Shimuwini "the place of the baobab" was voted the best bush camp in Kruger for 2004. Last year the camp was managed by Phanuel Nkuna, who is now the hospitality manager at Punda Maria Camp. The team of nine at Shimuwini is now led by acting Christa von Elling who is acting as hospitality manager until an appointment is made, and Jerry Ndlovu as duty manager and guide.
This bush camp is located on the banks of the Letaba River, almost midway between Phalaborwa gate and Mopani Camp. In just under two hours, guests can enjoy the tranquillity of the camp, lounging under a variety of acacia trees, mopanes, silver cluster leaves, leadwoods and the occasional apple leaf tree. The 15 units all face the river, where a variety of bird life can be seen.
A bird hide is also available for guests to catch a glimpse of egrets and kingfishers, or hear the call of the African fish eagle. Other birds include storks, the redwinged pratincole, African spoonbill, blackwinged stilt, whitewinged tern, and wiretailed swallows.
The units were built by donors, who in return for their generosity get the use of the facilities for 30 days each year for a total of 30 years. The rest of the time the camp is open to the public. The units consist mostly of two-bed guest cottages, with one three-bedroom unit and five one-bedroom units. There is also a boma available for larger groups.
The two-bed cottages, which sleep five, all have enclosed kitchens with gas appliances. Crockery and cutlery is included and meals can be enjoyed on the open verandas.The three-bedroom unit has the added excitement of an outside shower, allowing guests to enjoy a starlit shower after a sunset drive. The one-bed units, which sleep two, are similar to the larger accommodation, but have open kitchens and have two plate gas cookers without an oven. All units have ceiling fans.
The fridges in the units are intended for cooling only - meat can be frozen in the freezer in reception. Electricity is supplied using generators and solar power. There is no cellphone reception, but public phones are available. Only ice and firewood are available at the shop.
The trained field guides at Shimuwini can take guests on morning and day walks, with the further options of morning, sunset and night drives. Photographers are also catered for at the camp.