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Kapama Karula
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Reviewed April 18, 2014

Private game reserve experience but tailored to super luxuriousness. Staff will do anything and everything for you. Had a few mutual friends with Trevor our guide, who has a FGASA level 3 and is very qualified in the bush world. No tagged animals in the reserve.

Room Tip: Go for suites
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Michelle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2014

I just came home from a 5 day holiday at the Kapama Karula Camp and now as I sit on my veranda and the memories fill my heart I might as well put them in to words immediately...
On the way from the airport to the Camp it took us approximately 3 minutes until we were curiously welcomed by a huge giraffe. Impala and Zebras followed in short distance - isn't that the right start to put you in to your safari mood? Exeptionally friendly staff waits for you upon arrival with towels, a welcome drink and introduction of how the days work etc.
The rooms are super modern and very tastefully furnished (luckily not that heavy colonial style - but rather in light colours and super spacious). We had for 3 nights the superior suite and for one night a normal suite. A normal suite would be sufficient for a couple. The game drives were so unbelievably magical. We were most of the times only the 2 of us plus Trevor the Ranger and Nic (Eagle Eye) the Spotter. One feels so much like a team after a short time - maybe because we shared these wonderful moments. One senses the love the rangers and spotters have to nature and the animals and the pleasure to search the nicest spots. They were both absolutely GREAT! We had it all - from peaceful morning drives with elefants next to the jeep, a buffalo fight which made the earth shake, 3 lionesses killing a warthog in front of us and finally on the last day his majesty - a huge male lion - gave us his honours and spent some time next to us. We learned a lot about the animals, the trees, the nature of Africa and had an absolutely amazing time. But I must also say - 5 days is enough. But one day less would have been a pity. We spent some hours at the SPA which is a MUST. Have never seen a better SPA in my life. Very unique. I must admitt that the food is rather dissapointing - but I almost feel bad saying so because the 2 chefs are so friendly and dedicated that one hardly wants to write a complaint. I spoke to other guests and we were all of the opinion that the days are just magical. Please never miss the early morning drive - there is nothing better than seeing the sun rise, feeling a bit of a crisp breeze, watching the animals peacefully awake and hearing the territorial call of a hungry lion in the backround. We will surely be back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Andrea V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2014

Kapama is a smallish private reserve which is completely fenced in, but you don't feel constricted in the least. My son and I stayed at Karula, the flagship "camp" in Kapama. It wants for nothing. We stayed in a suite overlooking the river (but all of the accommodations do except the tents). The room was very large and luxurious with a very comfortable seating area, a balcony, a soaking tub, indoor and outdoor showers. All of the staff was very attentive, the food was excellent - but after three days we began to see that it wasn't as varied as it could be. The highlight by far were the game drives - and our ranger Hillary was fantastic. We were very lucky as we had no one else in the land cruise but us - so we got to know Hillary and Edwin very well. "Eagle Eye Edwin" was an amazing tracker. The highlight of the sightings was a night leopard kill - the sound of it will never leave me. The mother leopard caught a warthog, but didn't kill it, instead she dragged it into the bush and left it to go get her cubs so she could teach them. As my son said "haunting and beautiful".

If you are lucky enough to get Hillary as your ranger ask her about the spider hunting wasps!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Mftonat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

We booked a regular suite for 3 nights. The rooms and common areas are luxuriously- and tastefully-appointed, they look just as nice as all the photos from the website. We had considered getting the Superior Suites, but kind of glad we didn't because with all the activities and meals, we hardly had time to enjoy our room, plus the common pool area was very pleasant and uncrowded. Staff are all friendly and accommodating. Highlight was the game drives. They limit the number of people per vehicle to six (and most had fewer); we saw other vehicles from other lodges and a lot of them were filled to capacity. Your game sightings are of course dictated by nature, but we saw game within a few minutes of being picked up at the airport, but we wound up seeing all the big 5 except the leopard. The variety of wildlife big and small is stunning, and the vistas you encounter are breathtaking; it's perfectly pleasant to just be driven around, even if you don't see any big game. There were times when we thought the drive would end without a "big" sighting but somehow our tracker and ranger (you get the same ones for your entire stay) always managed a grand reveal. In addition to three large meals a day (you pick from a set menu for breakfast and lunch, and dinners are always different) you also get a continental breakfast before the first game drive, coffee during the first drive, high tea with snacks and cakes before the afternoon drive, and drinks during the afternoon drive. I almost wish they didn't offer lunch because I would have liked to have had more time to lay around by the pool or enjoy the common areas (skipping a meal is never an option for me!). They will drive you to the wellness centre if you want. There is wifi throughout. Rooms are well-stocked with toiletries and even insect repellant. The price is actually a good value considering everything you get; wine is very inexpensive. Let all your cares go and you will have a most amazing experience!

Room Tip: It was totally fine "only" getting a regular suite and not the Superior Suite with its own pool (unless you want absolute privacy). With all the activities we wound up not spending much time in our suites, and the pool area was very pleasant and never crowded (plus you have staff coming around asking if you want a drink!). The tent suites are set in the trees and do not have a river exposure; I think the regular suites look and feel much nicer.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank fgrnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

This was one of our best family vacations ever!

The small size of the resort, the modern design of the suites, restaurant etc as well as he overall layout, which offered absolute privacy, is outstanding. We had one of the large 2-bedroom family suites and truly loved our house with its remarkable large private pool.
Also the food offered during the day (there is a lot!!) was exquisite especially he BBQ in the bush under the clear night sky by the open fire.

The staff was just incredible and so so service oriented, at the same time warm, authentic, with a good sense of humour and a true joy to be with. It almost felt like being part of a family.
Andries, the general manager was always around, helping us to have the best holiday experience we could have had and making sure we had a great time.
Our ranger Reckson and tracker Nicolas were outstanding in finding all animals, explaining every detail of the wildlife to us and even providing an astronomy lesson of the Southern night sky which was foreign to us. We saw all the Big 5 multiple times as well as plenty of other animals from snakes to cheetahs. Also learned a lot about nature's toothbrushes, toothpicks etc...
As mentioned by other guests we appreciated the fact that we had the same guide and tracker during our many drives over the 6 days we spent at Kapama Karula since thus they were able to tailor the drives based on our previous viewings.
Our waiter Emotion was so good to have around, constantly ensuring we had everything we needed and sharing his great sense of dry humour with us.

Some little things we find worth mentioning since they made quite a difference: the coffee and snacks offered during the morning game drive, the towels, drinks and welcome reception after each game drive, the sundowners during the evening game drives, the Nespresso machine in the room...

Thank you to Andries and all the team at Kapama Karula who made this trip something we will never forget!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank TJfromLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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