Another Mala Mala question

Old Aug 18th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Another Mala Mala question

http://www.malamala.com/waytogo5.htm

This "Panoramic Transfer" from Mala Mala
to JNB (or vice versa) sounds fantastic and one I would consider instead of flying one way. What would be better, adding it at the beginning or end of MM? Are you feeling rushed seeing all of this in one day? I wouldn't be driving this myself, sounds like
there are companies that I can hook up with that will arrange this (a small group?) Any thoughts are appreciated. &lt
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Hi Carla,
Last year on our way to Kruger we drove around that area and it is worth seeing. This year we plan to drive up that way towards Hoedspruit (from JNB) and spend a couple of nights at the Zuleika Country House before going into Kruger.
I'd do such "Panoramic Transfer" before MM. Just to have a tiny cushion of time to recover from your California time change and in case there is an airline "situation" in route. However, if you do it before MM what exactly is the time schedule? Do you then get to MM just in time to have dinner and a $575 room (no game drive)? To me that is just an expensive dinner and room. Do the drive, stay overnight outside MM and then go in the next morning for lunch and the afternoon game drive. That is the way I see it from what little I know about the deal.
On the other hand, if this does not work time wise going before MM, then going after MM may be best.
Didn't help much did I?

regards - tom
ps - just two weeks from today we will on that airplane and half way to JNB.
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Tom

Agree completely with your assessment, the panormaic route is worth a day, so better to stay in one of the lovely hotels just outside Kruger then drive in the next day and get your money's worth from MM.

Matt
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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Good points, thanks.

Does this idea make any sense? After looking at this map:

http://www.sa-venues.com/maps/mpumalanga-lowveld.htm

Start trip in the Timbavati area (Kings Camp and/or Ngala) then
spend a few days on the Panoramic Route
working my way to Mala Mala for the finale.
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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It sounds like a good idea to me.
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Cool, Napamatt's stamp of approval
Looking for trip reports from those who have incorporated the Panoramic route in between safaris, SOS please. Matt, did you write about it, when did you do this? Where did you stay outside of Kruger?

Tom, did you post your itinerary somewhere for your upcoming trip? You
are welcome to list it here or post the link...thanks alot.
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Carla, sounds good, Kings Camp for five nights (for the price of four, no single supp) then a couple of days outside around Hoedspruit Panoramic then into MM for several nights. You just have to work out the details

Perhaps, after your last night (knight?) at Kings Camp you could road transfer ($35?) out of KC to Hoedspruit and pick up a rental/hire car at Avis. You then drive around the scenic area for a couple or so days then drive the car to MM and Avis will collect it from you at MM.

I can let you know how this Avis car thing works because in two weeks we are doing something very close to that. And since you asked - Carolyn, and my sister Pat, and I fly into JNB arriving Sep 2nd. (First time for my sister in Africa). Overnight at Southern Sun International. Sep 3rd get JNB Avis car and drive to near Hoedspruit, Zuleika Country House for nights of 3rd and 4th. (Couple of activities planned there, I'll report back). Sep 5th drive into Kruger, 4 nights in camp Letaba. Sep 9th drive from Kruger to Kings Camp and leave car with Avis at Kings Camp. Five nights at Kings Camp. On Sep 14th Carolyn and sister leave Kings Camp and fly back to USA. (They road transfer from KC to Hoedspruit then fly to JNB.) But lucky me, I fly to MalaMala for six nights. Then it's back home for me. That's our "master plan".

regards - tom
ps - if anyone has suggestions about what to do/see around Hoedspruit, please suggest.
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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Outstanding Tom, can't wait to hear all about it. What a great 1st trip for your sister.

While your in Hoedspruit, how about visiting the Cheetah Project

http://www.wildlifecentre.co.za/

Here are some ideas:
http://www.kruger2canyons.com/hoedspruit.htm

I don't want to do the Panoramic drive on my own, hopefully I can find a small group to join.

Thanks for all the ideas.

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Old Aug 20th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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Hi Carla! Refresh my memory...when are you going to South Africa?
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Old Aug 20th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Carla

I haven't written about it, it was a trip we took back in 1999. But I can give a quick synopsis.

After a few days in CT, then a few more in Paarl, we headed up to Vic Falls for about 24 hours. The Falls are truly magnificient, but I just can't get that excited about them, animal junkie even then I guess.

On arrival at JNB we hired a car and drove across the veldt to Dullstroom, where we had arranged accomodation for the night. A small pub there has some cheap and simple rooms at the back. The place was okay, once we got the manager to get the staff back to actually make up the beds with clean linens! Next day we followed Long Tom Pass through the mist unfortunately, and arrived at our hotel just outside Kruger, near Hazyview. A converted farm run by a former Springbok rugby player and his Australian wife, I think called the Chestnut Country Lodge. A lovely spot. That afternoon we popped into Kruger for a couple of hours, because we were so excited about the next part of our trip.
Next day was the Mala Mala portion, and our first time at Main Camp. Ironically since our first visit in 1994, the exchange rate was now so much in our favor, that Main Camp in 99 cost us less per night than Kirkmans in 94.
Highlights of that trip

Ngoboswan female camped right by the causeway with her three 6 month old cubs (one is now known as the Kikilezi female, and another Fodorite I think witnessed the tragic demise of another cub)
Wild Dogs harasssing Hyena.
Wild Dogs hunting and killing a bushbuck.
Secretarybird.

We drove back out of SSGR and back to the same hotel. Next day we followed the panoramic route, visiting the 3 rondavels, the potholes etc. It makes for a nice day.
Finally we headed from Hazyview to the airport, it took about six hours.
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Thanks Matt. That sounded like a great trip with lots of diversity. Although I am really curious what Mala Mala cost per night back then...I won't ask.

One of the things that intrigues me about MM other than the obvious....is the ability to read the cyberdiary, which will keep Africa alive in my mind until the next time.

Now the fun part...finding out how to put this together and stay in budget.

ShayTay, I hope to go before I die
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Old Aug 25th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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That was before $ pricing, I actually think it was R6000, but with R12 TO $1 it made it $250ppn. Soon after they shifted to $ pricing and it became $500ppn. Where the price stayed for about six years!
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Old Aug 25th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Matt,I noticed that MM doesn't raise their prices every year like most of the other camps, but not sure why.

Regarding private vehicles, can you decide once you are there if you want to splurge and get one for yourself for a day?
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Old Aug 25th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Carla - interesting question.
regards - tom
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Carla

Dont know the answer to the question, but can find out pretty quick and will post when I get the answer.
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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I was digging on the MM website last night and found this regarding the sole use of vehicles, so I answered my own question. Thanks Matt.

http://www.malamala.com/usefulinfo.htm

Any word if MM is going to be raising their prices?
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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They just did last year, so I imagine that will be if for a while, but who knows?
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