The word ‘safari’ transports one back to Colonial times, when British explorers would undertake expeditions into the ‘dark continent’ to observe wildlife and experience the flavours of African culture.
Today, going on a safari to see the Big Five – that is a lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and a rhinoceros – is a must on the modern expedition to South Africa, and the Kruger National Park in particular.
However, trudging through the African dust by day and bedding down in sleeping bags by night is not everyone’s idea of an authentic bushveld experience. The beauty of the Kruger is that there’s a huge variety of accommodation and activities available, and for those with a taste for opulence, your African safari doesn’t get any more sumptuous that a stay at Hamiltons Tented Camp, closest to the Orpen Gate of the reserve.
Hamiltons Tented Camp is lavish safari getaway located in the Limpopo province within the Kruger National Park, near Hoedspruit. It’s reminiscent of an era gone by, when big game hunting was a popular past-time in the early 1900s.
The six luxury tents that make up the camp are nestled between Jackalberry trees with spectacular views over the Ngwenveni Dam, perfect for sundowners and game viewing. The camp is named after Colonel Stephenson Hamilton, who in 1902 was appointed the first warden of the Sabie Game Reserve, which, thanks to his efforts, would eventually be combined with Shingwedzi Game Reserve and the surrounding farms to form the Kruger National Park in 1926.
From the polished teak floors to the Colonial writing desks, old travel chests and mosquito nets that billow in the evening breeze, it’s a unique safari experience that is perfect for honeymooners and couples that long for a romantic break. The six double rooms at Hamiltons Tented Camp can accommodate a total of 12 people, which means that you can enjoy the quiet of the African bush, the adventurous timber walkways and a refreshing outdoor shower, which each room features, in privacy.
And what would your African safari be without a game drive?
Hamiltons has two game drives a day. Rise with the sun for a three-hour morning excursion through the surrounding Kruger National Park when you can see all manner of wildlife, from hippopotamus to impala and everything in between, as they stop by the watering holes in the area to drink before the long day ahead. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the 517 species of birds that are resident in the reserve.
Return to the camp for breakfast and spend the hot midday hours relaxing by the pool, or perhaps a siesta, before embarking on a four-hour evening game drive to see the Kruger Park’s nocturnal animals, and enjoy a sundowner by a watering hole as the blazing African sun sets over the savannah. Dinner at Hamiltons Tented Camp is a silver service affair, with personalised cuisine.
One of the Kruger National Park’s least talked-about attractions is the thick blanket of stars that shines brightly over the Africa bushveld, uninhibited by light pollution from urban areas. Your Southern Hemisphere stargazing includes the Milky Way and the Southern Cross. The San bushmen have many tales and local lore that has been influenced by the African skies, and the private verandas outside your room at Hamiltons Tented Camp is the perfect deck from which to enjoy the impressive heavens over the Kruger National Park.
Other luxury accommodation in the Kruger National Park includes Imbali Safari Lodges, Jock Safari Lodge, Lukimbi Safari Lodge, Rhino Walking Safari, Shishangeni Private Lodge, Singita Lebombo Private Game Lodge, Tinga Private Game Lodge and Pafuri Camp.