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“Stunning place, great food, good game viewing !!!”
Review of Kapama Karula

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Kapama Karula
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 May 2010

Kapama Karula is a great lodge. It is modern luxury in the bush!!! The luxury tents are great with big outside showers. The service was excellent. Best value for money in the area!!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank 12Laure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 - 283 of 454 reviews

Reviewed 23 April 2010

I visited here on a quick tour back in February. I have just 2 words for it ... simply stunning.

It is pure chic in the bush.

The dining room is beautiful, the rooms absolutely lovely ... and the new suites, when they are completed, will be so large you will probably get lost in them.

Absolutely no hesitation AT ALL in recommending this to anyone.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled on business
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Thank TravelButlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2010

We have been to Gwalagwala, which is now Kapama Karula on 4 separate occassions over the last few years and have seen the transition from a beautiful, rustic haven to the polished and fantastic place that it is now. As the transformation progresses, we are more concerned each time we visit that it may have lost some of the initimacy and charm - and each time we needn't have worried. We are treated like family each time and can't endorse the other great comments enough.

Teresa and Danie are wonderful managers who look after you like you could be in their own house - they have a beautiful baby girl, Bonita and it is truly like visiting family who just live out in the bush.

The rangers and guides are just fantastic and I always get my 'khaki fever' ranger crush - I thought I'd never top Bronson but Paul you were fantastic this year, you found us everything we wanted but the lionesses with the wildebeest were just amazing.

We love what you're doing with the place and hope to see you all again very soon.
Steve, Chris and Mary x

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Steviebate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2010

If you desire something different, something intimate, and truly remarkable for a destination wedding, I highly recommend Kapama Karula. From the moment we began to work with them through email, it was apparent that customer service is a top priority. They asked what we wanted and took care of every detail. All we had to do was show up. It was truly a romantic and memorable experience including caring minister that provided a memorable ceremony complete with South African and European traditions (thank you Pierre Naudé!), flowers, and refreshments after the ceremony by Chef Jan.

We were looking for a unique safari and lodge experience. The luxury tent accommodation was perfect for us. The lodge and facilities have been upgraded and remodeled to provide just the experience we were looking for. I would recommend at least 3 nights at the lodge to make sure there is enough time to see the variety of game. We saw the "Big 5", little 5, and everything in between. Our game rangers, Collin and Mark, and tracker Voosi, made sure that we saw all the animals we wanted to see including a wart hog kill by 4 adolescent lions after our wedding.

We liked the more intimate game reserve experience. When we were there, there were just 10 other guests. All of the food was delicious and the attention to service couldn't have been better --thanks to Theresa's outstanding management and great staff. All staff members were very pleasant and focused on providing an exceptional customer experience. A consistent, memorable quote from Theresa was "Yes of course. No problem!"

We highly recommend Kapama Karula and will stay there again should we return to South Africa. It was truly a first class, perfect safari experience for us. We felt that it was a great value for the price as compared to other, more expensive private game reserves. Should anyone has any questions about our experience at Kapama Karula Lodge, I would be glad to reply.

PS - Having access to the spa down the road at Kapama Lodge was a wonderful bonus. The massages are heavenly!

Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
1  Thank LucindaVan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2009

Staying here is an experience you will always remember! The setting is fabulous, interiordecoration suberb, the 'tents' are extremely well-furnished, very inviting bath, crispy sheets. WAUW. And the staff is great, Theresa and Paul with off course there people around them, made it for us unforgettable. Almost 5 meals a day, pff gain to much weight. O yes and what you come for: see the wild, is great.
I would say: the best place to enjoy a luxurious safari!
Bart & Astrid

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank reisgraag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2009

We picked Karula for a friend's 50th birthday when it was still Gwala Gwala. We had a few reservations about the change, and planned expansion, but they were totally groundless. This was a safari stay of the absolute highest quality. Fantastic comfortable 'tents', a real feel of being a part of the landscape, intimate (perfect for honeymooners), total luxury, great food, genuine 5 star in every aspect, and wonderful guides - thanks Colleen, you are brilliant. The gameviewing was far better than anything we had expected, and the visit to the cheetah sanctuary is a must. I can't think of a better way to celebrate any special occasion.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank themotorcycleman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2009

After spending two fabulous, extraordinary days at Buffalo Camp we were quite anxious about changing location inside Kapama, because we couldn't quite imagine how anyone or anything could match the time that we had had at Buffalo. Well ... the staff at the new Karula Lodge were equally warm and friendly -- and it all followed from there. Karula is a new camp and the architecture is stunning. The modern glass and wood structures were 100% harmonious with the African bush, the new tented accommodation was impressive and we were especially thrilled with the outdoor shower, which was an experience unto itself. The food ... well that was an experience too. The quality of the baked goods (croissants, cookies (or in S.A. biscuits), rusks (like biscotti) and the soups, entrees, desserts were ... well I must use the word again ... "stunning." Chef Amanda and her team would do any 5 star restaurant in the world proud. Even the coffee was the most delicious I have ever tasted. All this was just the background setting for the truly fabulous experience of being with our ranger Paul, and tracker, Colin. With Kobus of Buffalo Camp, we'd already been up close and personal with the elephants, followed 2 lionesses through the bush at night, seen the rhinos with a clear, unobstructed view, watched 2 other lionesses at a buffalo kill, plus we'd had a male lion saunter casually toward us and then followed him through the bush, watching him chase some kudu, so what more could we expect? Paul's dedication and experience, and Colin's tracking skills, ensured that there was more. With game viewing, it is not just what you see that counts -- it is also the quality and the atmosphere -- and the build up. Since we hadn't seen leopard yet, this was clearly the desirable sighting. Our first drive with Paul saw him pull out all the stops to find us a leopard. We did see fresh spoor ... and then nothing. That night we had to 'make do' with 2 honey badgers (extremely rare sighting), an african civet cat (also rare) and watching a 'nagapie' make the most incredible bounding leaps from tree to tree. Driving with Paul was ultra exciting because of his commitment to giving his visitors unique viewing experiences. By the end of the next day we were replete with more lioness sightings, hearing the roars of the male lion that we had been tracking all afternoon during sundowners (and then seeing him) and other assorted big game scenes. We weren't even sure that we should tempt fate by going on a final drive, since we were already so happy and satisfied. But that last morning, Paul's patience and Colin's skill were rewarded. News of a leopard at an impala kill came over the radio and we made our way into a previously unvisited part of Kapama. On the way to the leopard sighting we saw 2 rhino, a lioness with 3 cubs, and a tawny eagle. The leopard had become skittish and left the kill. Through sheer skill, Colin and Paul "found" her again, and our clear, but fleeting sighting of her was a tribute to their combined experience. On the way back to camp, my final desire was fulfilled when a Marshall Eagle in flight flew over us, then alighted on a tree, giving us a final crowning moment to the most fabulous game viewing adventure we have ever enjoyed.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gamelover
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: £1,508 - £2,340 (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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