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Yet another Kruger private reserve budget lodge post + Blyde Canyon

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I probably sound like all the rest of the posts.....

I won't know until April whether I am going to J'burg, SA on business for 2 weeks in late May and/or early June. I visited 2 years ago, but couldn't take any vacation time. This time I want to be ready with up to a week of plans that I could quickly book if the trip becomes reality, so I am making choices and backups.

I am an active female 50+ traveling solo. I do not like to drive in foreign countries. Nature is the emphasis of the vacation time. I enjoy both birds and mammals. I like clean, simple, comfortable accommodations and healthy food, no alcohol. Budget to moderate price. It will be early winter, so warmth more important than a/c or pool. I expect to fly to HDS and take a ground transfer at least one way.

So, everywhere I read that Sabi Sands has the greatest concentration of wildlife, so it seems a no brainer to be my top choice for viewing but also may be crowded.
Elephant Plains, if available. Is the lack of a flowing river by the lodge a negative in the dry season because animals would not gather nearby?
Umkumbe reportedly has small game drive area. Maybe Arathusa for $100 more per night.

Timbavati seems to be a cheaper alternative with smaller crowds and many people citing their leopard sightings. However, I read that there are fewer rhinos in this area? Is that true?
Kambaku has only a small watering hole, so question about whether that is a negative.
Shindzela Tent Camp -- has anyone taken their walking safaris? Is it more than the bush walks given at other lodges? I walk 5 miles a day at home and hike, so walking is attractiveif you get to see much, but drives may be more practical for covering ground. I have no clue.

Klaserie and Gomo Gomo lodge looks further from Kruger, which I know is not good.

A lot of people move and stay at more than one camp. I don't know if the range of animals that inhabit Sabi Sands area is very different from Timbavati. Or is it just the idea of scouting two different areas because of how it is chance where one might find the animals each day, so better to look in two different places. I read that the ecosystems are different--but how different--heavy bush on hilly terrain versus short grass on flat plains between those two areas?

I am considering instead of two lodges and more game drives after about 3 nights, I'd find a day tour to the Blyde Canyon or a way of transferring by land back to Johannesburg to take the Panorama Route. Any good ideas in this direction?

Now I just have to get the business part of the trip approved!

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