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Reviewed 9 September 2012

We were lucky enough to be able to spend three nights at Tanda Tula last month. It's hard to put into words how much we loved this experience. The game viewing was exciting, the camp itself is comfortable and luxurious, but it is the people that make Tanda Tula extraordinary. The entire staff is welcoming, genuinely warm, and willing to do whatever they can to make your stay the best it can be.

Some highlights:
* The tented experience is wonderful. You get the charm and feel of a tent while still enjoying a hot bath and a king sized bed. It was a lot of fun being able to listen to the bush while going to sleep - we heard hyenas whooping and a leopard growling.
* The food is fantastic. Chef Ryan was obviously proud to present his food at each meal, and that pride is well justified. The food was interesting and most important, it was delicious.
* We loved the way they have set the rhythm of the days. There's some structure, to provide for game drives and meals, and lots of time for utter relaxation.
* The public areas of the lodge are well set up to allow for relaxation and socialization. I loved having a hot chocolate with Amarulla in front of the fire, chatting about the evening game drive just as much as I enjoyed checking my email on the deck overlooking the river.
* Dinners were communal affairs in the boma. As an introvert, I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this, but the staff hosts, and they turned out to be yet another highlight.
* We chose to go on safari because we were excited about the animals, and Tanda Tula and our guiding team (Richard and Isaac) did not disappoint. We checked off the big five, but we also had some really wonderful experiences: sitting in the middle of a large herd of elephants as they snacked in the early morning light, watching a hyena family play at their den, tracking a shy rhino and her baby on foot, following a leopard and her cub that was nearly as big as she was, seeing lioness patiently watching a massive herd of buffalo.

If you have the opportunity to visit Tanda Tula, you should. I am hoping we make it back someday.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Christine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2012

Tanda Tula is the best of both worlds: simple, in the bush, with animals roaming, yet very beautiful and comfortable. The small size of the camp and the thoughtfulness of the operations makes it feel that it's a low foot-print to the bush. You naturally get into a different rhythm, happy to wake up early to meet the lions, elephants, giraffe, or hyenas or many more.
We learned so much about the inter-relations of the ecosystem thanks to our guide Brandon, who has worked in the bush for 22 years. Every plant and animal has found its niche to survive. There are less game than in some other camps we went to, but the search makes it more fun, and we got to see all the big fives many times.
The food by chef Ryan is fabulous, so creative and delicious, even for vegetarian me. Meat lovers loved the venison. The whole team feels very attentive and happy to be there. There is a real sense of contribution to the community.
We were lucky it got warmer than normal in mid-august, so gloves ended up not being necessary for morning or evening drives. Pool was too cold, but we loved the outdoor showers.
The ultimate safari experience.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
1  Thank julieONewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2012

When one reads "tented camp," you may think of the old tent days when we were kids. Tanda Tula will erase that thought quickly! Tented camps are more like Five Star hotel rooms! Super comfy bedding with nice, thick duvets. Fans in the room!!! Something I loved! Serviced every morning with bed turn-down in the evening and a nice little treat! Sherry in the room or wine, if you ask (or bring your own) and two nice lounge chairs on the "porch." Bathroom is gorgeous! Claw foot tub to soak in or enjoy a shower outside!!! I did both! They will wash your clothes...leave them in the laundry bag in the morning, by afternoon, they are on your bed, pressed and folded.

Food: where do I start? Chef Ryan....I wanted to bring him home! This guy can cook! And presentation is of 5 Star level! He describes every meal in such beauty! The Boma dinners are great! And breakfast in the outdoors! Awesome!

Civilized was our guide and Jack was our tracker. Civilized made sure we saw ALL of the Big Five, along with as many other animals as possible; birds, too. He explains everything he shows you, sometimes stopping the vehicle, to jump off and actually point out things and explain. Safari wasn't only about "seeing" the animals....it was a class on wheels.

Tanda Tula is a great place; its five star in everything but what really shines are the staff. Civilized and his beautiful wife, Dolly! Check out her bead work in the curio shop! No lady should leave there without one of her pieces! They are a beautiful couple! Look for Harry and Smiling at the bar; ask them about their non-profit work they do in their local village. You will be amazed at what these two young men are accomplishing! Ms. Jackie and Crystal are absolutely wonderful hostesses! We met the owners and what impressed us is...this isn't a "work place" but more of a family. We left with many new friends. They also seem to have a lot of "repeat" customers...we hope to become part of that group! If you go, tell them Becky from Louisiana said HI!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank haaland0421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TandaTula, Owner at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2012

Dear Becky

Thanks so much for such a stunning review! Like I said when we met Don and I are nothing without our staff! They are incredible people whose passion for their work never ends. We loved having you both here and thank you so much for your enthusiasm. We look forward to welcoming you back to Tanda Tula. Fondest regards Nina & Don Scott

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

Wonderful time, excellent service. What a nice experience. with our ranger, Civilised, we saw all the five big fives. Recommended ...absolutely fabulous. We enjoyed the Boma evenings and the atmosphere. Pity we did not stay longer.
Giovanni and Francesca

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Razmig1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

Tanda Tula was absolutely amazing! This was our first safari and it is quite hard to imagine that it gets any better than Tanda Tula! Civilized and Patrick were our guide and tracker and we learned so very much from them on every game drive. Civilized was a great teacher! We saw the big five on our second game drive and then saw 2/5 on our walk back to camp after breakfast! We loved our afternoon walk in the bush to get an entirely new perspecitve. The game viewing was amazing and so incredibly close in proximity that we never even needed our binoculars. The accomodations, food and staff were over the top wonderful! They made out first stay in the bush a truly special and unforgettable experience!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank Hoover C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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