Stop for sundowners in the bush while on game drives from Kirkman’s Camp.

Kirkman’s Kamp | Sabi Sand game reserve Luxury South Africa Safari Lodge

Travel back in time to the colonial era of the 1920s, when intrepid explorers came to test their mettle in the South African bush. With candlelit baths, extravagant meals and guided game drives, at Kirkman’s Kamp you’ll enjoy the comforts of a modern safari steeped in history and old-world charm.

The place

After a quick transfer from the airstrip to the lodge, we arrive in time for high tea served on the exquisitely manicured lawns outside Kirkman’s Kamp. An array of treats are laid out on a table: a tiered cake, petits fours and scones with jam and cream. This time-honoured colonial tradition proves irresistible, so our bags travel ahead of us to our cottage while we sip at Earl Grey and imagine we’re African adventurers, soon to uncover the secrets of the surrounding bush.Before heading to our cottage, we take a moment to browse through the lounge, discovering a portrait of Harry Kirkman, after whom the camp is named. As a hunter he killed over 500 lion in an effort to farm cattle, but happily he saw the shortsightedness of this and turned ranger and conservationist instead.

After a quick transfer from the airstrip to the lodge, we arrive in time for high tea served on the exquisitely manicured lawns outside Kirkman’s Kamp. An array of treats are laid out on a table: a tiered cake, petits fours and scones with jam and cream. This time-honoured colonial tradition proves irresistible, so our bags travel ahead of us to our cottage while we sip at Earl Grey and imagine we’re African adventurers, soon to uncover the secrets of the surrounding bush.

Before heading to our cottage, we take a moment to browse through the lounge, discovering a portrait of Harry Kirkman, after whom the camp is named. As a hunter he killed over 500 lion in an effort to farm cattle, but happily he saw the shortsightedness of this and turned ranger and conservationist instead.

The room

Our suite is one of 18 scattered amid an immaculately cultivated garden. It’s unassuming from the outside with a tin roof and monotone colour, but on entering, we can immediately tell we’re going to more than comfortable.We walk over elegant hardwood floors; my partner to admire the historical photographs on the walls, myself to sink into the light-blue chaise lounge at the foot of a large bed with matching headboard. I kick off my shoes to feel the softness of the Persian carpet, and, spotting the large fireplace, hope for a cool night so that we can enjoy a romantic fire.The sound of running water alerts me to the fact that the claw-foot bath has already been claimed. So I wander outside onto our verandah and gaze across the manicured lawns into the African bush, only to see a warthog wandering right past our cottage, as comfortable in these colonial surroundings as a croquet player!

Our suite is one of 18 scattered amid an immaculately cultivated garden. It’s unassuming from the outside with a tin roof and monotone colour, but on entering, we can immediately tell we’re going to more than comfortable.

We walk over elegant hardwood floors; my partner to admire the historical photographs on the walls, myself to sink into the light-blue chaise lounge at the foot of a large bed with matching headboard. I kick off my shoes to feel the softness of the Persian carpet, and, spotting the large fireplace, hope for a cool night so that we can enjoy a romantic fire.

The sound of running water alerts me to the fact that the claw-foot bath has already been claimed. So I wander outside onto our verandah and gaze across the manicured lawns into the African bush, only to see a warthog wandering right past our cottage, as comfortable in these colonial surroundings as a croquet player!

What sets it apart

The location of Kirkman’s Kamp in Sabi Sand game reserve – on pristine lawns overlooking the vast, untouched wilderness that stretches into Kruger National Park – is probably its greatest feature. With no boundary fences, wildlife can traverse 6,300ha of untamed nature. Given that the number of vehicles at sightings is limited and sensitive off-road driving is permitted, your chance of an intimate encounter with big cats – including the elusive leopard – is particularly good.We thoroughly enjoyed the rim-flow swimming pool, from where we could watch a family of visiting warthog graze the lawns, and look out over amazing views of the Sand River Valley. With welcoming fireplaces and several hidden nooks and crannies to settle in for a quiet read, our stay at Kirkman’s Kamp was blissfully relaxing.There was plenty of safari adventure too – particularly when we tracked animals on foot – which gave us lots to chat about over starlit dinners in the boma and elegant 1920s dining hall.Whether enjoying gourmet dining or afternoon high tea, Kirkman’s Kamp managed to transport us to a different era, one full of genuine charm.

The location of Kirkman’s Kamp in Sabi Sand game reserve – on pristine lawns overlooking the vast, untouched wilderness that stretches into Kruger National Park – is probably its greatest feature. With no boundary fences, wildlife can traverse 6,300ha of untamed nature. Given that the number of vehicles at sightings is limited and sensitive off-road driving is permitted, your chance of an intimate encounter with big cats – including the elusive leopard – is particularly good.

We thoroughly enjoyed the rim-flow swimming pool, from where we could watch a family of visiting warthog graze the lawns, and look out over amazing views of the Sand River Valley. With welcoming fireplaces and several hidden nooks and crannies to settle in for a quiet read, our stay at Kirkman’s Kamp was blissfully relaxing.

There was plenty of safari adventure too – particularly when we tracked animals on foot – which gave us lots to chat about over starlit dinners in the boma and elegant 1920s dining hall.

Whether enjoying gourmet dining or afternoon high tea, Kirkman’s Kamp managed to transport us to a different era, one full of genuine charm.

At a glance

  • Colonial safari lodge with 18 air-conditioned guest cottages (two of them triples). The lodge has a rim-flow swimming pool and spa.
  • Private reserve, private vehicles available (additional cost), individual dining and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris (additional cost), interpretive bush walks, birdwatching, photographic safaris (additional cost), animal tracking (additional cost), spa treatments (additional cost) and swimming.
  • Children welcome with babysitting (additional cost) and kid’s programme available. Two cottage suites can accommodate triples for children under 16 years. Certain activities are age restricted.

  • Colonial safari lodge with 18 air-conditioned guest cottages (two of them triples). The lodge has a rim-flow swimming pool and spa.
  • Private reserve, private vehicles available (additional cost), individual dining and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris (additional cost), interpretive bush walks, birdwatching, photographic safaris (additional cost), animal tracking (additional cost), spa treatments (additional cost) and swimming.
  • Children welcome with babysitting (additional cost) and kid’s programme available. Two cottage suites can accommodate triples for children under 16 years. Certain activities are age restricted.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is the Southern Hemisphere summer and autumn. In the Greater Kruger area, this means higher temperatures and most of the year’s rain. Rainfall tends to be short and sharp rather than prolonged, with exciting electric storms. A cool, post-storm afternoon game drive is a genuine highlight: with the dust knocked out of the air, the light has a limpid quality, and trackers are in their element, with a blank canvas to work from. When it’s green like this, the bushveld at its prettiest, and full of new life.

The cooler winter months are almost entirely rain-free. This means that the vegetation dries and becomes sparser, making it easier to spot wildlife. Short grass and bare branches let the Greater Kruger safari guides use their spotting skills to the fullest. Game begins to concentrate at dwindling waterholes, and this attracts the predators. Be prepared for spectacular sightings, but also pack a safari wardrobe that can cope with both the very fresh early mornings (especially on an open game-viewer) and then warm days peaking at around 23°C.

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