Kruger camps II – Bushveld Camps – Biyamiti & Talamati

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.

 

The Mbiyamiti River in the early morning. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The Mbiyamiti River in the early morning. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

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.

Road crossing at the Biyamiti Weir. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Road crossing at the Biyamiti Weir. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Hippo pool at the Biyamiti Weir. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Hippo pool at the Biyamiti Weir. If you look on the left of the photo next to the long grasses you will see the hippo!  ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

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.

Central Kruger near Satara - it is very dry at the moment and reminds me of the Kalahari. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Central Kruger near Satara – it is very dry at the moment and reminds me of the Kalahari. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

One the road to Talamati. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

On the road to Talamati. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

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.

This post is part of a series of Kruger National Park posts I will be publishing. It is also part of my daily posts for October 2016 – otherwise known as The October Dash

 

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Categories: Lifestyle/Travel

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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10 Comments on “Kruger camps II – Bushveld Camps – Biyamiti & Talamati”

  1. Eha
    October 8, 2016 at 3:22 am #

    Trust TripAdvisor to have done its ‘homework’! – further photos at least! You may call this your ‘October Dash’ – for many of us it is a file to have lovingly collected and hopefully used in the days to come . . . interesting to come ‘down’ from the tourist hordes . . . [I simply would not give up until I saw the ruddy hippo: well, methinks my ophthalmologist will give a ‘pass’ grade for another year . . . ]

    • October 8, 2016 at 10:27 am #

      Are you not a fan of TripAdvisor? The photos there were mostly contributed by users of the site.

      Am trying to give you all (and myself!) a break from reading long, daily posts by pacing the content a little i.e. publishing smaller “photo” posts in between the longer ones. I’m now a week into the challenge and am still coping quite well with the daily posting.

      LOL Yes, the hippo isn’t that easy to spot if you don’t know where to look.

      • October 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

        I am also really glad you gave us a pointer on where the ruddy hippo was hidden! I was struggling to see it at first.

        I also like the way you’ve been spacing your short/medium/long posts.

        I am not a fan of TripAdvisor; I hate the way it nags and forces you to register before you can see more information. Pinterest lost me too by doing that.

      • October 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

        I wouldn’t feel bad -it took us a couple of minutes to realise there was a hippo in the pool and we were there! 🙂

        I wouldn’t survive writing long post each day. Willie took over writing duties for me today, as I’m in bed with an inner ear infection.

        We don’t use TripAdvisor much, but it was a good source of the camp photos I was missing. Agree with you about Pinterest!

      • Eha
        October 9, 2016 at 1:30 am #

        Oh, of course I look it up – but lately there have been quite a few articles in the media here suggesting that many of the comments come from people who love to see themselves in print but may not know enough to speak up – do not know , but am looking at other sources as well . . . actually my comment was not meant negatively: I just wondered was there anywhere in the world they had not reached 🙂 !

      • October 9, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

        Oh, I’m NOT surprised that TripAdvisor has reached the Kruger National Park. It’s a huge tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world.

        As to people loving to see themselves in print: I just look at the pretty photos! 😉

  2. October 8, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    I am really enjoying your “October Mad Dash”, Lisa. 🙂

    The De Wet blog you linked to is a treasure trove of interesting information about a vast number of nature reserves in South Africa – I didn’t realise there were so many!

    • October 9, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

      Thanks Reggie! 🙂 Thanks also for being such a dedicated reader and commenter. You and Eha always have such interesting comments and questions.

      I read the De Wets Wild blog before going to Kruger to get some tips from them on the best places to go.

  3. November 6, 2016 at 1:44 am #

    On our first visit to Biyamiti we were welcomed by six lions (one male and five females) lying in the river bed. That night and the next they serenaded us for hours, an unforgettable experience. Our chalet was comfortable and we loved “our” park-like front garden leading down to the river.

    • November 6, 2016 at 8:58 am #

      Wow, that must have been an amazing experience! It is definitely a very interesting area – we loved the circular drive you can do from there. Did you explore further afield – towards Skukuza and Pretoriuskop – from Biyamiti too, or is that not really viable?

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