Another question about Sabi Sands/ Mala Mala

Mar 7th, 2008, 06:54 PM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 123
Again, such great advice. Thanks to all.

Canadian John and Doogle -- Thanks for the information about Jeffrey's Bay and Port Elizabeth. Canadian John, it's so funny that there were no shells at Jeffrey's Bay! I'm glad to read that -- I would have been disappointed to discover that on my own. I hope for my husband's sake that there are good waves, but only in the morning -- Doogle's advice has got me excited about this leg of the trip. I'm really happy to hear that the Storm's River and Tsitsikamma day hikes are accessible from the Jeffrey's Bay area.

Predator Biologist's and PegRick's comments about the whales were so interesting. The coyote comment was spot on, and PegRick, I was thinking exactly of the Oregon Coast when I wrote my post. I hadn't really realized that the whales were REALLY visible from shore, as opposed to just glints on the horizon. I need to do more research on the time of year; our trip is going to be late June and early July.

All the advice about Sabi Sabi and Lions Sands is much appreciated. I keep reading more trip reports and get more and more confused. We're still trying to make Mala Mala work; now its just a matter of fitting all of the pieces of the puzzle together.

Thanks to everyone else who commented, too.

So, anyway, here's the latest plans:

Mala Mala -- 6 nights

Simons Town, Boulder Beach Lodge -- 2 nights. The penguins are really an obsession with my daughter -- and this place, which looks like a modest little beach place, is right on Boulder's Beach. I like the idea of early mornings with the penguins before the rest of the tourists arrive. I hope my daughter's not disappointed by the absence of icebergs -- I don't know what exactly she has in her head about these penguins! Doogle got me a little nervous about the baboon walk, however. This would be the part we'd cut out if we had to cut something.

Jeffrey's Bay -- 3 nights, with day trips to the Storm's River and Tsitsikamma areas unless the waves are really good all day long.

Phinda Mountain Lodge -- 4 nights (they have a great special going on -- stay 3 nights, get one free). Atravelynn's and cw's old trip reports got me really excited about Phinda -- something I wouldn't have even known to consider in the absence of this board. I really wanted to stay at Forest Lodge, but they absolutely do not permit triples. They sent me some pictures of the renovations at Mountain Lodge and it looks amazing.

CW -- Don't know if you still read this board, but your trip report made me want to go to Ngala tent camp so bad! Again, they have a no triple policy, so oh well. Somehow, my idea that this is a "once-in-a-lifetime trip" is fading, after hearing about all you repeat safari-ers!

Now it is just a matter of working out the logistics. I've been communicating by email with each property, and haven't booked anything yet b/c it is a bit of a puzzle to piece things together. I don't want to have to fly to Johannesburg every time we travel to a new place, and figuring out the transportation is quite difficult. The CC Africa people are tempting -- the transfers between properties seem so convenient. But I wanted to start and end with game viewing, so that wouldn't have worked anyway, with surfing and penguins as priorities.

Next project: Trying to figure out how to transfer my American Express points to Virgin Atlantic to get upgrades for the three of us. 24 hours of flights -- it's so off-putting!

I loved Mytmoss's comment about his ex-wife convincing him that he didn't need beaches, cities or wineries. Well, we haven't caved on the wineries yet, but I am hoping to taste some nice South African wines in Mala Mala and/ or Phinda.

Again -- thanks to all! Any further thoughts, suggestions, random bits of advice, etc. will be very gratefully accepted!
isabel25 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 07:22 PM
  #22  
bat
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
isabel:
Good luck with it all coming together and thanks for the thread, I am saving it for a future trip to SA.
bat is offline  
Mar 7th, 2008, 07:46 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
isabel - great, sounds like it's starting to come together for you. Sometimes you just have to flounder about before the puzzle starts taking shape. Please keep us informed on how it's going for you.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 02:30 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 993
Hi Isabel25

I go to MalaMala twice a year - for 3.5 wks - 4 wks in total - June will be my longest stay of 29 nights. I absolutely love it, but I absolutely hate the flight - which for me takes about 32 hours from leaving my hometown airport flying through to Singapore then to Jo'burg then onto MalaMala. But I will not see African animals in any other way, so it is part and parcel!

The penguin viewing was great in 2000, as I have never seen penguins in the wild - so well worth it! But it is highly unlikely I would return to see them.

I would not want to see the baboons, as I have heard dreadful stories regarding their aggressiveness, and with the number I have heard there has to be some basis - of course people feeding them has been a huge part of the problem, so I am not blaming the baboons, but looking at a big male baboons teeth, is not something I would want attached anywhere in my body!

I really wish you good luck in getting your plan to work - as I think it looks wonderful and I think starting and ending with gameviewing is a fabulous idea. If you can, I would be finishing with MalaMala.

Kind regards

Kaye
KayeN is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 03:26 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,020
Isabel: On a related subject, your daughter may want to keep an eye out for the charming Animal Planet program that I saw last night about the penguins at Boulders and how they coexist with their not-always-charmed human neighbors:


http://animal.discovery.com/converge...deo/video.html
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 11:50 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 193
Hi Isabel

the best way to logistically do this trip is as follows:

Arrive in Cape town and stay in Simons town for 3 nights, then fly from cape Town to Port Elizabeth and drive or transfer to Jeffreys Bay for 3 nights, from Port Elizabeth you can fly to Durban and then CC Africa can organis a land transfer for you from Durban to Phinda, if you can afford it they will do an air transfer for you as well.

Then a BIG COST but a time saving one, fly from Phinda to the Sabi Sands, they do offer this flight ask CC Africa when you contac them and they will drop you off at Skukuza and Mala Mala/Sabi Sabi will fetch you and take you to the lodge. From the lodge you catch a flight back to Johannebsurg for your flight home.
Doogle is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 06:38 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 12
I have just been at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge during Christmas. I took there a family group of 29 people there and they were all thrilled with the experience. The rooms are big enough for 3 (we used 5 rooms with 3 people) and in terms of game viewing, I really do not think there would be such a difference compared to Mala Mala. It is well worth saving 1200$
xisco is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 08:19 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 34
Although I love Mala Mala, for your purposes, the Sabi Sabi sounds like a no brainer. You'd be saving almost $7000 for the six nights.

And being a Californian, I prefer to spend my precious Africa time in the bush (rather than coastal drives or wineries).

California9 is offline  
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