Shindzela Tented Safari Camp
Shindzela, named after the honey badger in the Shangaan language, is an unfenced tented camp within the world-renowned Timbavati Private Game Reserve forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Our safari style tents are situated under thatch (grass roof) structures and can be made up in either twin or double-bedded accommodation. Enjoy your morning coffee on your wooden deck or freshen up in your semi open en-suite bathroom (shower, W.C. and hand-basin)
We strive to offer an affordable wildlife safari during which you can explore the African wilderness on game drives in open 4x4 vehicles (don’t forget your sunscreen) and/or on foot during a walking safari. Our safari activities are conducted by professional, knowledgeable and fully qualified guides.
The camp can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests in total, (8 safari tents) where you will be treated with our warm South African hospitality, a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy and soak up the true African wilderness,
Shindzela’s layout encompasses of an open-plan lounge, dining room (breakfast and lunch served here) bar area overlooking a dry river bed and a small watering hole where animals flock for a drink of water during the hot summer days. We also have a small swimming pool where you can enjoy your book or just stare out into the bush. Open-air boma where we serve dinner (weather permitting). All drinks are excluded in your accommodation rate, you can just ask any of the Shindzela staff members to assist you with ordering a drink and we then add this to your tent number, which you can settle upon departure with either cash or credit card (VISA /MASTERCARD), if you opt to settle your account with your credit card, there will be a small transaction fee added to your final bill.
We know how important our planet is, therefore we are proud to say that we are very much an Eco-Friendly camp, making use of solar power and gas energy! This means, that you won’t find a power outlet in your tent, rather a charging station in the main area, where you can recharge your batteries for that perfect picture!
What we offer:In your accommodation rate, you will find the following included: All your meals, 2 safari activities per day (either a morning game drive or a morning walking trail (no additional charge) and late afternoon/early evening safari, unlimited wifi, coffee/tea and mineral water from our water dispensing machine (to reduce recycling, just fill it up!)
Extras for your own account: All drinks, credit card transaction fee, transport arrangements to/from the camp (unless you book this with reservations), Timbavati conservation fee, vehicle entry fee, travel insurance, gratuities and items of personal nature,
Shindzela offers two game drives per day in open 4x4 vehicles – one early morning and one late afternoon/early evening. Your guides will endeavor to track the big mammals in the bush, inform you of the insect and plant life and point out some of the 350 bird species in the area. Also be on the lookout for crocodiles and hippo at dams. If you’re fortunate, you may even see wild dog. In addition to big-five animals, we have an array of nocturnal creatures such as bush babies, civets, genets, African wild cat and porcupines.
You can choose to substitute one game drive with a morning walking safari that usually lasts for between two and two and a half hours. During summer months the walking safaris may be of shorter duration due to the thicker vegetation and summer heat.
All our walking trails are led by experienced, qualified and armed trails guides. A maximum of 8 guests are allowed on a guided walk. For your safety and enjoyment, should you participate on the game drives or walking trails, please adhere to the safety instructions given by our guides. To partake on this activity, just chat to your guide upon arrival at Camp to arrange this,
If you choose to go on our morning walking trail, please note the following qualifying criteria: You need to be able to understand and speak English, be in a good physical condition, need to be between 16yrs and 60yrs, if you are above 60, just chat to your GP to get your medical certificate stating that you are able to walk in the African bush, for about 2,5-3 hours, bring this along to present to your guide,
Our guides will do their utmost best to offer guests sightings of the larger animals, but our walks are more of an educational experience focusing on our amazing fauna and flora!
A typical day on safari
Upon your arrival at Shindzela Tented Camp, you will be met by one of the guides or front of house ladies to proceed with the check in procedures. After check in, you will be taken to your tented accommodation. Enjoy your early afternoon before enjoying lunch and heading out on your first safari.
Summer/Winter Program (times may vary. depending on the season and animal activity):
05:00/06:00- Wake-up call (early but worth it!)
05:15/06:15- Morning coffee & rusks in the dining room before departure
05:30/06:30- Morning safari departs
07:30/08:00- Stop for morning coffee-break somewhere in the bush
09:00/10:00- Back at Camp for breakfast/brunch
11:00-14:30- If you are not checking out, enjoy time around the pool or just relaxing in the lounge with a book
16:00/15:30- Afternoon safari departs
18:00/17:30- Stop for a sundowner break
19:30/18:30- Return to camp, time to freshen up or just relax around the fire before dinner starts
All our meals are soups, roasts, accompanied with fresh veggies and delicious freshly-baked breads! Fresh fruit, juice, full English breakfasts, our famous barbeques (“braais”) and fresh salads. We serve breakfast to order, plated lunches and buffet style suppers,
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Shindzela is situated on a private concession area (approx. 6500ha) within the Timbavati Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park. This means there are no fences between the areas traversed by our guides and the Kruger National Park! This means animals have got free movement within this magnificent Greater Kruger. We are lucky enough to drive off-road into the bush following (with a respectful distance) any of the Big five animals that we may encounter. The Timbavati Reserve offers an array of different types of vegetations, bird and animal life!
What to bring on safari
A flashlight, comfortable closed walking shoes, socks, sandals, neutral-coloured safari clothing: 2 or 3 pairs long pants, 2 or 3 pairs of shorts, T-shirts, fleece (jumper), lightweight raincoat, 2 long-sleeved tops for evening game drives), a wide- brimmed hat, sunblock, sunglasses, personal amenities, insect repellent, reading material. During the winter months (May to September), add a tracksuit, beanie, scarf, gloves and a warm fleece. Don’t forget a camera and bring spare batteries. We have a small curio shop where some of the above items can be purchased.
Children in camp:
Regrettably we are not able to accommodate kids younger than 10yrs at Shindzela, 10yrs and up are welcome to go on the game drives, just remember no under 16yrs on the walking trails, if they are 16-21yrs, they need to be accompanies by an adult on the walks only. On the game drives there are no age limits, Please also do note that we are an unfenced camp, therefore kids need to be under a watch full eye. We do have 1 family tent at Shindzela which can accommodate a max of 3 persons, just check with reservations when making a booking if this unit is available.
Getting to Shindzela:
The closest airports to Shindzela are:
o Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport (HDS) approximately 1 hours 15 min drive
o Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) approximately 3,5 hours drive
o Phalaborwa Airport (PHW) approximately 2 hours drive
There are daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to the above airports, for schedules to Hoedspruit, you can have a look at Cemair and SAA, to MQP and PHW have a look online as they take more than these 2 airline companies for arrival
Upon arrival at any of these airports, you are welcome to check with us what the costs are for a road transfer!
There is also a daily shuttle bus service, which leave ORT (Johannesburg Airport) strictly at 06h45am each day, and travels to the parks (approximately a 6,5 hour drive with stops along the way). These shuttles are conducted by Ashtons Tours and Safaris, you are welcome to contact them directly for a booking, or we will be happy to arrange this for you, which we can be added to your accommodation bill.
Many guests travel to us on a self-drive basis. It is easy to get to us as long as you follow our written travelling directions (ask your agent or Shindzela reservations to send these to you), our written directions can also be found on our website www.shindzela.co.zain a downloadable format. PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THE GPS.
When travelling to Shindzela between the months of September and April, it would be better to hire a 2x4 or 4x4 high-clearance vehicle, as this period is our rainy season. In our winter months (May-Aug) a normal sedan will get to us perfectly fine.
RememberALWAYSenquire about our self-drive directions to camp. We do not recommend following the GPS/SATNAV because it will lead you on the wrong roads.
Reputable car hire companies in South Africa:
a. Europcar - www.europcar.co.za
b. Avis Car Hire - www.avis.co.za
c. Budget Car Rental- www.budget.co.za
Important: If you are self-driving, please allow adequate time to reach Shindzela – you must be in camp by latest 14:00. We serve lunch around 14:00 and our game drive goes out by 15:30/16:00/16:30 (depending on the season); if you are late, you will miss out on your first safari. When driving from any Kruger camp in the Kruger National Park, please remember that there is no direct access to Shindzela from within the Kruger. You will have to exit the Kruger Park at any of their gates and enter through the Timbavati Gate/Enkhulu Gate. There is no access to the Timbavati Reserve from Kruger’s Orpen Gate (although it looks that way on a map or GPS), so you do need to go back to the main R40 road and then turn off to pass the Eastgate Airport to get to the main gate to the Timbavati. Allow 2 hours to drive from Orpen Gate to Shindzela.
Driving times may vary for individual road-users, but these are guidelines:
Johannesburg or Pretoria to Shindzela: 6.5 hours
Timbavati Gate to Shindzela: 1 hour
Nelspruit to Shindzela: 3hrs 30 minutes
Orpen Gate to Shindzela: 2 hours