Kirkman's Camp--Still great?

Reply

Jul 8th, 2004, 11:48 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4
Kirkman's Camp--Still great?

I was in South Africa in July 2002 and went to Kirkman's Camp which was then part of Mala Mala. I have recently learned that Kirkman's camp has been sold to the Exeter group. According to a travel agent I spoke with, Kirkman's Camp "has not changed". Has anyone experienced Kirkman's Camp since it changed ownership? The best part about Mala Mala was the huge piece of property. The area for game viewing was so immense. I wonder if that game viewing area is smaller now that Kirkman's Camp has been sold. Any thoughts?
DCTravelGirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 9th, 2004, 05:45 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
DCTravelGirl

The traversing area of the ''new'' Kirkman's is smaller,down to +- 5 000 hectares from the original 18 000 when they were part of the Mala Mala Game Reserve
safarinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 9th, 2004, 06:31 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Does anyone know anything about the renovation of Harry's camp at MalaMala?
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 10th, 2004, 08:30 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 228
I too am curious if Kirkman's is a nice site. I'm a first timer so wouldn't have any comparison to what it use to be like. Are the accommodations nice? Is it a good location for animal viewing from the camp itself? Is this considered a luxury type property with a price tag to match? Any feedback is appreciated.
newyorkgolfer41 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 10th, 2004, 03:49 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
mgmargate,newyorkgolfer41

No news on the new Harry's yet except that it is going to be super-luxurious!

Kirkmans Camp traverse two properties at present

1)CHARLESTON(which they own)
2)TOULON(Mala Mala owned,but have traversing rights)

These two properties are located in the southern section of the SSGR and both have great views of the Sand River.

Twenty five years of statistics prove that game viewing has been better in the northern section of the Mala Mala Game Reserve(closer to Main Camp)and this was one of the reasons why Mr.Ratray(owner of MM)sold Kirkmans.

The game viewing at the new Kirkmans however is still magnificent,maybe just not as great when the were part of Mala Mala.

The accommodations are nice,decorated 1920's style,but certainly not Singita,Ulusaba,Earth Lodge or Londoz Tree Camp type luxury.

Is Kirkman's Camp worth $350pp/night,I would have to say yes!
safarinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 10th, 2004, 04:52 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Safarinut: Is Harry's still owned and operated by the Ratray's? Thanks.
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 10th, 2004, 05:40 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
mgmargate

Yes the Ratray family still ownes Harry's Camp.The new Harry's camp will look nothing like the traditional Ratray camps however.Everyone in South Africa knows Mala Mala offers the best game viewing it's just that they didn't always have the most luxurious accommodations.

The new Harry's(don't know if name is going to change)will have a spa,plunge pools etc.I will be visiting in December,can't wait!
safarinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 02:11 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Safarinut: So is it your impression it will be more upscale than the Main camp to try and compete with LOndolozi,Singita,Phinda etc?Do you know when the will start accepting bookings?
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 05:40 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
mgmargate

Yes,the new Harry's will be more upscale than Main Camp and will compete with Singita and Londoz on accommodations only.Having been to most other lodges in the SSGR I can assure you that nobody can compete with Mala Mala in terms of game viewing!

As far as I know they are scheduled to open in December 2004 but I am not sure when they will start accepting bookings.
safarinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 06:07 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Safarinut: We had booked MalaMala for 3 nights April 04 as part of trip to CPT. Vic. Falls. We had confirmed family room etc. from Pacific Delight tours who are new to Africa but have a very good rep. in Asia. Several weeks before depatrure we were notified of a glitch and need to move our MM dates ahead 1 day,they could not secure the rest of the flights rooms etc. to this new timeline.Sadly we had to cancel and wound up taking the kids to DUBAI(Wild Wadi Water Park). We will get to a Safari soon.With the info gathered from this board I think I will probably book it myself after pricing it through an African co. or Premier Tours(PHILA.) I'm told they are very reputable and they are in the region I live.I know Roccco is not a big MM fan and we can afford to go anywhere we like ,I picked MM for the game viewing which appears to be unmatched from most of the reasearch I've done..
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 06:31 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 407
mgmargate

I can only compare game viewing in the SSGR and believe me MM is in a class of it's own!I have been on sixty game drives in MM and can't wait for the next one!

Taga Safaris will provide the best pricing for Mala Mala and most other lodges in the SSGR.
safarinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 11:56 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
mgmargate,

On the contrary to you stating that I am not a Mala Mala fan, I would love to visit Mala Mala. I believe it would be more appropriate to say that I am not a fan of going out of my way to visit the Sabi Sand.

However, if I am spending time elsewhere in South Africa and cannot afford to dedicate the time to visit elsewhere, I would love to visit Mala Mala, Singita Lebombo, Simbambili and a couple other South African lodges.

Next year, for example, I will likely only have time for a short safari, if at all, and will likely choose Mala Mala and Simbambili for about 3 nights each. Doing so would allow a few nights in Cape Town.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 12:13 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Roccco: Knowing all you know about Africa if you were taking an 8&10 year old(we need either a family room or 2 adjoining rooms)and had never been on safari and wanted to see Vic Falls all in 2 weeks, what would you do?Leaving from ewr or jfk most direct flights and money not being an issue.
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 01:09 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
mgmargate,

That is an easy one, with the unlimited budget and all.

Flight #1 JFK - Joburg - Livingstone

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights) - Chuma House, Victoria Falls. www.star-of-africa.com/circuit2.htm

Chuma House looks amazing and has two bedrooms, its own.

Flight #2 Livingstone - Mfuwe (South Luangwa)

Days 4 to 7 (4 nights) - Robin's House, South Luangwa. Friends of mine visited with their two daughters, aged about 13 and 10, and they loved it. Here is a link to their photo album. They chose Tongabezi and Robin's House, but Chuma House wasn't even open at that time.

http://africa.estelleandalfonso.com/album0.html

Then on Day 8, I would suggest flying all the way to Cape Town. Sure, it will be a long day and they will not even arrive until the evening, but, really, there is little activity for children in Joburg.

Days 8 to 13 (6 nights) - V&A Marina Residential, Cape Town. This is perfectly situated on the Waterfront and there will be plenty of activities for both adults and children. 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom luxury apartments are available and it is walking distance to countless restaurants, the Aquarium, the Table Bay Hotel and the Cape Grace Hotel.
http://www.cape-venues.co.za/vamarina.htm

Despite price not being an issue, it seems like a waste of money to spend $1,000 USD per night on a suite or even adjoining rooms that would have 2 bedrooms at one of the better hotels.
I have seen the apartments at these places and they are great. I should have bought one when I had the chance with the Rand at 11.8, but I didn't care much for the 17% interest rate and with a 50% down payment required of foreigners, it would have been very difficult. You are probably looking at only about $400 USD per night for a great looking place.

With six nights, there is plenty of time to take all kinds of tours, including to the Winelands and even Hermanus for whale-watching.

Day 13 - Joburg to JFK.

The above information would be best applied to a safari between early September to early November.

Hope this helps.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 01:20 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Roccco:Thanks alot for the great info,the only part that is a problem is that because of school the only time available for a trip of this length is at Christmas and Easter.This always puts us at high season pricing but such is life. I have an extra busy building season this fall and winter so I will have to settle for a couple short hops to the Carribean but december 05 looks good for us.Thanks again.
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2004, 10:02 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
The photo album that I referred you to was taken in early April over their childrens Spring Break (Easter) holiday. So, Robins House is definitely open at this time, and game viewing is still very good. Although wet in the South Luangwa, this just forces most animals to stick close to the roads, making game viewing good.

Best part of it all, is that April is low season in South Luangwa and very good deals are available, even at Robin Pope.

Good luck.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 12th, 2004, 12:36 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
mgmargate,
Sorry to intrude, but if you are planning to visit Zambia in December or April be aware that December-April weather is hot and wet in Zambia. Very hot-- 100 degrees F or higher, sometimes much higher. Rains can be torrential too. Prices will definitely be low season, but I don't think I'd take kids there, unless you were quite confident that they would not be cranky in severe heat. (No air conditioning either.)

By April, the temperatures will be cooler (though still hot), but it could still be very wet. There were torrential rains and floods in South Luangwa this April. This is not an ideal time for game viewing...

However December is a beautiful time in South Africa, and is the high season there.



tashak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 12th, 2004, 01:12 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
mgmargate,
Forgot to mention malaria...with the hot wet season in Zambia (Dec-May) the population of malaria mosquitos gets high, and this is definitely a malaria area. Of course the anti-malarials are much safer now than malarone is on the market, but with it is something to be aware of when making travel plans with children.

The risk during this time of year is not trivial. But if you are prepared to be really vigilant about medication, repellant and covering up after dark, it is manageable.
tashak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 12th, 2004, 02:22 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 861
Roccco,Safarinut&Tashak: Thanks alot. As I get closer to a decision i'm sure to be back for more info.
mgmargate is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:58 PM.