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“An Amazing Experience”
Review of Kapama River Lodge

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Kapama River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Edmonton, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“An Amazing Experience”
Reviewed 24 February 2012

This was an amazing once in a lifetime experience and I can't imagine a more beautiful place to spend it. Everything is 5 star rooms, spa, service, food and while as is suggested in the reviews you don't go for the accommodations I find that if you are going to do these once in a lifetime things don't cut corners make the most of your experience.

The safari is outstanding as well. We had a tremendous guide and tracker (Jani and Magnum) and we saw the most incredible things - realize this is a game park so it is a natural wilderness that is restricted in access. Those reviewers suggesting its not a real safari seem just a little too jaded, among the things we saw were two cheetahs eating their fresh kill Wildebeest - seems pretty real to me and we had to trek off the dirt road to see it. We also went on a bush trek which away part of the package and got off the beaten path. Lastly we did an elephant safari which was very cool but in fairness not quite as real as the other safari days.

My observation was its your attitude that will make or break it along with your guide. Be warned you have to get up early but you can nap in the heat of the day.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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5 Thank OnTheGoCFO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2012

We had two separate rooms for family of 2 adults and 2 children. Comfortable but not large.
All enjoyed the game drives (thank you Wayne and Rogers). Taking our 5 year old out on safari in the open top vehicle was not an issue and both children loved the experience; for example telling difference between a male and female giraffe (by the hair on the horns).
Have safaried in number of countries and this one is good - getting very close to the lions at night is special. Safari is on dirt roads -- plenty of up and down, in river courses etc, testing the Toyota's capability (its not totally "wild bush" but it is much wilder experience than driving on the mainly sealed roads in Kruger Park proper; of the two this is much better for animal spotting / close encounters).
NB: If wet weather is expected, we found the termites then take flight -- in swarms of thousands on the evening drive -- having them flying into your face in the dark (it's open 4x4 vehicle) can be off-putting for some at least at first -- suggest wear long sleeves, take a cap / hat to pull down over your eyes and keep your mouth shut unless you like termite tartar! Our group were all laughing on the way back to hotel as tracker Rogers, guiding from his perch on the front bonnet, with a torch, was attracting more than his fair share of the flyers.
The food on menu proper was varied and Ok [but have to say, not better than Ok] - enjoyed the atmosphere in the evening (outside dinner on a long table sitting with ranger and the group we safaried with each day).
If you want to keep in touch by email, facebook etc, we could not get wi-fi signal in either of the rooms we were in (no problem with signal in lobby though).
Stayed here for 2 nights after stay at Kapama Karula and of the two, personal preference would be for the smaller, more intimate KK. This has more of a hotel than lodge feel to it.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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2 Thank DCBLEGAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2012

This was not my first visit to South Africa or my first safari. I have been in the Kruger National park and whilst beautiful and exciting, it was not as enthralling as Kapama Game reserve.

The River lodges were clean and well presented and the surrounding facilities were all top notch. However, you don't go on safari for the accommodation. The knowledge and skills of our guide and tracker were truly amazing and made the whole experience one of wonderment and full of jaw dropping momemts. The Big 5 are everybody's goal but picking out the unusual and rare was a great bonus for us. John and Stanley were our team and they wanted to track the animals we wanted to see. Sometimes this meant not seeing anything at all for prolonged periods but this made the ultimate discoveries all the more special. Tracking Mother and Baby White Rhino and Cheetah were particular favourites.

We only stayed for two nights but managed four game drives and dinner at the bouma in the bush.The Kapama staff cannot do enough for you and make the whole experience extra special.

I heartily recommend this resort and reserve to all who want a real safari!!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Soulmates1437
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kelowna, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We stayed three nights at Kapama River Lodge in January 2012. Wonderful facilities, but if you are looking for a true african adventure, there are better options. The rangers are reluctant to take the vehicles off road, so most of the viewing is from existing dirt roads. Lots of animals to see, but felt more like being in a rather large zoo than actually in the African bush. The lodge accommodations are wonderful, clean and large but the dinner buffet becomes a little repetitious after a while. Spa is excellent and reasonably priced. I was a little put off that they charged for drinks when on safari at our stop for sundowners. For the price paid, it wouldn't hurt to provide a couple of small comps along the way. This is a great place and experience for the less adventurous, but if you want to see real Africa look for something a little less commercialized

Room Tip: Kapama River lodge has accommodation for some 100 guests. Try one of the smaller lodges
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2012

We spent 2 nights at the Kapama Lodge and loved every moment. We brought our three kids, ages 7, 9 and 12. We were greeted with refreshing tropical drinks and shown to our rooms. They really make kids feel welcome here. They created a special room with three twin beds, each with a treat bag. Our room had a very comfortable bed and a patio that was frequented by beautiful birds each afternoon.

All the staff were 10/10 from room service to the dining room! Food quality was fantastic, especially breakfast with made-to-order omelettes, fresh juices and fruit and homemade baking.

Our kids jumped up of bed at 5am, excited for the day ahead. We saw all the Big 5 in those two days. Our guide and tracker (John and Give) were very knowledgable, as well as outgoing and fun. We learned amazing facts about each animal, as well as learning which plants are poisionous or could even be used as a toothbrush. We also saw giraffes, zebras, warthogs, impala and all sorts of birds and lizards.

We'll never forget when a lion approached our vehicle and actually smelled our tracker. Looking into those firey orange eyes was unforgettable. It's now been two weeks and we're still waking up to dreams of elephants emerging from the brush and encountering water buffalo.

We have heard from many other travellers that they travelled to Kruger National Park and only saw 2 of the Big 5. Travelling all the way from Canada we were thrilled by this authentic experience and that our kids got to see so much wildlife is a very natural setting. You'll never want to go to a zoo again.

Also lovely swimming pool for cooling off in the afternoons. Highly recommend the Kapama!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank j5mackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 6 Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2012

Stayed here for a couple of nights in January 2012 . Lodge is very well equipped and a very short distance from the airport , where we were met by the rangers in there Landcruisers.
The food here was excellent , drinks were good also , the rooms were of a good size and standard and the Spa area looked great , but never got the chance to try it out.

Day starts around 5.00 with an early morning call , tea served around 5.30 and off on morning drive around 6.00 ish . Great time of the day to see the wildlife , got real up close and personal and took some great shots . Normally back at the lodge for around 9 , rest of day spent chilling , having lunch , high tea served mid afternoon then back out again around 4.00 for another 3 hours .

Managed to see 4 out of the big 5 , the Leopard eluded the best efforts of our ranger . Also saw loads of giraffe , large deer , hippo ,warthog etc. Had a really relaxing couple of days in decent surroundings with staff who seemed very willing to help and answer any queries .

Room Tip: Remember to keep reapplying your suncream as when you are driving the breeze keeps you cool , but be...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Smithy121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgetown, Barbados
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2012

This lodge is perfect for families, couples and friends looking for comfort, good food and game. The spa was really the highlight for our group, it was beautiful and just what we needed after adventures in Zambia. The breakfast was fabulous. The other meals were sufficient. The biggest flaw is the fact the drinks are not included in the 'all inclusive price'. Other reviewers have mentioned this too. If this were alcoholic beverages only it would be slightly understandable but for a resort of this calibre to not offer water for free is ridiculous. You can get the drinks and tea that were on offer with breakfast for free but otherwise youre out of luck. On the game drives if you want water it's 10r a pop. Additionally we were there over the new year and there was an african band which was fabulous but there wasnt even a small iPod doc speaker for the guests to keep the energy up while the band was on break. This was mentioned to the manager on duty who explained it was a game lodge, sorry but it's also new years eve, a small section should have been cordoned off for people to enjoy themselves. All that was needed was a small speaker. People took to playing music on iPhones. I believe the hotel is ranked 5 stars, the drink issue needs to be addressed, just raise the overall price if you must. I would recommend this hotel though even just for the spa and the game drives, but with a strong warning about the drinks and that there may be better all around options.

  • Stayed December 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank WITravellingDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kapama River Lodge

Property: Kapama River Lodge
Address: R40 | Kruger Park, 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 #4 of 4 Hotels in Kapama Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Kapama River Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kapama River Lodge is situated within Kapama Game Reserve, and presents the perfect blend between luxurious safari accommodation and a generous bed capacity of 64 bedrooms. Although large, it is so stylish, roomy and beautifully positioned along a dry riverbed, that guests fall in love with it. Each spacious room at Kapama River Lodge features a full en-suite bathroom and terrace with uninterrupted views into the leafy-green Big 5 game reserve. The central guest entertainment areas include a large rim-flow swimming pool with sun umbrellas and recliners for lazy afternoons. The long L-shaped relaxation lounge and bar under a double-volume thatch, curves around the pool and on either side is a huge double-sided fireplace creating a wondrous open-plan yet cosy atmosphere. The Rhino Boma dining area with tables arranged under a low thatch in a horseshoe curve, has a central open space where a roaring outdoor fire gives a glow to evening meals. Buffet-style meals introduce African flavours with Pan African dishes using fresh local ingredients and specialist dishes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kapama River Hotel Kapama Private Game Reserve
Kapama River Lodge Kapama Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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