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Notten's Bush Camp

Notten's Bush Camp

This family-run lodge offers an authentic African bush experience and is full of warmth and character. Buildings are light, airy and spacious with high thatched or wooden ceilings and local artwork, while the use of candles and oil lamps instead of electric lights creates a rustic ambience. The open-plan lounge and dining areas lead out to wooden decking overlooking the vast plain and waterhole, which elephant have been known to visit for a drink. Sandy paths criss-cross the lodge, often marked with signs of nocturnal visitors.

During the day you can relax in the pool area, which has loungers and shaded seating looking out over the tree-filled garden, while in the evening guests gather around the atmospheric boma to socialise over sundowners.

Our rating: First Class

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Accommodation is in spacious and individually-styled chalets, each of which has light furnishings and homely decor reflecting an African style. Large windows ensure plenty of natural light and views across the bush, which you can also enjoy from your private viewing deck. The large en suite bathrooms feature baths, indoor and outdoor hot showers and flush toilets, while overhead fans keep the rooms cool. Large double beds and additional seating provide comfort, and each window and door is fitted with a mosquito net and screens. Paraffin lamps and candles are used for lighting, but there are facilities for charging batteries in each room.


The camp is situated in the northeast corner of Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which is part of Greater Kruger National Park — South Africa’s largest conservation area. Sabi Sands is the oldest private reserve in the country, formed in 1950, and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, which moves freely between the reserve and Kruger. This includes over 145 mammal species, 500 bird species and 110 reptile species.

Food and drink

Sociable meals are served around the large communal table, in the open-air boma or in the candlelit summerhouse. Dishes include traditional bush breakfasts with fresh fruits, muffins, eggs and bacon, while a buffet lunch is served each afternoon consisting of quiches, breads, salads and cold meats. Three-course dinners use traditional flavours, featuring a variety of both meat and vegetarian dishes. The camp also has a fully-stocked bar and a wine cellar.

Facilities and activities

At the camp itself you can relax with a refreshing drink in the open pavilion by the pool, or head to the spa to enjoy a therapeutic treatment on the massage deck or in the indoor treatment room. The spa also has an outdoor plunge pool. Alternatively, unwind with a book in the cosy indoor lounge, which features a large fireplace.

Our opinion

We highly recommend Notten's for its rustic, home-away-from-home feel, with owners Gilly and Bambi Notten providing a highly personalised experience. Its superb location makes it a great base for exploring the area’s fantastic wildlife.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve tour ideas

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