Kapama River Lodge
Across all of Kapama’s lodges, two daily game drives are offered and are included in the tariff. Accompanied by a skilled ranger and tracker, guests can expect to encounter a diverse range of animal and bird species on game drives. Since this is a Big Five reserve, seeing lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo is possible over a two-day safari in Kapama Private Game Reserve.
The day starts with an early wake-up call between 5am and 5:30am. Tea, coffee and rusks are enjoyed together before heading out at first light. While seeing big game is always exhilarating, there are many other smaller species that are also captivating, and birding enthusiasts will be delighted at the approximately 350 species of birds recorded on the reserve. Halfway through the game drive, there’s a stop for hot drinks and snacks, before returning to the lodge at around 9am for a full breakfast. Throughout the day, it’s likely you will see wildlife around the lodge - nyala antelope and vervet monkeys are frequent visitors, though seeing some of the Big Five is also not uncommon.
At around 3:30pm, everyone gathers for a decadent high tea, before heading out with your ranger and tracker for the afternoon game drive through the reserve. En route, you’ll stop for a sundowner drink and will have a chance to stretch your legs as you watch the sun set over the distant peaks of the Drakensberg mountains.
As darkness falls, the nocturnal animals of the bush come out. The skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight, which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge. Arrival is at the lodge is usually around 7pm, allowing time to freshen up before enjoying a sumptuous dinner.
Feel Africa underfoot on a guided bush walk with a highly trained game ranger. The experience offers an intimate encounter with nature and wildlife, and medicinal and other plants are identified en route.
Rangers also teach walkers to track wildlife in the traditional way, using animal footprints and scat. Expert trackers are able to tell the gender of many animals just from their footprints. Large and dangerous animals are avoided on walks, but many other species can be viewed from a safe distance at ground level. A bush walk through Kapama Private Game Reserve is a truly memorable and authentic encounter.
River Lodge Spa & Wellness Centre
Surrounded by stillness and sweeping bushveld, the Kapama Wellness Centre takes safari spa treatments to new heights. Considered one of the finest safari spas in Africa, the six sumptuous treatment rooms are arranged around a generous central lap pool that evokes a sense of calm.
While Dermalogica and Matisse products are used in the spa, five uniquely created African-inspired treatments are also on the menu to provide rejuvenation and complete relaxation. Soak up the signature four-hour Marula Miracle Moments - which includes a body wrap, facial, massage and more - or opt for other enticingly named treatments such as the Kapama Pinotage Bliss, which uses vine-infused products, or the Marula Sensual Steam Treatment. Various treatments are also available to couples. The luxury safari spa treatment menu includes a full range of body and beauty treatments.
Highly trained and experienced beauty therapists remain abreast of global treatment trends, while giving them a uniquely African twist for Kapama’s Wellness Centre. After your treatment, take a swim in the lap pool or relax under bushveld skies before heading back to your luxury game lodge accommodation.
Alternatively, if you’d like to work up a sweat, the state-of-the-art mini gym is fully equipped. There is both cardio and weight-lifting equipment, depending on if you want to tone or build muscle. What is guaranteed is that a visit to the Wellness Centre will energise and uplift you for the day.
Romantic Sleep-out Platform
The Kapama Romantic Sleep-out offers a million-star overnight experience. Sleeping in the open air on the reserve, elevated high above the ground under the African night sky, is a uniquely romantic experience. A raised platform is evocatively furnished with an oversized bed festooned in white linen and billowing mosquito netting. It’s completely safe, while being surrounded by only wilderness and wildlife. The experience is guaranteed to take your breath away.
You’ll arrive before sunset to watch the changing colours of evening and sip a sundowner. The African bush fairytale continues with a five-course dinner served to you by a personal chef at an intimate table for two on the platform. Or you can enjoy dinner at the lodge and arrive at your romantic sleep-out venue afterwards. By night, it will be encircled by a ring of golden lantern light.
The platform and luxury bathroom underneath are both animalproof, but both a two-way radio and cellular phone are supplied for additional peace of mind. With a flush toilet, shower and his and hers basins, the bathroom has all comforts catered for.
Your private night in the African bush continues until after dawn, when you will call your ranger by radio to transfer you back to your lodge. An appointed pick-up time may also be arranged in advance.
The elephant interaction offered by Kapama, is a unique opportunity for guests to get extremely close to the world’s largest land animals. This activity offers visitors the chance to learn about African elephants, both wild and habituated, as they interact and feed these gentle giants.
This is an early morning experience starting at around 06:20 am. Bring a hat and sunscreen with you as the day will get hotter as the sun rises. Wear closed shoes preferably and don’t forget your camera! Then climb on board a game drive vehicle for your transfer to the designated location, where you will be met by one of the activity managers for a personal introduction to this unique elephant herd.
The elephant experience starts with a brief history of Jabulani and the rest of the herd that came to be part of this unique elephant experience. This is a fascinating story, made even more riveting as the Elephant Manager has shared the journey of each elephant since the start of this endeavour. Learn about the bonds formed between the elephants and their grooms, and what it takes to care for this special herd.
The interaction allows you to observe these animals in their natural environment as they peacefully go about their daily routine. Listen to amusing anecdotes about each individual elephant, each with their own quirks and antics.
You are then introduced to Jabulani and get the opportunity to feed and interact with him while learning some interesting facts about the anatomy of an elephant. Any questions are welcomed and there is plenty of time to take those once-in-a-lifetime photographs with Jabulani.
Over the years five babies have been born into the herd. Mambo - one of these special babies - is then introduced. This young bull elephant is full of character. He usually comes running out of the bush when called and loves being featured in any photographs being taken.
While you interact with Jabulani and Mambo, the rest of the herd can be found browsing in the bush nearby. The herd consists of 14 elephants, ranging in age from 6 to 33 years.
The 90 minute elephant interaction includes coffee and tea with biscuits. For some, this up-close interaction is a life-changing one, but for everyone it is a truly unforgettable encounter.
Hoedspruit Centre for Endangered Species
To see rare wildlife up close, take a late morning trip - after the game drive and breakfast - to the nearby Hoedspruit Centre for Endangered Species. Here cheetah, wild dog, serval, caracal and various other species are rehabilitated and can be safely viewed from close range. Rare king cheetah can also be seen here.
An educational video is shown as part of the tour and showcases the different projects undertaken by the centre. It’s followed by a guided tour to view cheetah and other fascinating wildlife. Guests to the centre will be accompanied by a Kapama lodge ranger.
Kapama photographic workshops
Kapama Private Game Reserve is delighted to host world-class photographic training by a leading South African wildlife photographer - hands-on in the African bush.
Kapama Private Game Reserve is offering this three-night photographic workshop package at its four diverse luxurious safari lodges. Hosted by professional wildlife photographer Albie Venter, the workshop is aimed at beginner and intermediate photographers. It also aims to bring together like-minded people who enjoy both nature and photography. During the workshop, you will learn everything from operating a camera to how to compose and spot evocative photographs. You will also be able to put your newly acquired knowledge into action, and hone your skills during private game drives through the bush.
Whether you have never picked up a camera before or just want to learn to use the one you have better, the emphasis of the weekend is on learning both the technical and artistic sides of photography in a relaxing natural environment. All appropriate genres of photography will be discussed, and the theoretical aspects will be taught during two sessions hosted in the lodge conference room. The six game drives during the weekend are aimed at putting knowledge into practice, with guidance from the professional photographer on your vehicle. Groups are kept small to ensure personal attention. A maximum of six people are accommodated on the game drive vehicle, to ensure all participants have ‘window’ seats.
This photographic can be customised for any number of days. Kapama is happy to quote on and accommodate specific guest requirements.