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All reviewswine cellarthe main lodgegame drivesswimming poolwild dogsenormous bathroomthe entire staffhigh teageneral staffchecking insafari experienceour honeymoonrooms are hugedietary restrictionsan amazing tripamazing trackerincredible place
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Reviewed 26 April 2015

Where should I start? Staying in Kambaku River Sands was truly a magical experience. My husband and I were in South Africa for our honeymoon, and had initially booked our Safari stay at Kambaku Lodge (the sister lodge). When we reached, our airport transfer was instructed to bring us to Kambaku River Sands instead, and we were told we received a free upgrade. And we were truly grateful for that! Each room is in a standalone hut with the hugest bathroom I've ever seen, complete with an outdoor shower. The room was gorgeous and a few times there were elephants crossing in our backyard (since the hotel is unfenced). Benny, the general staff was warm and affable and made us feel right at home right from when we arrived till when we left. Our ranger Phanny and tracker Rifos made our virgin safari experience a really magical one. I told Phanny that I would like to see the Big 5, and he really made sure that it happened. Brunch, tea break and dinner were prepared everyday by the hotel staff and it was really sumptuous! The hotel also added very special touches like leaving notes and candy on our bed at each turndown service, and even arranged to lit up our room with tealight candles one night, filled up our bathtub, and arranged a private dinner right at our hut, knowing that it was our honeymoon.

I highly recommend Timbavati Game Reserve as one could go about the game reserve without seeing too many vehicles on their game drives. And I highly recommend Kambaku River Sands as it is just great in everything - decor, service level, and great rangers and trackers!

Room Tip: Choose a room nearer to the main lodge or the reception area for better connectivity to Wifi
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ai F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2015

Where should I start? Staying in Kambaku River Sands was truly a magical experience. My husband and I were in South Africa for our honeymoon, and had initially booked our Safari stay at Kambaku Lodge (the sister lodge). When we reached, our airport transfer was instructed to bring us to Kambaku River Sands instead, and we were told we received a free upgrade. And we were truly grateful for that! Each room is in a standalone hut with the hugest bathroom I've ever seen, complete with an outdoor shower. The room was gorgeous and a few times there were elephants crossing in our backyard (since the hotel is unfenced). Benny, the general staff was warm and affable and made us feel right at home right from when we arrived till when we left. Our ranger Phanny and tracker Rifos made our virgin safari experience a really magical one. I told Phanny that I would like to see the Big 5, and he really made sure that it happened. Brunch, tea break and dinner were prepared everyday by the hotel staff and it was really sumptuous! The hotel also added very special touches like leaving notes and candy on our bed at each turndown service, and even arranged to lit up our room with tealight candles one night, filled up our bathtub, and arranged a private dinner right at our hut, knowing that it was our honeymoon.

I highly recommend Timbavati Game Reserve as one could go about the game reserve without seeing too many vehicles on their game drives. And I highly recommend Kambaku River Sands as it is just great in everything - decor, service level, and great rangers and trackers!

Room Tip: Stay closer to the main lodge, or the reception area for better wifi access from your room.
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Ai F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2015

Congratulations ! Glad that we could have offered the upgrade for such a special event ! We really try and spoil honeymooners a little bit extra as we feel that it is one of the most important holidays of your life . Thank you for mentioning all the little things, as well as the wonderful game drives, and the ranger and trackers' enthusiasm in finding what you were looking for. We hope that the memories stay with you for a long time.. and that maybe we can celebrate your 10th anniversary with you one day !

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Reviewed 6 April 2015

The team at Kambaku did everything they could to make our stay unforgettable. The hotel is extremely comfortable, the food is great, and the service is unmatched. Our game drives were amazing because our ranger and tracker were such pros. You don't need to take a second mortgage to afford to go on safari, this trip was an amazing value and we were thrilled to spend time with such a thoughtful team!

Room Tip: Free wifi n the common areas
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Kathleen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicolaNaude, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2015

Hi Kathleen - Thank you fro taking to time to review your stay. Your comments on the food and staff have been passed on, as well as to the ranger and tracker. We are happy that you feel it was value for money ! Hopefully one day you will be back to visit us again !

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Reviewed 27 February 2015

We are now Safari converts, up at 5am back for brunch and out again at 4pm couldn't miss a moment. As part of our welcome we were informed that there were no keys to the lodges because of the possibility of animals coming through River Sands, in which case you may need to get to the nearest lodge for safety. This is not just hype it actually happens. Elephants regularly walk around and sometimes through the camp, it's surreal. The Lodges are very spacious with large patio windows, providing stunning views, even from the WC!! Service was exemplary and the food even better. Be careful at brunch you may think that what is provided at the buffet is all that is on offer, when actually it's just a start as a full English breakfast will soon follow, believe me it's hard to say no. Our guide was Phannuel who was ably assisted by Rifos our tracker. They were both so knowledgeable and both with eyesight that would shame any bird of prey. Best of all they cater for the individual as well as the group. The sight of them walking off into the bush tracking leopards and lions will stay with me forever, as will then ploughing through thorn bushes and trees to follow them. We cannot thank the staff enough. Their attention to detail simply underpinned a truly remarkable stay at this most wonderful lodge.

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Ronan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2015

Hi there and thank you so much for your lovely review of your stay with us ! we are so happy that you are now a safari convert - you will be back I am sure ! You seemed to have really experienced an amazing amount during your sty - both in and out of the camp. That is one of the huge attractions of the camp - that the animals are right in the midst of us, and you can get a very up close and personal experience during your stay. Glad to hear that you seemed to have added few cm to the waistline - our chefs seem to make it their duty to feed you as much as possible... and as for our rangers and trackers - their dedication is something we are very proud of, and they will go to great lengths to try and find the animals, a well as to impart their knowledge and share their enthusiasm about the bush with their guests. Thank you for noticing the attention to detail - it is one of our trademarks that we are extremely proud of !

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Reviewed 20 February 2015

Every aspect of my stay here exceeded all my expectations. And that is saying something, because I has read so many glowing reviews that I expected a lot! In service delivery, the attention to detail at Kambaku River Sands is second to none. The staff are so friendly and attentive, and they make you feel like valued guests instead of paying customers. It's really nice!! The accommodation is truly luxury in the African bush. It's such a treat. Yes, it's pricey, but when you add up the accommodation, food (delicious!), and 6-7 hours of safari every day, it's actually amazing value. I stayed for 4 nights and I think this was the perfect amount of time. Every safari we went out on had it's own highlights, and the viewing was amazing (even if our guide said this time of year could be slow...) But I saw so many wonderful animals - my main agenda, what I really wanted to see, was zebra, giraffe, and baby elephants. Well, I saw zebra and giraffe just getting to the reserve from the airport, so I knew things were going well! I saw plenty of elephants, such beautiful animals that I could never get tired of seeing them, and the babies - so delightful! We saw zebra, giraffe, impala and elephants pretty much every time we went out. And also, over the course of our 8 game drives, we saw leopard (on 4 occasions!), 2 cheetah (really uncommon to see the cheetah, I'm told), a pack of African wild dogs (on two occasions - also rare to see), hyenas (the babies are sooo cute!), rhinos, quite a few groups, on quite a few occasions, hippos, vultures feeding (that was really interesting), water buffalo, water buck, etc etc. And just a mention of the spa at Kambaku River Sands - the masseuse, Naomi, is amazing - I highly recommend treating yourself while you are there!

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Jacki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kambaku2007, Owner at Kambaku River Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2015

WOW ! Thank you for the awesome review ! You seem to have highlighted all the aspects that are important to us - attention to detail, friendliness of the staff, good food and excellent game viewing. You truly were lucky on your trip seeing both the cheetah and the Wild Dogs, in addition to all the other animals. Thank you for mentioning the spa facility as well - this is an added extra that should not be overlooked - it is the perfect way the enhance the relaxation aspect of one's holiday. I have printed your review and put it up for the staff to read as they deserve all the credit. we hope that one day you will come back and visit us again !

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