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“Exceeded All Expectations”
Review of Kapama Karula

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Kapama Karula
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 August 2011

My husband and I came to Kapama Karula on our honeymoon. We had been living in West Africa for 8 months and were really looking forward to seeing a different side and experiencing a bit of luxury.
We were utterly impressed from start to finish with our stay. The staff went above and beyond to make sure that our stay was enjoyable. The food was fantastic and abundant and the menu was always changing (a perk when in all inclusive.)
We loved our choice of luxury tent as it provided a bit of an authentic bush experience yet contained all the luxuries we wanted. It was nice and secluded and we slept soundly each night.
The game drives were fantastic. Because of the time we visited, the lodge was quiet so there was usually only another couple joining us and a couple of times, we had the entire vehicle to ourselves. Our ranger, Mike, went out of his way to make sure we saw everything we wanted to see.
I can't say enough about Kapama Karula - any other safari we go on will have high standards to live up to.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JJReid1030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 July 2011

This place totally blew me away! We went for our honeymoon in May 2011 and it was truly spectacular. From the second you arrive at Hodesprit you know this is going to be special as your ranger meets you with a cold towel.

The entrance to the game reserve is opposite the airport. It was about a 20/30 minute drive to our lodge. I would recommend being prepared with sunglasses, sun cream if you burn easily and definitely your camera. Although this in essence was a transfer to our accommodation, your ranger will still stop to look at wildlife, within 5 minutes we had spotted a giraffe. We also saw a leopard lazing under a tree. So the holiday really started on a high!

The staff are very attentive and the food and drink are wonderful. The accommodation is of a very high standard with everything from robes and slippers provided to ice and a fresh lemon in your (not so mini)mini bar.

On the early morning drives the staff provide you with blankets and hot water bottles. They will also provide you with a poncho if it is wet. If you suffer with the cold I would recommend taking a windproof jacket as you ride in open top vehicles some times at speed to get to an animal some other team have spotted.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Astro07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

My daughted and I had the most wonderful time at Kapama Kurula. The staff, the reserve, the service, the food, the accomodations, the entire safari experience, everything was fantastic!!!!! I cannot say enough for the service quality and the staff attitude: Everyone went out of their way to please us and to make us feel at home. Claire at the Front Desk, our tracker Collen and our ranger Jordan, Theresa the Manager of Karula, our restaurant waiter Trevor that always had our favorite drink ready for us and knew by heart what my daughted and I liked in our meals. We had the most wonderful experience. Not only did we regret having to leave Kapama but we will recommend it openly to anyone. This place is unforgetable. We saw all Big Five and Jordan and Collen did everything within their means to ensure that we see everything that we were expecting from our first safari. They were wonderful. Claire, Theresa and the entire team at Karula took such great care of us. We will definitively return. No doubt about it. You may stay at a luxury tent or in a spacious and plush suite, you will have a great tiem. Thank you for a most memorabel experince!!!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank vigilanteviajero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2011

We loved Karula – its young, vibey, cutting edge contemporary design elements with warm bushveld touches! You feel like definitely being in the African bush, but with strong New York design accents! As a South African, this property makes me very proud to introduce to fellow South Africans and international globetrotters alike and it is very good value for money!

The lodge scored big points with us with their private dining set-up; small intimate and very romantic tables utilizing the stunning lodge all around – one night we dined next the pool, the next night in the boma, another night in the open-air dining room - and of course our private dinner out in the bush with a private chef!

Therefore, don’t fool yourself with a 2, or even 3-night stay – this is a 5-7 night stay destination! The tented rooms are very elegant with lots of whites, creams, natural wood and stainless steel being used throughout. The luxury chalets are to-die-for…! Also, when booking a tented suite – make sure you request and confirm a riverfront tent with the rapids lulling you to sleep!

Linger longer here as there are so many brilliant excursions to enjoy in one reserve; for instance…
Day 1 > enjoy the lodge and the bush – we saw the complete big 5 on two game drives in one day!
Day 2 > Visit the Spa for a day-pampering overlooking a huge lake with a stunning African spa-menu and very inviting lounge-salas overlooking the pool and the lake.
Day 3 > Enjoy Kapama Game Drives.
Day 4 > Elephant back safari and elephant inter-action.
Day 5 > Be adventurous and book a “sleep-out” where you will sleep out under the stars on a magnificent raised deck, complete with canopied double bed, white crisp linen and your own chef cooking a private meal to enjoy under the African stars; we were surrounded by a herd of 50+ buffalo’s…!
Day 6 > Visit the Cheetah project and enjoy the lodge!

A lodge with an attitude and not being scared to do things differently from the other Jones’ lodges…!

Kapama Karula is HIGHLY recommended!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank koosjohan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2011

We were a family of six on our very first visit to South Africa and Kruger National Park. At first I was quite skeptical on the whole safari scene plus staying in a lodge on a game reserve. But from the moment we drove in my family and myself were mesmerized by the lodge and all the personal care and attention given to us.

The common area of the lodge and surroundings are just breathtaking...from the warm welcome by the wonderful staff to the amazing game drives we all had a marvelous stay.
The days are so well planned out with two game drives a day. Our ranger Timba and tracker Tullee were a real pleasure to interact with. We managed to see four of the big five by the second game drive itself. One of the highlights of our stay was watching a pride of lions devouring a wildebeast it truly was a visual treat.

Our chalets were outstanding extremely comfortable and spacious. With the most advanced bathroom fittings and a beautifully laid out sitting area. The entire room is surrounded with windows so you have a 360 degree view of the jungle.

The food and service in all areas of the lodge was just fantastic. Our waiters Trevor, Sherence and Moosa were always very attentive and pleasant. In fact the entire staff of the lodge from the managers(Andreis/Teresa) to the waiters,Trackers, Rangers and cleaners was exceptional. my family and I were thoroughly impressed and so satisfied with Kapama Karula that we surely will be back in the next few years to come!

Truly was one of the best highlights of our 15 day African adventure...Would highly recommend this lodge for anyone looking for an amazing experience in the wilderness of Africa. It was a very beautiful home away from home...Thank You very much Karula!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank SarahKhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2011

Had 2 nights at Karula in tent 7 (Deadwood) - this was part tent, part chalet and extremely well presented.

Kapama Reserve is split into several camps, for example; Buffalo Camp, River Lodge, etc and the entrance to Karula is at the main gate on the R40, where you are greeted by a guard and sign some paperwork. We had a short wait here as the guard took a personnal call on his cell phone, before the gates were opened and we made our way along the well sign-posted dirt road to Karula. Here you are treated to a mini-safari as the animals roam free enroute to the camp

On arrival at camp we were greeted by Sarah who showed us to our accommodation and made us feel very welcome. Lunch was available on arrival, although it was only 45 minutes to afternoon tea, so we declined, opting to return for the afternoon tea before the p.m. game drive.

The tent was extremely spacious with AC and heating (as required), a mini bar fridge, king bed, seating area and writing desk in the tented area - with large dressing area, double wardrobe with slippers and robe, hairdryer and safe, opening on to the bathroom with huge bath, 2 sink units and outdoor shower in the chalet area. Just beautiful.
Out side was a decked area over looking the river with seating area. Here the monkeys roamed free, such a delight.

Wake up calls at 5.30am start your day, as you make your way to the breakfast area for coffee, fruit, muffins, etc. prior to the 3 hour game drive. On return a buffet/menu breakfast is served before leaving you free til lunch at 1-2pm. Afternoon tea then starts at 3.30pm followed by your 2nd game drive taking you into the evening and back to camp around 7pm. Dinner i think was served about 7.30/8pm

The camp is the epitome of luxury and one of the highlights of our 2 week holiday. Although I was not impressed with Kruger NP itself, as we have been spoilt by several amazing visits to Etosha NP in Namibia, the experience and luxury at Karula was amazing. Our only critisism would be the game drives as we felt when any animals were found after tracking (particulary the cats), there was an order you had to follow with the vehicles and prior to this we felt like we were just driving round killing time.

Other than that the camp is small and exclusive, with a get away from it all feel, tasty food and wonderful communal areas. Somewhere anyone would want to return.
Thank you for a great time.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Lindsay-and-Neil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2011

My husband and I spend two nights at Kapama Karula the first week of November 2010 after spending a week in Cape Town. We also spent two nights in the Kapama Buffalo Lodge before flying back to NYC.

Our time at Kapama Karula was unforgettable! Every detail of our stay was enjoyable. We flew into Hoedspruit airport from Jo-burg and were picked up in the open-air vehicle by our guide. Check in was so personalized; we were greeted by name with a cold towel and drink by our personal receptionist. Our "luxury tent" on stilts was so modern and beautifully decorated. The air conditioning was a really great touch, and the outdoor shower was our favorite part of the room.

All the food was gourmet and amazing... service was incredible; the plunge pool was fantastic, and best of all the safari drives were AMAZING!! The sights, sounds, and smells of driving around the bush are forever in my heart. We saw all big 5 by the first two drives, and we even spotted baby leopards with their mother. Overall this lodge was perfect for the adventure honeymoon that we imagined. It has luxury paired with wonderful wildlife. We did the elephant safari at camp Jambulani as well- it was really cool. Buffalo lodge was also a really great experience- great food and service and great safari drives. It just has a more rustic / less luxury feel than Karula.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Katyquite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kapama Karula

Address: R40 | Hoedspruit, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Kapama Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £1,198 - £2,449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Kapama Karula 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the banks of the perennial Klaserie River is one of Kapama's most secluded and prestigious safari camps named Karula. Karula means "place of peace" in the native tongue, and soon after your arrival you will know exactly why this name is just so perfect for this magnificent luxury safari camp. Peace is but one of the many emotions that will encompass your soul as you look at the serene waterway meandering gently past your doorstep and the age old saying "water is life" will begin to have a whole new meaning for you. The open plan lounge and bar area, with floor to ceiling glass doors illustrates the perfect balance with elegant light colors. This modern building with its whitewashed wooden structure, skylights and open air bar, creates a cozy feel to the lounge and makes it a day time favorite to enjoy a drink or just sit back and enjoy the sights Karula has to offer. The contemporary yet African feel to the camp will satisfy and exceed the expectations of even the most discerning connoisseurs. The outside wooden deck overlooking the Klaserie river gives you the opportunity to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and magnificent vistas the camp has to offer. Karula Library & Media Room boasts some of the best audio visual equipment but doubles as a library where you can read a good book in a breathtaking environment, or just take in nature's views through the massive sliding windows. Keep in touch with family and loved ones at one of the two dedicated guest internet stations with WiFi on tap and free of charge. A private, romantic fireplace dinner can also be arranged with the camp personnel, and in a modern romantic setting like this, the answer can only be "Yes". Kapama Karula has twelve superior suites, each exquisitely decorated and with generous private space. Two of the superior suites are purpose-built for families. Each suite also has a private outside deck and a large swimming pool, which is heated in the chillier months for year-round swimming. The luxury Karula spa offers a range of health and beauty treatments in four deluxe treatment rooms. For a body workout, the fitness centre is equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and weight-lifting equipment, or you can run or walk on the treadmill or cycle on the Wattbike. After working up a sweat, visit the steam room, or relax in the pool. You can also browse through the curio shop for those special gifts to take home. Then head out on an exciting game drive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kapama Karula Hotel Kapama Private Game Reserve
Kapama Karula Kapama Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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