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Kirkman's Camp

Kirkman's Camp

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve shares a boundary with the South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park, and, by agreement between the authorities and the owners, the border is unfenced. This creates more than 160,000 acres that wildlife roams freely.

Kirkman’s Camp sits high on a ridge overlooking the Sand River. Its homestead harks back to the 1920s with its large sitting areas, spacious verandas, tin roof, and expansive gardens, every bit in the “old Transvaal” vernacular. The camp’s décor is stylish, light, and thoroughly modern, with not a sign of Victorian frills and dark colors. Afternoon tea is best enjoyed on the veranda or in the garden.

Guests are accommodated in eighteen air-conditioned guest cottages, each of which boasts private verandas and spectacular views. Each bedroom is well decorated with iron-bedsteads and décor from the colonial and safari past of the region, while the bathrooms have claw-foot tubs and separate showers.

However excellent the facilities and amenities at Kirkman’s Camp are, it is most likely the wildlife that has drawn visitors to the camp. They have come to experience the Sabi Sand. Take a morning or late afternoon game drive in an open 4x4 vehicle. Do not forget your camera as the terrain is varied and beautiful, not to mention the animals.

On safari you are likely to come across all of Africa’s “big 5” as well as many other “specials” (such as cheetah and hyena). But leopard is the star at Kirkman’s Camp, often sighted here at night and occasionally, and quite amazingly, during the day too. Many antelope species, giraffe, warthog, kudu, and nyala all make this area their home as well. Lion are here in fair numbers too.

Kirkman’s Camp specializes in “interpretive bush walks” where you are taken into the bush by experienced rangers who are keen to share their knowledge of the bush and its animals. Tracking animals is a wonderful experience, and a good tracker is one part artist, one part scientist, and at least three parts “I have been taught by the best and have been doing it for years” (i.e. experience).

Even if you are not an avid birder, do take a safari with a specialist birding ranger. The Bateleur and the Martial eagle, Africa’s largest eagle, are often seen in Sabi Sand. There are many others and an excellent variety of water birds.

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