Fantastic Bush Safari experience for those wanting the ‘real’ thing!
A real bush experience – back to nature at its best. This is what real safari is all about – basic tents, campfires, bucket showers, excellent food and company, fantastic guides and trackers – what more do you need??? The walking safaris were amazing with phenomenal tracking, game drives gets you to see just about everything – but this camp is all about the smaller things too, not just the Big 5. Even a lesson in bushcraft. For the kids this trip was a huge learning experience about Mother Nature and enormous fun too. The highlights were the constant hyena companions in camp, the elephant in camp during one night and day, Wild Dog pack sighting, and tracking leopard on foot whilst sighting both ele and buff! For my 6yr old daughter the highlight was the bucket shower with a cup whilst ele munched around us…:-) What a wonderful way to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday with all the family (16 of us ranging from 3 – 80 yrs old) at a private bush safari – thank you Sophia, Brad and the Bateleur team for a truly memorable and fantastic experience!
It was nice our safari trip. We learning very much about the animals.The food was soo good.We sleep very well.The driver Bread en his wife José where nice.Lucy was also beautiful. It was een on believe bel trip.
Our top-1 best experience in South-Africa
Our family travelled through South-Africa for 3 weeks and although we have collected so many mindblowing impressions and unforgettable memories the best experience we had was at Bateleur Main Camp. From the moment we arrived we felt so welcome, like being part of a small family for a few days. The location is stunning, a small oasis along the dry river and the camp is very well designed, without being an over the top 5-star accomodation. On the contrary, it suits all so well in the surroundings, it is a real eco camp, with their own water supply and buildingmaterials used from nature.
The camp has electric cables on high poles around the camp to prevent grown-up elephants to damage the camp, but all other animals have access to…even our tent! A liitle bit scary, specially at night with all the sound of the bush. The two days we stayed we where the only four guests and slept on request together in one big tent. The tents has all the luxury you could wish and not realy expect: very good beds, European sockets, toilet, warm outdoor shower and even a full size bath.
Sophia, our ranger and Lucky our tracker were the best guides we could wish to induct us into the miracles of the bush. Sophia had a enormous knowledge about animals and specially birds and told us so many interesting stories. Lucky proved to be a number 1 tracker and had one of the best smiles we’ve ever seen. A great storyteller as well. There hasn’t been one moment that we felt uncomfortable to be the only guests. We had very nice chats with Sophia and Natan during dinner and around the outside fireplace.
And than the food…Every meal was a big culinary surprise, made by Surprise the cook and everbody who helped him. It was all so delicious and beautiful displayed! So much love for cooking, you really wouldn’t expect in a bushcamp.
We had 4 very nice, exciting and educational gamedrives througout the enormous area of Timbavati and saw so many wildlife so close in their natural habitat. Our last gamedrive was Lucky’s birthday as well. We already knew his favorite animal was the Cheetah, who was rarely spotted. We all promised he would see one on his birthday and believe it or not…
A few meter away from a – still smoking – kudu cadaver we saw that morning three cheetah’s laying in the shadow, resting after the hunt and eating their belly full. Just a few meters away from the jeep!!! What a marvelous end of an unforgetable stay at Bateleur Main Camp.
We realy hope this type of small scale eco tourism will maintain and make it possible to preserve the beautiful land of Timbavati and all the animals who live there.
Thank you all so much!!!
Mobile Camp – the best bush experience you could ask for!
Brad and Sophia were excellent hosts to our group of 15 who ranged from teenagers to every generation into the 70s. We are regular visitors to the bush in its many and varied guises – this place is tip top for a true back to nature experience facilitated by camping under the stars. Our chef Comfort provided plentiful and delicious meals. Lucky is an outstanding tracker with a delightful personality whose interpretation of the bush telegraph is amazing. We were privileged to be guided by Alan McSmith whose knowledge of the bush is phenomenal. Leighton stepped in as a fantastic guide who drove our older guest whilst the rest of the two groups walked – nothing is too much trouble! The set up is rustic but comfortable – perfect in our opinion. We loved the bucket showers – with warm water! Brad’s humour and excellent guiding along with Thembi’s great tracking skills were hugely enjoyed by the younger members of the group. We enjoyed the reptile experience which we opted for as an optional extra as well as the bush craft demonstrations. What made the safari really enjoyable was the combination of driving and walking, the choice of which or combination of both was entirely up to us. Tracking the leopard which was just minutes ahead of us was exhilarating. Walking calmly through several buffalo surrounding us while they continued to graze peacefully was another highlight. The hyena den with the pups was very special. We did see the big 5, but that is not what the place is about. It is about discovering the real bush: the smells, the tracks, the insects ..magic. The final evening was very special as our sundowners took place at the dam where our drinks had been transported to and a campfire had been lit so that we could enjoy the spectacular sunset. Thank you to Bateleur Mobile Camp Staff for one of our most memorable safaris – we WILL be back.
Amazing camp, wonderful staff, fabulous experience
A group of 15 of us stayed in the mobile camp from three nights, nestled under a small stand of trees by a river bed. The hosts Brad and Sophia were excellent – and great fun. Some of the many things that made the stay magical: finding leopard tracks around the camp in the morning; Comfort’s wonderful cooking; Alan McSmith’s brilliant guiding, depth and breadth of knowledge; Lucky’s amazing tracking skills (with loads of info and demonstrations).
The only downside was leaving. Our stay was WAY too short and we will definitely return.
Fantastic Camp with Great Staff!
I stayed in the main camp 3 nights with my wife, daughters (age 11 & 13) and adult nephew earlier this month. We had a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave We stayed 3 nights but wish we’d booked a week or more. As of this writing the camp only holds 8 persons so it is very intimate. The tents were very nice with hot showers and warm blankets. The grounds are private and sheltered under trees, cut right out of the bush along a dry riverbed. Warthog, Vervet monkeys, and bushbuck strolled through our camp during the day – in fact, anything smaller than elephant can walk through at will which really adds to the appeal. The nights were so quiet you could hear your heart beat – until an owl, lion or hyena broke the silence which was magical. One night a pair of honey badgers awoke the camp breaking into the kitchen!
The staff were so friendly and felt like old friends quickly. Sofia was a gracious host who took wonderful care of us. Leighton (a Junior Guide) was great fun to chat with and ever helpful. Our Guide, Brad, was very knowledgeable and accommodating. He and Lucky, our Tracker extraordinaire, made a great pair and worked very hard to find game and put us in good position to view. Brad utilized a walkie-talkie to communicate with other camps in the area and locate game we would have otherwise missed. This did mean we’d run into other groups on occasion but it was worth it to see a pair of cheetah and a lioness up close. The rest of the time we felt quite remote and even got in some bush walks to really enjoy the solitude. I especially appreciated the extra time Lucky took to teach a little tracking and bushcraft – not to mention his fascinating (and funny) accounts of marriage and tribal life.
The food was so good and so plentiful. Comfort is a fantastic Chef and wowed us with meal after meal. All very fresh and very filling with a flourish that was beyond my expectations. He took great pride in his work and it showed.
As for game, we saw a lot and were quite satisfied. We saw all big 5 except leopard as well as numerous buck and birds. Also lucked into Cheetah (rare there) and African Wildcat. Giraffe and Elephant were plentiful and able to be viewed quite close. Brad and Lucky were happy to drive about, walk, or target specific game. I think the birding alone was worth it, big mammals being icing on the cake.
We would love to do it all over again, but stay longer! Next time I’m keen to do the mobile camp although the main camp was so remote and intimate I can’t really imagine feeling closer to the bush.
Great camp and service
I liked this camp very much especially due to the nice and warm welcome from Brad and Sophia. They looked after us so well and the food was really delicious. The game drive duo Brad and Lucky was realky knowledgable and I liked very much listening to them.
This is an absolute gem of a camp, beautifully situated by a riverbed under a canopy of trees. Hosted by the wonderful Sophia and Brad, special commendation to Lucky’s tracking (viewings were magnificent), Comfort’s awesome cooking, Solly looking after us… saw nyala, bushbuck and vervet wandering through camp. I will dream of this place long after I’ve left, and we’ll certainly return.
Most amazing trip. It was my first time in the bush and will now be a regular visitor. Travelled from OR Tambo Joburg with Astons Tours…excellent service!! We saw the Big 5! and encountered two lions (brothers) who were searching for each other and we witnessed them finding each other…I cried…it was beautiful! Sophs (Steph) and Brad (Chad) were the perfect hosts and made us so welcome. Brad (our ranger) and Lucky (Sucky!) our tracker…know their stuff! Lucky spotted a Chameleon at night!!! Super impressed. We did a 3km walk back to camp…incredible. The food was lovely and Comfort and the gang, looked after us so well…even made us 2 birthday cakes for My Shanny’s birthday! one was an actual log with icing on it (sense of humour right up my street!) and the actual eating one…was delish…thank you!!! The camp is an intimate experience and we made some new French friends Yves and Marion…thanks for putting up with us!!! Bird life….superb…I could go on and on!! HUGE THANK YOU to all…will definitely be back! Lorna xx
Amazing Bush Experience
My first time in the bush and absolutely loved every minute of it. Our hosts Brad and Sophia and their staff, made our stay a memorable one. Lucky, our tracker, was spot on and we were lucky to witness the Big 5 as a result. Would highly recommend Bateleur and will hopefully return with my family one day.