Kapama Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger
Kapama Game Reserve occupies a vast area between the northern Drakensberg mountains and the Greater Kruger National Park. It is the largest single-owner game reserve in the region, and is perfectly situated to receive guests flying into Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit). This airport is just minutes from Kapama Game Reserve and Kapama include free airport transfers in open safari vehicle direct to any of the four lodges in Kapama Game Reserve; Kapama Southern Lodge, Kapama River Lodge, Kapama Buffalo Camp and Kapama Karula. These camps and lodges can accommodate a total of 208 people between them at Kapama Game Reserve.
Reminiscent of a traditional African safari camp, Kapama Buffalo Camp in Kapama Game Reserve offers a unique and intimate experience in the African bush. It is ideal for discovering big game Africa in true safari tented style without compromising on comfort.
Ten luxury canvas tents, each sleeping two, are set on wooden decks built on stilts over a steep-sided riverbank. Wooden walkways interconnect the rooms, which are all in the upper reaches of tall riverine trees. The river below rarely flows and antelopes are seen daily walking along the sandy riverbed. Each tented room has all the usual comforts of electricity, en-suite bathroom, safe, writing table, wardrobe, suitcase stand and tea/coffee facilities.
The communal areas of Buffalo Camp are on the riverbank, where gardens of succulent aloes and euphorbia are tended around the thatched bar, dining room, pool terrace and campfire. But the thick African bush is just a glance away, inhabited by animals like lion, hyena and jackal whose calls can be heard in the dead of night. Lanterns, rather than electric lights, glow at night under the trees, creating a special intimate ambience particular to Buffalo Camp.
With a maximum of 20 guests at Buffalo Camp, special attention is paid to personal service and the staff become like friends. Kapama Buffalo Camp is a truly authentic way to experience the African bush.
Buffalo Camp has a cosy lounge on the edge of the riverbank under a vaulted thatch with ceiling fans to help the air flow. The Buffalo Bar serves drinks all day and into the night until the last guest turns in.
Upholstered chairs and sofas offer a restful place to sit and listen to birds in the surrounding trees.
The African camp atmosphere is perpetuated at mealtimes with serve-yourself choices presented in heavy African cooking pots over a gentle flame.
Hot and cold breakfast and lunch options are spread out across the servery, while dinner is prepared in the kitchen or cooked on the grill and served around an open fire in the circular traditional outdoor boma.
Buffalo Camp’s pool terrace is small and intimate like the rest of the lodge. Big enough for a dip rather than a swim, this is the best place to cool off and rest under sun umbrellas on a hot African afternoon.
Kapama Buffalo Camp has eight safari tents, upholding the best traditions of a luxury safari camp. They are set on stilts high amongst the treetops overlooking a seasonal riverbed. The branches of bush willows and leadwood trees crowd towards your balcony, and as you scan the treetops, you might well look straight into the face of a vervet monkey staring right back at you. Raised wooden walkways connect the tented safari rooms and lead to the main lodge on the riverbank.
The wooden-floored tented rooms feature twin beds with white linen and African design bedspreads. Fleecy throws and heated under blankets keep out the cold on winter nights. Like any other luxury bedroom, Buffalo Camp suites have an en-suite bathroom with shower and a dressing room with wardrobe and suitcase stand. Leather finishes and a stand-alone fan give the decor an old African touch.
Set on the banks of the Klaserie river which flows throughout the year, the seven luxury tents and five exclusive chalets that make up Kapama Karula in Kapama Game Reserve – “the place of peace” – are in every way true to their name. The river glides smoothly forming sparkling pools that attract smaller riverine animals and a myriad of birds in every season.
This extraordinary camp, based on the recently acquired Gwalagwala camp has now been rebuild into one of the finest Camps in many respects. Consisting of seven luxury air-conditioned tents and five large exclusive chalets are the epitome of luxury. Each with a his and hers basin, inside and outside shower and sliding glass doors that will wrap around the chalet 260 degrees to offer guest the opportunity to have unrestricted views onto one of the most sought after locations – the Klaserie river. The 115m² chalets are air-conditioned and comes with every form of luxury most can think of.
The new lounge, dining room, bar, pool and pooldeck as well as other guest entertainment areas will impress the best of connoisseurs. All of course with unrestricted views onto the Klaserie river.
The northern Drakensberg mountain range provides a majestic backdrop to the largest private game lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park region. 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 and 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 featuring venison like kudu and impala.
Kapama River Lodge is so named because it lies in a curve of the Kapama River, which is usually dry but floods from time to time and can reach the steps of the lodge swimming pool. A small permanent water source lies just beyond Kapama River Lodge perimeter fence attracting animals like antelopes, elephant and buffalo. Watch this truly African spectacle from the warm blue water of the big rim flow swimming pool, or relax in the shade of an umbrella on loungers around the pool.
For those occasions when you really want to catch up on world news on cable TV, watch a sports game or entertain the children with a wildlife DVD, pop down to the Kapama River Lodge Media Room. This area is also adapted for small conferences of 20 delegates or less, with breakaway rooms seating 8-10 people.
African pots, stools and artefacts grace the illuminated recessed alcoves in the L-shaped lounges and bar of Kapama River lodge. Chairs are softly upholstered in reds and golds and the high yellow thatch reflects a warm light back into the beamed lounges. A wide chimney divides each lounge area, and the dual-facing fireplaces throws light and warmth into all areas.
Wooden-framed glass concertina doors can be pulled closed to keep it cosy or opened up completely for views beyond the rim-flow pool into the sandy riverbed. A special feature of Kapama River Lodge is the straw-clad plaster walls, helping to seamlessly merge the inside with the outside.
Kapama River Lodge extends itself with three different dining venues:
Rhino Boma is the most popular buffet dinner venue where a delicious variety of dishes is eaten under an open-sided thatch around a crackling fire.
The Riverbed is a romantic place to dine, with a star-studded African night sky above you and the sand of the dry riverbed beneath you.
Siyatla Lounge is newly built and perfect for large groups, formal functions, product launches and conferences. It has its own bar and lounge with two huge fireplaces with chimneys extending up to the open-beam thatched roof. Huge wizened leadwood trunks create a truly African feature inside the hall. Concertina glass panel doors open the space completely to let the sounds and smells of Africa in.
Dishes are prepared with seasonal local produce and fresh herbs grown at Kapama River Lodge. Ethnic dishes and accompaniments like mealie pap (African-style polenta) and chakalaka (a hot and spicy relish) are used to give the taste of Africa, but more familiar food is also on the menu. Safari game drives have the habit of giving you a raging appetite so blow the diet and dig into specialist dishes like warthog stew and kudu casserole, impala sausages and mild oxtail curries. Fish eaters get an option on the menu and vegetarians are well catered for with fresh African vegetables like sweet potatoes baked in their skin, wild spinach and feta cheese, spiced zulu cabbage and steamed gem squash.
Wine Cellar Kapama River lodge has a wine cellar worth boasting about. Three big plate glass windows allow you to look into the perfectly humidified environment storing more than 600 bottles of fine wine. Apart from some French Champagne, all the wines and Cape Classique sparkling are from South Africa’s finest Cape vineyards; Meerlust Rubicon, Veenwouden and Boschkloof Merlot, Graham Beck Shiraz, Nitida pinotage and fine vintage Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.
Suites Kapama River Lodge features 40 spacious air-conditioned suites, with modern yet distinctly African furnishings and log-beam ceilings under a golden thatch. Step onto your private balcony with an iced drink from your mini bar, and while away free time looking lazily into the bush for animals that may pass by.
There’s tea and coffee at your disposal too. Bathrooms are all en-suite with his and hers basins, bath and shower, complimentary toiletries and lotions and fluffy white towels.
Spa Suites The 20 Spa suites, completed in November 2008, is positioned close to the Spa on a private setting away from the rest of the lodge and all rooms have magnificent private views into the reserve. The ebony and ivory colors and the use of frameless glass panels in the bathroom as well as the 3 meter high doors makes it possible to fully enjoy the magnificent views from every corner of the room. The room includes all other luxuries such as a minibar and coffee and tea making facilities, hair dryer, minisafe and even have a built in international plug that can accommodate most electric power plug configurations.
The Kapama Family Room is situated together with the Spa suites and includes three balconies and a separate area with two beds for younger kids if guest want their kids to be accommodated in one room. This room is in excess of 70 mÂ² including the balconies and is also ideal for guests who just enjoy the comfort of a large room.
Royal Suites Pamper yourself at the two Kapama River Lodge Royal Suites. These suites are bigger in every way and have a separate lounge and extended balcony with recliner couches. Your en-suite bathroom has bath and a dual shower cubicle looking towards the bush.
Sweeping views across a tranquil lake create a sentiment of feel-good as soon as you arrive at 5-star Kapama Southern Camp in Kapama Game Reserve. Rambling natural growth at the water’s edge contrasts with tended gardens and lawns nibbled by wandering nyala antelope. Thatched viewing decks overlooking the water ensure instant relaxation here at Kapama Lodge.
Set along stone pathways among leopard orchids, aloes, and fever trees are Kapama Lodge’s twenty thatched chalets. The two honeymoon suites at the water’s edge offer a few extras, but all bedrooms have the ability to make you gasp as you walk in; fresh white bedding plump with cushions is surrounded by four great swathes of mosquito netting creating a fairy-tale four-poster effect. The rooms are spacious, air-conditioned and decorated to reflect the rich textures and colours of Africa.
When the African sun rises to full strength after a morning of Big 5 game driving, it is time to jump into the Kapama Lodge swimming pool or sit on the tea deck with an ice-cold drink. Cocktails are served here on balmy evenings, while winter evenings are best spent in the library lounge around the log fire.
A team of chefs create an array of fine food served in the Kapama Lodge main dining room, or in the traditional circular outdoor boma lit by lanterns, or at a secluded bush venue under a starry African sky.
All these comforts mean nothing without the genuine smiling faces of Kapama Lodge staff. From the broadly smiling waiters to the expert rangers and trackers, it is they that make a good safari vacation into a great African holiday.
In old colonial style, you are greeted in Kapama Lodge library-lounge by an enormous elephant head with tusks almost 2 metres long. This is a replica of one of Africa’s great tuskers, just to remind you that beyond the perimeter fence lies untamed Africa.
Whirring ceiling fans, a gigantic fireplace, dark wood antiques and notable artworks all help to make this room a retreat from the bright African sun or cool winter evenings.
Food is always a focus on an African safari and the day starts with hot drinks and homemade rusks before the early morning game drive. Your ranger normally stops during the game drive for another refreshment stop and leg stretch. On return it’s a slap up breakfast with everything you desire to eat to set you up for the day. Lunch is a buffet of starters, salad and hot dishes, usually featuring one of the speciality soups made fresh each day by the sous chef.
The chefs are not only kept busy preparing food, they are often seen in the office typing out recipes for guests who request them, like the delicious Kapama Lodge mushroom soup or banoffee pie.
A la carte evening meals include local and international dishes with specialities like tender rack of lamb or gentle curries and flavourful seasonal vegetables. Dinner is served in different locations chosen according to whim and weather; you may be in the subtly lit main dining room, eating by lantern light in the outdoor boma, or by the light of the moon and stars at a hidden location deep in the bush in Kapama Game Reserve.
Kapama Lodge Swimming Pool A dip in Kapama Lodge swimming pool is most refreshing when the heat of the African sun becomes too intense. The pool’s wooden sundeck extends right over the lake, which is inhabited by terrapin, barbel and bream, watched over by fish eagles and kingfishers.
Relax on a sunbed and let the sound of water tumbling over stones into the pool mesmerise you into a state of calmness.
Chalets The décor of the twenty suites at Kapama Southern Camp are as eclectic as nature itself with colours and shapes mirroring the natural world; whole log door frames, twisted stem lamps, coir mats and curling metal-framed furniture.
Luxurious twin or king size beds are a vision of white with crisp linens and pleats of mosquito netting falling into a four-poster effect.
Rooms offer all the amenities associated with a quality establishment; minibar, air conditioner, tea and coffee station, electronic safe, telephone, gowns, and luggage rack and 24 hour duty staff.
Kapama Game Viewing
Game Drives Two daily game drives are part of the fully inclusive tariff at Kapama Game Reserve and your skilled ranger and tracker do their best to find the animals of Africa for you to admire.
Expect a wake up call at between 5am and 5.30am and gather for tea or coffee and rusks before heading out at first light. If you are lucky, the big cats will still be around after their night of hunting. This is Big 5 country (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo) all of which are possible to see during a two-day safari in Kapama.
There are also many other species to be seen in Kapama Game Reserve, large and small, as well as fascinating plants and colourful birds. Stop halfway through the morning game drive for hot drinks and rusks from the Landrover snack box and return at around 9am for breakfast. During the rest of the day, you are likely to see wildlife like nyala antelope and vervet monkeys around the lodges.
At Kapama Game Reserve around about 3.30pm everybody convenes for high tea, before departing with the same ranger/tracker team for the day’s second African bush safari.
Enjoy a sundowner drink along the way (not included in the tariff), and get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs and watch the sun go down over the distant Drakensberg Mountains.
As darkness descends it’s time to return to the safety of the Landrover and let the tracker scan the landscape with a spotlight picking out the glinting eyes of nocturnal animals. Return to the lodge at around 7pm, where there is time to freshen up before dinner.
Bush Walks Get some African soil under your feet with a bush walk after breakfast in Kapama Game Reserve. Explore the environment with your ranger, learn about curative properties of plants and identify animals from their footprints and dung. Large game is avoided when on foot but animals can often be seen from a safe distance. Please note that this will be done under ranger discretion.