This is the second post about the camps we stayed in during our visit to the Kruger National Park. For the first post which includes the introduction see Kruger camps – Intro and Letaba
Although they were not the kind of bush camps we are used from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP), we did enjoy staying in the Kruger bushveld camps we visited. In the KTP bush or wilderness camps are much smaller (space for only 8 – 10 visitors) with no fences surrounding the camps. In Kruger the equivalent camp is larger (up to approx. 80 visitors) and the camps are fenced. However, because of the spacing of the cottages in Kruger, the bushveld camps still remain a more private experience than any of the big rest camps. The bushveld camps are either situated on a river or have a waterhole which attracts animals close to the camp. If you don’t have a view onto the river or waterhole, there are hides close to the water from which you can observe them.
Biyamiti Bushveld Camp
The Biyamiti camp is set in dense bushveld on the banks of the seasonal Mbiyamiti River. During the period we stayed there, it was extremely dry in Kruger and the river was dry for the most part, with waterholes along its course. The cottages one stays in all face the river and stand amongst tall trees ( huge Wild Fig and Jackalberry trees) and shrubs, which gives the camp a very private and peaceful feeling.
We had chosen the camp because it was the closest bushveld camp to the Malelane Gate. Even during the short drive from the Malelane Gate to the camp (approximately an hour’s drive) we already had seen a fair amount of game, including our first rhino. Just outside the camp gate we were lucky to see our first leopard, jump down from the tree it was lying in, and cross the road just in front of us.
The area has abundant wild and bird-life, and there is a private road which residents of the camp can follow along the Mbiyamiti River. At one point the road crosses the river at the Biyamiti weir. It was here that we saw our first hippo up close.
I do not have any photos of the Biyamiti camp, but the site Trip Advisor has good photos here. The blog de Wets Wild has a post (click on link) with wonderful photos of the area, as well as their animal sightings there.
Next time we visit Biyamiti we intend to use it as a base to explore more of the south-western part of Kruger.
Talamati Bushveld Camp
The Talamati camp is in the central region of Kruger. The bush is a lot more open in this area, which makes it easier to spot game. Again it is a very pretty and peaceful camp with well-designed cottages. There is a waterhole at the camp and two hides where you can sit and watch game and birds come to drink – or in the case of hippos, bathe.
The camp itself is plagued by monkeys who come to steal food out of the cottages. You are advised to keep your cottage door and windows locked when you are out – we never had any issues.
Talamati is a Xitsonga word that means “Lots of Water”. Yet, despite the meaning of the name, the river is actually dry.
The clay soil however, acts as a giant sponge holding a vast reservoir of underground water and keeping the vegetation lush all year round. Talamati Bushveld Camp is situated in a large open valley, affording superb game viewing opportunities. The luxuriant grassveld in the area attracts large herds of grazers, and the predators never lurk too far behind.
– From the official SANParks Kruger site.
We did see a lot of animals in this area, including several sightings of cheetah. This is the region where we first started seeing a lot of elephants, as well as Baobab trees. There are a lot of small (dirt) roads which crisscross this area and allow for a variety of interesting game drives.
The Talamati camp is also an easy drive from the Satara Rest Camp, where you can refuel, get some Mugg & Bean (yes, there are a couple of those in Kruger!) coffee and check on your cellphone messages.
The Talamati bushveld camp was one of our favourites – because of the camp itself, and also its situation in central Kruger. We will definitely be going back there again.
Trip Advisor has some good photos of the Talamati camp here.