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“Most stunning experience”

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Kambaku River Sands
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 May 2015

I am overwhelmed and not sure where to start. The 3 couples traveling together finished our two week South Africa adventure at Kambaku River Sands, and what a way to finish! The staff were most gracious and welcoming - not just as we arrived, but with each return from our game drive - moist towels and sherry. This level of service from staff was consistent from morning to night and day to day. The fact that various staff sat down to meals with us helped make us feel more a part of the location. The facilities are 5 star - cottages are huge and very nicely appointed - with all the amenities you could need. The food - from breakfast to dinner was outstanding - the best Kudu fillet I have very had, and the attention to service was outstanding.

Our ranger Gideon and tracker Rifos were outstanding. When we requested to see a particular animal they put their skills together and made it happen. We felt safe and in the hands of highly competent guides.

It is my dream to come back to the Timbavati Reserve and I will look no further than Kambaku River Sands. Thank you to all the staff there for making our trip so wonderful!

Room Tip: Any of the cottages would be great.
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  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Craig677
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

You would be welcome any day !!! We love seeing past guests returning and becoming part of the extended Kambaku Family. Your comments on the consistency of staff service are wonderful to hear and have been passed on to them. Especially to the chef on the kudu fillet ! I am also extremely happy to read your comments on the game drives, as after all that is what you are here for - we pride ourselves that our rangers and trackers are passionate about what they do, and always strive to find everything that is on the guest tick list - be it large or small. Please look us up if you are ever in the area again - we really would love to catch up !

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156 - 160 of 210 reviews

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
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  • 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.
See more room tips
  • 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
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  • 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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Additional Information about Kambaku River Sands

Address: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve | Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price Range: R10 446 - R15 627 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kambaku River Sands 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kambaku River Sands is an unfenced camp perfectly situated on the banks of a dry river bed allowing animals to roam freely around and through the camp. The suites are set spaciously apart, allowing for secluded views of the unspoiled bush. The main lodge has a spacious lounge with two enormous open fireplaces, a pool and bar overlooking the waterhole, and well stocked wine cellar. This more exclusive lodge offer a bush spa and gym, spa baths and outdoor showers. Come and experience classic luxury in a pristine setting…with traditional Kambaku style and hospitality. ... more   less 
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