Our Rating
7.3
Overall

Chisomo Safari Camp

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Karongwe

from R 2527 pp/night sharing

Save
29%
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Our Rating
7.3
Overall

Chisomo Safari Camp

South Africa, Greater Kruger, Karongwe

from R 2527 pp/night sharing

Save
29%
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Our Verdict

A simple tented safari camp offering you excellent viewing of the Big Five in this most scenic of lowveld private reserves – great value!

Our Ratings

7.3
Overall
7.5
Luxury & style
7.0
Setting
7.5
Game Viewing
6.5
Romance

Our Ratings

7.3
Overall
7.5
Luxury & style
7.0
Setting
7.5
Game Viewing
6.5
Romance

What's Hot

  • Chisomo is a romantically draped canvas tented camp – this can make for a more authentic bush experience for many guests than staying in a conventional room
  • Karongwe is bordered by the towering Drakensberg escarpment on the west which forms a constant and majestic scenic backdrop – this is arguably the most scenically attractive of all the private lowveld reserves
  • With 4 rivers flowing through the reserve acting as a water source, there are plenty of animals in Karongwe – consistently excellent Big 5 viewing is the result
  • This lodge offers walking safaris where you can walk on foot with cheetahs – an unforgettable experience!
  • As the furthest west of the lowveld reserves it is closer to Gauteng than most of the other private reserves in the greater Kruger area

What's Not

  • No air-conditioning in the tents, so if you’re one of those who suffers in the heat then rather look at one of the more luxurious Karongwe lodges
  • The dining area under thatch is a bit large and lacking atmosphere and the meals obviously less lavish than more luxurious camps (which is understandable given the excellent pricing here)
  • We personally prefer slightly smaller camps then Chisomo’s 22 rooms – but hey, everyone’s different and you may well prefer the chance to interact with more guests!
Chisomo Safari Camp

Chisomo Safari Campspending a night under canvas with the sounds of the bush lulling you to sleep seems to make you feel more connected to the bush outside than in a normal room (if a lion roars nearby your heart will definitely beat a lot faster too!)

Lodge Profile

A simple tented safari camp offering you excellent viewing of the Big Five in this most scenic of lowveld private reserves – great value!

Quick Overview

Location
Karongwe
Drive Time
5 hours drive from Johannesburg
Malaria
Yes - low risk area
Setting
Overlooking a riverbed
Rooms
22 tents
Aircon
No
Pool
Yes
Spa
In-room massages
Camp Fenced
Yes
Tracker
Yes - ranger and tracker
Off Road
Yes
Child Policy
All ages

Chisomo Safari Camp lies overlooking the Makhutsi River and is tucked away deep in the Karongwe Game Reserve in Limpopo. Covering an area of some 9000 hectares of pristine African bush, Karongwe is rapidly building a reputation as an excellent value for money and high-quality Big 5 game experience. Another big plus is that Karongwe is the closest of the greater Kruger private reserves to the soaring Drakensberg escarpment in the west, so you’ll enjoy stunning scenic views of the mountains as well as the prolific wildlife in the reserve!

There are 4 different lodge options at Karongwe and Chisomo (previously known as Edeni Hoyo Hoyo) is the most rustic and simple of them all with its 22 fairly basic tented rooms. Whilst simple, the camp also manages to radiate a true feeling of being in the wilderness and sharing the land with the animals.

The 22 tents are all located on wooden platforms situated under the shade of towering knob thorns and Jackalberry trees overlooking the Makhutsi River - here grazing nyala and warthogs will likely greet you in the morning as you emerge from your tent. There’s no lack of romance either – there’s something about luxuriously decorated tented suites draped in crisp canvas with dark wood finishes that creates an atmosphere that harkens back to the old golden years of colonial safaris!

They might evoke a feeling of nostalgia but the good news is that the tents are really comfortable and pretty well equipped with many of today’s modern necessities – take the rich African toned en-suite bathroom as an example. There’s something about spending a night under canvas with the sounds of the bush lulling you to sleep, that seems to make you feel more connected to the bush outside than in a normal room (especially if those sounds include a lion roaring nearby when your heart will definitely beat a little faster!) One thing to note is that there is no air-con though so if you feel the heat it may be worthwhile avoiding the hotter summer months, or alternatively opting for one of the more conventional luxury camps in the Karongwe portfolio.

During the day you can relax and retire between game drives to one of the beautifully decorated lounges all furnished in true outdoor style with burnt oranges, reds and cream throw cushions scattered on welcoming couches – they’re the perfect place to chill out with a good book and perhaps a bit of bird spotting before you start slumbering! The lodge’s sparkling swimming pool is the perfect place to escape the heat of summer’s days. Another lovely option is to take a leisurely walk to the end of the lodge's path – here there is a hide that has great views of the nearby watering hole!

Traversing over 9000 hectares of prime bushveld, Chisomo is home to the Big Five as well as a wealth of other creatures – the Karongwe reserve is well watered with 4 rivers including the perennial Makhutsi River flowing through the reserve. This enhances the game carrying capacity of the land as well as providing stunning riverine vegetation – add in the magnificent views of the towering Drakensberg escarpment and, dare we say it, but Karongwe provides arguably better game viewing and more pretty scenery than many of the better known private reserves in the lowveld! Whilst 9000 hectares is fairly small compared to some other reserves, it also means that the experienced rangers and their skilled Shangaan trackers know the land like the back of their hand and boosts the chances of consistently excellent game viewing. In fact, sighting all the Big Five on a single game drive is not uncommon! Just one point to note is that the excellent last minute rates at the Karongwe lodges just include a single game drive a day to keep costs down – you are obviously free to go on the other daily game drive at a reasonable extra cost (this is actually quite a sensible approach as many people end up skipping at least one game drive as they fancy sleeping in for example!)

The open vehicle game drives are perfect for game viewing, where you can also enjoy a sundowner while the sun sets over the magnificent Drakensberg. The outstanding wildlife sightings and spectacular landscape makes for the perfect photographic opportunities with shots of the Lowveld from a “kopje” amidst the lush vegetation. One of the unusual activities available at Chisomo is the chance to view cheetah by vehicle or on foot (walking safaris are also on offer) Heading back to the camp you’ll enjoy traditional hearty African meals in the most spectacular surroundings, under the stars in the boma or in the elegant candlelit dining area – if you're looking for back-to-basics romance then Chisomo provides this in abundance!

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Karongwe Game Reserve gate entrance fee of R75
  • Subject to availability
  • Rates apply to SA residents only
  • 2 Night minimum stay

Child Policy

  • Children between 0 and 2 years old are accommodated on a complimentary basis
  • Children from the ages of 3 years to 11 years old are accommodated at 50% of the adult tariff, sharing a family room with adults
  • Children 12 years and older are considered adults and pay the applicable tariff