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“Luxury stay with more authentic safari feel than a fancy hotel” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kapama Buffalo Camp

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Kapama Buffalo Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
179 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Luxury stay with more authentic safari feel than a fancy hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2009

We stayed at Buffalo Camp for 2 nights (4 game drives). After being on a tour with a large group we were very happy to stay in a small resort with only 12 other guests. (as opposed to the larger Kapama River Lodge which has about 150 guests).
Tents
The guest tents are very cool - just the idea of being able to stay in a tent in Africa was a treat. And it had a comfortable bed, nice bathroom etc.... Each night there was turndown service with chocolates on our pillows. In the morning we could sit on our little deck with a cup of coffee. There was kudu and nyala right in front of our tent each morning. We stayed in the buffalo tent which was very nice. I think the Elephant tent looked like it had the most privacy. And I would not recommend the Kudu tent as the view was obstructed. (i did not check out all the others). Despite my initial concerns we never had any critters in our tent. And it was wonderful to fall asleep with the sounds of the bush.
Food
The food was very good. Not amazing/spectacular (in my opinion) but very good. (in south africa we went to some of the most amazing restaurants where food was presented like artwork, so perhaps I go a little spoiled prior to coming here). I did especially enjoye the desserts and there was PLENTY of food each day. I loved the outdoor BBQ grill evening meal we had. Drinks are not included in the price but they are put on a tab so you don't have to carry cash around which is very nice. Because it is so small, everything feels very relaxed and informal which we loved. Be sure and have a glass of amarula for an after dinner drink. The service and attention of the staff was excellent.
Game Drives
Our driver was Donovan and tracker was Charles and we felt they were excellent! This was our first safari and we were very happy with everything about it - we saw so many animals and Donovan gave us great explanations and education. He is young and enthusiastic and really went out of his way to make our drives fun and exciting.
Spa
I booked a treatment at the Kapama Spa which was very nice. It is about a 20 min drive over to the River Lodge compound - which was fun because it was almost like an extra game drive. After your treatment make sure you plan to spend extra time by the spa pool which overlooks a water hole frequented by the animals
Pool
The pool at the Buffalo Camp is cute but tiny.
Extras
There is internet access at the camp.

In summary, if you want a relaxing safari trip with a more authentic feel than staying in a fancy hotel, this is the place for you. We loved it.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ACMC75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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364 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2009

Ive just got back from a 2 week holiday in South Africa wherein I took in the Kapama Game Reserve, Hermanus (for the whales and shark dives) and Capetown (general touristy must, since I was in the area) and without a doubt Kapama was the best part of the entire trip. I physically mourned for it on my flight down to the southern coast.
I travelled alone in a bid to have some quiet time away from the busy city world, and stayed in the Buffalo Camp which proved to be a perfect choice for my needs. a mere 8 tents on site keep fellow guests to a maximum of 15, a nice size group of new people to get to know throughout ones stay without being too noisy or overbearing.
The "Tents" far exceeded expectation, being somewhat of a Tent Canvas/wood structure hybrid which gives the guest a tinge of that adventurous "roughing it" feel, whilst still being incredibly sturdy, comfortable and luxurious (beautiful, even) inwhich to spend time in. I was surprised to have fully functioning hot water and shower cubicle, given the independant nature of each well placed tent, ensuring each guests privacy.
The Staff are a delight, ever-ready to assist and as good humoured as they are professional. In particular my ranger for the duration of my stay - Warren - will be missed on account of his entertaining and humorous attitude on our safari treks, as well as his expert and diligent manoeuvrability of the jeep in order to afford us the best photo shots of our game each time. Within the first 3 days of my stay at buffalo camp I had seen all the big five, and had a giggle along the way. I also learnt some handy extras regarding Berries, Termites and anything else we saw along the way.
3 generous meals a day, currently cooked to perfection by the resident chef Robert, proved to be more than I am used to consuming, but well worth the effort of overcoming this hurdle, since they were delicious. Hunger will not be an issue at this camp.

Overall, I found this reserve to be not only a luxoriously comfortable yet kooky (I mean, a tent in a tree guys! ;o) ) base to set out from twice daily in order to spot the big 5 and africa at its most basic level, but also as a friendly retreat from the busy city world, surrounded by trees and animals, with all the creature comforts you would find in any decent hotel room. I wasnt expected to find a socket recharge my ipod with, but alas, theyve made it work. You have lights and you have hot water. You also have one rockin view of the wild, and an excellent all-round friendly vibe.

I would recommend this Camp to anyone. I was sad to leave it.

The only weakness might be the pool.....Where there is wildlife you will find insects. The staff cannot help but for the occasional few kamikaze ants find their way into the pool. This is not a huge issue, but I felt like with all the praise I needed to say SOMETHING that didnt make me sound like I was on some commission-based sales ploy ;o) (I promise, im not)

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fluffy4eva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johan58, General Manager at Kapama Buffalo Camp, responded to this review, November 22, 2009
Dear Madam,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write down your thoughts and comments about your recent stay at Kapama Buffalo Camp. They are sincere and well written and greatly appreciated. I am extremely happy to read that you were so pleased with the overall experience and with the game viewing and that the rangers didn't only concentrate on the "big animals" but took the time to show you the "small stuff". I will be sure to pass on your comments concerning the food to the chef Robert, and your best wishes to the management and housekeeping teams. About the pool - we are working on getting the kamikaze bugs to launch themselves off somewhere else instead but it remains a daily battle! Best wishes and we look forward to a possible return visit someday in the future.
Kind Regards
Johan van Eeden: General Manager Tourism
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2009

What wasn't to love about Kapama Buffalo Camp? We stayed 3 nights and took in 6 drives. This was our first safari and we were looking for a authentic, less frills package. The "luxury" of Buffalo exceeded our expectations while still being very reasonably priced. The tent was beautiful. . . something out of a Banana Republic advertisement!! What I believe makes this camp so special is the small size. . . only 8 tents so the group is very small and one can get to know other other guests from around the world. The staff were very friendly and saw to all of our needs. We even splurged and had one afternoon at the nearby Kapama Spa, which was another very incredible experience. We saw the Big 5 and many many more animals. I highly recommend this experience to everyone.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank mictim2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johan58, General Manager at Kapama Buffalo Camp, responded to this review, November 22, 2009
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your comments and thoughts about your recent stay at Kapama Buffalo Camp. I'm pleased to hear that we exceeded your expectations and that the staff looked after you so well. You are correct when you say Buffalo Camp has a special feel to it. We seem to have just the right combination there. I am also glad to see you used the wellness spa and that you also found it to be a rewarding experience. We look forward to a possible return visit one day.
Kind Regards
Johan van Eeden: General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2009

We have just returned from visiting Kapama and I am full of enthusiasm for the truly wonderful and extraordinary experience that we had. We stayed two nights in Buffalo Camp and two nights in the new Karula Lodge. We are experienced game reserve visitors and we were looking to add dimension to our previous experiences -- namely the benefits of a ranger and tracker, night viewing and getting close to the game in an open vehicle. All of these opportunities are on offer at Kapama -- and here is the clincher -- at an affordable price! I cannot say enough about the excellence: The tented camp was 'luxurious' without unnecessary ostentation, the staff were warm and friendly, the food from chef Raymond was the very highest quality (some truly delicious South African food -- yum!) and the atmosphere was natural. We were there to savor the sights and sounds of the African bush and the camp fully supported this intent. I loved the small camp setting and the gentle opportunity to meet the other guests who were from all over the world. All these aspects were important to our stay -- but game viewing was still our number one objective. Kobus, our ranger, and Charles, our tracker, took superb care of that. We were deeply impressed by their excellent teamwork, enthusiastic attitude and respect for the game. Our game viewing was of the best we have ever had -- elephants, lions, rhino, buffalo, plus numerous antelope, zebra, and night animals such as the spotted genet. Yes, we got closer than ever before, and had truly exciting night drives, all aided by the benefits that the open air landcruiser has to offer. As my husband said, this was not a canned experience. There were no guarantees, but the experience and knowledge of Kobus and Charles ensured the best possible game viewing on any given drive. Both my husband and I are South African born, now living in the U.S., and for us it is a truly special opportunity to experience the country of our birth in such a positive and exciting way. We have fabulous photos, fantastic memories and plans to return as soon as possible.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gamelover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johan58, General Manager at Kapama Buffalo Camp, responded to this review, November 7, 2009
Dear Sir and Madam,
Many thanks for your comments on the Trip Advisor website about your recent stay at Buffalo Camp, Kapama. Your comments are particularly valid and meaningful because they come from former South Africans who already have a vast experience of many other game drives and similar lodges. I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us and that you took the time and effort to write about it. We look forward to your return visit in the near future. Kind Regards - Johan van Eeden
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2009

This was very best hotel in SA for our trip.

Excellent staffs(Warren&Charles)
Cozy place(luxury safari tent)
Animals~

Very impressed about the HOT water and water pressure in the shower in middle of nowhere! Staffs are kind and friendly, welcome drink included on the arrival which I was not expected. clean bedroom, safety box, enough blankets, spotless area... but food need upgrade bit and more wine selection needed. Happy place with nice people!! I met many couples from different country and I highly recommend here if you are planing for your honeymoon! :-)

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Koreansk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bologna, Italy
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2009

I recommend this place to everybody. I spent here one of the best time of my life. It is a small charming place surrounded by an incredible nature. It is clean, well-organized, food is very good, the staff is kind and qualified. One of the best place where to enjoy a safari in the Kruger area.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank controcorrente
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2009

I stayed at the Kapama main lodge for a few nights and then moved to the buffalo camp to experience the "actual" safari tent lifestyle. I think it was an excellent choice. The staff at Kapama Buffalo camp make the stay a memorable experience. Warren, our ranger and Raymond, chef have outstanding service mindset, they went out of their way to make our stay a memorable one.

I must reserve the best rating to the camp manager. She is absolutely fantastic. On the final day, our transfer company goofed up on the pick up to the airport. The camp manager interafaced with our transfer company and also with our travel agent and ensured that a) we were booked on the next flight b) ensured that the ranger stays with us till the transfer company sends out the car for pick up. Her supportive attitude really helped us keep ourselves calm as we had a connecting flight to London later that night.

I would strongly

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank whizb02
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

Property: Kapama Buffalo Camp
Address: R40 Kapama Private | 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Kapama Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kapama Buffalo Camp 5*
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 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 
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Also Known As:
Kapama Buffalo Camp Hotel Kapama Private Game Reserve
Kapama Buffalo Camp Kapama Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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