Kapama is a large family-owned private reserve one fence away from Thornybush and the Greater Kruger. It has 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of its own land for traversing. Large enough to feel properly wild, it does offer good chances of seeing the Big Five in a two-night stay. Guides are skilled in finding the charismatic game. The reserve’s immediate proximity to Hoedspruit airport and the R40, combined with competitive pricing at River Lodge, make it a fairly priced choice for seeing the Big Five when time is limited.
Its portfolio of luxury game lodges occupies a substantial chunk of land between the northern Drakensberg mountains and the Greater Kruger National Park. There is enough space here to keep you well entertained for three nights. If you do stay for a few days, walking is good, with buffalo around waterholes a particular treat to see on foot (subject to the proviso that the vehicle density on Kapama is quite high).
Lodges share traversing rights across the entire reserve, but vary in style, size and comfort levels. Of the four camps, three have recently been totally rebuilt – Karula is the smallest and most luxurious; River Lodge the largest; and Southern Camp in-between. Buffalo Camp dates back to the family’s first farm, which evolved to include properties around it to form today’s Kapama. Also within the Reserve for your enjoyment is the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Breeding Centre. A characteristic of the reserve is the towering presence of the Drakensberg Mountains in the background.
Kapama is fenced on all sides, and whilst the guides tend to avoid it, you may come up against the perimeter whilst following game on occasions.