frequently asked questions on safari

At Kapama Private Game Reserve, we understand that planning a safari trip to the wild can raise some questions. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions or FAQs to provide you with all the essential information you need. From our humble beginnings and location, accommodations and game drives to wildlife encounters and dining experiences, we’re here to address your enquiries and ensure your journey to Kapama is extraordinary. Let’s dive in and uncover the answers you’ve been seeking. 


As a first-time guest at Kapama Private Game Reserve, our staff would like to offer you some advice to enhance your experience:

    • Embrace the Wildlife: Keep an open mind and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. Remember that wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, but each encounter is a unique and incredible experience. Be patient, observant, and appreciative of the diversity of wildlife that Kapama has to offer.
    • Listen to your Guides: Our experienced guides are passionate about wildlife and the reserve. They possess a wealth of knowledge about animals, their behaviour, and the ecosystem. Pay attention to their instructions, ask questions, and trust their expertise to make the most of your game drives and bush walks
    • Respect Nature and Wildlife: Kapama is a protected environment, and it’s crucial to respect wildlife and their habitat. Adhere to the guidelines provided by your guides and the reserve management. Maintain a safe distance from animals, avoid disturbing their natural behaviour, and never feed or approach them on your own. By respecting the wildlife, you contribute to their well-being and conservation
    • Never miss a game drive: There are early mornings and you may be tempted to skip a safari. Each time you go out on a  drive you will discover something new and fascinating about nature, wildlife, your guide and our beautiful county  South Africa
    • Pack Appropriately: Kapama experiences a variety of temperatures throughout the day, so it’s advisable to dress in layers. Mornings and evenings can be cool, while daytime temperatures are typically comfortable. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended for bush walks
    • Disconnect and Reconnect: Kapama offers a chance to disconnect from the fast-paced world and reconnect with nature. Embrace the opportunity to be fully present during your safari experience. Consider minimizing the use of electronic devices to fully appreciate the sights, sounds, and serenity of the reserve.
    • Indulge in Local Cuisine: Kapama takes pride in its culinary offerings. Don’t miss the opportunity to savour the flavours of South Africa. Our chefs prepare delicious meals using locally sourced ingredients, offering a taste of the region’s vibrant culinary heritage.
    • Capture Memories: Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the magic of your safari adventure. The wildlife, landscapes, and special moments deserve to be documented, allowing you to relive the experience long after your visit.
    • Remember, our team is here to ensure your stay is exceptional. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them for any questions, concerns, or assistance during your time at Kapama Private Game Reserve. We hope you have an unforgettable and enriching experience in the heart of the African wilderness!



Does Kapama have the Big 5?

    • Yes, Kapama has the Big Five! this means that guests can expect to see Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant during your game drives. There is also a range of other animals, plants and birds, some of them endangered, and our qualified guides will point these out when they are spotted.

What should I wear during my safari stay?

    • When packing for your safari it is recommended to pack your neutral and light-coloured clothing so you blend in better with the surrounding environment. Khaki, beige, brown and green draw the least amount of attention and distraction when out on game drives. Darker and brighter colours can attract unwanted mosquitoes and insects.
    • As Kapama is rich with wildlife, birds and an array of flora, be sure to pack in binoculars, and a camera.
    • In the summer months, be sure to pack in sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Even though Kapama experiences wonderful warm weather in summer and spring, it is advisable to pack in a light jacket for the early morning and late afternoon drives. As the temperatures drop in winter, during these months, a scarf, beanie, or jacket is recommended.  Be sure that the fabric is light and easy to move in – getting on and off the game vehicle – and of natural and neutral tones.

Why can’t we wear bright clothes if predators don’t see in colour?

    • Although predators cannot differentiate between colours they can see different shades on the black-and-white spectrum, thus bright colours will still be something that looks unnatural to them and draw their attention.

What is the average rainfall at Kapama and during which months of the year?

    • The average rainfall is +/- 650 mm a year from October to April.

What is the average daytime temperature in the summertime?

    • The daily temperatures in the Limpopo Province, where Kapama is situated average +/- 30 degrees

What are the weather conditions like in winter, and why can Kapama still be seen as a good holiday destination during these months

    • Kapama experiences nice cool temperatures early morning warming up during the day with little need of warm clothes until late afternoon when temperatures drop. During these months there is no rain and the bush is not so lush therefore it makes game spotting much easier.
    • While each season brings its unique advantages, Kapama Private Game Reserve retains its appeal as a wonderful holiday destination during winter. The milder climate, enhanced wildlife viewing opportunities, comfortable game drives, and the opportunity to enjoy a more peaceful and intimate experience all contribute to making it an excellent choice for a memorable safari getaway.

Why are the activity times changed during the different seasons and approximately how many times a year does this happen?

    • This happens for winter and summer due to our winter mornings still being very dark, we only go out on a drive from 6:30 – 9:30 and leave a little earlier in the afternoon, from 16:00- 19:00
    • In summer we depart earlier in the mornings and later in the afternoons because of the warm weather we experience during the day. Afternoon safaris, therefore, start at 16:30 – 19:30. Morning safaris start at 6:00- 9:00

What is the best time of year to go on a safari?

    • The best time of year to go on a safari can vary depending on factors such as weather, wildlife behaviour, and personal preferences. Here are some considerations for different seasons:

      It’s important to note that wildlife viewing can still be excellent outside of the peak dry season, and each season offers its own unique experiences. The best time to go on a safari may also depend on specific wildlife events or desired activities, such as witnessing the Great Migration in East Africa or bird-watching during specific bird breeding seasons.

      Ultimately, the “best” time for a safari depends on your preferences and priorities. It’s advisable to research the specific region you plan to visit, consult with safari operators or experts, and consider your personal interests and weather preferences to choose the optimal time for your safari adventure.

    • Dry Season: The dry season, typically occurring during the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere (May to October), is often regarded as the prime time for safaris. The vegetation is less dense, making it easier to spot wildlife. Animals also tend to gather around water sources, increasing the chances of wildlife sightings. Additionally, the weather is generally cooler, with sunny days and lower rainfall.

    • Wet Season: The wet season, usually during the summer months in the Southern Hemisphere (November to April), has its own unique advantages. The landscape is lush and vibrant, with an abundance of newborn animals and migratory bird species. The rainfall can create dramatic scenery and stunning sunsets. However, wildlife may be more dispersed due to the availability of water throughout the landscape, and some roads and areas may be inaccessible due to flooding.

    • Ultimately, the “best” time for a safari depends on your preferences and priorities. It’s advisable to research the specific region you plan to visit, consult Kapama’s Reservations team, and consider your personal interests and weather preferences to choose the optimal time for your safari adventure.

Is it safe to be around wild animals during a safari?

      1. Kapama’s Qualified Guides: Kapama Safaris are conducted by an experienced guide and assistance guide who is knowledgeable about animal behaviour and the best practices for wildlife encounters. They are trained to assess situations and ensure the safety of guests and animals.

      2. Respect Wildlife: It is crucial to respect wild animals and their habitat and avoid disturbing their natural behaviour. Follow the instructions of your Kapama guide regarding appropriate behaviour, such as staying quiet and not making sudden movements that could startle or provoke the animals.

      3. Stay in Vehicles or Designated Areas: Our guests are required to stay in vehicles or designated areas. This provides a safe barrier between guests and potentially dangerous animals. It is essential to follow these guidelines to minimize the risk of incidents.

      4. Listen to Guides’ Instructions: Pay close attention to the instructions given by your Kapama guides. They will provide safety guidelines and protocols for various situations, such as encounters with large predators or dangerous wildlife. Following their instructions ensures a safer and more enjoyable safari experience.

      5. Be Prepared for Wildlife Encounters: Remember that safaris take place in natural habitats, and wildlife encounters are not staged. Animals may exhibit unpredictable behaviour, so it’s important to be prepared for unexpected sightings or encounters. Always maintain a respectful and cautious attitude towards wildlife.

        Being around wild animals during a safari can be safe if proper precautions are followed. Kapama’s qualified safari guides prioritize the safety of guests and have extensive knowledge and experience in managing wildlife encounters. Here are some important points to consider:

        While these precautions help minimize risks, it is important to note that wildlife is inherently wild, and there is always an element of unpredictability. Adhering to safety guidelines, respecting the animals, and following the guidance of your qualified Kapama guides will significantly enhance your safety during a safari. Trust in the expertise of your guides and enjoy the incredible experience of observing wildlife in their natural environment.


    How many lodges are there on Kapama Private Game Reserve?

      • There are 4 lodges – Kapama River Lodge, Kapama Buffalo Camp, Kapama Karula and Kapama Southern Camp.
        • Kapama River Lodge: River Lodge is the biggest of all of the lodges. It comprises 62 rooms. This is made up of 16 Spa Suites, 33 Deluxe Suites, 7 non-bush facing Standard Courtyard Suites, 2 Royal Suites and 4 Family Spa Suites. Even though it is larger than your traditional lodges, you never feel as if it is crowded or overwhelmed. River Lodge has an on-site Spa & Wellness Centre
        • Kapama Buffalo Camp: The oldest lodge on the reserve and more traditional when thinking about an African safari. 10 Luxury safari tents are situated in the middle of the bush, secluded and quiet. Aimed mainly at honeymoon couples, couples wanting to get away or simply an anniversary weekend, Buffalo Camp is the perfect place for peace and tranquillity. Only Children 16 years and older are permitted at Buffalo Camp.
        • Kapama Karula: Karula is Kapama’s flagship property, boasting a beautiful setting along the Klaserie River. Contemporary-styled Karula has only 12 Superior Luxury Villas each with its own private heated pool. Karula also has two family Villas with a second en-suite bedroom.
        • Kapama Southern Camp: The newest to the Kapama family, Southern Camp offers 15 Standard Suites and 10 Luxury Suites each with its own pool

    Are children of all ages welcome at Kapama Lodges?

      • Absolutely. Of our 4 luxury lodges, 3 of them are geared to accommodate children of all ages. Only Kapama Buffalo Camp, due to the structure of the camp high-up on stilts, does not accommodate children.
      • Please note though that only children 6 years and older will be allowed on the morning and afternoon game drives. Should younger children be in camp, your guide will arrange a Bumble Drive for children younger than 6 years after breakfast to view animals such as giraffes, zebras, impalas, warthogs etc.

    Are guests allowed to drive their own vehicles around Kapama Private Game Reserve?

      • Due to the natural approach of Kapama, this is not possible. All guests must be accompanied by a guide and on our game drive vehicles when viewing animals. Only the roads leading to the camps, which are clearly marked, are safe to travel on and regularly maintained for guest vehicles.
      • To enhance the experience of the guests,  you will have 2 qualified guides, one as an assistant guide sitting up front on the jump seat, and one fully qualified guide as the main driver – both with expert knowledge and experience. As Kapama Private Game Reserve is a Big Five Reserve, the safety of our guests is also of paramount importance and having qualified guides on safari is one way to ensure guests can safely view animals out in the wild up close.

    How many suites/rooms/tents are found at all lodges?

      • Karula Karula has 12 Superior Villas, Kapama River Lodge has 62 rooms, Kapama Buffalo Camp has 10 tents and  Kapama Southern Camp has 25 rooms.

      Where can guests find internet facilities within the resort and how can guests get online?

        • All the lodges on Kapama have free wifi connectivity

      What is the best way to get to Kapama?

        • There are numerous options available to guests. The most efficient and hassle-free way is to fly direct from either Cape Town or Johannesburg on a scheduled flight. Currently, there are 2 operators with different flight schedules. You can either fly with Airlink or with CemAir.
        • Another option is to self-drive. Depending on which route you take and from where you depart, there are a few scenic routes that allow you to view other parts of South Africa on your way to Kapama.
        • Guests can also make use of Kapama’s private Pilatus PC-12 plane that can accommodate up to 8 guests. There are routes out of Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as other routes on request.

      What is Kapama?

        • Kapama refers to Kapama Private Game Reserve, which is an acclaimed safari destination located in the northeastern region of South Africa. It is a privately-owned property registered as a Game Reserve that has a wide variety of fauna and flora and is home to the Big 5 and a completely natural environment with little to almost no human interference.

      Has Kapama Private Game Reserve always been a reserve?

        • Kapama was once all cattle farms, which was then changed into a conservation area by removing the fences and the cattle and reintroducing the naturally occurring animals. For the last 26 years, it has been an ecotourism reserve.

      How long has Kapama been a reserve?

        • Kapama Private Game Reserve has been a Reserve for about 27 years. The first lodge (Buffalo Camp) was opened to the public about 19 years ago.

      Where is Kapama located?

        • Kapama is found in the northeastern part of South Africa, in the Limpopo Province. It is roughly about 15km from a small town called Hoedspruit and borders the Timbavati Reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park Biosphere.

      Is Kapama part of the Kruger National Park?

        • Kapama is part of the Greater Kruger National Park Biosphere. All the wildlife areas east from the mountain up to the western boundary of the Kruger National Park are known as the Greater Kruger Area.  The closest Kruger gate to Kapama is the Orpen gate which is about 50km away from us.

      How big is Kapama Private Game Reserve?

        • Kapama Private Game Reserve spans a vast area, offering an expansive wilderness for guests to explore. The reserve covers more than 15,000 hectares (over 37,000 acres) of the pristine African bushveld. Within this vast expanse, you’ll find diverse landscapes, ranging from open plains to dense riverine forests, creating a rich and varied habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. Kapama’s size allows for an immersive safari experience and ample opportunities to encounter the captivating wildlife that call this remarkable reserve their home

      When on Kapama what mountain range can be seen on the horizon?

        • From Kapama Private Game Reserve, you can catch a breathtaking glimpse of the majestic Drakensberg Mountain Range on the horizon. The Drakensberg, also known as the Dragon Mountains, stretches across several provinces in South Africa, including Mpumalanga, where Kapama is located. These awe-inspiring mountains form an iconic backdrop to the reserve, adding to the scenic beauty and providing a dramatic setting for your safari experience. The rugged peaks and rolling foothills of the Drakensberg create a stunning vista that complements the abundant wildlife and natural wonders found within Kapama Private Game Reserve. The highest point is Mariepskop which is +/- 2000 ft.

      What is the difference between a private game reserve and a national park?

      A private game reserve and a national park differ in ownership, management, access, and conservation objectives. Here are some key distinctions:

      Ownership and Management:

      • Private Game Reserve: A private game reserve is privately owned by individuals, companies, or organizations. It is managed by its owners or a management team. Private game reserves are often established with the goal of conservation, wildlife protection, and offering exclusive safari experiences.
      • National Park: A national park is owned and managed by the government or relevant authorities.

      Access and Accommodation:

      • Private Game Reserve: Access to private game reserves is often restricted to guests staying at the lodges or camps within the reserve. The number of visitors is controlled, providing a more exclusive and intimate safari experience. Private game reserves usually offer luxurious accommodations and personalized services.
      • National Park: National parks are open to the public, allowing day visitors and self-drive tourists to enter. Accommodation options within national parks can vary, ranging from campsites to lodges, but they are generally more basic compared to private reserves.

      Conservation and Wildlife Management:

      • Private Game Reserve: Private game reserves often have dedicated conservation programs and employ teams of rangers, ecologists, and wildlife experts. They actively manage wildlife populations, engage in anti-poaching efforts, and undertake habitat restoration projects. Private reserves may implement sustainable tourism practices to ensure the long-term conservation of their ecosystems.
      • National Park: National parks prioritize the conservation and protection of natural habitats and wildlife. They aim to maintain ecological balance and biodiversity by preserving the park’s natural state and minimizing human interference.

      In summary, private game reserves offer a more exclusive and tailored safari experience, with limited access and high-end accommodations. They often have a strong emphasis on conservation and sustainable tourism.

      National parks, on the other hand, are open to the public and prioritize the preservation of natural habitats and wildlife with a broader focus on public access and education. Both private game reserves and national parks play important roles in wildlife conservation and provide opportunities for people to connect with nature.

      Is Kapama situated in a malaria area?

        • Kapama is situated a low-risk malaria area but we suggest that guests take necessary precautions and consult with their GP, healthcare professionals or travel health clinics for guidance

      Does Kapama Private Game Reserve employ people from the local communities?

        • Yes, we do. A lot of our employees come from the surrounding communities and have family there. Kapama currently employs more than 500 employees from the area.

      What is the best best way to get to Kapama?

        • There are numerous options available to guests to arrive at Kapama. The most efficient and hassle-free way is to fly direct from either Cape Town or Johannesburg on a scheduled flight directly to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS). Currently, there are 2 operators with different flight schedules. You can either fly with Airlink or with CemAir. Kapama offers courtesy transfers for all guests flying into Hoedspruit Airport. 
        • Another option is to self-drive. Depending on which route you take and from where you depart, there are a few scenic routes that allow you to view other parts of South Africa on your way to Kapama.
        • Private Charter – As Kapama has its own landing strip, and hanger as well as our own PC-12 private plane, guests have the option to fly directly into Kapama either from Cape Town or Johannesburg. For more information on other rates and additional routes, our reservations team can be contacted via email at [email protected]