Numbi Gate Kruger National Park, Ehlanzeni, Mpumalanga, South Africa
47.0km from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
"We had an absolutely amazing time at Nkambeni Safari Camp in December! Our family of five (3 adults, 2 kids aged 8 and 12) spend 5 days there over New Years, and it was magical. Everything you want a bush-break to be: relaxed, comfortable and well-catered! From the greeting we received at the gate and reception when we arrived to the numerous chats with housekeeping, front of house and waiting staff, everyone was extremely friendly and accommodating. The Lodge was busy over New Years and had just enjoyed a very busy Christmas period, and yet nothing was too much trouble for the staff and every query or request was met with a smile. David, in particular, was very kind to us. The rooms are tented wooden cabins, and our family of five comfortably fitted into two of them. I was extremely grateful for the mozzie nets and the air-con! The beds were comfy – we slept well each night, in spite of the intense summer heat. Rooms are equipped with complimentary tea/coffee and a kettle, but do not have fridges. By far our favourite part of the accommodation was the lovely walk-in inside/outside shower! It was so novel to be able to shower under the stars in total privacy, and I loved the concept of having a door separating the inside shower from the outside showering platform. I was also very gratified to note that the shower water is collected in a tray beneath the unit and pumped into the toilet cistern as part of the Camp’s ingenious grey-water recycling solution. I wish more places did this! We spent our days lazing under the trees or swimming in the massive pool, metres from the fence and overlooking the waterhole. During our stay, three or four massive buffalo had taken up residence in the mud, and we spent happy hours watching them while sunning ourselves and drinking cocktails – very civilised indeed! We didn’t do any of the game drives on offer, preferring to self-drive into Kruger. Nkambeni’s location is perfect for this, as we were minutes from Numbi Gate. We drove from there to Skukuza and then out through Phabeni Gate, seeing impala, tortoise, kudu, warthog, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo, rhino, elephant and hyena all in a single morning – very good game viewing! Nkambeni offers morning and evening drives, and full-dady Kruger drives, as far as I’m aware, with qualified guides. By far our favourite part of the stay at Nkambeni was the food. We're fussy vegans, but there was such an incredible variety of fresh veg and salads that we ate extremely well (a little too well) at every meal. Dorkus and the rest of the chef team made every meal a celebration of flavour and freshness. I was assured by the non-vegan members of the family that the meat dishes were also delicious. We've stayed in many lovely places all over the world, and the food at Nkambeni is up there with the best 5* places we've stayed. Thank you Sean Ward and the rest of the team, for a very memorable stay!"
"We were a bit apprehensive as some reviews raise 3 concerns: (1) Is Nkambeni in KNP? (2) Noise from trains passing on the nearby railway line (3) Budget groups spoiling the experience. In my view, none of three are legitimate. Firstly, Nkambeni is very much in the KNP. For the game drives you have to go through Numbi gate that is set back from the KNP border for access control purposes. Between Numbi / Nkambeni we saw many animals, including buffalo, warthog and two magnificent hyena. Secondly, the trains passing will only affect the super sensitive. We simply forgot about it after a while. Thirdly, the bigger groups did not bother us at all. Certainly the set-up does not lend itself to noisy "partying" at night and there was none of that. For me the pros and cons were: Pros: The game drives were excellent as the experience was authentic and relaxing. None of the constant radio chatter between rangers followed by mad rushing from animal to animal that we have experienced elsewhere. Our guide was as knowledgeable as he was entertaining, simply brilliant. Food, service, accommodation and so on were above average. Cons: while the facilities were functional, the decor is a bit tired especially around the swimming pool. It doesn't have a big "wow factor" if that is what you are after. PS: I have no business relationship with Nkambeni, but an interest in another camp that i believe will be managed by the same entity. That did not influence this review. "
"The camp is located just inside Numbi gate: from the lodge to the main gate is a short 3km drive. The cabins are compact, clean and comfortable and the staff very friendly. The food was very tasty and there was enough variety. There is very limited wifi allocation to be used in the main building only, but with the camp being so spread out, this is understandable. I must remember to take my earplugs the next time: the tents are about 10 metres apart but we could hear people snoring in the adjacent tent and the railway track is closeby too so this might be an issue for other light sleepers too. We did not find it onerous to complete the forms every day upon entry into the park, depending on who was on duty but we took this in stride. Given the time of year, the animals were very scarce but we had rare and magnificent sightings every day we went out. We would definitely return and recommend Nkambeni to others."