Africa, Baby Boomer Travel, Hotel Reviews, Travel Iteneraries

Best South Africa Safari

Going on Safari in Kruger South Africa is probably on everyone’s Top 10 Bucket List must dos. It was certainly on our list. We actually had that dream fulfilled and it is still the highlight of all of the trips we have made. Safaris are expensive for the most part and you aren’t guaranteed to see the Big 5 anywhere. Choosing the right location is really important. So here is what we believe is the best South Africa Safari that will give you incredible memories & the best chance at seeing those Big 5.

We went in December. South Africa’s weather was very mild at that time of year with a little rain. We chose Kirkman Kamp for our safari. To be honest it was not my first choice, because it didn’t look like what I thought of a safari camp ought to look. It was beautiful, but more English looking. But, boy am I glad my husband and our traveling complanions won out, because this trip was INCREDIBLE!

Kirkman Kamp

We saw everything and more. All of the Big 5, mating leopards, and a brand new 6 week old lion cub. We didn’t just see them at a distance, but we saw them in the case of the lion cub, 2-3 feet away. What makes the Sabi Sands area around Kirkman Kamp so attractive to the animals in the area is the river that runs through their reserve. Water is the life blood of Sabi Sands and the animals stay close.

There was another reserve just ajacent to Kirkman Kamp that I had been more interested in, because of the african decor. It looked like you were really on safari. Later though we met up with some who had stayed at that kamp. We were absolutely giddy with excitment, however it was clear by the look on their faces that their safari did not turn out like our safari. They saw impala by the 100s and that was pretty much it. There was no water on this reserve, it was much drier, so chose your location carefully.

The beautiful Kirkman Kamp lodge sits high on a hill overlooking Sabi Sands. The cottages are spacious, clean and decorated nicely. A claw foot bathtub, stand alone shower, a fireplace and a private veranda. You will be taken back in time to a 1920s Africa as you relax on one of the verandas, sipping a refreshing drink.

The Food

The food was just amazing! I can’t say enough about it. Presentation was beautiful, served in the most beautiful location you could ever imagine. The staff was always helpful, kind and friendly. They always looked after our safety as it was quite possible for any of the Big 5 to wander up on to the lodge property at any time. We were escorted back and forth from the lodge to our cottage at all times.

We were there for 2 nights and 2 days, going out on safari 4 times. First thing in the mornings and at dusk on both evenings. Every detail was perfect including coffee and pastries first thing in the morning and cocktails on the sands at dusk. Upon returning in the evening we relaxed while be serving cocktails and chatting with other guests about what they had seen before dinner.

From here, I will just let the pictures speak the praises of Kirkman Kamp. Pictures definetly speak a thousand words so I won’t bore you with mine. One with the show.

Around Kirkman Kamp

kirkman kamp main lodge

kirkman kamp veranda
Plenty of comfy seating on the veranda where you can sip some of the best lemonade you will ever taste while watching in the monkeys playing in the trees.

kirkman camp cottage

dining at kirkman kamp south africa
Our first meal, lunch was had at this table. Warm breezes, great conversation and service, while imagining what adventures we might have in the next couple of days.
lunch kirkman kamp kruger
Beautiful buffet lunch

Kirkman Kamp Safari

kirkman kamp open air safari jeep
Our open air safari trucks. Keep in mind that when we met the lions, the female and her cub were at one point  no more than 2 feet from my side of the truck, was just opposite the driver. No sides and she was about as tall as my lap.
bull elephant kirkman kamp sabi sands
This big guy was just right outside the Kirkman Kamp main lodge and had been scratching his head on the porch cover of our guides cabin the night before.
cocktails on sabi sands safari at dusk
Our first evening on safari havin cocktails on the Sabi Sands with our guides. Beautiful sunset. We learned of a great sipping cocktail, Amarula.
mating leopards
A very rare sight as leopards tend to be rather shy, but this mating pair was totally oblivious to our presence as we watched them for 45 mins. So rare is a view like this that even our guide had never seen mating leopards before and was taking as many pictures as we were.
hyena puppy kruger kirkman kamp
Hyena pup totally unaffected by our presence.
lion cub kirkman camp safari
This was the most exilarating experience we have ever had. This mom and her new cub spent nearly an hour with us. We were the ones who had to leave. Mom walked directly up to our open air truck within a couple of feet, eyeballing each and everyone of us. We were instructed in a whisper, not to move. She passed us and then sat on the road while this little future king mauled, nipped and crawled all over her. She was so patient with this little guy, it was beautiful. The rain was coming down, we were soaking wet, yet so happy to have had this likely once in a lifetime experience.

Maybe we are a little partial when we say that Kirkman Kamp is the best South Africa safari considering it is the only safari we have ever been on. I will tell you this, it was so amazing we have wanted a do-over just so we could experience it all over again. Honestly though we have decided not to try believing that nothing will ever compare and we would likely be disappointed. IF we ever go again, it will almost certainly be back to Kirkman Kamp.

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