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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Wildlife encounters and stylish villas at Karula, Kapama Private Game Reserve

The birds start twittering, the predators deliver their last calls, and all other animals start to emerge with the dawn of a new day…

By Ian de Weerd
Head Guide at Kapama Karula

Set amongst the riverine trees of the Klaserie River, staying at Kapama Karula makes you feel as if you are in a different world. Early morning is my favourite part of the day. You get to see the sun rise over the river from our main lounge and from every villa. The birds start twittering, the predators deliver their last calls, and all other animals start to emerge with the dawn of a new day.

The lodge is perfectly positioned to maximise the views over the river. We have ten stylish villas and a couple of family villas that have two en suite bedrooms and a spacious lounge. Each villa has floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto the deck where you will find a heated pool, a great place to unwind between game drives.

We have a variety of locations for our meals. Lunch poolside is a popular choice. Evening meals normally take place under the stars in our boma, however, if guests prefer, we can arrange a private cosy fireside dinner in the library.

I enjoy interacting with our guests and delivering a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. When I am taking guests on safari, I love to see the excitement on their faces when they get to see an animal that they have always dreamt about seeing. We are set on 15,000 hectares and have 40 different mammal species including the Big Five and 350 bird species. No two game drives are ever the same and I have been fortunate to have experienced many incredible wildlife encounters. I’ve seen two honey badgers attack a baby nyala antelope only to lose it to a hyena. The highlight of my career was when I saw the birth of a baby elephant.

As well as twice-daily game drives, we offer guests the chance to take an educational bush walk where they can learn tracking skills and the medicinal benefits of our plants. If you want to exercise, we have a state-of-the-art fitness centre with treadmill, cardio and weight-lifting equipment. In contrast, a visit to our award-winning spa or a yoga or meditation session will leave you more relaxed than ever.


  • Places to stay
  • Wildlife

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Alfred & Ian de Weerd

Ian de Weerd grew up in Vereeniging and has worked in the tourism industry for 14 years, primarily as a guide. Ian has a National Diploma in Tourism Management and an NQF4 Field Guide and Trails Guide qualification. He has been guiding on Kapama Game Reserve for three years and is currently nearing completion of his Professional Field Guide creditation. When he isn’t guiding, he enjoys photography, videography and doing woodwork.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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