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Singita or Londolozi--and which camps?

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I am planning a trip for January 2004 and am trying to decide between Singita and Londolozi. Singita is coming up more expensive than Londolozi but not by much. Has anyone been to both to compare. Also which camp(either Singita or Londolozi)should we choose?

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    Hi there Lisa.

    Singita and Londolozi are amongst the most expensive in Sabi Sands area - and in terms of quality vs value for money there are less expensive options, which you might want to consider. But you did ask for a comparison. But having been both to Singita and Londolozi I can give you the following comparision:

    Londolozi has four camps : Bateleur Camp, Tree Camp, Pioneer & Founders Camp and finally Londolozi Safari Lodge. With the exception of Safari Lodge the camps are all built on the edge of the dried up Sand River. There are two types of accommodation : Chalets and Suites. I think all the rooms have plunge pools and some kind of sitting outside area. Inside the rooms are decorated nicely and you'll find lots of nice little personal touches from the staff. The atmosphere at Londolozi is more relaxed and informal than Singita, and perhaps a little bit more down to earth.

    Singita however has two camps: Boulders and Ebony. The architecture and design in these camps is amazing - and really special. The suites have all the mod cons like plunge pools and sitting areas.The staff are really friendly and like Londolozi go out of their way to make things very special and unique. Food very nice and extra special wines and things like that.

    In my opinion if you are after the most sophtiscated option, with award winning architecture and service, then probably Singita. However if this kind of thing is not so important then Londolozi is lovely.

    What is important to remember is that the Lodges are all part of the Sabi Sands so the animals / birds are all living in the same area. The Rangers and guides at both lodges are great, although my experience is that the rangers at Londolozi tend to be a little bit more sensitive and will spend some time looking at small interesting things as well as the Big Five.

    Both lodges are really nice and I know you'll not be disappointed at either of them.You asked which camps I would recommend at each lodge, but all I can suggest is go and look at their websites and choose which looks more to your preference. They are all beautiful and it depends on what kind of interior decorating / style you prefer.

    Personally my favourites : Singita Boulders and Londolozi Tree ! I would not recommend Londolozi Safari Lodge as it is a not close to the others.
    Hope this helps you !



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    Lisa

    Before anyone knew the name Singita, Londolozi was the "gold standard" of safari lodges/camps. Over the years they're redecorated and their three camps have now become four. And because Singita had individual plunge pools, Londolozi installed the same when renovating their properties.

    I have not been to Londolozi, but friends have and there were no complaints to be heard. When we visited, we stayed at Singita Ebony, with decor more like an English Country Club - very warm and enveloping. We had our choice, and though most of the advertising shows Singita Boulders (even in South African Tourism brochures), which was very appealing, it was modern/contemporary and this generally is not my taste. And friends had only a few months before we stayed at Ebony, had celebrated their anniversary at there and raved about the place, so we were glad we decided on Ebony.

    Both camps have won awards from various travel magaines, alternating one year for one, the next year the other. In other words you can't go wrong with either.

    At Londolozi, my understanding is that Tree Camp is their most expensive of the three (excluding Safari Lodge). Depending on how many days you plan on staying, and I would suggest three (3)you can split your time between each camp, one nite each.

    This may seem strange, but while at Singita Ebony we did see many people during our two day stay - one day at one and another day and the other - we went to vsit Boulders to see the difference between each lodge and there these folk were. To me this is too much trouble, but people do what they do.

    The reason I suggest three days - after our two days at Ebony, my boyfriend said the only problem with the lodge was that we weren't booked a third day to simply enjoy our "house". We had two full days of activities, but we never used the lovely accommodations fully - there are indoor/outdoor showers, bathroom the size of many people's homes, private deck wrapping around the building, plunge pool, fireplace; it would have been nice to have had a day for "ourselves".

    Many people are often waitlisted for Singita as they are usually booked well in advance, so if you can get yourself booked with no problem for January (which is after their busy season) - "go for it".

    If you've already decided to go for the bucks, the estimated $50-$75/ntpp. difference between Londolozi or Singita, then do Singita. Guaranteed - you won't be disappointed.

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    What Sandi has said is very true although I would not recommend splitting my time between camps. ie 1 night/ 1 night/1 night. This is because each ranger is assigned to a particular camp and each time you move you'll be given a different ranger. Half the fun and the experience is sticking with the one guide who then knows what you've seen and what you've heard on the previous game drives.

    I would agree with Sandi that you should stay 3 nights at least. I'd hazard a guess that the people that Sandi saw moving between camps were probably 'filling in camps' in the availablitly !

    Have you come to a decision yet ?

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    I think were leaning toward Londolozi for two reasons. First, the rates are cheaper and second, the atmosphere is more relaxed based on what I have read. Is there a particular "dress" for evenings at either place. Thanks for your help.

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    Lisa -

    That's an interesting comment from "katycee" about those guests being "fillers" - with one group, some young musicians from SA, probably so; but the other's were two couples from France and in conversation with managers, they had asked for the two different camps.

    Also "katycee" comments about the rangers is a good one, didn't think of that, but we didn't switch, so we had our wonderful Ranger our entire stay.

    As to which is more relaxed than the other - I think they're all relaxed. And as to dress - some people were dressed as if they jumped off the pages of Bazaar in safari clothes from top to bottom - but most people wore jeans or khakis out on safari. Shorts during heat of afternoon, then changed into long pants and jacked for fool/cold nite drives.

    At dinner - well, you could have worn a "shoe and a boot" - people wore everything, but no one was "dressed". No cocktail dresses for women or tuxedos/suits for men. I'd describe it as "nice casual" - slacks and sweater w/scarf, spaghetti strap slip dresses with shawl, skirt and top for women; slacks and shirts for men. We saw only one couple - she wore a suit, as did he, but rather casual in style (not business style). At no place I've yet been in Africa has it been anything but a relaxed atmosphere clothingwise.

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    There is not a dresscode at either camps. If you want to go and shower after your game drive then fine - other wise you can go in whatever you want. Shirt and Pants is fine.. Some people go and dress up a little bit( smart casual ) - but the last thing a safari is is a fashion show! Your going in January - so it is going to be hot. If it was winter ( like it is now ! ) you'd be wrapped up in jackets / tops / and hats!

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    Lisa, after returning from Singita Ebony and Londolozi Tree just a month ago, I concur with all the good advice you've been getting from fellow posters. I chose to stay two nights at each and really enjoyed the varied experience. Clearly, Singita was more luxurious and the food was basically over-the-top. In terms of game viewing, both reserves were comparable.

    When I return (hopefully next May), I will most likely stay only at Londolozi Tree (the nicest of the Londolozi camps, in my opinion). Since I've been to Singita twice, I find it hard to justify paying the extra $350/night for a comparable experience at Londo. However, if you have never been to Singita, it is worth a two-night stay just to experience the sumptuous surroundings and food. I would absolutely love the visit Singita Lebombo next May, because it would be something new. Enjoy your planning...it's half the fun!

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