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“Magnificent four days on safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp

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andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Boca Raton, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Magnificent four days on safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

After researching the recommendations of many friends and associates who have traveled to Africa, I chose &Beyond as the group to spend my safari with. I had not decided whether to travel to Tanzania or to South Africa, so my travel consultant at &Beyond Anika Oosterhuizen had plenty of consulting to do. She was amazing, and I soon chose South Africa and had Anika plan my entire vacation in South Africa - from Cape Town, to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, to her recommendation for Kirkman's Kamp in Sabi Sand.
Not only were our hotel accommodations throughout superb, but Anika's planning for our travel was perfect. Every transfer and air flight went smoothly and on time, including the four seater from Nelspruit to the landing strip at Skukuza airport right next to Sabi Sand. So much better than a three plus hour drive!
From the moment we arrived, we were treated so well, fed even better and LOVED our ranger Lennox Mathebula and our tracker Robert. After a sumptuous lunch, we were taken on our first game drive. Within 20 minutes we were graced with a herd of about 25 elephants. Such amazing animals. That first game drive (we had two drives per day - one in the morning and one in the late afternoon), we also saw zebra, giraffes, buffalo, kudu, impala and rhino. Three out of the big five and still 7 more drives to go!
Needless to say, we enjoyed every moment. The service could not have been better, each member of the staff was always on hand to serve. Our evenings in the boma were great. There was always some type of animal roaming the grounds, but we always were in the company of the camp's security just in case!
As we traveled in August, the mornings were chilly (gloves, hat or hood and a couple of fleece sweatshirts are needed), but by the afternoon we lazed at the infinity pool, where I was able to spot another herd of about 40 elephants across the ravine. What more could one ask for?
Our ranger, Lennox, who was specifically referenced in Frommer's guide to South Africa as the guide to ask for at Kirkman's, is very involved in the activities of the &Beyond Foundation, working with the surrounding communities. We asked that one afternoon he take us to see the projects that the foundation supports - education, water resources, community garden, conservation, anti-poaching, and assisting the community with accessible water resources. I HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of this opportunity at Kirkman's or any of the &Beyond lodges in
Africa. It was quite a moving experience, and for anyone who wishes to support a project, a way
to personally support a worthwhile program in Africa.
We were sorry to leave even after four days, and I would jump on the opportunity to return.
By the way, we did see the big five, a couple of times over, but each time you see a lion or leopard you see them from a different perspective and it is aleays a new experience!

Room Tip: Rooms are pretty standard and the bathrooms could definitely use a redo. Could also use a bureau in...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My family and I (husband, sons 25 and 23, and daughter, 20) had the good fortune to spend four days at Kirkman's Kamp between Christmas and New Year's, 2012. Brett and Collin were our fantastic guide and tracker. We had such an exceptional experience - great lodging, food, service, and incredible game viewing - lions, leopards, elephant, white rhino, hyenas, vervet monkeys, hippos, buffalo, and so many kinds of antelope, as well as incredible birds and lizards. We enjoyed every minute of our stay - the main lodge is filled with incredible photos and artifacts from the history of Kirkman's, and it is easy to fall into the rhythm of the camp - up early for tea/coffee, then out for the morning game drive. Back around 10 for delicious breakfast, then head to nap or pool for the afternoon. Tea at four, then out for the afternoon/evening game drive. Drinks in the evening in the bush, then an exquisite dinner on the lawn of the lodge after everyone returns from the game drives, generally with a hyena visitor watching from the edge of the lawn. Lots of great conversation - interesting guests and incredible staff, who make you feel at home instantly. No request is too small or too great to be handled - and just spending time in the lodge is so pleasant. The food was excellent, especially the game. Our eldest son celebrated his 25th birthday while we were there - they had a fantastic cake for him and threw a party for him, which we didn't know was going to happen! The air-conditioned bedrooms were very comfortable and luxurious, with great linens and comfortable beds. We had incredible game viewing on every single drive - Collin is an exceptional tracker, and Brett kept us informed of everything that was going on as we watched one animal after another, patiently answering all of our questions. We would love to recreate this trip in every detail, and would jump at the chance to return to Kirkman's in the future.

Room Tip: Rooms 1- 8 are closest to lodge, but all rooms are lovely. We were in 3, 4, and 11.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
at home
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We absolutely loved our stay at Kirkman's Kamp! This was not our first safari, but as far as lodging/staff/food goes, this was one of the best & we highly recommend it!

Accommodations- We stayed in two rooms (#1 & 2). Beds were comfy, linens for the beds & bath were luxurious, toiletries were fabulous (smells of Africa!) in permanent bottles. There was AC if you wanted it & your own patio with chairs/table looking over the bush down to the river. The kids enjoyed the pool which was warm enough for swimming...even warm enough for the adults to get in! Decor was luxurious with a safari style using natural colors & we loved the pictures on the walls which were mostly photographs from Kirkman's original owner's life...very unique! Not really any lounging area in your room other than your patio, but plenty of lounging space in the main building that is laid out to be comfy & intimate.

Lodge Staff- we really enjoyed Moses as our 'butler' he was always smiling & quickly learned our quirky non-alcoholic ways that like to share meals as to not waste! Laundry was always nicely done & folded on time...you could tell they weren't harsh with your clothes in the care or products. Room cleanup & turndown/minibar refill was timely & neatly done. It was nice to have some snacks in the room & some special syrups for mixing your own refreshing drinks if you wanted. Water was regularly stocked...both still & sparkling. There are a lot of 'invisible staff' that work hard to make the stay perfect.

Food- They were always feeding us...am tea & coffee, breakfast, lunch, pm tea & coffee, pre dinner snacks, dinner, and probably anything you'd ask for in the day! Food was some of the best we've had on safari (and ever!), but still second place to Olonana in the Mara...we still enjoyed it quite thoroughly & definitely prefer the table service with a few choices over the buffet style of many safari locations. The fresh lemonades here are fantastic & ready at your asking! One of our favorite pieces here!

Game Drives- Ralph was our driver/guide & Richard our spotter. We really enjoyed our time with both of them. We've safaried enough now to know a good guide & Ralph is one of those...he does his job diligently & is passionate about the animals & birds, knowing their behaviors so he can follow them & recognize them & anticipate their movements. He doesn't just point out what is there, he goes on to tell you about their behaviors & habits...truly an educational experience. We never felt like he was trying to get in early to end his time out on safari, which has happened to us in the Chobe & somewhat in the Mara. We enjoyed his sense of humor & loved his laugh...these were sprinkled in at appropriate times. The vehicles are open top & hold 9 people in back with a step up for each row of seats which made it easy to see wildlife no matter where you sat...and we sat in multiple locations with a nearly full vehicle each time. The open top leaves you more exposed to sun, but nothing a hat & sunscreen can't fix, plus hours are early & later so sun is only intense at the very end of the am drive & start of the pm drive.

Private-vs-Krueger- We heard many having great experiences in Krueger, but let me just give one story to show the advantage of Private....there was a leopard stalking Impala while we were in Sabi, we were able to follow it (of course there are rules, only 2 at a time for a viewing) & watch its behavior all the way through the bush until we could no longer follow her in the brushy creek....she killed later that day & we were able to drive out to the bush to see her with her kill. At Chobe, we had a similar experience...leopard stalking Impala, but we couldn't follow & therefore couldn't see the stalking behavior...it also causes them to lose track of the animal & no one knew where she was the next day or if she had killed anything. Sabi knows their animals...their ages, when they're there, where they go, when they return...you're going to see stuff here! We saw everything big (lions, leopards...so much so that when asked the last time to go see one, we said no!, black & white rhino, hippo, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, hyena, jakal) except a Cheetah, which evidently is not in the area at this time due to a large number of leopards & lions. If you're a birder, you definitely want to ask for Ralph...he knows them all & has done extensive reading on the birds!

Spa- this was the first time we ever had a spa massage & Zanele was very professional. The massage room & products were very relaxing & Zanele is good at either being quiet or talking to you...whichever you prefer. I was definitely relaxed & enjoyed my hour massage!

Gift Shop- they have a nice gift shop with a large variety of clothing items in case you forgot anything! It would be nice to see some more local handicraft items in the shop as well (and I'm going to guess kids might want some stuffed animals)...prices were good & comparable to airport/upscale shop pricing...certainly not prohibitive in causing you to shop here!

Great to see that Kirkman's is diligently adding native South Africans to their guiding staff...it was odd to see 'white guys' as guides from our past experiences in Kenya, so it is good to see that the native South Africans are being given an equal opportunity...or so it appears, although Kirkman's is still heavier on the 'white' side for guides.

Only thing missing- in comparison to other safaris, Kirkman's has definitely been one of the best...the only 'missing piece' is the refreshing scented moist towel upon arrival from safaris. This is the only thing I can think of that we've seen elsewhere that is really a nice little extra...but certainly doesn't change our excellent rating for Kirkman's...we highly recommend it & would stay again ourselves should we return.

Room Tip: If you have kids, ask for a room with a higher number...rooms 1 & 2 are so close to the Boma &am...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Baltimore, MD
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

This November my husband and I visited Kirkman's Kamp. What a magical place. The location in Sabi Sands was beautiful, the game drives fun and more than informative, the staff all friendly and anxious to be helpful in all ways. The food was superb. Dining on the terrace on our first night there was almost beautifully surreal. But best of all, the animals we saw surpassed my expectations.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same.... high level of comfort....with a small back porch overlooking the river wh...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

From the moment we met Colleen at the entrance we were incredibly happy. The camp is beautiful and felt like a community. Every single person there was welcoming, food was delicious, and the ultimate in luxury for rooms. If you have the chance to visit them please do it! You won't regret it.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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oxford
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

My husband, Grandson aged 10 years and myself have just returned from staying at Kirkmans Kamp Kruger SA. it really was the best safari lodge we have ever stayed at and we have been on at least 8 safaris. The lodges were unique in that they were not thatched, so looked completely different from all the others.The decor and furniture were extremely comfortable and the beds huge. The area which had manicured lawns were vast and beautiful. The staff at most lodges are very good however Kirkman's staff excelled themselves, nothing was too much trouble and the food delicious and plentiful. Because we travelled in December to see young animals (which were more difficult to spot than at other times of the year), the ranger and tracker (we had the two Richards) were unbelievable good and amusing, thoroughly entertaining our grandson and making the whole safari experience wonderfully interesting and making our grandson's trip really special. Kirkmans is the best! Thankyou to them all

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

We just got back from 3 wonderful days at Kirkmans. we have been to many game lodges before but this has been the best ever. our Ranger Richard and Tracker Richard were fantastic. Ranger Richard listened to what we wanted to see and do, he was very informative and taught us a lot more about the bush. As for Tracker Richard.....well we have never had such a good tracker before. He found everything and anything. We saw leopards, lions, and even a fantastic lion kill.
The rooms were stunning, very colonial so don't expect modern.....
I also had one of the best massages ever by a lovely lady called Zanele....a must to try.
We will be back SOON.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp

Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 41 Specialty lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4.5 star — andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The spirit of safari comes alive at historic Kirkman’s Kamp. Step back in time into the gracious early settler atmosphere of this original 1920s homestead and marvel at the spectacular views of the unspoiled wilderness from each of the 18 guest cottages and the lodge’s rim-flow swimming pool. Rolling lawns carve out a niche in a wild and tumbling wilderness that hosts memorable game viewing in one of the most renowned Big Five wildlife regions in the world. Spacious sitting, dining and bar guest areas contain original mementos of a time long past. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kirkman`s Kamp Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
AndBeyond Kirkman's Kamp South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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