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Game viewing and accomodation

St. Petersburg...
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Game viewing and accomodation

We (a young couple) are going to SA for a couple weeks in early January 08 and really want to devote around 4 days to game viewing. We have a special interest in the big cats and elephants. I have read in the forums here that Mala Mala is one of the best in terms of rangers qualification and the chances of seeing different animals. I did check out some lodges but they seemed EXTREMELY expensive (500 USD per person per night).

Please help: - What are the other types of accomodation that would be more affordable? We're not looking for anything exclusive or luxury, but would like to have a hot shower :)

- Are the rates for the safaris usually included in the price of accomodation? How much do they cost on average, if paid for separately?

- What are the chances for good game viewing during the first or second week of January? Not necessarily in Kruger, could be in the CT area.

- Is it a good idea to spend, say, 2 days in one area/reserve and then go to a different on for another couple days?

I realize it's a lot of questions, but I really appreciate your help VERY much as January is high season and I want to make the reservations asap. Thank you!

SOUTH AFRICA
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1. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

Hi there! First of all, the safari experience you will get in the Kruger area will be far superb to anything offered in the Cape, so I really want to encourage you to do your safari up near to Kruger. There are 2 private reserves that are part of the Greater Kruger National Park that are highly recommended, called the Timbavati and Sabi Sands. These reserves are open to Kruger, meaning that animals aren't fenced in on any of these reserves.

All of the private lodges in Timbavati & Sabi Sands include your 2 game drives & 1 bush walk per day. You don't pay seperately for these safari activities.

The game viewing in areas like the Sabi Sands is good all year round, so January will also be good.Of the more affordable recommended lodges are:

Sabi Sands: Elephant Plains (standard accommodation), Djuma Bush Lodge, Inyati, Kirkmans Camp, Nottens Bush Camp

Timbavati: Ngala Safari Lodge (don't confuse this with the more expensive Ngala Tented Camp). It would be great if you could stay at 2 different lodges, but don't do less than 2 nights per lodge. In a 2 - 3 night stay at one of these lodges you should see the big 5 and many other animals.

Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions!

Limpopo, South...
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2. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

Hi there!

As you have a special interest in the big cats and elephants, it is possible to arrange specialistsafaris where you can have the exclusive use of a specialist guide who can, for example, take you out to follow a herd of elephants, or a pride of lions, for a whole day and night, (if you can keep up). These are truly amazing and well worth the extra cost!

St. Petersburg...
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3. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

2 SafariAdvisor:

Thank you so much for your advice. We'd really love to do something of the kind. Can you give me any hints as to where I can find those specialist safaris and what it costs approximately? Thank you!

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

I am planning a trip to Cape Town and then a Safari for November. Where did you stay in Cape Town and do you have any advice? What safari lodge did you decide to stay in? Any advice would be great. Thanks!

Kimmmm

St. Petersburg...
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5. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

Hi Kim,

In CT we stayed at a wonderful b&b called Camps Bay Ridge (see my review on TripAdvisor). And we did a safari in Pilanesberg National Park but didn't stay in a game reserve. We plan to go to Kruger for that on a separate occasion. But there are lots of ppl on this forum who're very well familiar with SA's game reserves. I'm sure they'll be able to help you out!

Limpopo, South...
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6. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

Hi Kim

My 1st choice is always a safari at one of the many stunning private reserves in the Sabi Sand, Timbavati or Phinda. There are numerous lodges to choose from. Do you have an indication of what you would be prepared to spend per person per day on safari? Then one could suggest some lodges for you to consider.

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

taiagirl, thanks for the information. I'll check out your post. :)

SafariAdvisor, thanks for your response too. You are going to be sorry you tried to help! (smile) I thought my husband (Ted) and I would stay somewhere in the Sabi Sand area. Looking at all the different posts, it appears that Sabi Sand has the most positive reviews for game viewing and lodges. I have not looked into Timbavati or Phinda. So I don't know anything about those options.

Ted and I will be flying in to JNB on November 19 and connecting to a flight to CPT. Stay in CPT for 4-5 nights and then fly out to wherever for safari. I would like to be able to fly from CPT to the safari location so we don't have to back track to JNB. However, once the safari is over, we will want to fly from wherever we are back to JNB where we will stay a night before catching our flight home. So, back to safari......I wanted 4 nights, Ted wanted one night, so I am looking at maybe doing 3 nights. 2 nights worse case scenario. Ted likes to have internet in our room, and TV so I don't know how well he will like safari. (Ted is a lawyer, so he likes to stay connected!) $500-$800 pp a night was my budget. Of course Ted would like to pay less but I want to stay in a nice place that looks safari, isn't crowded with alot of other people and we can see lot's of the Big 5. I would like a maximum of 4 people in a jeep, 6 at the most. We don't really hang out with other people on trips, so I don't want to feel like I don't have my "space". Sometimes other people are iritating! ha ha - smile-

I was looking at staying in Sabi Sands because:

*Open jeep (no roof or barriers) safari

*Off road and walking allowed

*Limits Safari vehicles in area

*Big 5

>Sabi Sabi Selati: ~I think I read that you could fly in to the Sabi Sabi camp private air field. (the less plane rides the better). ~less people~Good food. I would consider Bush Camp, but I think they may be too crowded. Earth Camp, maybe, but that may cost more. Selati seemed the best choice from what I have read. I am not in to all that holistic stuff.

>Dulini: ~I heard good stuff about it and they have private plunge pools. ~Supposedly good food too. All cokes and water etc included.

>Rattrays: ~May be out of my price range. ~They do however have internet and TV in each room. ~However, I think the room may look too much like a hotel and not so "safari" feeling.

*I want luxury, but still want to have the decor look Safari African. I want the best luxury/privacy possible in my price range. I would like a luxury room at economy price! Ha Ha That would make my husband very happy!

***I don't want to stay at:

>Exeter River Lodge as they allow 8 people per vehicle.

>Londolozi: Tree, Pioneer, Granite (too expensive)

So what do you think? I would like a camp with easy access from CPT to safari airport and or private air field (no driving more then 30 minutes). Luxury with good food, private pool would be nice, not crowded, great trackers, internet available (prefereably in room). Outdoor and indoor shower would be fun too. As well as the open jeep with minimin people.

Thanks for your time and assistance!

Kimmmm

8. Re: Game viewing and accomodation

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