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Set in the heart of a Big Five game reserve, Fever Tree Camp nestles beneath a canopy of massive Weeping Boer Bean and Fever Trees, right in the heart of historic Zululand. Just over three hours’ drive from King Shaka airport and six hours from Joburg, and you’re into iconic Zululand acacia bushveld on a 23 000ha reserve. Much loved by all the families who own this camp, it’s a place to retreat to, a place to enjoy with close friends, and a place for kids to have a bush experience that will remain etched in their memories forever.

The layout is simple: open-air living areas are beautifully done (for a rustic camp, they will exceed expectations!), and a large hearth provides welcome warmth in the evenings, or spend the evening around the fire telling stories and listening to the calls of distant Hyena and lion.

There are four separate thatched bungalows, each with its own outlook and waterhole, and one large barn-like room for up to 8 children, (each bungalow has a King size double bed plus a single bed for a youngster) so it’s ideal for four couples with up to two children each….or just one family who really want to get away from it all and spend quality time together getting back to basics, listening to nature, learning bird calls, and watching game from their beds – literally.  It’s an immense privilege to wake up and be so close to game as they drift through to drink at the waterhole.  It’s hard to find a camp so well thought through for families as this one – there aren’t many like this anymore.  It’s an affordable gem… which is why we are so excited to share it with you.
Manyoni Private Game Reserve is one of the largest privately owned reserves in KwaZulu-Natal with 17 dedicated landowners who dropped their fences in 2004 to create one consolidated protected reserve which also became the focus of the WWF sponsored Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.  All passionate conservationists, the reserve has seen historic species (black and white rhino, cheetah, lion and wild dog) return and thrive.  Today, if you sit quietly on the pool deck for long enough, you will be visited by impala, nyala, wildebeest, kudu, zebra, buffalo, and giraffe… and if you’re lucky, by lion, white rhino, black rhino, elephant, cheetah, and leopard.
Expect to find extraordinary diversity here, with a mix of riverine woodland and savannah interspersed with hilly regions. Distinctive Umbrella and Knob Thorn Acacias, striking candelabra Euphorbias, massive Marulas, Weeping Boer Bean, Bush Willow, and Tamboti trees dot the reserve along with Fever Tree Acacia forest, all of which is home to over 455 bird species at last count – but then Manyoni means ‘Place of Birds’ in Zulu.

What we love!

  • That this is a traditional bush experience for families: no fuss, just a classic bushveld camp but with good bed linen and comfy beds can you imagine the kids being able to sleep with 11 of their best friends or cousins in the middle of a Big Five reserve? Such fun!
  • The privacy and luxury of being able to do drives whenever you like – the teens can sleep in and do afternoon drives and the early risers go out early
  • The fact that the animals come right up to your bungalow- you literally watch them come and drink from your bed!
  • The living and dining areas are beautifully done.
  • The fact that King Shaka International Airport is now a non-stop, direct flight away from London Heathrow (Terminal 5) on the new British Airways flights to Durban.

What you need to know…

  • The bathrooms are very basic but functional.
  • There’s good storage, fridges and freezer space in the the kitchen for long stays but you need to bring everything… your last stop for shopping is Ballito (emergencies only at Mkuze).
  • That Fever Tree Camp is close to Thuleni Homestead – also just over three hours’ drive from King Shaka Airport.
  • Children will sleep separately from their parents and must be walked to their bedrooms (it’s truly wild here and you need to be careful at all times as big game comes close to camp).
  • One game drive is included per day. Game vehicles seat 10 guests. Additional game drives may be booked.
  • The Conservation levy is additional. It is currently R150 per person per night and R75 for children under 12 per child per day.

Reviewed by Michelle Snaddon

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Off peak
Sunday to Wednesday mid week rate (off peak): R5 750
Thursday to Sunday (off peak): R9 775
Peak (during all school holidays): R11 500
Conservation levy: R150 (adults) and R75 (children)
The rate includes one game drive per day. Additional game drives are R1 000 per drive.