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“Unbelievable Accomodations and the Big Five” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kapama Buffalo Camp

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Kapama Buffalo Camp
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R40, Kapama Private Game Reserve, | Kruger Park, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa   |  
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Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Unbelievable Accomodations and the Big Five”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

Don't be fooled by the name "camp." Think 'Out of Africa" and that was more like our accomodations and experience! The "tent" was on stilts, had hard wood floors, a claw foot tub, travertine glass shower and a king size bed. Every night while we were at dinner housekeeping would come in and turn down the bed and put a hot water bottle under the duvet so it was nice and warm when you got in. We had a game drive every morning and afternoon. We saw the Big Five and so much more - it was incredible. It was just our group in the vehicle, so we could go at our own pace - i.e. take 100's of photos of lions, giraffes, etc. without having to hurry. The food was included and was also 5 star. This is a fantastic place, but the people here are exceptional! They make everything possible. Try to stay 4 days so that you can get the feel of the place and see all of the animals. We would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Take time to do the Elephant Back Safari - it was really great to ride on an elephant a view game. O...
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  • Stayed June 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (19)
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Kapama Buffalo Camp for 4 nights and wished we had stayed there much longer! The whole experience was so breathtakingly beautiful that I don't know where to begin my review.

For starters, Claire, the camp manager, made us feel so at home when we arrived, along with all other staff in the camp...it was truly like a small family. The camp has a very exclusive and luxurious feel, with about 20 guests at its maximum occupancy. So everyone knew everyone really quickly...either through an eventful game drive or having dinner with people from all over the world at the Boma.

Our room was in excellent condition. Before our trip, we saw the photos of the tents and didn't quite believe the interor would be anything like it. We were so wrong. The tent, while it did shake at night with strong wind, was absolutely sturdy. The amenities were of very good quality too. We were impressed that they even thought of little details like inserting hot tumblers in between the bed sheets to warm the bed so we can sleep better at night. Of course, the kind gesture of celebrating our honeymoon with a bottle of champagne captured our hearts too! The camp site is very peaceful...you could sit outside, have a cup of tea, read a book and occassionally look up to find some kudus right below your tent. A perfectly romantic place to be for honeymooners. Absolutely recommend this place for city dwellers who truly want to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Kapama fed us really, really well too. We have an early morning tea before we set off for morning drives, have breakfast when we return and 2 hours later, we have lunch (which has different menus everyday). We rest for 3 hours then have afternoon before our evening drive. Dinner would be ready by the time we return.

Game drives- the highlight of our stay, were amazing. I must especially commend Collen and Foster for their impeccable sense of direction, their expertise in tracking and their knowledge of the animals. They have really great chemistry as a team and Collen, with his humor, injected even more fun in the whole experience. With them, anyone can be assured they will do their very best to sight as many animals as possible and ensure that your safety is always their priority. Just on our very 1st game drive, we spotted 3 of the Big 5 and were lucky enough to trail behind two lionesses to watch them hunt! Big 5 sighting was relatively, and surprisingly easy. We were told Kapama is a private area, unlike the Kruger which is way larger, so chances of spotting something are higher. If you're hoping for the great migration kind of drama you'd typically watch on National Geographic, this may not be the place. But Kapama would be a great place for starter experience.

I only have 1 disappointment throughout my stay. I was pretty upset to find that Collen/ Foster were "replaced" halfway through our game drives and even more disappointed that we did not get a chance to bid them farewell and thank them for being such a wonderful guide. We asked several times why he was replaced but were not satisfied with the answer. Our next guide, Jeffrey didn't seem as experienced and seemed like he wasn't too good at tracking. We didn't appreciate his dry sense of humor either.

Anyhow, it was still a once in a lifetime experience for my husband and me. We certainly hope to be back one day and even hope to meet Collen to personally pass him the photo of the cheetah we spotted together on a tree.

You should also consider visiting the hoedspruit endangered conservation centre to gain an enriching experience about preserving our delicate wildlife.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed at the Buffalo Camp in the Kapama game reserve. We had an absolute wonderful time while we were there. The canvas “tents” we stayed in we amazing. The tents were very clean and had all the amenities of a luxury hotel room. My wife and I enjoyed the fact that there were no clocks or tv’s in the tents. It added to the staying in the bush feel. Each tent also has multi country electrical adaptors, so we did not even need to use our adaptor. Each tent is also located on the edge of the camp so we did see animals grazing below from out deck.

When we arrived we were greeted by Claire with a drink and warm welcome. She showed us around the camp and went over the guidelines/schedule each day we were there. The camp was beautiful, the lounge pool was nice and cold, which was great for the hot afternoon. The bar was fully stocked and had excellent South African beers.

The food was excellent throughout our stay at the camp. The chef prepared something different every night and something always had a South African kick.

The game drives were amazing! My wife and I were with our ranger Almero and tracker Benson. They both did an amazing job! We learned so much from them and made sure that we saw the big 5 during our stay and some. Almero and Benson were both very courteous and answered any questions that we had. They also made a point to move the truck to make sure everyone got good angles of the animals.

For those reading this review deciding on where to safari, I should warn you that Kapama is a game reserve, so the area is fenced off and animals do not roam freely throughout Kruger National Park. However, you do not feel like you are fenced in. My wife and I went to two different parts of Kruger National Park and could see the difference with the herds that are available to roam free. This in no way makes Kapama bad, we had an excellent time!

The only issue we had with the camp was the ability to get tap water during dinner, it seemed that they always brought over bottled water and not tap. Just make sure that you specifically ask for tap water. Also we had issues with our bill upon leaving. Make sure you keep tabs of how much you drink throughout your stay. We had extra charges on our bill. They were, however, quick to make the necessary changes for the over charges. My wife and I would highly recommend Buffalo Camp for a honeymoon/vacation.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Melbourne
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

I recently spent a month in Africa and visited 4 countries and had various game viewing experiences. My trip started at Vic Falls then Kapama Buffalo Camp in South Africa then continued onto Manyara National Park, Ngorogoro Crater, Serengeti, Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park.

This was the trip of a lifetime and I absolutely adored every part of it and I have certainly left a part of my heart in the wonderful continent of Africa and hope to return one say.

But I must say that the most wonderful part of this life changing adventure was my time at Kapama Buffalo Camp. Everything was superbly and professionally done, the staff were amazing and nothing was too much trouble and our comfort and needs were their number one priority. The food was fantastic and each day we had a different dining experience.

The camp itself is a most peaceful place to chill out as the ambience is relaxing and friendly with tasteful furnishing and wonderful surrounding bush land.

Naturally the highlight of my time at Kapama was the 6 hours of game driving per day. We'd be woken very early for a quick coffee and then head out in the chilly morning hours with cosy blankets and hot water bottles - once again our comfort was well catered for. We'd drive for 3 hours then return for breakfast then go out again in the late afternoon and return at dinner time.

Our Guide was Collin and our Tracker was Foster and I cannot speak highly enough of the expertise that these two special people had. Their ability to find all The Big Five in my three days with them was outstanding and the knowledge that Collin shared with us, both on the drives and during meal times was exceptional and he is a credit to the Kapama company.

I left this most wonderful camp with tears of joy in my eyes as there wasn't a day there that didn't thrill me. I cannot wait to return one day with my friends as this time I travelled alone.

Africa and Kapama will always have a place in my heart.

THANK YOU SO MUCH

  • Stayed July 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

We spent the first three days of our six days in Kruger here and loved it! It's the smallest of several lodges in Kapama, maximum twenty guests--we were there in their winter and there were five of us. Very nice cabins (covered with canvas to pretend they are tents) with verandahs looking into the reserve itself. Excellent service both in the hotel itself and on the game runs. Wonderful views of animals--you are driven in an open truck into the middle of herds of elephants or buffalo or next to lions and park and watch or move along at pointblank range (a little more distance from hippos or rhinos). Very good food, staff couldn't do enough for us. We were there in June, their winter; prices are lower, there is less brush to hide the animals, and no punishing heat in the day. The weather is like winter in Arizona where I grew up--short sleeves in the daytime, colder at night. Take some warm clothing--there are two game runs, the first starts before sunrise (6-9 am) and the second ends after sunset (4-7 pm), and it's cold on either end (they give you blankets and hot water bottles in the trucks but still...). The trucks are open so if rain is expected dress accordingly (we didn't see a hint of it while we were there). They break the runs for tea in the morning and drinks in the evening in the park which is a nice touch.

  • Stayed June 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.
Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Spent 3 nights here (wish it had been more!) at the beginning of August with my wife and had a brilliant time. Could not fault anything. The staff are so welcoming from the first minute to the last and the overall experience was way beyond expectation!

The game drives were great and we saw all the big 5 including 2 week old lion cubs and some leopard cubs. Our driver, Tuhan and tracker, Sidney were very friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely passionate about their work.

The accomodation is spacious and very comfortable and the balconies are great to just chill in the afternoon with a book. Rooms are air-conditioned and have free wi-fi for those who still need contact with the outside world!

This was the first part of our holiday to South Africa and was definitely the best part too! Thanks to all the staff, special thanks to Claire, Tuhan and Sidney for an amazing time. Hope to be back sometime soon.

  • Stayed August 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

Spent 5 nights here in July 2012 as part of our honeymoon. That is longer than most people stay (2-3 nights), but we wanted to see as many animals as possible and we weren't disappointed! Game drives were fantastic, and we saw all of the big 5 on a single drive. Saw leopard cubs, a lion eating a zebra, and countless other fantastic sightings. Our ranger, Tuhan, and tracker, Sidney, were friendly, funny, knowledgeable, and all around fantastic. They both could not have done a better job.

The camp itself was clean and comfortable -- don't be scared off by "tents" if you aren't one to rough it. The rooms are large with large showers and bathrooms, a comfortable bed, and temperature control. You will be completely comfortable. All of the staff was friendly and fantastic, and they keep you well fed throughout your stay.

If you like wildlife watching and taking afternoon naps (who doesn't?) this is the place. Get yourself a nice camera with good lens, and you will come back with countless pictures that could go right into National Geographic.

  • Stayed July 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.
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Additional Information about Kapama Buffalo Camp

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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Kapama Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reminiscent of a traditional African safari camp, Kapama Buffalo Camp offers a unique and intimate experience in the African bush. It is ideal for discovering big game Africa in true safari tented style without compromising on comfort.Ten luxury newly build canvas tents, each sleeping two, are set on wooden decks built on stilts over a steep-sided riverbank. Wooden walkways interconnect the rooms, which are all in the upper reaches of tall riverine trees. The river below rarely flows and antelopes are seen daily walking along the sandy riverbed. Each tented room has all the usual comforts of electricity, en-suite bathroom, safe, writing table, wardrobe, low impact climate control, mini-bar and tea/coffee facilities.The communal areas of Buffalo Camp are on the riverbank, where gardens of succulent aloes and euphorbia are tended around the thatched bar, dining room, pool terrace and campfire. But the thick African bush is just a glance away, inhabited by animals like lion, hyena and jackal whose calls can be heard in the dead of night. Lanterns, rather than electric lights, glow at night under the trees, creating a special intimate ambience particular to Buffalo Camp.With a maximum of 20 guests at Buffalo Camp, special attention is paid to personal service and the staff become like friends. Kapama Buffalo Camp is a truly authentic way to experience the African bush. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kapama Buffalo Camp Hotel Kapama Private Game Reserve
Kapama Buffalo Camp Kapama Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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