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Up A Tree In The Middle Of The African Jungle!
By Kerrin Trenorden
22 April 2012

Located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve - Umlani Bush Camp is a classic African safari camp and part of the Greater Kruger National Park.
Not only did this amazing place allow me to be thrown out of my comfort zone with an outside shower, no phone reception or electricity (I am not a camper), it provided me with some of the most amazing sights and experiences you will ever see.
One such experience is the 'Tree House' located next to a waterhole approx. 20 minutes from the camp. The 'Tree House' provides guests the opportunity to spend the night out in the wild, an experience that after some long internal and external deliberation with my group, decided I could not miss.
Before I go on, I need to make something VERY clear! Although all reports and reviews all this structure a 'Tree House' to me it was more of a platform up a tree. Consisting of a steep ladder, branch walls and roof and no other facilities including bathroom (unless you count the bucket), this structure makes pulling up to the waterhole in the pitch black of night, enough to make your heart stop beating.
Your progression into a full on panic attack is further accelerated when your driver stops in the middle of the road, turns off his lights and gives you one of the most terrifying speeches you will hear. I will leave out the exact details (you need to make sure you hear it yourself one day) however the general gist was;
1. Under no circumstances to you leave the 'Tree House' as you never know what is lurking below
2. Under no circumstances do you use the radio they leave you unless it is a serious emergency
3. Remember that by the guides getting out of bed and coming out there to help you are they are in fact risking their lives which they don't want to do to themselves or their family so don't call them!
After your heart starts beating again, the lights are back on and the jokes start. It was like this 'talk' never happened!
I would love to go into my night more, however 'what happens in the 'Tree House' stays in the 'Tree House'' so only the 5 others with me will ever know the full truth. What I will say however is that there are no words to explain the feeling of lying in the dark, staring at thousands of stars with animals (that you have no idea what they are) walking around you and living their life. It takes your breath away!
To experience this amazing feeling yourself, Thai Airways International can fly you direct from Bangkok to Johannesburg three times a week with connections to/from Australia. Ask your favourite travel agent for more information or visit www.thaiairways.com.au
Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of THAI. 

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