Deals at Singita/Londolozi

Reply

Sep 29th, 2003, 02:18 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1
Deals at Singita/Londolozi

I'm planning a trip to South Africa next September that would involve a stay at Singita or Londolozi. Anyone have any tips on how to get a discount at either one of them?
jenny152 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2003, 05:26 PM
  #2
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Right now the rates are ranging about $950/nt/person, down f rom over $1000 at Singita.

If you stay more than 3-days, you might get a discount on the 4th (but by then the entire vacation budget is shot to heck)

Most posters here will agree the prices at the hi-end camps have skyrocketed, especially these two.

A lot has to do with the weakness of the USD. Under usual circumstances, prices increase avg. 5-10%/yr, but with the weak dollar these last 1-1/2 yrs. they went crazy.

From an exchange rate in 2001 of approx. USD$11.50/1ZAR to USD$7.50/1ZAR about 20%

So maybe an improvement in the exchange rate will help all around. If find out anything else, please post here.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 1st, 2003, 04:39 AM
  #3
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Correction - Mind thinks one thing; fingers type another:

>>From an exchange rate in 2001 of approx. USD$11.50/1ZAR to USD$7.50/1ZAR about 20%<<

Should be:
USD$1/11.50ZAR to USD$1/7.50ZAR today, about 20% difference.

 
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2003, 10:07 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 44
FYI, The exchange rate is down to ~ $1 USD/6.5 ZAR.

http://www.mtbeds.co.za/ offers last minute deals on many safari lodges, including Londolozi and Singita. I believe the best deals are reserved for S.A residents. But the savings are pretty amazing. Top end places like Londolozi and Singita can be as little as $200 pp.

Good luck.

Tisler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2003, 11:17 AM
  #5
Smilesfeelgood
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A suggestion: since Singita and Londolozi are still $950 pp, look at the other lodges abutting Kruger, such as Kirkman's Kamp.

Let me say first - yes, KK is not as fancy or modern as the S&L. But it offers a larger area in which to see game - nice private quarters - good rangers and trackers - idyllic setting - good food - great administration. In a word, everything you need.

Check out their prices. Don't get caught up in this belief that Singita and Londolozi offer a better experience. They simply do not.

Go to an agent and ask about their prices. Many are willing to hold their quotes at present levels, regardless of the exchange rate.

There simply is too much discussion of Singita and Londolozi on this site, and not enough focus on the other good lodges in that same area.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2003, 08:46 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 145
Smilesfeelgood, is there a web site for Kirkman's Kamp, and can you suggest any other high end lodges that offer better value than Singita and Londolozoi? Are Singita and Londolozi the only private lodges inside Kruger?
Elaine22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 7th, 2003, 03:56 AM
  #7
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Elaine -

Most of the hi-end (and not so hi-end) lodges/camps are adjacent to Kruger on what is called Private Reserves -Sabi Sands, Manyeletti, Timbavatin, etc.).

Check the www.e-gnu.com
site for these in the Mpumulanga region of SA where you can view details of many and with the "mtbed" site (listed above) do a comparison of costs. But there are also lodges/camps in other areas of SA. Compare them all.

Many guidebooks list various lodges/camps in the many regions (whether at Kruger or other areas in SA) - so have a look-see.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:17 AM
  #8
Travelsmiles
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Singita et al are all outside Kruger, and the game drives are usually limited to the respective properteis, and are not conducted inside Kruger. Size is an issue to look at. Kirkman's has a website, and every four days updates game sightings. Look at any guidebook, such as Fodors, and you'll see numerous lodges next to Kruger. Singita and Londolozi are the MOST expensive, and modern architecture at Singita is responsible for much of the attention given it. Don't confuse that and the prices with more value in game viewing, which most decidely is not the case. Look at lesser priced properties and see what they offer. I also suggest you contact a good agent, such as Fisheagles (Houston) or Karrel (Coral Gables), and get their opinions. Contact a SA agent as well - some are listed in other threads on this site. Please don't think you' ev got to spend $1,000/night/pp, when by looking at other lodges, you can bring that down a bit. Also, take a look at the Natal area, such as Phinda.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 7th, 2003, 03:31 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Smiles - when were you at Singita?
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:40 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 145
Sandi, the www.e-gnu.com site you recommended is so loaded with information, it may take me the better part of a year to get through it.

Tisler's last minute site is very informative too, but I am not spontaneous enough to wait until 14 days before arrival to book something. The really great deals are reserved for South African residents anyway.
Elaine22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 04:00 AM
  #11
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Elaine -

I'm with you and many others who plan their trips well in advance of the 14-days, but as many wait till the last minute - these latter just have a different constitution. But the "mtbeds" site is a good one to have access.

"E-gnu" is loaded with info and details, so you'll have to come up with a few you'd like and go from there - see how they fit into your schedule and budget. For our trip, in order to stay at Singita (which then, and before the drop in the USD value) cost $650/nt/person versus current $950-970 - we stayed at the less expensive Honeyguide Tented camp that ran about $250/nt/pp, but this latter gave us the opportunity to spend time "under canvas" which I feel is a "truer safari experience".

There are lots of comparable lodges/camps to Singita & Londolozi, a little less expensive, some a lot less, so review the e-gnu site carefully and select what works for you.

Many on this board have stayed at a few lodges/camps/hotels and I'm sure will be glad to impart whatever info they can when decision making time arrives.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 05:28 AM
  #12
Travelsmiles
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I haven't stayed at Singita - only toured it and talked with the staff, for a day. Several friends have stayed there. I based my comments on trips to many of the lodges abutting Kruger, staying at some several times, and discussions with staff there, and with agents, plus materials from the various lodges. Singita offers interesting digs, and top of the line service. Their game viewing is not any different than Kirkman's or others in the area. Same area, different pieces of property where they have their concessions. Singita cannot order up the Big Five, LOL, I don't care how you pay. If you're willing to pay about $1,000 per night per person, then perhaps you'd be interested in Botswana, where Wilderness Safaris can fix you up for an average of $600-$700 per night pp, and that includes small, rather exclusive lodges, and the Maun to Maun private air charters between camps. Whatever you select, have a nice trip. BTW< Fish Eagles in Houstyon just sent me some material on discounted trips they offer during off season - very nice prices too. Have you gotten in touch with their president, Bert duPlessis?
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 08:59 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
I stayed at Singita and Mombo this year (along with other camps). I paid about $800 pp pn for Singita and $730 pp pn for Mombo. Not only did I see the big five in three days at Singita but every ride was jaw-dropping (cheetah twice, leopard twice - once eating a kill in a tree - 2 month-old baby lion cubs were the highlights). Once we saw a herd of elephants surrounding a lost rhino. Our tracker surprised us one day by using his break time to pre-scout for us. That was just the gaming experience, there was much more, beyond the rooms, all involving great planning and management. I was skeptical about this camp before I stayed there (it was my spouse's choice) as I had a preconceived notion it was all about the china and silverware. But I was wrong. I know there are other good camps at all price ranges but in my case, it was well worth the extra $130 for Singita over Mombo.
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 09:22 AM
  #14
Travelsmiles
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
That's very interetsing. Clematis, and your game viewing experience was certainly a memorable one.

What were your reactions to the Okavango Delta compared with the Kruger area? How is Singita different from Mombo or other lodges you stayed at? Whatever impressions you have would be interesting to know.

A suggestion: ask Bert DuPlessis at Fish Eagles to place you on his mailing list. Just received some amazing offers for out of season trips.

May I also suggest you add Phinda Forest Lodge to your places of interest. Game viewing is excellent, they offer beach safaris as well, and the chalets are first class, as is management. I've used them twice, and seeing all the large cats is almost an hourly experience. Hard to believe but true. I believe the price now is $500-$600, and I know that SA citizens receive a huge discount, almost 50-60%, I'd estimate.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 12:40 PM
  #15
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Clematis -

Your above comments on Singita are exciting, but I keep checking for balance of your trip report covering this segment of your adventure. When can we expect it? Thanks.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 03:32 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 145
Travelsmiles, as part of a question that I posted earlier I asked who the "Bert" was whom many of you were talking about, but nobody responded to that part of my post, so I am glad you brought up his name on this thread.

(By the way, is your screen name a combination of travel and smiles, or travels and miles? Just curious.)

In regard to less expensive lodging than Singita or Londolozi, is there a "next best", or is the calibre of accommodation significantly lower in the next category down? I have looked at many pictures of lodges, but some of the accommodations resemble North American motel rooms. I may not be prepared to spend $1,000 USD per day per person, but I do want to stay somewhere more reflective of South Africa than a "Day's Inn".
Elaine22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2003, 10:38 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 251

Hi Elaine

There is a very large range of accommodation in various game park/reserves in SA, and the next step down from Singita/Londolozi are nothing like motel rooms. I'll admit upfront that I have not stayed at either (they are far to rich for South African blood!) but I truly cannot see how anyone can justify some of the prices charged.
Try the following: Djuma, Garonga, Chitwa Chitwa, Jock, Savannah, Ulusaba, Sabi Sabi, Notten's, Inyati, Leopard Hills, Exeter, Lukimbi, Simbambili, Imbali, Thornybush, Tanda Tula, Serondella, Kings Camp, and the list goes on and on. These are in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
Alternatively in the North West and the other side of the Limpopo Province there is Makweti, Witwater, Mabula, Entabeni and Madikwe to name a few. Nice thing about this area is that it is malaria free.
In KwaZulu-Natal Phinda is fantastic, although also not afraid of charging! Other options here are White Elephant, Mkhuze Falls or Makakatana Bay.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2003, 06:50 AM
  #18
Travelsmiles
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Elaine - my name? The same question occurs to me. Smiles is appealing, to me, and can be hooked to all sorts of words.

If you have this, please excuse:
Bert du Plessis
[email protected]
web - www.fisheaglesafaris.com
www.wilderness-safaris.com.

I've used a number of agents, here, in SA, and have even planned trips to Africa using internet, and using agents here and there to book specific hotels, rent cars, etc. This time I sketched out where I wanted to go, and I've turned it all over to Bert, for a Botswana foray next year. I'm meeting friends from London in J'Burg, and we're heading out to Maun to visit a number of lodges, using charter aircraft, which Bert arranged.

The advice here about lodges less costly than Singita and Londolozi is good. I imagine Kirkman's Kamp rooms do resemble motel rooms - but they're bigger and more colonial in design. Quite downhome and comfortable. This was formerly a British farm, and the reserve was put togetrher when five huge farms were purchased decades ago. It shares a border with Kruger, the fences were removed, and naturally the animals wonder back and forth.

For SA, I believe you cannot do better than Phinda Forest or one of their other three lodges. I stayed at Forest two differenmt years, and it is always an amazing experience. But then Botswana is rather amazing as well. I could tell you a story or two, lol.

Take care. I am yawning today - I was on the phone until 1 a.m. this morning using Delta FF miles to book seats on SAA #202 JFK to J'Burg and return. I am pleased to say I saved myself $2500.00!!!! The downside is I'll just spend the money on some frivolity.

Have a wonderful day, and great weekend. Do talk with Bert if you want his advice. Very reliable guy. And nice.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2003, 05:12 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 252
Elaine, my trips to South Africa in
May 2002 and May 2003 included stays at Singita, Lodolozi Tree Camp and Phinda Forest. The game viewing, lodging and meals were fairly comparable...however, there was a jaw-dropping price difference. Phinda Forest was $285/night, Londo $500/night and Singita $850/night. Obviously, the best value, by far, was Phinda. At each game reserve you have a private house/chalet. All bathrooms are over-the-top. Singita is more luxurious, but it's hard to justify the price. Keep in mind that most game reserves have several different "camps" that are priced according to level of luxury and service. However, and this is an important point, the game viewing experiences within each place are identical. The game viewing experience between these three reserves in comparable, but different. For instance, Londo has an abundance of leopard, while Phinda has few.

I've use an American couple, Pierre and Margaret Fabor, at www.classicafrica.com
They are both Rhodes Scholars that studied at Oxford and work incredibly hard to plan a flawless travel experience. Even though the US dollar dropped in value, I was given my original November 2002 prices when I paid for my trip in May 2003. Good luck with your planning!
girlpolo33 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:49 AM.