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“Best Place I Have Ever Stayed At!”

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Kapama Southern Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights. After the first night we were upgraded to a suite. The room was huge! Beautiful decor and modern sleek finishes. Had a small deck on the back with a screen door. Free WiFi. Coffee and tea was served before leaving for safari, coffee and tea break midway through the safari, then breakfast when you returned. Lunch at noon, then afternoon refreshments at 3pm before safari evening ride. Coffee and tea break midway through the safari and then dinner underneath the stars with only fire and candle lighting. Food was top notch the entire time. Service was wonderful. Guides and trackers were fantastic. By far the best trip we have ever gone on. Would love to come back.

Room Tip: Get a suite, it is worth it!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank GlobalNurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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299 - 305 of 643 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2014

When we arrived at main gate our reservation did not show on the entrance list for the day as visitors at all . The gate guard at the gate had to phone in to find out if we were in fact booked . This in it self was very embarrassing to me as I did the booking myself on behalf of my friend and his visitor from Holland as we had to wait for about 20 minutes to be let in through the gate.

On arrival at the camp we were not sure whether we were at the right place as no welcome sign or respectful staff to great as or to make us feel welcomed at all. Very unprofessional to say the least staff then gave us a warm cloth to wipe our face with and showed us to the rooms.

No formal check in or explanation as to what was going to happen next . We were just told that this is the dining area were meals will be served and that launch will be served from 1300 hrs onwards .

The food was good but expected a more for the price we paid .That is now with all the meals we were served . The food the one night arrived cold at the table and again it would appear that the kitchen had run out of some of the vegetables that was supposedly served as all of a sudden non of us three received the vegetables that was mentioned on the set menu.

The waiter that served us was clearly taken of the street with no training what so ever at all. This is small things like this that will ruin the reputation of a upper class facility like Kapama for good .

On departure we were told by the game ranger to leave our luggage outside our rooms at the door and that the porters will deliver it to our vehicle. Well it did not happen as we were told . We had to carry the luggage ourselves as none of the staff was to be seen at all once we have checked out and settled the bill . It was like we did not even existed anymore to them . This was again another disappointment to me as I did the booking .

The only thing that was good and top class was the game drives . We saw a lot of game and was very satisfied with the knowledge of our ranger and tracker of the bush and the animals they at least went out of their way to make us feel special to be with them and to our visit to Southern Camp Kapama . Thanks to both of you.

Room Tip: All the rooms seems to be the same .
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank ChrisB16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2014

The best ever. Excelent service, beautiful hotel. Everything is so perfect, that I was wondering if Disney can do better. All employees are extremely kind and professional. Even if I wanted, I can not negatively criticize anything at the hotel.

Room Tip: Try to make the safaris with Denis, the best guide for me. I saw all the big fives with this guy.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Renato F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

We had a wonderful time during our stay here, it was especially great due to our guide Doctor who was both great fun and very knowledgeable. We stayed 4 nights which was just enough really - we saw just about every animal possible and ate enough for an army! The food was excellent and mosquitos were just nonexistent which was great news. It's definitely worthwhile to book the luxury suites if you can afford it, they are amazing.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Joanne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2014

Positives
- the reserve. When we booked our honeymoon trip we initially thought we were going to Kruger park and were quite skeptical when we were told by our driver that this was a private reserve outside of Kruger park. it turned out to be totally worth it for us. the fact that its private makes the viewings more exclusive. the rangers (trained safari guides who drive the jeeps and tells you stories about the animals) have a code whereby not more than 2 jeeps can be near animals which avoids animals running away. Also the rangers are always coordinated via radio which means that if one of them spots a leopard (toughest animal to spot) it can let other rangers know. thanks to this system we got to see the big 5 (lion, giraffe, leopard, rhyno and elephant) in 2 days. comparing notes vs. tourists from other reserves on our way back this seemed like quite lucky.
- the facilities. nice open space restaurant and bar plus quality rooms.
- the service. in general professional.
- the social element. we liked the fact that you are assigned a ranger and a tracker (a sort of trainee who sits in the front of the jeep and tries to find tracks of animal footsteps and with time and years of training becomes ranger) on your first day and then that ranger is responsible for you during your stay. For example, if you want to go to the spa or the gym which are in another camp/hotel within the same reserve its your ranger who will drive you, same on your last day taking you to your pick up piint outside of the reserve. All of the guests are assigned to one ranger would have dinner at the same table (breakfast and lunch you can have on your own) which helps meeting new interesting people. Dinners are generally not long given how early people need to wake up so don't be afraid of getting stuck with boring people as you can always go early to bed (and will probably want to).
- the gym and spa (although far away) are of good quality. note there is only one treadmill

Negatives
- parts of the service. although in general professional as mentioned above, two aspects struck us: 1. each time we were at eating at the restaurant we would have one of the waiters (also assigned on the first day) constanlty asking us if everything was ok, but literally every time he passed by and also was super fast taking our dishes. imagine having a lunch where you are asked 10 times if everything is ok. sometimes the guy didn't even remember he had asked us already for one same dish if everything was good.
2. tipping. as part of our travel brochure we were given by our travel agency a guide of how much we needed to tip which we found excessive. We gave half of what was recommended but still ca. £30-40 pounds in tips including tracker, ranger, hotel service, etc. Didn't see much enthusiasm from the tracker in particular (who I think got £5-10 pounds for one day). Considering that we had two trackers on two different days and they barely spoke a word to us we actually felt we were being very generous.
- need to take a 20-25 minute car ride and coordinate with your ranger if you want to go to the spa or gym which are at another hotel in the same reserve

Suggestion
- read other reviews to see which are the best rangers and try to see if the hotel can place you with them. although we liked ours and found him knowledgeable and friendly think you can get more proactive ones. for example, the driver who brought us from the airport to the hotel was more insightful and engaged than our ranger.
- assess carefully if you want to do safari more than 2-3 days at this reserve as it can get quite repetitive and also we had to pre-pay our stay. we stayed 2 nights and felt it was enough (you do almost 8 hours a day in the car). An Argentine family and an American couple we met had the same feeling.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Madrider86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

We spent 3 nights in one of the newly renovated suites with private pool. It was by far one of the most luxurious rooms we have stayed in. We highly recommend is lodge and we would certainly return

What we loved:

1. Quality of service - the staff is all perfectly trained and consistent
2. Our Field Guide, Richard, was extremely knowledgable and passionate about the Bushveld. ( the bush ) - we recommend him highly
3. We saw the big five several times and with experiences such as lions surrounding our truck running from Buffalos or a 30 day old baby elephant.... With our truck parked and elephants walking rig next to us! Wow!
4. The room and it's privacy - pictures available online on their website
5. Safari vehicles were very comfortable and of the highest standards - one can tell their is ongoing meticulous maintenance thought the lodge, reserve and vehicles.
6. There was two showers - all glass and one outside but the suites are so private by facing the bush that. The whole backyard experience felt encapsulated with the bush - whereas at times whilst taking a shower or swimming in the pool you were next to Warthogs and Impalas!
7. The food presentation and service was above standard
8. The price point is lower than the other comparable lodges

Improvements:

1. The private pool was new and they applied an epoxy coating over the cement pool stairs - this causes for a very slippery surface -we both slipped but did not fall - careful
2. The food was good but not extraordinary for the pricing. It was buffet and game meat was available for every dinner. We would expect a a la carte menu with a sommelier or someone with wine knowledge in a way to enhance the culinary experience by reducing the westernize food and introducing fresh local ingredients and local flavors and menus, now almost all lodges are the same so this is a general comment.
3. The water pressure front he sinks and the bathtub was so low that a small drip was the best we could expect. The hotel explained this was normal.
4. The shower water pressure was adequate however the temperature kept occulting between cold and boiling
5. Although the food was included, all drinks, including bottled water was billable ( except tea and coffee ) and did not feel right given the price and the standard of this lodge, I would rather they increase the pricing but make it a real all inclusive.

Room Tip: Choose the newly renovated suites
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank ISAandCHRIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2014

This was our first safari experience ever and my God it was amazing. You have a full schedule planned out for you daily, the staff are insanely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and the hospitality is just divine. Our ranger and tracker were sensational and they made the trip memorable.

Room Tip: get the suite! Its worth it
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Uran I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kapama Southern Camp

Address: | Hoedspruit, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa (Formerly Hongonyi Private Game Lodge)
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: £517 - £1,662 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Kapama Southern Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kapama Southern Camp is the proud new addition to our Kapama Game Reserve family and is situated on the southern most section of the Kapama Private Game Reserve. It offers luxury safari accommodation, warm hospitality and friendly service in a tranquil setting which will satisfy even the most discerning nature lovers' taste. Relax in the lounge with a good book or just sit back and indulge in the breathtaking beauty of mother nature in all her splendour. Alternatively you can lazily lounge around our magnificent pool and deck area and stare into the vast African yonder, hopefully spotting some of the many animals that often pass in close proximity. If the African sun becomes too much to endure, a dip in the refreshing swimming pool will bring immediate relief, and the friendly barman will be on hand to spoil you with a tantalising cocktail.DiningBreakfast and lunches are normally served in the dining room with open sides, so you will always have nature just a few meters away while enjoying tasteful culinary creations from our qualified chefs . Dinner is served in the traditional outside Boma, again with nature as the backdrop and a starlit sky overhead creating the perfect setting.Southern Camp also boasts a fully equipped wine cellar where we stock only the finest wines from top South African vineyards in a perfectly humidified environment. All 15 standard suites at Southern Camp have full en-suite bathrooms with picture windows to enjoy the surrounding scenery and birdlife. Air conditioning, minibars and tea and coffee stations are standard in all suites of this five-star safari accommodation. Private patios offer the opportunity to enjoy relaxing sundowners, while game watching at the same time. Kapama Southern Camp also has 7 luxury suites. These 95 ㎡ luxury suites have their own private lap pool, inside and outside showers, large minibar, espresso machine and a romantic fireplace open to the bath and bedroom. Southern Camp offers 3 luxury Family Suites each with a lap pool and a separate connected bedroom for children with its own bath, shower, double vanity and outside patio. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kapama Southern Camp Hotel Kapama Private Game Reserve
Kapama Southern Camp Kapama Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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