Notten’s Bush Camp is one of the original private game lodges in South Africa and offers a truly authentic African safari experience in a reserve known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life, including the Big 5. With splendid panoramic views and personal attention guaranteed, this private game lodge is the perfect place for peace and relaxation between exciting game drives and fascinating bush walks.
Offering a fine combination of peace, romance and a touch of decadence in untamed Africa, Notten’s Bush Camp is renowned for its excellent cuisine, impeccable standard of service and warm hospitality. Children over 6 years old are welcome, unless the group takes over the entire camp of 8 private suites (minimum 14 people).
Notten’s forms part of the southern section of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, the largest conservation area in South Africa and the oldest of all the private reserves, covering a vast area of savannah thornveld. It is part of the Greater Kruger National Park and there are no fences between the reserves, so the game moves freely through this enormous natural habitat. Notten’s shares traversing with neighbouring Sabi Sabi, and has over 6 000 hectares of pristine land for game viewing. Apart from the Big 5, you are likely to see a wide variety of animals, including among others, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, antelope and wild dog, as well as a multitude of bird life.
Each of the spacious en-suite private suites is elegantly styled, with a beautifully appointed open plan bedroom and an additional outdoor shower, and leads out onto a private wooden deck with a beautiful view of the bush. A magical atmosphere is created with the purposeful absence of electric lighting, the ambient candlelight and lanterns capturing an enchanting spirit of romance. Battery recharging facilities and a main line telephone are available in the reception area.
The food at Notten’s is always delicious. On returning from the morning game drive, guests are treated to a hearty ‘bush feast’ breakfast under the Marula trees on the deck. Enjoy high tea whilst watching zebra on the open plain, or an elephant taking a ‘bath’ in the waterhole, or a troop of baboons just being their normal selves! As the sun sets, it’s time for sundowners in the veld. Listen to the silence of the bush, the hum of crickets and cicadas, nocturnal birds, the cry of hyenas or a jackal in the distance.
The delicious dinner is always a wholesome delight of traditional flavours and is served in the boma around a log fire, under a canopy of stars when the temperature allows, in the candle-lit summerhouse in the heat of summer, or in the dining room with a huge blazing fire in the winter. The menu is varied, with all tastes being catered for. Meals are eaten together around one communal table in the company of the Notten family and their Bush Camp team. This creates a wonderful atmosphere and an opportunity for the guests to share stories and conversation.
The open-plan dining area, lounge and bar lead onto a wooden deck overlooking a vast plain and waterhole, where you can relax in the shade of the Marula trees and watch the animals wander past. Enjoy sun tanning and drinking Notten’s Famous Pims No 1 at the open plan pavilion, where you can swim in the 20m lap pool. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage at the peaceful Nature Spa, with its indoor and outdoor treatment rooms and plunge pool. To end off the day you can enjoy a relaxing candle-lit bath while listening to the call of the hyena in the background.
Daytime and afternoon or late night safaris in open-top Land Rovers, guided by highly experienced rangers and Shangaan trackers, offer an adventurous discovery of the region’s prolific wildlife, including Big 5 game viewing. The game drive traverses the bush on the Notten’s land, following the spoor and scent of animals and avoiding trees that have been trampled by elephant, keeping predominantly to the dirt roads that make their way through the bush. Photographic safaris are also on offer.
A bush walk led by an armed game ranger, knowledgeable in all aspects of conservation, ecology and the environment of the bush, is not essentially a game viewing experience but rather a guided walk amongst the tranquil setting of bush and trees in search of signs of the wild. Taking a route along sand roads and game trails, walkers have the pleasure of learning about the finer details that make up the environment while participating in analysing wildlife tracks, identifying birds and bird sounds. You will also learn about the plentiful trees, bushes, plants and seed pods and traditional bush craft as well as medicinal uses that apply. And while the walk is being enjoyed at a leisurely pace, you will experience the thrill of knowing you are walking in Big 5 wilderness and that there is the chance of a close encounter.