andBeyond Kirkman’s Kamp is a gorgeous and historic lodge that celebrates the untouched wilderness of the Sabi Sand.
As our readers know, Cathy and I love to go on safari when we’re in Africa. On this long journey, we are heading to three camps: andBeyond Kirkman’s Kamp, andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and finally for New Year’s Eve, andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve.
We flew from Johannesburg to Skukuza, South Africa where we were met by Chris, the Game Ranger who would transfer us to Kirkman’s Kamp, and for the next three days, be our wildlife expert and guide.
On arrival at Kirkman’s we were greeted by some of the key staff as is typical of andBeyond operations. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time at this camp because rooms are strategically clustered around the original 1920s homestead which with its colonial furniture, historic memorabilia, and the wraparound veranda, makes you feel like a family guest the second you arrive.
Sharing an unfenced boundary with Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest and most well-known game reserve, the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve benefits from great diversity of wildlife.
Guests staying at Kirkman’s Kamp have the privilege of traversing 26,000 acres of exclusive-use land that is home to not only “the Big Five” (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo), but other rare and iconic species as well.
We were in cottage number two (there are 12 in total), where we slept beneath a cluster of old photographs located above the bed. Snuggle into a leather armchair in front of a blazing fire, soak in your claw foot bathtub in the nostalgia-laden bathroom or enjoy views from your private veranda.
A typical day starts with a wake up call at 5 AM and a meet and greet with your fellow travellers over coffee and a light snack before you are on the game drive vehicle heading out to the vast Sabi Sand, which is the size of the state of New Jersey! It also boasts the highest density of leopards in the world, making Kirkman’s ideal for anyone interested in this and all the other wildlife that abounds.
At the end of the game drive (somewhere around 830 – 9 AM) breakfast is served in the main lodge and then you are free to hang around the swimming pool, curl up and read a book, or take the almost mandatory nap to catch up on sleep before you meet again at 4 PM for afternoon coffee and the afternoon/evening game drive. The evening drive often includes a mid-drive stop for gin and tonic or something else refreshing whilst taking in the views of the wonderful African continent.
Afterwards, you can relax in the library, filled with interesting reads, or the classical sitting room which provides the ultimate setting to enjoy a pre-dinner drink immersed in nature.
As in previous visits with andBeyond we truly wanted for absolutely nothing. The staff were friendly, attentive, and accommodating, and our guide Christ and his tracker Lucky were highly knowledgeable about the birds and wildlife.
Guests can feel great about staying with andBeyond, who are highly involved in various conservation initiatives across the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, from anti-poaching missions to general wildlife management. Sustainability practices are a daily priority at Kirkman’s Kamp and expert ranger and tracker teams ensure sensitive off-roading practices are followed.
After three nights we left Kirkman’s for our next leg at Ngala Safari Lodge and are looking forward to more exploration!
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.