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“Excellent visit, well done all!!!”

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andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent visit, well done all!!!”
Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

Being local, I have had the pleasure of traveling to Kirkmans over a length of time spanning 10 years. Having said this, each and every visit has left me gob smacked - with my last visit being non the different. The entire staff seemed aligned, Brendan (lodge manager) was engaging, friendly and helpful. This attribute seemed to cascade throughout the camp with all staff ( security guard to manager) being guest centric. The food was brilliant and the accommodation clean, neat with all amenities in working condition.

What makes Kirkmans stand head and shoulders above other competitors is the frequency of viewing leopard. My recent trip involved me viewing leopard on every drive. If you wish to view relaxed (accustomed to the vehicle) leopards in the wild - Kirkmans is your lodge. We'll done to Brett Devin (ranger), Kollen ( tracker), Agnes (servant) and Brendan for making my stay brilliant!!!!

Thanks and regards,
Griffin Short

Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Thegrifster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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501 reviews from our community

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English first
Redmond, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 16, 2014

My husband, adult daughter and I arrived at Kirkman's for our first every safari. What a treat to be greeted with cold homemade lemonade, and warm hello's from staff. Our service was exceptional though out the stay. Cynthia saw to our every need.

Our game rides were fantastic, great animal sightings and lots of fun with our ranger JP and guide Richard. They were experts at finding the animals and very knowledgeable. JP is a great story teller and always added excitement.

We really enjoyed the environment at Kirkman's. Getting to know the others in our group was a plus and comparing notes in the bar and at meals was nice too.

We had an outstanding 3 days.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Marilyn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 382 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2014

5 stars because I have had 2 outstanding stays here already, however my most recent stay was rather dismaying...

Firstly allow me to get all the positives out of the way! The game viewing was cooking while we were there and fortunately we managed to get to see pretty much all the action, including a leopard making a kill and dragging the kill to her very young cub... this was truly once in a lifetime!!! The accommodation was standard Kirkman's and was clean, well tended and comfortable.

We have travelled to andBeyond Exeter River Lodge (twice), @Beyond Dulini (when it was still @Beyond), Kirkman's Kamp (3 times), Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge (twice), Sabi Sabi Little Bush, Lion Sands and Chitwa Chitwa. Whilst all the lodges have been outstanding, we had thought that we had finally found an annual retreat with Kirkman's Kamp and Exeter River Lodge... but after our 7 days with @Beyond are feeling a little neglected and in two minds about returning.

So what happened? I will write a separate review for Exeter River Lodge and will now focus on the things that disappointed us over our 4 nights at Kirkman's.

As we really enjoyed the experience with our last guide and taking into account this being our 3rd visit we phoned ahead of time to find out if we could have the same guide again... denied even though he was there the entire time and his guests arrived the same day as us... he even had the one guest alone for a while until that guest was rejoined by others. Ok this is not a big deal... we can live with it and were introduced to our guide. Because this is in the public domain I shall refrain from using any names.

Our guide was generally last to arrive, did not track the animals like the other guides but rather responded to sightings. He did not appeared to be very interested in actively seeking out the animals but appeared comfortable responding. A very different experience to our guides in ALL the other lodges. Strangely enough there were two guides who pretty much found EVERYTHING and one of them was our previous (requested) guide. Not a problem really because we managed to see the animals they found with the exception of one... and it was a biggie for us! Our guide also managed to get us embroiled in the red tape of responding to a sighting... basically because we never found anything ourselves... we had to wait! Now for someone like me who had just spent $20 000 on a camera, I was also requiring some good light and unfortunately we always seemed to get to the evening sightings in poor light because of the red tape in how long the guide who found the animal can stay with the animal... Did not enjoy!

As we knew our previous guide from the year before we were friendly and there was some good natured banter between us (I thought)... For example when we responded to one of his sightings and he had left we told him that the leopard had gone and hunted the Impala nearby (which was not true and he knew it and we told him as much). One morning our guide decided to take us all the way to Lion Sands after heavy rain and as a result we were not allowed to go off road. While we were there the big male leopard we were desperately wanting to see had been found by our previous guide not far from Kirkman's Kamp. We raced there only to be told that the leopard had swum across the river. What I did not appreciate it that our previous guide then told us how amazing the sighting was, how they followed the leopard scent marking in the road, how they followed him through the bush and how he lay down on the rocks in the sun for a long time posing for photos. When he saw the shocked look on my face he said he was kidding and that the leopard was only with them for a few minutes before getting lost in the reeds and crossing the river. I believed him and thought the good natured banter was continuing. Unfortunately a day later a guest on his vehicle showed us the photos... scent marking in the road, walking in the bush and laying on the rocks right next to the vehicle... an epic sighting with the most beautiful photos... the whole affair left a bad taste in my mouth.

The food was below the usual standard with burn't cakes everyday. The creme brule was runny and in general the standard was lower than our last visit.

In general we felt the standard has gone down and we will not be back to Kirkman's.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank mlondozi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SamanthaOnSafari, Manager at andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Hello Mlondozi,

Your review is most appreciated; thank you so much for taking the time to post and share your recent experience at andBeyond Kirkman’s Kamp. While we are happy that there were aspects of your stay you enjoyed, it is most disappointing to hear that not all lived up to your expectations. Your valued comments are most appreciated and enable us to ensure we get it right for our future guests. As I mentioned in my direct correspondence to you, please be assured that your concerns have been attended to with our team. I do hope that you will return as we would love to welcome you back and spoil you in the andBeyond style that you have become accustomed too.

Kind regards
Kevin
Regional Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Le Bar-sur-Loup, France
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Visited mid December and stayed for three nights at Kirkman's Camp. Our room was great, plenty of room and a comfortable bed. The service and food and were excellent, the location of the camp is wonderful and there is a great feeling of space at the lodge, Our tracker and ranger were very good and with their extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna and their combined abilities to find game made it a special trip for us.
Made use of the pool while there and also thought the shop at the lodge was well stocked with some useful items, bought a nice hat !!
My only criticism is the lodge is getting a little tired and in need of some TLC.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Louis R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014

I spent the 3 best days of my life at Kirkman's Kamp! I can't even begin to explain what an awesome and unforgettable trip to South Africa I had, and the safari was the highlight. Our ranger and tracker went out of their way to make sure we saw the big 5 and many other animals. Our group wanted to see elephants, so Brett (our ranger) went on a wild chase to find a herd of elephants! Seeing these majestic animals up close was amazing. The staff at the lodge went above and beyond in making sure every need was meet and more. Food was great and there were some fun surprises, like having breakfast in the bush. I loved every moment of my safari and I would do it again and again! I hope to come back to South Africa soon :)

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Melanie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
55 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2014

My wife and I stayed here over December break 2013. As soon as we arrived we were greeted and shown around the grounds of the lodge. The grounds are beautiful. Our room was clean and spacious. Friday, the butler who took care of us was amazing and really made sure we enjoyed our experience during the time we spent there. For our dining experience, he was fantastic and made sure my wife's picky requests were met. Our ranger Ralph, was good and listened to our request (we had stayed at a different lodge before coming here and wanted to see leopards) and we did see a leopard the last hour on the safari before check out. What we were disappointed with was when we arrived at the lodge, one of the woman who greeted us was quick to say she was surprised we were arriving so early. When we said we don't understand, you were the ones that arranged the transfer she was quick to come back at us and say we were expecting you. Then, during lunch, the same woman came up to us and asked us why were were checking out at 8:00AM. When we said we weren't, she was quick to say yes you are and your transfer is arriving at 8:00AM. When we said no that was not what we arranged with your lodge, she acted like we were lying and we were wrong. Fortunately, we had proof from the transfer that said we would be leaving at 10:00AM, after we went on our morning safari. I know my wife was quite confused as to why they were so defensive when they were the ones that arranged all of the transfers for us and didn't know what we would do if we didn't have proof. Also, when we got back from our morning safari run, the same woman had said she was in our room to freshen up. My wife went back to shower and I followed. My wife was in total shock when the door to our room was wide open. Fortunately, our passports and valuables were locked up, but we were extremely upset to see the door was open and no one was in the room. While eating breakfast we said something to the woman and again, she seemed extremely confused, even after she had admitted to being in our room. If I was to go back, there are plenty of lodges in the area that are a similar value. I would most likely stay somewhere else due to the rudeness of some of the staff members, which is a shame because there are definitely a lot of positives in this lodge (again, not the majority - just one or two)

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JetsFan85x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

My husband and I had the true pleasure of enjoying another safari and to stay this time at the special Kirkman's Kamp in October 2013. Our guide Lennox was an absolute gem and we had the best laughs of all time. The whole package was excellent - amazing animals, welcoming staff, beautiful food, tantalizing pool for cooling off in the afternoon. A special thanks to Go2 Africa for organising our whole trip - with special mention to Lucy Copson.
Our photos are an incredible reminder of our special trip.

Room Tip: The closer rooms are easier for going to and from the main area but the furthest rooms have chances...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Leona E
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

Property: 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 #8 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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