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South Africa and Zimbabwe Game Parks comparison

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I'm planning a trip to South Africa and am trying to figure out the Private Game Reserve choices. We heard that Phinda is beautiful, but that the animals aren't quite plentiful enough yet. Ngala gets a strong review, but is it that different from Londilozi, where we're staying for two nights already. Also, someone recommended Imbabala Camp in Zimbabwe, but I'm having difficulty getting info on that. When you're going so far away (and spending so much money) it's hard to figure out what's the best way to do this. Any help is appreciated.

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    Don't know about the camps you mention except Londolozi, which I know only by reputation. I have stayed at MalaMala (by accident when Harry's Camp was overbooked); I found it a little too exclusive for my tastes (does each INDIVIDUAL really need a bathroom?)and didn't like the obsession by the staff of making sure each guest saw the Big Five, even if they had to use searchlights, surround the leopard in a tree, and, essentially, torment the poor animal. I do recommend Rucomechi on the Zambesi River northeast of Kariba. It is owned by Shearwater Travel in Harare and has a beautiful setting on the river overlooking the Zambian escarpment. You can go on foot with an armed guide, ride in a jeep to search for animals, and go canoeing. The accommodations are thatched roof chalets and you lie in bed at night listening to elephants snapping branches over your head, lions roaring in the distance, and leopards see-sawing. The dining room is open-air and the food is good. Of all the places that my husband and I have been in several parts of Africa, Rucomechi is the best. It is expensive, but worth it. P

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