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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 March 8, 2017

I can't even say what was the best part of our journey to Kapama Karula. The games were amazing, we saw 4 of the big 5's, the ranger and the tracker were super knowledgeable about animals, foot prints, wild life and really seemed to care about it. The hotel and specially our 200 square feet room were absolutely FANTASTIC! The amenities were amazing, room service was perfect. The food is also a 10000 score. Delicious venison meat, and all other foods were very well prepared. Staff were super friendly, the cleanness of the room was perfect... Hard to tell a problem on the hotel. Everything was so so cool that was very hard to leave. Really. Worth each dollar spent. I wish I could remember all the staff members name to thank them again. I think tracker and rangers were Kenny and Mark, maybe. Again, perfect stay.

I stayed on June/2015 and just realized I haven't rated the hotel.

Room tip: The bigest rooms do have a private pool.
Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Marcella R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 16, 2017 via mobile

The kapama private reserve has five camps, but for us, this one was perfect. It's small (only 12 bungalows), intimate and meets every traveler's expectation of what a luxury safari should be. It's in tune with the natural environment, understated in decor, yet offers every amenity you would want. Food was excellent, and our ranger, Aneen and spotter, Adolf, were able to turn the hunt for wildlife sightings into a fascinating experience of discovery. Their knowledge of the wildlife, flora and fauna, which they shared at every turn, made the drives early interesting. I hated for our stay to end. If planning a visit, ask for Aneen and Adolf. You won't be disappointed. Our server at all our meals, was Reason, and his story of how,he got his name offers a glimpse into the culture of the country. Hope you are as lucky as we were to have his impeccable service. If you go, try to stay 3 nights. It's truly worth it, but even in 2 nights, you'll have the thrill of your life.

Date of stay: February 2017
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Peggy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 16, 2017

We were there for 5 days over the Christmas period December 2016. This was our 4th time on safari so we knew the drill. We were a little sceptical that we would have the true due to the fact it was a private reserve rather than open savannah. That scepticism was eliminated straight away, there was a lot greener than our previous safari experiences but as such, you had to train your eye all that harder, it made the tracking more fun. We were greeted by Ruan at Hoedpruit airport, then a 20 minute drive to the Karula Lodge. On that short journey, we saw rhino bathing in mud, warthogs, giraffe, zebra – you get the picture !

Game Drives – within 24 hours we’d seen all the big 5 (plus many others), we encountered the animals up close and personal. We did not need binoculars or a zoom lens, the iPhone camera was just fine ! Both Ruan and our tracker Mphao were amazing, they looked after our every need, we saw everything from large to small and we watched some amazing behaviours like elephants bathing, lions stalking wider beast and a rhino protecting its young..

Villa – the pictures do not do them justice, clean, well appointed, lovely “free” mini bar, we were in Villa 12 right at the end, the privacy and silence was amazing, lying on the terrace listing to the abundant wild life gazing at the stars was just the best experience. The private pool was great to wash the dust of after a game drive.

Spa – just beautiful – do it !

Service & Staff, all were very attentive, the ground staff, house keepers and of course our Game team Ruan and Mpphao and our lovely “butler” Sophwie (spelling sorry if incorrect) were great and helped make us feel welcome and festive over the Christmas period.

The resort had been hit by lightning which took out the wifi to the rooms, this was well handled and a complementary bottle of champagne was left by way of an apology – to be honest – it was nice to have a digital detox!

Overall this was just amazing, we did not want to leave and hope to be back soon.

Room tip: Villa 12 for ultimate privacy.
Date of stay: December 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 4, 2017

Your villa with a private pool and the wounderfull staff and guides makes it a truly unique experience.Everyday the staff makes it,another unique experience.the food is very god and the change it daily so your tastebuds are always satisfied.

Date of stay: September 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Dr Bradley f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 2, 2017

We stayed at the Kapama Karula for 3 nights in December as part of a trip to South Africa, and I will say, it was one of the best places we have ever stayed, with amazing staff. First, we booked a Family Suite for my family of 4 (kids ages 10 and 13). The Suite was very large and very comfortable. Our Suite had its own heated swimming pool (they all do!), 2 large bathrooms, an outdoor shower (each lodge is situated so that you can not be seen by any other lodges or walkways!), two minibars (all inclusive- drink away), and a Wii console for the kids. The beds were very comfortable and the sitting area made for a nice relaxing area to hang out (when you found the time!). Everyday, you go out on 2 game drives- 6-9 and 4:30-7:30/8am. Our ranger Dohan and Tracker Eddie were absolutely amazing. We managed to see the Big 5 within our first 2 game drives, but even better, we saw 36 elephants (my daughter counted!) playing in the water and a baby giraffe that was just born- we stayed and watched as it tried to figure out how to walk, eventually getting up and taking steps- SIMPLY Amazing. I can't say enough about Dohan and Eddie- they work very well together, are SUPER friendly, highly knowledgeable (I felt like we got a 3 day animal education on every animal we saw!), and they interacted with my girls and kept them engaged the entire time (so much so that my girls refused to miss any game drives- even the last day when they were SUPER tired from waking up at 5am again!). Did I also mention that because the Lodge only sleeps somewhere around 30 people, and we had kids, they set us up with a private Safari everytime we went out? I am not sure if that is normal, or if it was because no other families had kids, but we LOVED it. It was such a great experience to share with our girls- something none of us will ever forget! The rest of the staff at the lodge was top notch as well- always trying to make sure you were happy and taken care of- felt a bit luxurious for us and we loved it. The food was good. It is the one area that I think they could improve on, but even that was still a positive! The only thing I will say they could do differently is have more options for kids. We celebrated Christmas with them, and there were no other dinner options than the set menu- a menu that was not a bit kid friendly (included a few dishes with alcohol). My girls tried most, but went back to the room a bit hungry. That is really the worst thing I can say about the Karula- it was amazing. I would recommend to everyone and I would for sure return if I were to come back!

Date of stay: December 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Leighg24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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