Dulini Lodge sold, no longer an &Beyond property

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Jan 10th, 2013, 08:31 AM
  #1
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Dulini Lodge sold, no longer an &Beyond property

We are booked into Dulini Lodge in the Sabi Sand reserve later this year but have found it has been sold to new owners and &Beyond will no longer manage it as of March 1. Do lodges typically retain their staff (especially guides and trackers) and strive to retain quality and standards when under new management? Should we consider changing lodges? Thanks for any thoughts or further info!
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Jan 11th, 2013, 05:15 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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In the lowveld, I have yet to encounter my first bad guide. They're all very good, most are FGASA level 2 or 3, and they do their utmost best for their job. I have the impression that guiding jobs in the private reserves in the lowveld are the best one can get in SA, so everyone really fights for their job, because they want to keep it. So I don't think you need to worry much.

Idem for the people from the local communities nearby. The trackers are very good because they know the place and the animals like no other. So you can be sure that every lodge tries to get the best possible. Seen from the other side; jobs in the reserves are very wanted by the people living nearby (be it guides, trackers, cooks, cleaners,...). So they as well do their very best on the job.

Bottom line; I think that the new owners of Dulini will have "herited" the current staff, or otherwise you can be sure that the current personnel will be the first to plead to the new management to retain their jobs.

I wouldn't worry too much about the staff. The more important question is; will they still retain all their traverse rights with other lodges? I'd ask the lodge for a confirmation if I were you.

And if you get an answer, please post it here! I'm sure a lot of people would like to know.

Ciao,

J.
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Jan 11th, 2013, 12:10 PM
  #3
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Thank-you pixelpower, will do and report back. We enjoy the "&Beyond experience" and chose Dulini partly as it is the only &Beyond property in the Sabi Sands that restricts passengers in vehicle to 6. (They have two vehicles for max.12 guests. No private vehicles available.) We have always had a private vehicle on our last two safaris so even 6 passengers seems a lot. Therefore moving to another property we've been offered, where there is the "dreaded middle seat" as someone here put it, in a vehicle of 8, is not the happiest option for us.

This will be our first safari experience in South Africa. We will be in the Sabi Sands directly after Botswana (with private vehicle.)

Since we know what to expect from &Beyond, who makes things very special indeed, we are a bit hesitant to sign onto the unknown. Thanks for your encouragement.
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Jan 11th, 2013, 06:12 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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We had a similar situation with our trip to S. Africa last June. We'd booked into Kwandwe on the Eastern Cape and Phinda, both &Beyond Properties, as well as Londolozi. After booking and before the trip, Kwandwe changed hands and was no longer an &Beyond lodge, but they still honored the deal we had which was pay 4 and stay 3 through &Beyond. It was an excellent experience, guiding, food, lodging, staff, everything and I think it was all the same staff as before. Only our family of 4 in our vehicle there and at Londolozi even though we had not requested that. At Phinda, we had another couple with us but it was still only 6.
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