Notten’s Private Safari Lodge is one of the finest family run lodges in Africa, and the best kept secret in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. As one of the original game lodges it has a magical bush atmosphere and offers a truly authentic African safari experience. The extremely high return cliental to Notten’s Bush Camp is due to its impeccable standard of service and warm hospitality.
The Notten’s Experience
Nottens’s Bush Camp is a jewel within the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Mpumalanga, which means “the land of the rising sun” in the locally spoken language, Shangaan.
Notten’s is an exclusive and private safari lodge personally run by the Notten family. This beautiful, intimate safari lodge is situated within one of South Africa’s finest natural sanctuaries. It is a destination that will truly touch your heart and soul. Each private suite is elegantly styled, spacious and cooled by ceiling fans. A magical atmosphere is created with the purposeful absence of electric lighting; the ambient candlelight and lanterns capturing an enchanting spirit of romance. With splendid panoramic views, this private game lodge is the perfect place for peace and relaxation while watching animals meander past.
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Safaris are led by experienced rangers in open-top land rovers, offering an adventurous discovery of the region’s prolific wildlife, including Big 5 game viewing. Unique walking safaris are offered daily giving guest the opportunity of discovering the hidden treasures of the region.
This can be followed by lazy hours spent in the sparkling pool or having a massage at the Nature Spa. Under the cloak of nightfall one can enjoy the sounds of the African night, while dining in the enchanting candlelit boma beneath a canopy of stars.
Boundless hospitality is the hallmark of Notten’s Bush Camp, to which satisfied visitors return time and again. A fine combination of peace, romance and a touch of decadence all in untamed Africa.
A typical day at Notten’s begins at dawn with a 05h30 wake up call. Guests gather either on the wooden deck to watch the sun rise or in the “boma”, under the Marula trees, where tea and coffee are served. Monkeys peer from the branches and watch one’s every move with intent curiosity. After tea the guests are taken on an early morning game drive in the open Land Rover with an experienced game ranger and Shangaan tracker.
The game drive traverses the bush on the Notten’s land, following the spoor and scent of animals and avoiding trees which have been trampled by elephant, but sticking predominantly to the dirt roads that make their way through the bush.
Morning tea and coffee and a bite is served relaxing next to a waterhole. On returning from the morning game drive, guests are treated to a hearty “bush feast” on the deck.
Freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice are on offer, as well as coffees and teas and a colourful fruit salad, consisting of all the delicious and succulent “Eastern Transvaal” fruits of the season. A variety of yoghurts and cereals accompany the fruit as well as freshly baked cheese or bran muffins. The glorious smells of the hot cheese muffins always seem to entice all the vervet monkeys in the Sabi Sands but somehow they never seem to get their grubby hands on them.
With very full and satisfied bellies, a walk with a game ranger is an option for those wanting a closer encounter with the bush, while the day is still cool. The less energetic relax around the pool with refreshments or one of Bambi’s famous Pimms, from the bar, or enjoy the solitude and tranquility until tea time and you can treat yourself to a deeply relaxing massage at the Notten’s Nature Spa.
A high tea is served on the open plan deck before leaving for another game drive. Enjoy this 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!
Satisfied, guests leave the the tea table and board the Land Rover for the evening drive. As the sun sets it’s time for “sundowners” in the veld (meaning “bush” in Afrikaans). 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. Watch the moon rise, the Milky Way, the night sky and sit in wonder. Driving through the bush at night in search of nocturnal predators, eyes are captured by the tracker’s spotlight as he scans the bush.
A leopard, a herd of impala, a wary hyena, a ‘nag apie’ in a tree….the element of surprise always there. Every sound, every movement captures one’s attention. The bush at night has a life of its own. On returning to Notten’s Bush Camp, a delicious dinner is served in the boma around a log fire, under a canopy of stars in winter, and in the summerhouse or dining room with a huge blazing fire in the summer.
All meals are hosted by the Nottens and their staff, and are a social occasion. This gives the guests the opportunity of hearing the bush stories and learning more about the local Shangaan culture. To end off the day one can enjoy a relaxing candle-lit bath while listening to the call of the hyena in the background.
Notten’s Bush Camp’s accommodation consists of beautifully appointed suites with open plan bedroom and en-suite bathroom. All suites have both indoor and outdoor shower facilities. All windows and sliding doors are fitted with screens and insect coils are provided. Each suite at Notten’s Bush Camp leads onto a private wooden deck with a beautiful view of the bush. Paraffin lamps and candles replace electric lighting for ambience and all the rooms are cooled with an overhead ceiling fan. Facilities are available for the re-charging of video machines and camera batteries in the safari lodge’s reception area. A main line telephone facility is also available.
- Individual suites elegantly decorated
- En-suite bath, shower, toilet and hand basin
- Mosquito netting on windows and doors
- Private game viewing deck
- Overhead fans
Lounge / Dining Area
- Open plan lounge and dining area leading onto a wooden deck overlooking a vast plain and waterhole
- Indoor lounge with large fire place and a fully stocked bar
- Open air boma for an evening around the fire
- Swimming pool – Sparkling pool with open plan pavilion
- Massage Deck – Beautifully peaceful for therapeutic treatments
There is nothing as invigorating as watching Africa’s wildlife in their natural habitat. The place where nature dictates the rules and humans are mere observers. Enjoy an unforgettable African lion safari in the wide expanse of the greater Kruger National Park ecosystem. Driving or being guided on foot by our experienced rangers will bring you as close as you will ever get to true nature, the African way. With daily guided tours from early morning to late night drives join us for an African safari beyond your wildest expectations. Early morning and evening game drive safaris in an open-top Land Rover with an experienced game ranger, where one can enjoy sightings of the Big 5 and other wildlife in the region. Unique walking safaris with an armed game ranger knowledgeable in all aspects of conservation, ecology and the environment of the bush. Bird watching and photographic safaris. Cool off next to the sparkling pool, drinking cocktails and refreshments from the fully stocked bar, or relax in the shade of the Marula trees on the wooden deck overlooking the waterhole and watch the animals wander past. Treat yourself to a deeply relaxing massage at the Notten’s Nature Spa. Enjoy delicious meals and the fine company of both local and international guests. Cultural tours can be arranged into the local Shangaan community to get an insight into their unique culture. Golf trips can be arranged to the Skukuza Golf Course, which is 45 minutes away from Notten’s. This gives golfers a unique opportunity of playing a round of golf within the Kruger National Park.