Elephant drinking at Umlani

Timbavati waterhole setting

Umlani Bush Camp is a traditional rustic lodge in Timbavati, owner-run and with a lovely family welcome. It is quite quirky, relaxed and fun, and activities are flexible and responsive to your interests.

Hammocks at Umlani pool

Relaxed pace of life

Umlani offers proper immersion in the bush. There are no modern distractions or indeed electricity (but you can charge cameras from solar batteries). There is a timeless, classic feel to the place.

Comfortable, spacious rondavels at Umlani

Comfortable rondavels

A maximum of 16 guests are accommodated in well-spaced ensuite reed and thatch rondavels. Take a steaming hot shower under a blanket of stars in your own open-air reeded bathroom. The magic is complete when the haunting sounds of nearby hyena and lion lull you to sleep.

Leopard with its kill in a tree at Umlani

Big Five

Umlani is most certainly in a Big Five area: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo are all here, along with cheetah, giraffe, zebra and many species of antelope.

Leopard at Umlani

Large traverse with superb walking

Game drives traverse more than 10,000 hectares, and can launch you on a walking excursion into the unspoilt wilderness. You may find yourselves tracking the Big Five on foot, accompanied by experienced (and armed) Guides and trackers.

Cracking sleep-outs at Umlani's treehouses

Spectacular sleep-out treehouses

The highlight of an extended stay is a night spent in a double-storey treehouse. You are left on your own in an enclosed overnight shelter well away from camp (about 3.5km). This has great views  over a busy waterhole. The sense of solitude and harmony with nature is hard to beat.

Sunset at Umlani

Hidden nocturnal activity

Enjoy the otherwise unseen and (generally) tranquil comings and goings of the nocturnal hours. Concessions to modernity are mosquito nets enclosing the bedding, some torches, a nice bottle of wine to calm the nerves, and a radio to summon the Guides if you change your minds or need help.

Umlani rondavel deck

Rewarding day hides

It is worth spending the heat of the day on your deck or with a cool box of refreshments at one of the waterhole hides. Here you will be rewarded with birds swooping down to the water and mammals materialising out of the bush. Or laze in double hammocks around the splash pool.

Sundowners on drive at Umlani

Later evening drives

During your evening drive, watch the white light of the moon take over from the flame-coloured sun while enjoying sundowners surrounded by the unique sounds of the African wilderness. At the end of your spotlighted night drive, return to the welcoming comfort of old Africa. The romantic glow of paraffin lamps infuses the camp and lights your way.

Spectacular dinner setting at Umlani

Convivial dinner settings

Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the convivial bar overlooking the Nshlaralumi river or around a roaring fire in the boma. Watch the chef put the finishing touches to the dinner prepared on an open fire. Enjoy it with your fellow guests, accompanied by fine South African wines and tall tales.

Great value lodge in wonderful location
Family-run with welcoming owners on site
Treehouses epitomise Umlani's fun nature
Excellent waterhole hides
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+27 (0)11 0837 006