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“Couldn't have been more perfect!” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
San Francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Couldn't have been more perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

We stayed at Kirkman's Kamp for our one year anniversary and it is an AMAZING place. It is part of a larger group of lodges, owned by &Beyond, and we heard from many of the other guests that they have loved all of the places run by this company.
We arrived on Sunday, after a vvvveeeerrrryyyy long drive from Joburg, and were greeted with a delicious glass of lemonade and a quick tour of the main lodge area. Everyone knew our names and knew that it was our anniversary. It was extremely welcoming.
The schedule of the day is as such: wake-up knock on the door at 5:30am, grab a coffee/tea at main lodge at 6, head out on morning drive, stop 2/3 of way thru for coffee/tea/hot coco (sometimes spiked with kahlua type liquor), get back for breakfast at 9:30, hang out by the pool or get a massage, have lunch at 1, take a nap, go on afternooon drive at 3:30, stop 2/3 of the way thru for a drink/snack in the bush, get back around 7, go to bar for drinks/apps, dinner in the outdoor pavilion, bed. Can you get any better than that?!?!
The game viewing is incredible also. We saw the "big 5" in our first 2 drives. We were even 10 feet away from lion's mating on our first drive! Awesome. Our guide, Mark, and tracker, Jerom, were so knowledgeable about the area and we learned so much on every drive. We originally were planning on staying in Kruger, but I'm so glad that it didn't work out and we stayed in Sabi Sand instead. We were able to off-road and drive anywhere, which I don't think you can do in Kruger...you have to stay on the roads. We talked to a couple while we were in Cape Town who stayed in Kruger and they barely saw any animals. And the ones that they did were from far away. That was definitely not the case at Kirkman's...we were so close to the animals.
Kirkman's is more expensive than some of the options, but it is so worth it. The level of service is incredible (every room has their own butler...ours was wonderful!) and everything is included. Food, all drinks, they even did laundry for us.
Hope you have an amazing time!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 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
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English first
Glen Allen, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2009

My boyfriend and I had the pleasure of spending a couple of nights at Kirkman's Kamp and loved every minute. From the moment we arrived we felt relaxed, comfortable, and spoiled. The camp staff gave us a warm welcome and made it seem like they had been awaiting our arrival. We were met with a cold drink and given a tour. Just enough time to grab our cameras and head out for our first game drive. Excellent! Markus and Kholin, our ranger and tracker, were so much fun. They were incredibly knowledgeable and only cared about making the guests in their vehicles happy. Anything that was requested they delivered. Our first stop was to view three lions basking in the sun and it just kept getting better. We ended our evening with a leopard and cub in a tree while three lions were beneath enjoying the kill they had just stolen from leopards. Could not have imagined that many cats in one place. This set our expectations high for the remainder of our game drives and we were never disappointed.

The staff at Kirkman's Kamp are fabulous. They were always one step ahead of us never giving us the opportunity to ask for anything! Drinks, snacks, meals, etc., were delicious and plentiful. I really loved the fact that everything revolved around the game drives. Never any set times for meals, just always ready when the guests wanted. Agnes, our butler, was so friendly and spoiled us throughout our stay.

The rooms are spotless and had great views the bush, dry river, and grounds. The decor, simple and pleasant, giving the camp a real rustic feel. Relaxing in the common area was wonderful during the afternoons, especially when the warthogs were visiting.

We missed this place from the moment we left and can not wait to return. It truly feels like a "home away from home" because of wonderful staff!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Singapore
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

The magic begins even before we stepped off the plane. I cannot say enough good things about Anika, our travel consultant, who gave us lots of fantastic advice about travel options to and from Kirkman's and also about safaris in other parts of Africa. She assured us that Kirkman's was one of the best places in Africa to spot leopards, and she was totally spot on! I also found the pre-departure information pack that &Beyond provides for its guests a very useful guide to what we can expect to see on the safari and generally in South Africa. Well done indeed!
If the pre-departure service was just the appetiser, then the entree must surely be the moment we stepped onto Kirkman's soil itself. Sam, our butler, was ever attentive to our needs - we've never stayed at a place with butler service before, so this was quite a thrill! But service was never obsequious, just available whenever we needed it. There was one night when one of our memory sticks had gotten stuck in our portable hard disk. The only way the memory stick was going to come out was by unscrewing the hard disk cover using a screwdriver with a pretty small head. We had almost despaired of getting it out when magically, Sam appeared with just the perfect one after he realised that it wasn't the screwdriver cocktail that we wanted. I think my wife was about ready to kiss his feet.
If there is one fault at Kirkman's, it's that the meals were way too plentiful. The food was absolutely delicious and fresh (I tasted springbok for the very first time at Kirkman's!) but we were just about to raise the white flag after the first day there. I had never seen so much food put on my table before. It's an absolute sin to leave the freshly baked bread untouched, but with our stomachs stretched to the max, I can only hope that the leftovers didn't go to waste.
And what can we say about our game drives with our "star" ranger Elliot? On our very first game drive, we saw the Big 5, thanks to fantastic spotting by Richard (who accompanied us for the first day, Collin replaced him for Days 2 and 3). My wife was absolutely over the moon when we stopped in front of this young male leopard on tree, who was the perfect animal subject because he just kept looking at us. I bet the Buckingham Palace guards would have difficulty keeping as still as he did. We also saw a male elephant topple a tree to get at the roots, the white rhino grazing under a sycamore tree and so much more. And when Elliot tells us that we often go "off road", you bet he does! I've never seen anyone use the land rover to mow down trees like grass - just to get closer to the animal, and I'll certainly never forget the bone rattling drive speeding up and down steep inclines just to get at our second leopard sighting. It's better than anything on offer at any of the major theme parks!
On our final night, the lodge provided the icing on the cake by arranging a private dinner on the verandah of our room. We were celebrating a special occasion, but we were certainly not expecting anything remotely like what we enjoyed that night. Listening to the sound of the bush, seeing the stars twinkling overhead, sitting in the warm glow of oil lamps with hot water bottles snugly on our laps and enjoying a 3 star Michelin dinner must surely count as one of the most sublime experiences in the world.
So it is with lots of sadness that we left Kirkman's but the memories remain with us and we now share the joy of that beautiful, beautiful place that feels like our second home.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2009

Kirkmans Kamp is a very pretty lodge, with the main homestead being beautifully decorated in a colonial style. The rooms were a nice size with air conditioning and comfortable beds, but, as the rooms are mostly next to each other in a line, you regularly get people walking right past your window, so it isn't all that private, as another review has mentioned.
We had a very good ranger and tracker - they were really friendly, knowledgeable and keen to share their experiences and we really enjoyed our game drives and seeing the many animals that were around the camp.
The food overall was excellent - especially the dinners and in particular the vegetarian food was fantastic and the chef had clearly gone to great lengths to make a special meal not just a quick substitute for meat, as is so often the case.. The desserts, which were several mini desserts served on a cake stand, were also really excellent! The only negative thing we could say about the food was about the buffet lunches as much of the food was covered in flies, despite the staff trying to avoid it, which was a little offputting.
As is the practice in many game reserves, we were allocated a butler on arrival - which
is good when they are around, but when they aren't, all the other staff tend to ignore you are you aren't "one of theirs" - sometimes we were left waiting to get a drink, for example, and having stayed in many game reserves, we didn't feel that the service provided by our butler was up to the same standard that we have experienced elsewhere.
The day we were due to check out, we went on the morning game drive, and after breakfast, came back to find our beds had been changed for the next guests, and the dressing gowns and bath mats taken away - not particularly helpful as you usually shower after breakfast. Then when our ranger asked us what time we wanted our bags collecting, and we said 11am, he said "how about ten to 11 and then at least you're out for 11". This comment, along with the room being cleaned at between 6 and 9am, before the checkout time, left us with the feeling that they wanted to get rid of us and was unfortunately left us with the feeling that if we were going to spend a few days in a game reserve, we probably wouldn't go back there. Overall, we had a nice time, but we feel there are better places.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2009

Stayed 3 nights at Kirkmans - unbelievalble! Despite part of the reservation being unaccessable due to the high river we saw all the big-5 and much more. Elliot, our ranger, was outstanding and the whole team, led by Coleen, pampered us for the whole stay. Not cheap, but the best things in life never are. Will return some day

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2008

We just returned from a 2-week trip to South Africa and Mozambique. We spent 3 days at the Kirkman's Kamp game lodge, and WOW!

We were greeted by the manager, Coleen, and she was spot on. She showed us around, & gave us the run-down. We were given all the important information without spending too much time.

We were introduced to our butler, Friday, and he couldn't have been friendlier. He always greeted us with a smile and great service. I've heard that at other lodges the staff falls all over you, and it's a little uncomfortable. Not at Kirkman's!

Our room was spacious, comfortable, and lovely. I loved the Colonial Dutch decor. It really looked like Martha Stewart had been there and found the perfect place for every little thing. They have interesting antiques around that make you feel like you really are staying at someone's home.

The food is to die for. Everything is fresh and very interesting. You could never go hungry there. Food and drink is very plentiful.

The safaris were amazing. We saw a leopard on all 4 of our safaris! We saw all the big five, and our guide and tracker were awesome. (We had Elliott, and he knows his stuff.)

I would recommend getting a massage while there. Salome does it right. She's so friendly, cheerful, and she gives amazing massages.

Overall, I would recommend this place for anyone looking to go on safari in South Africa!

  • Liked — The comfort and service.
  • Disliked — We had to dodge elephants on occasion!
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
detroit,michigan
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2008

I was looking forward to a lodge with an older colonial atmosphere and Kirkmans delivered. The setting is lovely and the main lodge beautifully decorated with a very elegant atmosphere. The rooms very nicely appointed and comfortable. All drinks served in crystal glasses. At first, it seemed strange to be in a lodge with such refinement after coming from Mapula in the Delta, but after a couple of days the atmosphere grew on me. Came back from an afternoon game drive to find crystal glasses with a predinner drink ready for us in our room.
The guide and tracker, Ralph and Rich, were wonderful and highly skilled. They did everything they could to bring us to the animals and delivered great game drives including the Big Five on one game drive.
The food was outstanding, with the quality and caliber of a high class restaurant. Our butler was there for anything we wanted when we wanted it. I would have preferred to have had the option to sit with other travelers for dinner, but we were confined to our game drive "group" for our dinners. Nice folks, but would have liked the option to sit with others if we chose.
All in all, a class act all the way around - guide, tracker, food, accomodation, atmosphere.

  • Liked — Game drives and food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 40 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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