My wife and I will be visiting family near Phalaborwa for a short stay later this month. We would really like to have the best big game viewing experience possible at a safari lodge/camp in a private reserve, but can only get away for one night. I hear incredible things about the Sabi Sands Reserve, and in particular Londolozi Reserve and CC's outfit among others, but am wondering if it's worth the trouble of getting there and back from Phalaborwa (or direct there and then drive or fly up to Phalaborwa) over staying a night at a lodge in the Thornybush Reserve, which is much closer to Phalaborwa.
Is the game viewing experience (keeping in mind it's the wet season) that much better to try to make the logisitics work? If so, is it safe to drive from Sabi Sands to Phalaborwa, or would you recommend just paying the money to fly up from Nespruit and hire a car there? Also, any lodge recommendations in Thornybush if the game experience is most important to us?
Thanks in advance for any wisdom shared!