been to east, now going south

Old Feb 13th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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been to east, now going south

we are planning a trip to south africa for christmas. we are trying to plan our itinerary and are looking for some guidance. we thought we'd start at mala mala for 4 nights, then go to londolozi for 3 nights, ngala for 3 nights, and end our trip with singita for 3 nights. we are toying with maybe switching ngala with phinda. we have yet to see a leopard, and have been to tanzania and kenya 2x. any thoughts? we are wondering also if there are other lodges as plush, but not as pricey? plus we are wondering if this will not be a good time of year to go... please advise.
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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Wherever you travel over Christmas will be premium if space is available. Doubt many like places will be giving anything away at lesser prices. However, Mala Mala, Londolozi and Singita are all on the same private reserve. I'd keep Ngala with is located elsewhere; and then for something else, I'd switch out Londolozi for Phinda for at least 3-4 nights.

And if it's any consolation, it took me five trips to Africa before I saw my first leopard, while at Singita.
Old Feb 13th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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The trick is doing Singita first...took me about 15 minutes for my first leopard.

I do think that PJafrica is spending too much time in such a small area. 13 nights split between places that are no further than about a one hour drive time?

I would advise either Mala Mala (4 nights) and then choose between Singita or Londolozi for 3 nights (but not both), and then move onward to Phinda for about 4 nights, or even consider Hwange NP for 4 nights at Makalolo Plains, with a couple nights in Victoria Falls.

Unfortunately, being that she is traveling in December, that takes away Botswana and Zambia, but Makalolo Plains should still work out well.

Stanley Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls (2)

Makalolo Plains, Hwange National Park (4)

Westcliff Hotel, Johannesburg (2)

Mala Mala Sable Unit, Sabi Sand (3)

Singita Boulders or Singita Ebony or Londolozi Tree (3)

Alternately, if there is any hesitation to visit Zimbabwe, then Phinda could be substituted for Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, but I would definitely save Singita or Londolozi Tree for last.

Here is the website for Makalolo Plains and Stanley Safari Lodge:

Stanley Safari Lodge should be around $300 per person per night, including activities

Makalolo Plains should be around $375 per person per night, including air transfer from Victoria Falls.
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Old Feb 13th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Roccco - My emphasis was more that three camps were in the same place, not such a good idea - the reason I would take out Londolozi and replace with Phinda. But your ideas work well. It's just that considering time of year, and what area is good for game viewing or weather - all have to be considered. Of course, I'm the great believer of "save the best for last" so Singita would be it.

As to my leopard, hey, who knew way back when in Kenya for the first time and subsequent trips there and Tanzania, that it would take till Singita to find a leopard. As I hear it these days, leopards are being found everywhere in East Africa. Timing.

PJ, consider some of Roccco's more specific recommendations - they're good, but I'd hurry if looking at Christmas.
Old Feb 13th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Basically, you'll be switching lodges within the same reserve. Its like going to Europe for two weeks, and spending three different nights at different top hotels in London. Why switch -- the animals are generally the same at all the camps within the Sabi reserve. Why not consider some other parks -- three days in the Sabi is plenty, in my opinion.
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Old Feb 14th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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You might have a look at CCafrica's seasonal offers - they have a special that might apply for some of the lodges you're considering depending on your exact dates - the special isn't valid for dates after December 20th. Check
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