CCAfrica Lodges or Leopard Hills Lodges

Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:40 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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CCAfrica Lodges or Leopard Hills Lodges

Still working on our accomodations in South Afica for next June. We will be staying 3 nights in Sabi Sands and then 3 nights in Madikwe (then up to Botswana).
I had recieved a quote to stay for 3 Nts. Leopard Hills and 3 nights Madikwe Hills (which looks like a great lodge on their web site) that I was pretty satisfied with.
Then today received a quote for only a little bit more to stay for 3 nights at Londolozi Tree Camp and 3 nights at the new CCAfica property that will open later this fall in Madikwe.
Such a hard decision! It is so hard to pass up a chance to stay at Londolozi Tree Camp, but very little info. on the new camp at Madikwe. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
brandywine is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I have no input on the Madikwe lodge specifically, but we stayed at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge last year when it had only been open ten months and found it lovely. We stayed at four of their properties and that was our favorite because of the little touches that weren't apparent at the other locations. I would surmise that CCA puts the same focus into all of its newer lodges despite location (Tanzania, SA, India!). One drawback or benefit is that animals aren't always comfortable with a new lodge and might steer clear because of the strange addition. But that certainly didn't impact our game drive.
hlphillips2 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I was very interested in Madikwe for a couple weeks and totally familiarized with just about all the lodges. However, after talking to agents that had been there, I was satisfied that it was not yet ready to compete with the Sabi Sand Game Reserve or Phinda, so I changed courses and I am no longer considering it.

Perhaps you would be better off considering a combo of 3 nights Londolozi / 3 nights Phinda Forest. I believe June will be low season rates for Phinda and it should just a little bit more than what Madikwe Safari Lodge would have costed.

I am going to let Madikwe ripen for a couple years before trying it out. From all the reports I have seen on Phinda, it is an incredible place that is ready to compete with the best of them.

A 6 night stay should get you a 15% discount at each Londolozi and Phinda.

It would also seem that Londolozi has a superior location within the Sabi Sand than does Leopard Hills, making it that much more an easier choice.
Roccco is offline  
Sep 24th, 2004, 06:41 PM
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Thank you HLPhillips2 and Roccco for your comments. As far as Leopard Hills and Londolozi are concerned, I have to agree that Londolozi would seem to have the better game viewing area, larger and a lot of frontage on the river.
As far as the lodge themselves go, I think that they will all be very luxurious and wonderful. I think that CCAfrica is probably winning out with us.
Concerning Madikwe, my spouse has become very interested in this new reserve (maybe the wild dogs?) and really wants to give it a try. Assuming that we do go to Madikwe next June, I will try to report back since it is hard to find many reports about Madikwe on this forum. Also, Madikwe fits in very nicely between Sabi Sands and Botswana. Leave Sabi Sands in the morning, get to Madikwe in time for an afternoon game drive. Then get a land transfer from Madikwe to Gaborone one morning, then fly to Maun, to get transfered to first camp in Botswana. So we are not wasting any valuable vacation nights overnighting in Johannesburg, that is, all our nights will be in camps (except for 3 nights that we will be down in Capetown area).

By the way, just by coincidence, I recieved a brochure today for a packaged safari with a well known tour agency. They basically got only two nights in Sabi Sands (and misc. nights at Pilgrams Rest, Johannesburg, etc.) for about the same price as my 6 nights at CCAfrica lodges, thank goodness I am planning my own trip.

brandywine is offline  
Sep 25th, 2004, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Brandywine: If you are still deciding between Leopard Hills and Londo Tree, I would encourage you to consider Londo Tree. I've stayed in both recently and found the Londolozi experience far superior to Leopard Hills in every way...accomodation, food and game viewing. I found it frustrating that traversing rights mandate that Leopard Hills spend the first portion of each game drive on their smallish property before moving into 'shared' property. The good thing about both is that there are great leopard sightings. Good luck with your plans!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Thanks Girlpolo33. It was nice to hear back from someone that has actually stayed at both places. We have decided on the CCAfrica package. Can't wait till next June!
brandywine is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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hlphillips2 -
The Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is situated at the former Maji Moto camp, so this isn't really a new property for animals to acclimate to. That said, during remodeling, animals do tend to disappear till they find it's safe to return. So what were the "little something extras" that you found here and not at the other CCA properties?

brandywine -
I have to agree with Rocco and the feedback he's received from other agents re the new CCA Madikwe. Often there needs to be a "settling in" period for new lodgings anywhere. Even though CCA, no doubt, has all their "opening" procedures down to a T, often they need a shakeout period and animals have to re-acclimate to the area. Hopefully by next year June Madikwe will be "the place to stay."

Sometimes I wish there weren't so many choices and last minute great deals - decision making would be so much easier.
Oct 19th, 2004, 05:43 PM
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Message: hlphillips2 -

Reference my earlier response above:

>>The Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is situated at the former Maji Moto camp, so this isn't really a new property for animals to acclimate to. That said, during remodeling, animals do tend to disappear till they find it's safe to return.<<

I may be in error regarding the above. It seems when you access Maji Moto, the pricing is listed as "Lake Manyara Tree" which would lead one (me) to believe this was one and the same as Lake Manyara Tree!! But from the detail, one is obviously a tent camp on the ground, while the other is a "tree camp." I will contact CCA for clarification and advise. Sorry for the confusion.

Jan 18th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 196
We have been staying in Lodolozzi lest august , 3 nights in tree camp. The bungalows although very nice need maintenance. Little details were not OK: no cotton, no robes. Of course you can do without and when asked they were brought to the room. BUT for these prices (these are amongst the most expensive suites in the sabi sands) you expect a little extra and not a little less. Apart from that the drives were fantastic and we have seen lots of animals, also thanks to our very professional ranger. So in all I could not honestly advise against Londolozi, but I think you will be as happy in one of the chalets - I think Bateleur has chalets with plunge pools as well. (check)The tree camp suites are not worth that much money - mind you of course they are nice but I mean this is really money we are talking about, just add up 3 nights for 2 people... and do not forget that you have not much time to enjoy your room as you will really want to do all the drives! Who gave you the interesting quote for Leopard Hills? Thanks and good luk Ivee
ivee is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I feel a bit ridiculous: am new on the forum and did not realize the date of the question. A reply that comes almost 2 years later is not really useful! Sorry!
ivee is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

But look at all the new contributions that have resulted from answering that old post! One has prompted a question from me for my 2007 trip.

ROCCO--Your comment on Madikwe not yet competing with Sabi Sands or Phinda--does that mean it doesn't compete gamewise or in accommodations or maybe both? Thanks!
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Hello Atravelynn,

I've actually stayed at Madikwe Safari Lodge (the CCA property in question). The reserve itself is not yet at the point where it offers the same calibre of game-viewing as Sabi Sands or Phinda. The game is quite thin on the ground -- it's the only reserve I've visited where you can go for long periods without seeing ANYTHING, not even an impala. There are telephone poles and wires visible on the game drives, and it was not uncommon to run up against the boundary fence (with trucks and buses going past not more the fifty feet away). These problems were not unique to the CCA lodge, so it was not a matter of 'settling in' -- we frequently saw vehicles from other properties (notably Jaci's, which has been there for a long time) and they were experiencing the same things. In addition, my ranger at the CCA lodge had worked at Jaci's for several years and knew the territory well -- he tried to put a positive spin on it, but I got the distinct impression that this was not an unusual situation.

I applaud the idea of reclaiming land for the wildlife, and think that Madikwe will eventually become the sort of wildlife sanctuary that Phinda has become (it, too, was once derelict farmland) -- in about ten years or so. The lodges are beautiful, and quite luxurious, but there's a good reason why Madikwe is less expensive than the Sabi Sands or Phinda.

jasher is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Thanks Jasher,

It was the wildlife perspective I was looking for. I hope Madikwe prospers along with the animal inhabitants.
atravelynn is offline  

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