For years I have had friends, colleagues and clients of mine rave about Nottens Bush Camp, and until recently, I have not had the chance to visit. This seems a bit crazy considering the amount of time I have spent in the Greater Kruger area! Nottens Bush Camp is located in the Sabi Sands reserve, which borders on the Kruger Park. Wildlife roams freely between the park and the reserve with no fencing in between. The Sabi Sands is well-known for its fantastic predator sightings, specifically lion and leopard, and we were not disappointed. From our first game drive, the Nottens rangers and trackers had their keen spotting eyes ready. Our first sighting that we came upon was a pride of about 14 lion tearing away at a recent buffalo kill. And what a sighting it was! Each lion, including the little cubs, was literally gouging themselves on the buffalo meat, despite their bulging bellies. Some of the members of the pride were so exhausted after eating for the last couple of hours that they were eating half asleep! One thing for sure was that not a scrap of the meat or the carcass was going to go to waste, and on returning to the kill the next day, there was practically nothing left.
Besides this incredible lion sighting, we had the rare opportunity to track two male leopards that were fighting over the same territory. The older male, whose original claim was to this particular territory, was protecting his domain and had therefore injured the younger male, although thankfully not fatally. We watched as he attempted to chase the younger male out of his territory. On a number of occasions both the leopards passed right next to the vehicle, so close that I could have touched them as they were passing. A unique aspect of the Sabi Sands reserve is that leopards, usually shy and elusive animals, have been tracked by vehicles for such a long time for photographic safaris that they have become ‘habituated’, and do not consider vehicles as a threat. Hence our opportunity to get so close.
There is an abundance of other wildlife varieties in the reserve including buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala and kudu. But excellent guides and plenty of wildlife is not the only quality that makes Nottens special. The camp staff are the soul of the camp and their warm greetings, friendly manner and positive attitude make Nottens feel like a ‘home away from home’. The camp is owner run and managed and most of the staff have been their many years, and their love of the camp and the wilderness shines through in every aspect. Nothing is too much of a problem, and we could not have asked for better service. The food was outstanding, although we ate far too much!
I am not going to elaborate on all the ‘little touches’ that were added to our stay as then I would spoil it for anyone planning to visit. Rather come and stay and see for yourselves. Nottens Bush Camp is a truly authentic safari camp and will suit all those travelers who are looking for a ‘real’ wilderness safari experience with all the luxuries that you would like, but without the ‘frills’. To find out more about Notten’s Bush Camp, please contact Janine@inspired2explore.com