Kirkman's Camp

traditional Camp | Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa

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Kirkman’s Kamp, one of the best-loved safari lodges in South Africa, is a historic and authentic 1920s Transvaal homestead, so true to its classic era that guests feel they’ve traveled back in time. Impeccable service complements the classic atmosphere, creating an oasis of gentility amid the unspoiled wilderness of the surrounding Sabi Sand Game Reserve, renowned for its sightings of the famous Big Five.

Photo of Ben Bressler

Our Expert Says

I love the wildlife drives at Sabi Sand, but I find many of the camps too elaborate or too large. While Kirkman’s is still not a small and intimate camp, its authentic colonial style adds a wonderful ambience that complements the area’s prolific wildlife.

– Ben Bressler

Photo: Facilities & Amenities

Facilities & Amenities

  • En suite bathroom with tub and shower
  • Shampoo, soap and lotion
  • Hair dryer
  • Air conditioning
  • Room fan
  • Mini bar
  • 220v charging outlets in room
  • In-room safe
  • Central pool
  • Massage treatments (extra cost)
  • Tennis court
  • Wi-Fi in room and main area
  • Laundry included
  • Local drinks included (house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)
  • Credit cards accepted (Visa, MasterCard, Diners, American Express)
  • Cellular coverage is intermittent

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Photo: The Camp

The Camp

Location: Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa
Number of rooms: 12

A stay at Kirkman’s is a journey into yesteryear. In every detail, this 1920s lowveld estate evokes an earlier era, from its green tin roof to the ritual of afternoon tea served on the manicured lawn. Located high on a ridge, the camp overlooks the Sand River and sprawling plains. Twelve cottages survey the view from private verandas, where friendly warthogs often wander by. Inside the air-conditioned suites the period ambience is sustained with plaster walls covered in old photographs, chalk-white cotton linens, wainscoting and porcelain clawfoot tubs. The main lounge, centered on a large fireplace, features marble floors, sisal rugs, wicker chairs and French doors that open onto the lawn. A large infinity pool and umbrella-shaded deck chairs enjoy a sweeping vista of the bushveld. Meals are served on the shaded veranda or rolling lawn, by the fire inside the traditional reed-enclosed boma, or by lantern light in the bush.

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Photo: Wildlife Viewing & Activities

Wildlife Viewing & Activities

Kirkman’s is situated in the prestigious Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, together protecting more than 160,000 acres of raw wilderness. Both regions are known for exceptional viewing of the Big Five—the famous quintet of elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard. Sabi Sand is renowned for its leopard sightings, and chances to spot the elusive predator are excellent. Cheetah and wild dog are commonly seen, while general game includes giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, a variety of antelope and nocturnal animals such as civet, genet, honey badger and mongoose. Activities include twice-daily game drives, night drives with powerful spotlights, interpretive bush walks led by an armed ranger for close-up nature encounters, tracking lessons on foot with expert Shangaan trackers, specialized birding walks, and photography safaris. Back at camp, relax with a book from the library or enjoy a tennis match on the original 1930s court.

The Sabi Sand is known for great leopard viewing, healthy rhino populations and the rest of the Big Five, making it a great wildlife destination for all levels of safari experience. The below chart helps to illustrate major wildlife sightings often experienced here. Other typical sightings may include warthogs, baboons and a number of other mammals, birds and reptiles. Exact sightings will depend on weather and wildlife movements.

Country Park/Reserve
Black Rhino
Greater Kudu
Sable Antelope
White Rhino
Wild Dog
South Africa Sabi Sand Reserve

Usually viewed
Frequently viewed
Occasionally viewed
Sporadically viewed
Rarely to never viewed

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Month Max Min Rainfall
January 84° F 68° F 3.86 in
28° C 20° C 98 mm
February 88° F 70° F 6.54 in
31° C 21° C 166 mm
March 88° F 68° F 5.24 in
31° C 20° C 133 mm
April 84° F 61° F 1.85 in
28° C 16° C 47 mm
May 81° F 50° F 0.43 in
27° C 10° C 11 mm
June 81° F 43° F 0.12 in
27° C 6° C 3 mm
July 77° F 43° F 0.16 in
25° C 6° C 4 mm
August 82° F 48° F 0.16 in
27° C 8° C 4 mm
September 82° F 57° F 0.55 in
27° C 13° C 14 mm
October 81° F 61° F 1.77 in
27° C 16° C 45 mm
November 84° F 66° F 6.61 in
28° C 18° C 168 mm
December 84° F 63° F 9.41 in
28° C 17° C 239 mm

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Photo: Conservation


Kirkman’s Kamp is named in honor of W. Harry Kirkman, one of South Africa’s foremost conservationists who started his career as a ranger on a neighboring MalaMala farm in 1927. True to its namesake, the camp today continues to support conservation, limiting its impact through reducing fossil fuel use, employing renewable energy and careful waste disposal. All waste generated by the camp is removed from the reserve, while glass, plastic, paper and metal are recycled. Committed to sharing the benefits of ecotourism with the surrounding community, Kirkman’s has supported the work of the Africa Foundation in providing a new kitchen and cooking equipment for two nearby schools, introduced scheduled shuttle transfers for its employees to save on fuel and traffic impacts in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and instituted a new program of Conservation Lessons for school children, many of whom have never been inside Sabi Sand or witnessed animals in the wild.

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