Help Please Madikwe or Sabi Sands?


Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:35 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6
Help Please Madikwe or Sabi Sands?

We are planning a Safari trip to South Africa to celebrate our 25th Wedding anniversary in 2006. We only have 4 four nights there due to child care and are therefore wanting to be as certain as possible of having the best game viewing experience possible. We are particularly keen to see hippos & elephants and the rest of the big five and are keen to go to where ever has the most abundant game generally. Also important to us is a luxury lodge with a relaxed atmosphere and a flexible attitude to walks and game drives.
Two possible lodges we have identified at the top end of our price range are Etali and Simbambili. Madikwe appeals due to the lack of Malaria and the short transfer from J’Berg but a few posts suggest that it might not be as good for game viewing, which is our number one priority.
We would be very grateful to hear from anyone who has experience of both these lodges and/or parks or could make a specific recommendation for anywhere else for a short trip.
Our last safari is now a distant memory (16 years ago!!). We stayed in south Luangwa at Kapani and Chamilandu where we had three days of fantastic walks. We have chosen South Africa this time so that we do not have to spend any nights in a city away from the game - which appears to be necessary in Lusaka. Also because of greater reliability of connecting flights.
We are planning to travel in early March or October and would be grateful to know whether we are likely to see more game at one or the other.
Jeremy2 is offline  
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 03:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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You pose a challenging question:
Firstly, the Madikwe is no closer to Johannesburg than the Sabi Sand, roughly the same drive time and the flights are much the same duration and cost.

The advantage then that the Madikwe has is it's non-malarial status. You will also encounter a greater variety of species at the Madikwe than in the sands, as it has a drier climate and a biome that supports species from the desert habitats to the more temperate habitate of the sands.

I have stayed at materya, however that is top dollar and worth every penny. I have friends who have stayed at Buffalo Ridge and were more than satisfied with it: It is very well priced for the overall quality of the experience.

Regarding the sands: As I have posted before, you really can't go wrong with the game viewing at any of the lodges in the sands as that regions has game in abundance. You should rathere select the lodge property based on your budget. I for one visited Simbambili a year or two back and was not dissatisfied with the experience.

With all that said, the experience at both of these reserves is entirely different to the remote and possibly more rustic experience you would have had in the SLV fifteen years ago. But I believe still as enjoyable.
mkhonzo is offline  
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 316
There was a thread on Kruger vs. Madikwe just a week or two ago, try Madikwe in the search.
brandywine is offline  
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