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Exeter River or Londolozi (Varty or Founders)

Los Angeles...
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Exeter River or Londolozi (Varty or Founders)

Deciding between Exeter River Lodge or one of the less expensive Londolozi lodges. Understand that the rooms in Exeter River are probably better than the Londolozi rooms. Any other thoughts on the comparison (safari experience, food, decor/design, lodge atmosphere, etc) would be appreciated.

Also, if people prefer Varty to Founders or vice versa, would love to understand why.

SOUTH AFRICA
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1. Re: Exeter River or Londolozi (Varty or Founders)

You are correct in your understanding that the rooms at Exeter River are more luxurious than those of both Varty & Founders. However, it doesn't seem as though luxury in accommodation is the most important factor to you, as you have also asked for a comparison in safari experience, etc.

The food, service & lodge atmosphere at all of these lodges will be excellent.

In my experience, there is a difference in the safari experience though. Exeter River shares traversing rights with a variety of different lodges, all located in the Western sector of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. This Western sector offers excellent game viewing, but the vehicle density is a lot higher than at the Londolozi lodges. Londolozi has their own (large) property to conduct game drives on, and they only share game viewing traversing with Singita. The advantage of this is that you will probably bump into less other vehicles while out on game drive, and may be able to spend longer time in animal sightings. At Exeter the time that your vehicle may spend in a particular sighting may be limited if there are a lot of other vehicles from other lodges who would like to respond to the sighting. I have often gone to Exeter, and it hasn't bothered me to see other vehicles out there in the bush, but many people do prefer a more exclusive and relaxed game drive experience, and then Londolozi would be a better option for you. A big advantage of the Londolozi lodges, is that they as far as possible limit the number of guests per game viewing vehicle to 6, while at Exeter River Lodge you may well be 8 or 9 guests on the vehicle.

To summarise, if you are looking for a very luxury lodge experience with a beautiful room, then Exeter River would be my recommendation. If you are looking for a safari experience where the emphasis is more on an exclusive game drive experience with a beautiful big property to drive on, which offers superb game viewing, then Londolozi would get my vote!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

McLean, Virginia
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45 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Exeter River or Londolozi (Varty or Founders)

After booking at Exeter River Lodge last year, I became nervous after reading helpful posts like Tanya's that raised the potential for vehicle traffic and crowded game vehicles. During our stay, neither was a problem or issue. Exeter and lodges like Ulusaba in the Western section have a well-orchestrated and respectful game sharing arrangement. During our stay, I don't recall us being rushed to leave a sighting or wasting time waiting to view one. And, the only time I recall seeing another vehicle -- and it was just one because they have a strict two vehicle limit at a sighting -- was for prized sightings such as a leopard, wild dogs or a cheetah. In our experience, game sharing actually provided the advantage of extra eyes looking for great sightings which the rangers shared by radio. Perhaps others have had bad experiences but we did not. Re the number of guests in Exeter River Lodge vehicles, during our four day stay we never had a center seat filled.

SOUTH AFRICA
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2,579 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Exeter River or Londolozi (Varty or Founders)

Hi Mike. Glad to hear you had such a good time at Exeter River Lodge! Please don't get me wrong anyone - I love Exeter River Lodge! I often go there on my personal safaries and also send many clients there. I have just noticed that there is a large percentage of tourists who prefer to be maximum 6 on a vehicle, so it's just best to bring it to someone wishing to go on safari's attention. I don't mind being more than 8 on a vehicle, but many others do.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

4. Re: Exeter River or Londolozi (Varty or Founders)

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