Kapama Karula: a sleek safari experience

Like for Sabi Sabi, I recommend to spend at least 2 nights at Kapama Karula for a better overall experience (no rush) and to grow your chances to see as many different animals as possible. Sabi Sands game reserve has a common open border with the gigantic Kruger national park (meaning animals can migrate freely), whereas Kapama is a fenced game reserve. I know, at first it doesn’t sound appealing (I mean, I am totally against zoos)… But when you enter the reserve and drive many miles on dirt roads without seeing a single fence, you realize how huge this reserve really is. You will note the same during your safari drives: many hours of driving, no fences in view.

Where Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp is intimate and authentic, Kapama Karula is sleek and modern. I would recommend to try both, but if I had to choose I would probably pick Kapama Karula. Why? For a similar safari experience, it comes with a lighter price tag (Sabi Sabi may be a bit overpriced because of its reputation). Plus the villas with big private pools and terraces are to die for…! The safari experience itself depends a lot on your ranger and how full the lodge is during your stay. I had the chance to have the whole open-air safari jeep for myself and my spouse, and an experienced ranger totally passionate about his job (Chris). During 3 different game drives (2 mornings and 1 evening) we went from bush walk among mud-bathing rhinos, sundowners in front of gracefully moving giraffes backed by one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen, to catching a python bare hand in the night and gazing at a starlit sky with zero light pollution. Unforgettable. Despite all Chris’ efforts, we didn’t manage to see a leopard (the most difficult Big 5 animal to spot) and he was even more disappointed by that than we were.

What I preferred at Kapama Karula:

  • the size of the private villa and its pool
  • the modern design of the property in general
  • the curio shop on-site
  • the passionate and experienced ranger Chris
Private plunge pool and afternoon drinks (air temperature +40C), Kapama Karula
Private plunge pool and afternoon drinks overlooking the bush (air temperature +40C)

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Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp: safari with style

I recommend to spend at least 2 nights at the lodge to fully enjoy your safari experience and get better chances to spot all the Big 5 (buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino). Prepare for some pampering, as everything is included and taken care of from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave: meals, drinks, accommodation, morning and evening safaris in open-air jeeps, guided walking tours in the bush… Make sure to also visit the state-of-the-art Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, the staff will gladly take you there for a quick tour of this amazing place. Nothing to dislike at Sabi Sabi, so I will just list the things I preferred. In the coming days I am going to post an article about another lodge in the area and, of course, an article about the Kruger area with great wildlife pictures I had the chance to take. Stay tuned!

What I liked most at Sabi Sabi:

  • candle-lit dinner under the stars
  • breakfasts with amazing fruit juices
  • all alcoholic drinks included (at the bar, in the room and with meals)
  • cosy and beautiful main lounge
  • intimacy of the whole lodge, with a private and secluded feeling
  • professional and very handsome ranger Matthew
  • visit of the incredible Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp
Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp

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A night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)

While in Japan, you must spend a night in the serene atmosphere of a ryokan. Really. It’s an amazing Japanese experience. There are a lot of them spread across the country (even in central Tokyo) and they come in a vast array of price categories. The experience is more enjoyable if you go on the country-side though, like the region of Hakone close to Mount Fuji (and fairly close to Tokyo as well) for example.

Welcome tea at Hakone Takuminoyado Yoshimatsu
Welcome tea at Hakone Takuminoyado Yoshimatsu

From the moment you step in to the moment you leave the next day, you will experience Continue reading “A night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)”