I have just spent a long weekend at Kagga Kamma private reserve, and I have to say, I am extremely disappointed. In a nut shell, the location with its dry vegetation and absolute quietness is superb and magical. But this is spoilt by the management and staff who lack enthusiasm, initiative and who deliver poor/no service to guests.
We stayed at the self catering / timeshare bungalows, and felt as if we were second class citizens as we were not paying top dollar to stay there. If you have your own vehicle, wish to walk some routes, and do not wish to pay R120 per person per excursion you are offered very little assistance or advise.
1) At check-in, the receptionist on duty was not very helpful. She could not give us any advice regarding any drives or walks, as she had not done any of them herself. She had only ever done one 4x4 drive, and showed us this route, but could not give us any further information. Surely this is one of the first things staff are trained about, or have to experience when working there? These are after all, the only activities available for guests to do. As an aside, some of our party were offered champagne on arrival, and others arriving later were not.
2) Later on during our first evening we asked the only other person we could find if there was anyone who could give us some advice as to where to walk or drive to see game. He turned out to be the manager, who gave us better information about the drives and some walks. When asked where the bushman paintings were, he refused to tell us saying: “…people damage them. You just have to walk around and find them yourself” What is the point of having a reserve with rock art, when the management refuses to tell their guests where the rock art is?
3) The next morning some of our party took a 2 hour hike through the bush. It was a magnificent walk, and we found some good rock paintings. We were horrified to come across a huge beautiful rock, where some people had scratched about 6 of their names in the rock, stating “We were here on 18/03/2009”, which was only a few days before. On coming back to reception we reported this offence immediately, showing the receptionist a picture of the damage to the rock which clearly showed all the names. She simply stated that they would have to “clean off” the rock. She did not seem bothered to follow up on these people, who were still possibly staying with them. We had to ask her if she wanted the names, and we had to suggest that she check her reservations calendar – which she did not do - so that they could apprehend these criminals. We then had to ask her to write down the names, as how was she going to remember them? Basically it seemed as if she had no intention of doing anything about this.
4) Some of our party decided to do the guided trip to see the rock art that day. We drove a long way to only one location with good paintings. The guide gave us interesting information, which was appreciated, but seemed to add in a lot of his own interpretation. He is not a particularly good people’s person, and it felt like we were doing him a favour by being there.
5) Apparently the same guide gave all the excursions. These included the rock art trip, the game drives as well as talks on astronomy, which he admitted that did not know much about.
6) That evening we went to the bar to have a drink before dinner. One person wanted to use the internet, and had heard that internet access was available. We asked the barman about it, and he said that he did not know, as he had only been working there for two weeks. He did not offer to ask anyone else, or find out about it. He also looked disinterested and miserable – not good for only working there for 2 weeks – and although it was not busy, he could not keep his eyes from watching the sport on TV.
So, after spending 3 nights there, and having interactions with only 4 people – all of which were disappointing, I felt that what should have / could have been an exceptional experience, was at best - "not a totally disasterous experience", only because of the peace and quiet and nature all around.
In my opinion there are far better places to experience true nature, isolation and rock art, where staff would complement, rather than spoil the experience. Unfortunate, but give this one a miss.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kagga Kamma is an absolute treat for travellers seeking a unique and inspiring experience. On your visit you will see a part of Africa that is unlike any other. The Cederberg Mountain’s otherworldly rock formations, a crisp sky stretching endlessly overhead and beautiful rock art from an ancient culture, is the backdrop to a wonderful adventure. Kagga Kamma’s accommodation options are as unique as the landscape it is set in. The Bushman Lodge offers spacious en-suite thatched rondavels/huts. The famous 'cave suites' built against the sandstone rock formations will take you back to a prehistoric time without taking away any modern-day luxuries. Kagga Kamma also offers a one of a kind Outcrop open-air “room” where guests can sleep under the stars in sheer luxury - definitely a not-to-be-missed experience.Speaking of the stars...Take a tour into the milky way when you visit our mini-observatory. It promises to be an inspirational experience when you view the Karoo night skies through our 10-inch telescope. While the sun is out you can opt for a journey back in time with our popular rock art tours. Our expert ranger will interpret the 6000 year old Bushmen paintings and living sites scattered all across the nature reserve.Other activities to be enjoyed at Kagga Kamma include relaxing nature drives with our knowledgeable guides, hiking trails, quad bike safaris, mountain bike trails, a 4x4 route and our Kagga Kamma Relax Spa. Even eating out at Kagga Kamma will be a matchless experience when you visit the restaurant for breakfast and lunch, and an outdoor lapa surrounded by beautiful rock formations for dinner under the starlit night skies in summer time. There is also a pub and lounge area with Wi-Fi internet, as well as satellite television for watching sports events. GPS co-ordinates:Latitude: S 32 44 45Longitude: E 19 33 46 ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve Hotel Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve