We spent a couple of days around New Years at Djuma Vuyatela for the first half of our honeymoon safari and had a great experience. To put this review in perspective, my wife and I are in our early thirties and like active vacations but in no way spend a ton of time hiking or in the great outdoors. This was our first safari.
General comments for first time safari goers (this seems to hold for ,all camps) that we would have liked to have known prior to our visit:
1 - you have two game drives per day; the morning one starts around 5:30 am and ends around 8:30 am; the afternoon is from 16:00 - 20:00. The schedule is not bad once you get into it but it would have been nice to mentally prep for this schedule.
2- the general reserves that you visit will affect your drives. Even we picked up that you need to research the reserves for possible animal viewing, but we did not fully comprehend how the topography could affect the drives. We visited Sabi-sands and Timbavati. We saw all big 5 at both locations, but truly enjoyed Sabi- sands better, as it seems to have more valleys and the bush was not as dense in areas which allowed for some picturesque views and the ability to spot game from afar. Whereas Timbavati seemed to be flatter with dense bush (during the wet season).
As far as Djuma Vuyatela we had a terrific time.
The game drives were the highlight of the trip our guide Ephrim and our tracker Fantoli (spelling?) were terrific. These guys know the area like the back of their hand and made the days fun. They had just the right feel of our group; they would joke around some of the time; just let us enjoy the ride some of the time; and teach us facts about the bush some of the time. All the while constantly finding great animals to view. Nothing felt forced on our rides which was nice.
Pinki, Patience and the rest of the team provided 5 star service and our villa (#1) was terrific inside and was essentially in the watering hole, which was great.
The only average part of the stay was the food. They definitely accommodated all requests and we were in the middle of the bush. We never skipped a meal, but if there is anything they could improve this is the area.
We will definitely visit Djuma Vuyatela again!
- Also Known As:
- Vuyatela Hotel Djuma Game Reserve