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All reviews outdoor shower private pool the river game drives the reserve safari experience hoedspruit airport gas fireplace high end lodges modern luxury food and wine private safari minute drive flora and fauna every aspect amazing wildlife high tea
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Reviewed October 12, 2016

This was my second visit. The game drives were outstanding and we had the best ranger, Bjorn and his tracker Roy.
There were 2 disappointing things for me this time. I had booked single bed accommodations as I was traveling with a friend, This was confirmed at the time of my booking. However, when we arrived we were provided with a full double bed and a temporary single bed. The single bed had no bedside table and no reading light. I did mention this to the staff but nothing was done during my stay to change this or to address this.
The other disappointment was the food. It was ok but nothing outstanding as I had experienced 3 years ago when Chef Patrick was there. I did provide feedback to the lodge. they acknowledged my feedback but said there was nothing they could do. As I was there for the game drives i did enjoy that aspect of the visit. I certainly cannot recommend Karula the same as I did 3 years ago.
The new wellness center is fantastic. I did have an excellent massage and a wonderful pedicure.
It is unfortunate that this visit was below my expectations. I guess nothing stays the same.

  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Karen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 6, 2016

This was the experience of a life time!
It is a luxurious resort, and everything is catered for as part of the package, including alcohol. Each room is actually a separate suite that is huge, and has its own private swimming pool. (You can swim in the nude if you want to, it is private - we neither confirm nor deny we did that). Apart from the occasional monkey swinging by that is. There are only 12 rooms in total - we were in Number 11, which is a bit of a walk to the reception area, maybe 350 meters. It is quite new and modern.

So, wake up call at 5:30 am to get out on safari, quite cool at this hour of the morning. But hot water bottles on the seats and a blanket compensated for that.
Stopping at one stage for hot coffee and snacks, then returning for a full breakfast. Then time to fill in till another full meal at lunchtime, and then in the early evening going out for the night safari, leaving at 7:00 pm. Stopping about 8:00 pm for drinks and snacks was quite surreal, sitting in the quiet of the evening. And finally a late full dinner upon return.
We were blessed to have one of the top rangers there, who was very knowledgeable and skilled, and went out of his way to make sure we saw everything.
Ranging around the private game park that is Kapama, we saw all the "big 5", though it was not till our last run in the evening that we saw a cheetah. It had just started tucking in to a kill when we found it. The animals seem to take no notice of these trucks with spotlights glaring at them, which means you can see what is going on.
We were also very fortunate to see a live kill at night as well - 4 young lions under their mum's supervision brought down a buffalo. Very emotional and not for the fainthearted, but an experience we'll never forget. Apparently you don't get to see an actual kill very often.
Lots of elephants, zebra, giraffes, antelopes of various kinds, hyena, rhino, hippo, vultures, baboons, other monkeys were sighted and enjoyed, sometimes very close.
I've probably missed a few others!
It gets hot during day and quite cold at night, so warm clothing for the night and comfortable summer clothing during day is good.
Also, it is quite dusty, but all to be expected.
Everything was great, though the front of house staff in the dining room, and the room staff could be more attentive to detail considering the class of the resort.
Forgetting to heat the water for morning coffee is not the best way to warm up in the morning! It is the little things that can sway your impression. Other staff were good though.
Getting there from Capetown is not hard, the resort is close to Hoedspruit airport. Just don't exceed the 20kg luggage limit! We got through somehow, but it could have been costly.

Room Tip: Some rooms are a bit of a walk, so if you have an aversion to that get one close to reception.
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 121Kiwitraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 25, 2016 via mobile

My wife and i visited karula lodge for 4 days. The region was in its worst drought for 10 years. The owners decided to supply fodder to rhinos and other animals to guarantee their health and survival during this dry period. What a great decision as it enabled wonderful viewing for the many guests. Our guide Bjorn is very knowlegable and taught us things we had not known even though we have done over 250 safaris. This lodge is one of the best and when mixed with some bush camps the holiday experience is first class. Highly recommended.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Gulliver0002013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 21, 2016

Clearly we weren't the only ones (based on the reviews) who feel strongly that this place is a little slice of heaven. If you can stomach the travel time from the US, it doesn't get better than Kapama Karula. Everything about our experience was magical, from being picked up at the airport in an open air land rover and seeing a giraffe on our way to the property, to the daily game drives led by Morne (OUR FAVORITE!), the gourmet meals prepared by the very capable chefs, to an incredible spa experience that tops anything the best spas in the US have to offer. We will never forget driving through the bush at the end of our evening game drive, staring up at a zillion stars and the outline of the milky way, only to stumble upon a fully grown lion and lioness chilling out in the darkness in front of our vehicle. I haven't even mentioned our villa, which was spectacular in every way from the heated outdoor pool to the outdoor shower, constantly replenished mini bar, and oversized comfortable bed. We saw every one of the big five plus countless other species, and were treated like royalty every step of the way. If and WHEN we make it back to South Africa, Kapama Karula will DEFINITELY be on our itinerary!!!

Room Tip: every room is AMAZING
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank janusian33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 17, 2016

This was the BEST experience I have ever had. The suites speak for themselves with the photos and other reviews. They are huge and beautifully appointed. It was the service that made this entire stay so special. I don't normally name people but they were so brilliant they need acknowledgement. The greeting at the airport which really close, and the drive to Karula was exciting as that was the first sighting of a number of the animals. The checking in process with Heidi was immediately relaxing and a delightful welcome. Heidi was always there throughout the stay to assist with anything we needed. Greg and Themba - our guide and tracker were fantastic. They made sure we saw every animal from the best vantage point - even the elusive leopard on a couple of occasions and the very rare pangolin. They also made all the game drives great fun and helped so much with the photography which will be treasured in years to come. Reason - our fantastic waiter. What can I say other than we felt so spoilt at every beautiful meal cooked by the talented Apprentice. Johan also took great care of us especially with regards to our drinks . The housekeeping isn't just the usual clean - it was proper housekeeping with all the tidying needed by two messy women. The thoughtfulness of the staff never ceased to amaze me. On the first morning we ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate and then every morning we would return to our room to find a bottle and two glasses in an ice bucket - total luxury on the holiday. The professionalism of Karula stems from management. Therese - was fantastic. I simply cannot recommend this property highly enough .

Room Tip: They are all good rooms. Stay as long as possible.
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank pekingese65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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