often ask "can you guess what we are having today" and we would all have a guess "Buffalo" "Ostrich" for her to then declare "chicken" with a big smile. Drinks are available all day and out on your evening game drives and they operate a wonderful honesty bar system when the staff are not around. Terrence was our guide for our stay and he ensured we were in the right spots at the right times. He knew what animals we hadn't seen during the visit and he went out of his way to ensure that we got to see them before our time ended at Nambu, including an incredibly 'clutch' lion sighting on our last day. Nambu had the best game drive vehicles of all the organisations in the reserve, new and comfortable. Nambu is a beautiful camp/lodge/base for game drives in Hoedspruit, South Africa and I hope that I get the opportunity to visit there again in the future.
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Date of stay: August 2023
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Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Sun Destinations, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 09 Oct 2023
Hi Brad, Thank you so much for the compliments about our camp. We pride ourselves on our hospitality and attention to detail when it comes to our accommodation. We are constantly trying out new dishes and elevating the dining experience. We're happy to hear that your guide was exceptional - we are a tightknit team with a passion for wildlife and the bushveld. We would love for you to come back and stay at Nambu! Kind Regards, The Sun Destinations Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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brenda wrote a review Aug 2023
Howick, South Africa2 contributions
+1
What a fabulous, hidden gem. This luxury lodge has everything you need in a homely, welcoming and absolutely stunning part of the Balule Game Reserve. From the minute we stepped off the aeroplane in Hoedspruit, we were made to feel welcome. We were transported efficiently in a thirty minute ride to the lodge, and again were embraced in warm African hospitality as we entered the gates of the lodge. Nambu means river, and the lodge is elegantly and inconspicuously situated on a high bank above the river. The ambience in the communal areas of the resort is friendly, built for quiet relaxation, tastefully and asthetically furnished. A beautiful pool deck, and the most amazing view of the river bed and bushveld from their sundeck. Such a joy to watch the day unfold from this vantage point. Elephant, giraffe, a variety of antelope popping in to quench their thirst at the waterhole below. The guest accommodation is extremely comfortable and easily accessible via wooden walkways leading from the dining area. The secret this lodge has is the quiet efficient, unobtrusive management of the staff. It is an eco friendly lodge with simple but elegant facilities and feels like home from home. Hot water, big, comfy bed, private deck - absolutely perfect for a peaceful break away from city lights, people and busy lives. There is WiFi available in the central communal area, but not in the guest accommodation. A great idea to enable a good night's sleep with only the sounds of the African bushveld to distract one. Meals at Nambu are excellent. A set menu, prepared with care and presented with pride and a fabulous sense if humour by the chef. The biscuits, carrot cake and other tasty treats we enjoyed during our stay were some of the most delicious we have ever had the joy of eating! The highlight of staying at Nambu has to be the game drives. Under the knowledgable and careful guidance of Terrance we got to enjoy fantastic, big five sightings. For someone who is VERY nervous of elephant, I was calmly and kindly educated and exposed to these graceful creatures and came away feeling much braver and keen to go back! All in all, Nambu is right up there in one of our favourite lodges. We will most certainly visit again.
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Date of stay: August 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Sun Destinations, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 09 Oct 2023
Hi There, Thank you for your detailed feedback and glowing review. Your effort is much appreciated! We're happy to hear that Terrance tracked and found the Big 5 - exceptional guiding is key to a successful safari experience. The ambiance and atmosphere is what keeps guests returning...as well as our cuisine! Kind Regards, The Sun Destinations Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Markus J wrote a review Sept 2022
Bad Ragaz, Switzerland68 contributions82 helpful votes
After a tedious drive through a rough park road, we reach the camp and are at the same time pleasantly surprised by pretty homey bungalows and a stylish restaurant. Twice a day, we go on safari with an expert guide to see the Big Five. Simply OVERWHELMING and a completely different experience than the Kruger Park!!! Back in the camp, we are spoiled with cooking at its finest!
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Be there before 3:30 pm and you may take part at the evening safari tour
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Rewald Drinkwater, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 10 Sept 2022
Thank you, Markus. What a pleasure to read your review. It was wonderful hosting you at Nambu and we look forward to meeting again in the future. Reaching Nambu is part of the adventure and we are surtanly happy that you reached us. Best regards, Rewald
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Nikkie v wrote a review Sept 2022
3 contributions
Our stay at Nambu camp was truly amazing, we wished we could stay even longer! The lodge, the staff and the food were perfect! Every day it was a real pleasure to enjoy the beautiful views from the terrace. Very friendly owner who gave great recommendations! Also the tracker + guide Terrence was truly amazing, so skillfull and friendly. He really did an amazing job every time we went on safari.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Rewald Drinkwater, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 10 Sept 2022
Thank you, Nikkie. What a pleasure to host both you and partner at Nambu. i Know Terrence had a wonderful time on safari with you. We hope the rest of your holiday in SA was adventure filled. Rewald
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Joury H wrote a review Aug 2022
40 contributions11 helpful votes
+1
We can only say that our stay at Nambu Camp was just perfect. The accomodation is located perfectly and it looks amazing. The entire experience was wonderful, from the very warm welcoming to the intimate ambiance with the other guests. Rewald is a great host and also the staff was very friendly and good at what they do. We also really enjoyed the game drives with Terrence. We enjoyed the way he really respected both nature and the animals living in Kruger Park and felt completely safe because of his knowledge and behaviour. We were also very lucky to see all of the Big Five animals (and many more). We have had an experience of a lifetime at Nambu Camp and will cherish these memories for ever. I would strongly recommend Nambu Camp to anyone who visits South Africa and Kruger Park.
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Rewald Drinkwater, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 14 Aug 2022
Dear, Joury. Thank you for your wonderful word. Its was a pleasure having yourself and Astrid at NambuCamp. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your SA Travels and will remember not just Nambu but all that South Africa has to offer. Best regards, Rewald
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Hannes S wrote a review Jul 2022
2 contributions
The Nambu Camp is a beautiful camp in a private game reserve. We asked for vegan meals beforehand and the staff did a great job on that. The meals were always very delicious. The ranger Terrance took us on game drives early in the morning and late in the evening every day. Our highlight was a leopard that we saw on our last game drive thanks to his awesome scent reading skills.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Rewald Drinkwater, Owner at Nambu Camp
Responded 10 Sept 2022
Thank you, Hannes. We appreciate, you taking the time to write us. We hope the memories and impressions of not just Nambu but South Africa will stay with you a very long time. Sunny regards, Rewald
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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LOCATION
South AfricaLimpopo ProvinceMarulengHoedspruit
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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NAMBU CAMP - Lodge Reviews (Hoedspruit, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Nambu Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Nambu Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
What food & drink options are available at Nambu Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Nambu Camp?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Nambu Camp?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Nambu Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Nambu Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.