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“Best Hotel in Kruger!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kapama Karula

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Kapama Karula
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5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   R40, Kapama Private Game Reserve | Kruger Park, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
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Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Best Hotel in Kruger!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

What an amazing experience! This boutique hotel is truly quite an experience. Everything was fabulous from the staff, our ranger and tracker Moses and Sully and the hotel decor. I would definitely recommend this hotel if you are looking for beautiful, upscale and hospitable hotel in South Africa!

Room Tip: Request Moses as your ranger!
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  • Stayed August 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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224 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We are just back from our first (but certainly not the last) stay at Kapama Karula and I felt I had no choice, but to post my first ever review of a lodge/resort/hotel (despite having been in quite a number in various countries over the years). Our stay of 3 nights in the Karula lodge was simply unforgetable. We flew up from Cape Town to Hoedspruit (2.5 hours) and from the moment that we were collected at Hoedspruit airport it was clear that service at Kapama Karula is on a different level. Nothing was too much trouble and the words "no problem" was pretty much our ranger, Declan's, response to any and every request.
Every member of staff went out of their way to make the experience as enjoyable as possible and although we never felt crowded there was certainly a strong personal touch in the service, most notably from Declan who would take time every evening during dinner to pop around to the tables of the guests under his charge, sharing some interesting and enjoyable stories and determining whether there is anything specific that you would like to look for on the following day's drives. With a shoot for the stars attitude we said; leopard and cheetah.
What did we see on our 6 drives over the 3 days? - 11 lions, 1 cheetah, 1 leopard, 10 rhino and too many elephants and buffalo to count. Here I have to mention Sollie, our tracker. This man ("madoda", if I got it right) was a miracle worker and there is no doubt in my mind that we would not have seen half as much as we did was it not for the team work of Sollie and Declan in tracking (especially the cats) and often anticipating animal movement.
The meals and the lodge itself were certainly also an experience and on our flight back to Cape Town the only topic of discussion was when we could fit a return trip into our diaries and would they allow you to request a specifc ranger and tracker?

Room Tip: The superior suites are worth the money.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

What an amazing experience. From the staff, to the food to the suites, everything in Karula was over the top. We stayed for 3 nights and our only complaint was we wished we had booked longer. Don our game driver and Tully our tracker made our drives memorable (even when it rained) while the chef Adrian and our server Solomon were incredibly attentive and made sure we had a great experience. And don't forget about the suites, outdoor/indoor shower, tub over looking the river, our own pvt deck and beautiful room, we will be coming back!

Room Tip: The suites here are amazing and be sure to come hungry, soo much food!
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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Munich, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We are quite critial as travelers, for the first time though, we have absolutely no hesitation to consistently give top marks throughout a survey (with the exception of the reservation service, where we experienced a minor hick-up during the process). This is, because our four nights at Kapama Karula were quite simply the best hospitality experience we have ever had the fortune to make. While the facilities are excellent and the location stunning, it really is the staff that makes the place so special. We have never before experienced such an overwhelming friendliness and helpfulness across the board - from management to waiters, from housekeeping to our ranger and tracker. Quite simply amazing. A special note of thanks to the assistant manager, our ranger and tracker who have made every effort imaginable to make our stay such a unique experience and who have continuously gone out of their way to accomodate our needs or wishes. It is thanks to both our game ranger and tracker that we have not only had an amazing time in the bush with spectacular wildlife sightings but have also taken home a lot of insights about flora and fauna as well as some local history. Most imporantly though, our game ranger's enthusiasm has instilled in us an interest in understanding better what goes on in nature around us.
It is hard to sum up our experiences or describe the essence of our stay at Karula, but we are extremely happy that we have made this trip and will cherish the memories for a long, long time to come.

  • Stayed December 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paget Parish, Bermuda
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed at Kapama Karula for 3 nights as part of our honeymoon. We booked the luxury suite which includes an amazing private pool on a very large deck. The room was amazing with every luxury you could think of! We had a outdoor and indoor shower, comfortable king bed, fireplace and the decor is very boutique modern African style. I enjoyed my daily baths with the sliding doors open while looking at the African landscape. The staff were EXCELLENT including the Assistant Manager Andreas and our ranger Omega. We saw so many animals and the vehicles are very comfortable. During the evening drives I enjoyed the break for sundowner drinks which was at a different location every evening. The food could use a little work however Christmas dinner was so delicious. We had a special welcome treat of champagne in our room and also a private romantic dinner in the library. We LOVED our stay at Karula and I was so sad to leave. The property is pure luxury and worth every penny! We will be back!

Room Tip: Fly into East Gate Airport and the property will arrange to pick you up complimentary.
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  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham Road, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We spent three glorious nights – the accommodation was superb, the rooms are spacious and set just the right distance from each other to offer a scene of privacy. The only thing better than the rooms is the quality of rangers and trackers – nothing was too much trouble and they went far beyond the call of duty to accommodate our requests. Try the SPA it is world class and is the perfect way to while the day away between game drives. The only disappointment was the quality of the food, it really did not live up to our expectations – this was our second visit and will certainly not be our last.

  • 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
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Guildford, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We spent 3 nights at Kapama Karula two in a tent and one in room. The complex is very easy to get to if you are in a hire car. The welcome was very friendly and our tent was luxurious with a bath as well as an outside shower, which was great. The tent was set away from the main rooms and had a nice balcony from which one could view the local waterbuck and a mongoose family. Although not camping in the boy scout sense of the word it did make you feel nearer to the animals. In contrast the room was really large and luxurious with a huge balcony overlooking the river. All the staff were extremely friendly and did their best to make you feel welcome. The lounge and dining areas were like those in a top notch hotel and the food was very good and included some unusual dishes like crocodile carpaccio. There were other excellent facilities like and decent sized pool but as we had lots of exciting game drives we really needed an extra day or two to make use of these. The only problem was that because we stayed out late on several of the evening drives we had very little time to have a drink in the bar before dinner and to compare our day's experiences with other guests.
The game drives were the highlight of our stay, our ranger Ryan and tracker Vusi were both among the best we've had. Their respect for the animals and their ability to spot them was exceptional, especially after dark. Ryan really encouraged us to take an interest not just in the big five but also in smaller animals, reptiles and insects. One of the most memorable moments being to see a column of Matabele ants off on a foraging expedition, but best of all was the rare sighting of a pangolin, we really were lucky.
Even when animals were being elusive it was a pleasure to see how the ranger/tracker team set about trying to find game, and even though on one drive we were not having much success just the fact that stopped for our coffee along with some impala, warthogs and zebra surrounding us was a pleasure and gave us the chance to observe them close to.

Overall the experience was fantastic and we had an unforgetable experience.

Di and Pete

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kapama Karula

Address: R40, Kapama Private Game Reserve | Kruger Park, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Kapama Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapama Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kapama Karula 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kapama KarulaSet on the banks of the perennial Klaserie River is one of Kapama’s most secluded and prestigious safari camps named Karula. Karula means "place of peace" in the native tongue, and soon after your arrival you will know exactly why this name is just so perfect for this magnificent luxury safari camp. Peace is but one of the many emotions that will encompass your soul as you look at the serene waterway meandering gently past your doorstep and the age old saying "water is life" will begin to have a whole new meaning for you.Karula Lounge and BarThe open plan lounge and bar area, with floor to ceiling glass doors illustrates the perfect balance with elegant light colors. This modern building with its whitewashed wooden structure, skylights and open air bar, creates a cozy feel to the lounge and makes it a day time favorite to enjoy a drink or just sit back and enjoy the sights Karula has to offer. The contemporary yet African feel to the camp will satisfy and exceed the expectations of even the most discerning connoisseurs. The outside wooden deck overlooking the Klaserie river gives you the opportunity to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and magnificent vistas the camp has to offer.Karula Library & Media RoomA brilliant new addition and multi-purpose room that was built after the floods in January 2012. The library and media room boasts some of the best audio visual equipment but doubles as a library where you can read a good book in a breathtaking environment, or just take in nature’s views through the massive sliding windows. Keep in touch with family and loved ones at one of the two dedicated guest internet stations with WiFi on tap and free of charge. A private, romantic fireplace dinner can also be arranged with the camp personnel, and in a modern romantic setting like this, the answer can only be "Yes". ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kapama Karula Hotel Kapama Private Game Reserve
Kapama Karula Kapama Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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