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andBeyond Kirkman's Kamp
Certificate of Excellence
Hudson, WI
2 reviews
“WOW!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014

This was the most wonderful experience we've ever had! The setting, rooms, lodge, food, etc. were amazing! Best of all were the people. Sonny, our butler, took such great care of us. Brett and Masungita, our guide and tracker, took us on the rides of our life. We were able to get so close to the animals as they went about their daily activities. We loved hearing the stories behind the animals and learning about their behaviors. Thank you for a fabulous family adventure!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelmom5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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italy
Level Contributor
152 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 590 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

Is so difficult to explain in a short review all the emotions that a place like Kirkman's Camp let you live.
I've been in a lot of lodges throughout Africa and many of them were run by &Beyond that is always a warranty for quality of service and professionality. But in this case we are facing the excellence of the excellence.
First of all the position in the heart of Sabi Sand area, on the banks or Sabi River. A gift of nature and the place on heart where you have to go if you want to see these marvellous creature that are the leopards. And to do this, in Kirkman's, you are cared by so excellent Rangers and Trackers that create an adventure in each game drive. Our ones were Jason and Jerry that are not only incredibly friendly but above all extremely professional and clever and show all the passion for their work.
The structure is not the typical lodge of these areas but an authentic colonial home of the twenties that is cared to maintain all its incredible charme. All the interiors are perfectly restored with uncomparable charme and so the rooms that are situated in 4 different blocks to host no more than 30 guests.
Food is really excellent' I've tasted the best cooked game meat of my life with the plus of the "restaurant" area that is a masterpiece of relax facing the we'll cared lawn of the Camp and the banks or Sand River where is so easy to spot a lot of animals that come there for water, also when you are hacking your lunch.
The friendliness of the staff (manager, butlers, guards and of course the already mentioned Rangers and Trackers) is beyond any expect action and needing. Everyone remember your name since the moment you arrive.
There is wifi connection in all the lodge.
Important issue: is a lodge perfect for childrens. The can go out for game drives starting from 6 y.o. but for youngers the lodge may always arrange activities. And for kids, also when you come back from a drive, the staff is always attentive to organize something. There is also a tasty child's menu.
If you have to choose a place to go for game driving in South Africa, this is THE PLACE to go.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank micius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

My wife and I stayed at Kirkman's Camp in July with our daughter and son-in-law. It was the first safari experience for all of us and it was just wonderful. The Camp has a wonderful historic atmosphere, the staff are very welcoming and the food and wine are first class. The rooms are very clean and comfortable with a rustic feel. We stayed at another & Beyond property during our trip, the "Exeter River Lodge", where the rooms were considerably more luxurious but we were not disappointed with the Kirkman's Camp rooms.
The real reason for the trip was, of course, the animals and we really could not believe how much we saw and how close we were able to get. The "Big 5" and everything else as well! Our ranger Ross and tracker Robert were simply superb and it is hard to imagine a better safari experience.
We would highly recommend this safari experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OZZIEExpat2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange CA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

Kirkman's Kamp

Wow, what an experience, what a place!! We loved it!!

Icon Expeditions (Leigh-Ann) recommended this place after we told her that we wanted to see predators in action. And for longer periods of time. We wanted to see the hunt and kill. Very rare to see. You have to be very lucky.

When we were in the Serengeti viewing the great migration, we saw millions of animals. But when they went off road into the bush, we couldn't follow because in the national parks you have to stay on the roads. It was frustrating when we saw some lions on the hunt, but couldn't follow.

Kirkmans Kamp is on a private reserve. They can go off road and they have a driver/guide and tracker. The tracker is important because when they find fresh tracks, the tracker will leave the vehicle and follow the tracks until they find the animal. He then radios us and we drive thru the bush until we see the animal. We stay with the animal for longer periods of time.

Also on private reserves, they limit the number of vehicles viewing the animals to two. They take turns, but you stay with the animal for a while. All the drivers are in communications with each other. In the national parks there will be 15 vehicles surrounding the animals. Here the animals don't feel crowded.

Each vehicle holds six tourists. Nice number. At Exeter they had eight tourists to each vehicle.

We saw leopards, lions, and wild dogs. We got to follow them and saw a wild dog kill. The adults ate the bushbuck in less than five minutes and took it back to the pups (9) and regurgitated it to feed them. The pups were making lots of noise.

So the game drives were much better than the Serengeti, Masai Mara, and Negorongoro crater.

When we arrived at Kirkmans Kamp, Brendon, the manager, along with his staff were waiting outside, with welcoming drinks and food. Very nice touch. When we got back on game drives they were there also. Always asking us how was the drive, how is everything else. Very impressive. They were all concerned with making us happy.

The food was outstanding. Five star quality. We especially liked the Kudu. Ordered it every chance we got. We liked that our guide Ralph had dinner with us. Interesting conversations. Ralph and David did a good job finding the animals.

The room was air conditioned and clean. We were escorted back to our room at night, as there are animals visiting because they think they are safer near our kamp. One night there were some cape buffalo in our back yard.

Brendon and staff made us feel very welcomed. They did a great job. We would give them our highest recommendation.

Room Tip: Get a room with a river view to see more animals
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Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelerOrangeCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stayed at Kirkman`s for 4 nights in early July for my wife`s 50th holiday. From start to finish an absolute joy and whilst this was our first safari, I would be surprised if there are many better options out there. Impeccable staff, wonderful food and wine and the safari drives themselves fantastic. We saw eveything we hoped for and so much more. You name it, we saw it and our ranger/guide Jason and Jerry were first class.
We loved it so much that my wife is returning next month with her Dad for a trip of lifetime that he never thought he would make...its that good.
My only tip would be that if you are going in the SA winter as we did then make sure you take plenty of warm clothes. It is freezing on those open top jeeps even with the complimentary blankets and hot water bottles. Wooly hats, gloves, a decent coat..pack them all!

Room Tip: for convenience/ease of access ask for a room near the lodge. If you want more privacy one further a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ed H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
67 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

Normally when I write a review, I try to be even-handed, and mention both good and bad points. In the case of Kirkmans Kamp, I simply cannot think of anything bad to say. This was definitely one of the best vacations we have ever had, and much can be accredited to this amazing place. The location allows for free animal movement, so the likelihood of seeing many types of wildlife are very high. There are morning and afternoon game drives and we did not do a single drive without seeing something amazing. We particularly loved Kirkmans rule of no more than 3 vehicles at any animal sighting - very often it was just us. some of the highlights were sitting literally feet away from a hyena den, watching a brave leopard try to decide whether to take on a baby rhino (with mother in attendance) and (probably the favorite of Ross, our guide) getting up close and personal with a rare pack of African wild dogs. But to be honest, there are too many good things to mention. The rooms are individual and very well equipped. The food was simply amazing (and you WILL eat too much!!) and the staff was fantastic - nothing was too much trouble. Yes, it is not cheap, but in my opinion worth every cent. Recommended as highly as possible.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Follies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
143 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

This is the second safari we have been on, the first in South Africa.
I really did like Kirkman's. As with all the &beyond places the people were great and the food was amazing. We actually picked this place because we wanted something a bit more "hotelly" for this safari, in Botswana we did "under canvas" and the camps were really isolated. I must say that it being closer to a "standard hotel" does not take away from the experience In fact it's a nice bonus that you can plug your electronics in and charge them all day (no generators), you have wifi (which can be a pro or a con depending on your point of view), you have electric blankets and heaters in your rooms and a mini fridge (if the drinks at the lodge aren't enough).
All rooms have a place where you can sit out during the day (no going out at night). You can watch the bushbuck, guinea fowl, ibis, monkeys, baboons and who knows what else pass through...there were lions that wandered through during the day when we were out on our drives!
The standard day is: 6am knock, 6:20 drinks and off on the morning drive, ~10am breakfast, 1pm lunch, 3pm drinks and off on the afternoon/evening drive, 7pm dinner.
I'm unsure if the water is completely potable, they provided bottles so we used them for teeth brushing.

The trucks do not have tops - in Botswana all of them were covered - so this might mean you want to bring hats and do extra sunscreen. This is due to the offroading and they do offroad a lot. It's great because you can see things you wouldn't otherwise see - and as much as it looks like they are destructive they explained to us that there are certain things it is ok to run over and certain things they avoid.

Weather - can be very cold in the mornings (hats/ear covers useful - you might want a scarf), they give you blankets and hot water bottles. It was much colder than Phinda and some people looked freezing in the mornings, we had 3 layers + windbreaker jacket (t-shirt, shirt, sweater, jacket) - and then you remove the layers during the day and put them back on in the evenings.

We found that it wasn't as dusty as Chobe, but if dust bothers your eyes you might want to bring sunglasses. I found that a bandana also helped (i actually bought it in the gift shop) to cut down on early morning windburn and keeps you a bit warmer.

We saw the big 5 and wild dogs - but, as a warning, lions and wild dogs are not guaranteed as they pass through and none of them actually live here. Leopards are pretty much a guarantee.

Pregnant on Safari - I didn't find much info on this before so I will add this note. At 25 weeks pregnant (and having an easy time) I would say safari here is very doable. There is a bit of off roading here, but to be honest it really didn't bother me. Keep in mind if you need to go to the bathroom more frequently than every 3 hours you will you will need to squat behind a bush (try not drinking before for an hour before the game drives). Didn't take malarial meds (SA says this area is malaria free in winter) and didn't see any bugs in either Kirkmans (Sabi sands) or Phinda.

Andbeyond Rankings from our experience:
Chobe was best for quantity of herd animals and lions, Kirkmans and Sandibe equally best for leopard, Phinda best for cheetah, Xudum is good for birding

Room Tip: Not sure if you have a choice but the lower numbered rooms are closer to the lodge
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank rockohorse
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
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 42 Speciality 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 
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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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