There’s no place like the Kruger National Park, in the same sense that there’s no place like home.
Our passion for the bush was born right here in South Africa’s park of pride and joy, of history, and of our barefoot childhood experiences. Enough about us, though, this piece is about a very special spot we’ve fallen in love with that offers all the magic of its location in the Kruger National Park and the comfort, convenience, and character of a canvas tented camp with electricity, air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms, viewing decks, and even a grocery outlet.
Nkuhlu Tented Camp is plotted midway between Skukuza and Lower Sabie Rest Camps in the south of the park. Its seven self-catering tents are dotted along the Sabie River - five are directly on the river, and two are set back beautifully in the bush. We really wouldn’t mind being in either because the natural ambience is all around you, but we do like tent 5 the best because it has the most privacy. From really beautiful facilities, modern conveniences, glamping luxuries, wonderful staff, and sublime sunrises and sunsets, Nkuhlu is a total must in the Kruger National Park.
Whether you’re self-driving or this is a stop on a specially curated BHS itinerary, Nkuhlu offers a slice of traditional Kruger Park safari going which you don’t get in the private reserves of the Greater Kruger.
Here are some of the facts, broken down by our consultants who have recently returned from a thoroughly educational (and enjoyable) stay.
The camp is unfenced, but there is a gate at the pathway of each tent, which feels safe.
Each of the seven tents is kitted out for self-catering in total style and comfort.
There’s a nice deck with a view of the river, space for one small table and two or three chairs, a gas braai area on a slightly lower level with a wrap-around bench for fireside socialising.
You can see the decks of the tents next to you though as the tents are close-ish together, but it’s not enough to feel intrusive. If you can get tent five, you’ll enjoy some more privacy in this regard because it’s at the end and there’s only one neighbouring tent. Key to note your braai is gas - no need to buy wood!
The tents are extremely well equipped. First impression: Elegant neutral decor, very clean, spacious, modern, feels new and like it is the perfect glamping solution. Amazing open views onto the Sabie River. The design is very well thought through: an extra power station in case of electricity cuts, extra lights, extra blankets, nice big mosquito nets, international plug socket (for SA, Europe and USA on both sides of the bed).
There’s also a big sofa bed for 1 child (12 years and older). Extra (mobile) lights inside the tent. Bed is extremely comfortable, the duvet and pillows are of great quality. There is an air con and fan in each room, which is much appreciated in the heat, and there is wi-fi throughout. Walkie talkies are available for emergency calls to staff, or to inform staff of wildlife around your tent.
The kitchens are beautiful, compact and contained, but kitted out with everything: large fridge with cold drinkable water in bottles, gas stoves, nice modern kettle designed for the stove top, the essentials like coffee, tea, sugar, salt & pepper, washing liquid, plenty of plates, dishes, glasses, mugs, cutlery, and utensils. It felt like a regular kitchen and not a camping kitchen!
Bathrooms have modern, spacious shower space with shampoo, insect repellent, shower gel, and shaving kit provided.
The camp is built right next to Kruger’s Nkuhlu picnic spot on the map. The car park for the camp is the same as where other tourists would park, and the entrance is immediately separated by tall reed walls so you immediately disconnect from the public picnic spot and feel invited into the privacy of the tented camp.
Your nearest airport is at Skukuza which is 25km away, which receives flights from the surrounding bush airports like Hoedspruit and Nelspruit, as well as from the cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. Transfers are always available, self-driving through Kruger is a lot of fun and part of the experience, and you’ll get the guided game drive experience from Nkuhlu if that’s part of your booking.
Check out all the details about the location, various access points, seasonal opening and closing times, and things to note about your route.
It’s a small and compact camp, but the tents are big and spacious. There is friendly & welcoming staff, who lead you through a quick check-in and carry your luggage to your tent, making you feel right at home. Aubrey - the armed guard at the camp - came to talk to each tent early in the evening. He explained that if he or anyone sees an animal, even during the night, we should let him know via the talkie walkie so everyone can have a chance to see it. Again, it is unfenced, so anything goes!
Bushbuck and other animals were roaming under and around our tent. There was a leopard kill two nights before we arrived! Elephant herds crossing the river in front of our tent. Hyena strolling at dinner time - apparently a resident one.
A big perk (as many would know in South Africa) is that the camp has solar panels, so there’s no load shedding, but if all tents use power at once, the electricity may cut out. If this happens, there are power stations in the rooms with 220V to charge phones etc.
In the evenings, there’s a lovely turn down service, which includes prepping your tent for dinner, setting a table, etc. which is such a nice touch. When we came back from our evening game drive (it was a self-drive), the table was set up inside, there was a personal note, dimmed lights, and chocolate on the bed.
- views of the Sabie River, especially at sunrise
- air con in tent
- non-fenced camp
- great attention to detail for a self-catering camp
- free-roaming wildlife
Things to note:
- tap water is not drinkable
- the shop next to the picnic closes at 3.50pm - bear this in mind if you are planning to get groceries there for the evening meal. Meals can be ordered in advance however if you can’t work around the time frame and would like something premade.
- you can see your neighbours on either side of your deck... Tent 5 is at the end, so more open views and only a neighbour on one side.