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“If you want to experience a safari in South Africa - go here” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp

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andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp
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5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“If you want to experience a safari in South Africa - go here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

My wife found this place and I am very happy for that. From the road to get there to the reception, the place, the people and the lodge, it was an experience we will remember for life.

We had a great tracker and guide that made us see all there is to see in this area. From lions to hippos and a number of birds with great enthusiasm and lots of knowledge. There was no bird that Ralph (his English name) did not know about. He could tell you more than you wanted to know :-)

Very relaxing and enjoyable stay. I would love to go back there now.

Room Tip: Try to enjoy the time you get to rest between tours. Stay more than two days
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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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248 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (65)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ingleside, Illinois, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Kirkman's Kamp is located on the Sand River in the north of South Africa. It abuts the Kruger National Park. The staff,at Kirkman's, were exceptional. They greeted us when we arrived and explained every facet of their camp right down to the time we would be getting up in the morning.
They offer a morning and evening game drive, with an experienced guide and tracker. We were blessed with JP as our guide and Eckson as our tracker. Eckson had an uncanny ability to find animals. Because it is a private game preserve, it is well regulated to minimize the amount of tourists tracking an animal. As a result, we were able to get very close to the leopards, lions, Rhinos, etc. We were able to see and photograph all of the Big Five.
Towards the end of each game drive, JP would find a secluded spot and would set up a snack station. In the morning it was coffee and bisquits. The afternoon it was bisuits and gin and tonics. We were spoiled.
They was cooperation between the adjacent camps that allowed us to go onto their property on a one for one basis. This cooperation allowed for better game viewing for its guests. Safety was never an issue. It was a sad time when we had to leave. I would love to go back again. Kirkman's Kamp highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

It was a group holiday to celebrate a birthday and the entire experience was incredible.We had stayed at another andBeyond lodge about 10 years ago and it is wonderful to note that standards have continued to be exemplary. We've not received better service nor had a more relaxing holiday. Animal sightings were prolific and everyday continued to be awesome with regular Big 5 sightings. It was total relaxation for us as our every need was anticipated and taken care of. The price for the safari is all-inclusive and the food was delicious and generous, with free-flowing high quality alcohol. The service and attention felt very personal and hospitable. The best were the little touches and surprises that the staff planned for us which made us feel so special. The pool and spa made passing the non-game drive time even more restful and fun. Staying a week, we got an opportunity to be educated on the philosophy of andBeyond. Although we only scratched the surface, it made us appreciate that there is more to Africa than just magnificent animals. The next time we visit andBeyond (& we definitely will), our aim is to request for a visit to the local community and appreciate all that Africa is.

Room Tip: Rooms 1&2 are closest to the main homestead but the further the rooms are, the better the view d...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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Arlington, VA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

This is my 4th safari, but my first at an andBeyond property, but definitely not my last, as this was my favourite experience so far. We only stayed for 2 nights, but would love to have spent longer, but we were moving on for another 2 nights at a different andBeyond property in Sabi Sands. The quality of service and accommodation were wonderful. I was a bit tentative booking at Kirkman's because the pictures showed it to be quite rustic and didn't seem to be what I expected from a safari lodge, however, the place is stunning. It is like visiting someone's lovely home.

We were assigned rooms 13 and 14, at the end of the camp and they have fantastic views of the Sand river. The rooms are not ultra luxurious but they are nicely decorated and comfortable. The service that we received and the overall ambience were excellent. I loved the "pub" in an evening and enjoyed how social it was mingling with other guests and reviewing the day's drives. The scoreboards for animal sightings made for a great competition with other vehicles whilst enjoying a drink and re-living the day.

We had JP (ranger/guide) and Ekson (tracker) and Friday (butler) and can't say enough good things about all of them. An amazing 2 days.

Room Tip: We loved the views of the river from rooms 13 & 14.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Kirkmans could not have looked after us better! The style of the lodge is 1920's homestead..which has tons of character and a story to go with it! The rooms were really spacious with an amazing comfortable bed which was difficult to leave at 5am to get up for morning safaris! We could see elephants from our bedroom balcony! The food at kirkmans is all real wholesome, organic , home cooked style i asked them for the recipe for so many things.. The homemade granola at breakfast was amazing!! For the 4 days we were there it was like we all became one big family.. The staff and guests! Each lodge is assigned a butler and ours being Cynthia helped make our trip unforgettable!! Sabi sands was a far superior safari experience to Kruger as its a private game reserved which allows off road sightings! This obviously aids for a much better experience... Our ranger Brett and tracker xon provided us with some insane sightings.. And both were relentless in ensuring what we were getting was the absolute best! Every day the team at kirkmans provides a unique surprise which I won't reveal here as don't want to ruin it for anyone! The biggest surprise of all being my proposal which everyone was in on!!! So for that reason and everything and everyone else I encountered at Kirkmans this place will always hold a special place in heart! I cried when it was home time and we will definitely be back for our 5 year anniversary all being well!! Thanks guys for the best time and so sorry it's taken me so long to review!! :)

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Before starting my search on TA for accommodation I checked with some of our South African friends to get their recommendations. Although several different lodges were mentioned, nearly all of them were part of “& Beyond”. A little more research and I soon realized that the philosophies espoused by & Beyond were ones that we wanted to support (caring for the local community by building schools and numerous other donations, as well as various environmental conservation efforts on the game reserves and within the resort).

Our eventual choice of Kirkman’s Kamp and Exeter River Lodge (differences between the two discussed below) was based in large part on proximity to the airport (and each other)—but after a great experience all around at these two properties we would happily stay at any of the & Beyond lodges. Once you’ve stayed there you can appreciate the name for this collection of resorts—they truly go above and beyond ☺ with little unexpected touches during your stay. For example, one morning we let our kids sleep through the morning game drive. On our way back to the lodge we unexpectedly stopped for breakfast in the bush. Unbeknownst to us, the staff arranged to have our children brought to the breakfast spot before we arrived. It was clear from our children’s stories that the staff were genuinely excited about this surprise treat (and it was lovely that the kids didn’t have to miss out on our breakfast outing just because they slept through the game drive). Another night we came back to a bath filled with rose petals and a chilled bottle of bubbly. You get the idea. Which leads me to another thing that really impressed me at both resorts. It’s an all-inclusive resort in which they are not trying to cut corners. It seemed we were being fed every time we turned around, and for those who drink, alcohol is always available (in your room, at coffee/tea breaks during the game drives, etc).

In the end I’ve written one review for Exeter River Lodge and Kirkman’s Kamp because they were both excellent, offering the same level of service. Below I provide the differences between the two from our experience, as well as the benefit for us in switching lodges half way through our stay.

Kirkman’s Kamp: more family friendly, but no pool; rooms weren’t as large and decadent as Exeter, but it’s also not as expensive—but the rooms are not what makes Kirkman’s special, and we actually spent minimal time in our room; general atmosphere at Kirkman’s was more fun (based on our experience while there). For example, there’s a game drive board in which people tally their animal sightings from the days drives. More points are allocated for animal sightings that are rare. So after the evening game drive guests gather around the game board and regale each other with tales from their drives.

Exeter: private cabins, as opposed to rooms, so you have a lot of space—the accommodation at Exeter is definitely fancier and the food was a little better—but you’re also paying more for your stay at Exeter; there is a pool near the main lodge, but every cabin also has its own plunge pool (the plunge pool is very cold though so we didn’t do anything more than dip our feet into it); the most significant difference in my mind is the wildlife viewing when you’re in the resort. Exeter is situated next to a river and thus there are more animals within viewing distance of your room and the main lodge.

In the end, I’m really glad we stayed at two different lodges as we were able to experience the best of both worlds. The resorts are only an hour apart from each other (and the transfer between lodges is through the reserve, so it provides an opportunity for more wildlife viewing). Despite the short distance between the lodges, the animals (or concentration of animals) you’ll see will differ. Because going on safari required a huge amount of travel for us, splitting our time between the two resorts meant we could maximize our animal viewing. If we lived closer, I’d probably opt to stay at one resort (presuming we could go on safari more frequently), so this recommendation isn’t intended to apply to everyone.

In sum, we loved our stay at Kirkman’s Kamp and Exexter River Lodge. The staff were warm and genuinely cared about making our stay memorable. Sabi Sands (the private game reserve where Kirkman’s and Exeter are located) have rules in place for the welfare of the animals, so we felt good about our impact on the environment.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Sarnia, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We stayed at Kirkman's on April 3 and 4 with our 2 kids ages 13 and 10. We travel extensively at andBeyond properties because of the quality of service and accommodation and have never been disappointed. I was a bit tentative booking at Kirkman's because the pictures showed it to be quite rustic and didn't seem to be on par with other andBeyond properties, but I booked after reading the positive reviews on Trip Advisor. I wasn't disappointed. We were assigned rooms 13 and 14, at the end of the camp. A little daunting to walk to at night but well worth it as they have fantastic views of the Sand river. Outside #14 are balancing rocks where a leopard gave birth to her cubs and in the front of the room was a burrow used by the local warthog. The rooms are not ultra luxurious but they are unpretentious and comfortable.
What makes this property special is the overall ambience and level of service we received. Tessa and Eugene went out of their way to accommodate us, constantly checking to see if we needed anything and planning special outings for the kids such as shooting with the ranger, baking and movie nights. The kids especially liked the marshmallow roasting station at the boma dinner and the treat boxes they received for the safari. The rangers were knowledgeable and very friendly - thanks to Brett and Elliot.
We previously spent 3 nights at Lion Sands but felt that Kirkman's provided a better overall safari experience and will definitely go back again.

Room Tip: Choose rooms 13 and 14 for the view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 #11 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp 5*
Number of rooms: 18
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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