Tintswalo Family Camp: An Idyllic Family Safari Hideaway

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

It had been an eventful morning in the bush. Although it was cold, we sat in the game vehicle, doubly cocooned in blankets and ponchos, with hot water bottles in our laps. Our fellow companions were a South African couple with their three energetic, young grandsons, aged between 6 and 10, who were enthusiastically ticking animals off their checklists. Thus far, we had seen a pod of hippos basking in the early morning sun, a herd of buffalo drinking at a waterhole, a crash of rhinos relaxing, a dazzle of zebras grazing, and a solitary elephant bull sauntering through the trees.

DJ, our ranger, had just heard on the busy radio that a male lion had been spotted on an open plain. As we made our way there, he told the boys that he was going to show them all the animals and make them happy. The boys promptly piped up “But we’re already happy!”

Welgevonden Game Reserve

Early morning game drive

Family is at the heart of everything at the Tintswalo Family Camp in Welgevonden Game Reserve. Part of the family-owned Tintswalo group of lodges, it began as a holiday retreat for the owners’ family for years before they decided to share it with the world. In the Shangaan language, the word Tintswalo means “the intangible feeling of love, gratitude and peace that you bestow upon someone who has given you a meaningful and worthy gift.” Love, gratitude and peace are certainly emotions you will feel strongly when staying there.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Main lounge

The fenced lodge is designed to make families feel at home with family suites, play rooms, kids’ activity packs and activities, and kids’ meals on request. Children of all ages are welcome and babysitters are also available. Books and board games can be found throughout the lodge and there is Wi-Fi for the older kids and adults. Staff are great with kids and it was so heart-warming to see the young kids getting excited about wildlife. We were there with our two kids and there were other families all around us having fun throughout our stay too.

Welgevonden Game Reserve

Welgevonden Game Reserve

It was our third visit to the malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve, one of South Africa’s largest private game reserves and one of our favourite game reserves near Johannesburg. Ensconced within the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve in the Limpopo province, it adjoins Marakele National Park. The reserve is spectacularly beautiful, with rugged mountain terrain, interspersed with winding rivers, deep valleys and gorges, and grassy plains. It is also home to over 50 mammals including the Big Five, and over 300 bird species. At night, the moon and the stars shine brighter and we were fortunate to witness a supermoon there as well.

Supermoon South Africa

Once you reach the main gate, an easy three-hour drive away from the big city, your holiday begins as you park your car inside the gate. Your ranger will meet you and transport you to the lodge as no private vehicles are allowed in the reserve. The drive from the gate to the lodge feels like a bonus game drive. By the time we got to the lodge we had already spotted 10 species of wildlife including 3 of the Big Five. By the end of the day, we had seen the rest of the Big Five, including an elusive leopard on the rocks at night.

Welgevonden Game Reserve

Welgevonden Game Reserve

We were welcomed at the lodge by a bevy of beautiful ladies singing for us whereafter, we were treated to a delicious lunch overlooking the wilderness. We were then shown to our suite before leaving for the afternoon game drive.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Family Suite

The lodge accommodates up to 16 guests, in a combination of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom freestanding suites, discreetly tucked into the bush along meandering pathways. Our family suite consisted of 2 spacious en-suite bedrooms with verandas overlooking the bushveld. My kids were happy to have their own room, while still being close to us.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Main bedroom

Both bedrooms had seating areas and the main bedroom also had a writing desk, a tea and coffee station with cookies, and a minibar. Luxurious velvet gowns and slippers were provided.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Writing desk

At night we would return from the chilly outdoors to our warm suite, which was heated by a fireplace  and electric blankets in our beds. Creatively folded towels and chocolates adorned the beds, and the kids were also treated to bedtime stories.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Creative towel art

The bathrooms had bathtubs as well as indoor and outdoor showers.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Bathroom

Indoor communal areas consist of a main lounge, a kids’ entertainment room which can be converted into a function room, and a curio shop. Outdoors, there is a swimming pool, an outdoor deck, a boma and a hide overlooking a waterhole. Although there are no televisions in the room, there are two in the communal areas.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Swimming pool

The home-style cuisine was delicious, adequately taking our dietary requirements into account. Breakfasts and lunches were served on the deck, while dinners were served either in the main lounge or in the boma, under the stars, around a warm fire. The lodge also has a kosher kitchen and halaal food can be arranged by prior request.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed

Tintswalo Family Camp is a place where families come together, create lasting memories, and connect with nature. It is a destination that fosters love, gratitude, and peace, leaving visitors with a profound sense of appreciation for the natural world and the precious moments spent with loved ones, making it an ideal choice for an unforgettable multi-generational family safari.

For more information, visit Tintswalo Family Camp or book here.

Read about our stay at Tintswalo Lapalala and Tintswalo Boulders.

Good to know

Rates include three daily meals, coffee and tea, laundry and two game drives a day with refreshments. Conservation levies and daily reserve entrance fee are excluded.

Tintswalo Family Camp Review

Disclosure: 7

3 comments on “Tintswalo Family Camp: An Idyllic Family Safari Hideaway”

  1. Such a great family thing to do. Having good accommodation and food to match the beauty of a safari always helps for a great experience.

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