hey safarinut (and other SSGR fans)


Jul 18th, 2004, 12:33 PM
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hey safarinut (and other SSGR fans)

Hey there, I'm getting addicted to this forum. I've just been comparing your posts on romantic/honeymoon places in SSGR and noticed that neither Mala Mala nor Simbambili (which otherwise seem to be your top two destinations) are in there. Why is that? We're trying to choose where we spend 4 nights of our honeymoon for affordable game viewing. Any tips? Plus, do you know how we get to those game reserves from Vic Falls (where we want to spend 2 nights) and back from the game reserve to Nelspruit airport MQP, (from where we intend to fly off to the beach).
We can trade inside info on England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Italy in return!
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Jul 18th, 2004, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Travel and Leisure came out with its '04 survey of the "best" today. Incredibly, of the listing of the 100 best hotels in the WORLD, 6 out of the top 10 are in Africa! Singita(1), Kichwa Tembo (2), Londolozi (4), Bushman's Kloof (5), Mala Mala

...sorry I can't answer your questions but just thought I'd share this with you. Mala Mala sounds great!
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Jul 18th, 2004, 03:45 PM
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For whatever my limited experience in the Sabi Sand is worth...

I have stayed at two lodges in the Sabi Sand...Singita and Djuma Vuyatela.

While Djuma Vuyatela appears as if it may offer a similar experience, with very large and eccentrically decorated rooms, a private plunge pool and a location in the Sabi Sand Reserve, in reality, it could not have been a more different experience.

While Singita, during my visit, had only other couples, Djuma Vuyatela had families with preteen children, groups of friends, and a few free guests (family members of the owners, suppliers of the lodge, travel agents).

At the time, in low season, Djuma Vuyatela was $550 USD per night. I would imagine that low season now would likely be close to $800 USD ($400 pppns) and about $1,200 USD ($600 pppns) in high season. I don't know if this increase will be sufficient enough to keep children out...a Range Rover full of preteen children is not in the least bit romantic and should be avoided on your honeymoon.

Mala Mala and Simbambili are roughly the same price as Djuma Vuyatela, so it may or may not attract families or groups of friends. Families = obnoxious, groups of friends + alcohol = equally obnoxious.

Not on your list, but if you want romantic, at a very fair price, it doesn't get any better than Chichele Presidential Lodge in South Luangwa. In my opinion, it is every bit as good as Singita, but at about 40% of the price (5 nights of Chichele Presidential Lodge = the same price as 2 nights at Singita).

I don't know how the Euro is holding up to the Rand right now, but for any Americans reading this...good luck. The Rand is stronger than I have ever seen it at 5.95 to 1USD. Just over 2 years ago it had hit 12 Rand to 1 USD, meaning that South Africa is now twice as expensive now, as it was then.

Meanwhile, Zambian lodges price their tariffs in USD which really, really, really benefits Americans.

As far as Chichele Presidential Lodge goes, you have a choice between dining with the group or dining separately. Each room has its own private balcony overlooking the valley below. There is an absolutely beautiful pool with great views of the valley below. Chichele really is only rivaled by lodges that are twice the price in South Africa or Botswana.

I cannot comment on Mala Mala and Simbambili other than to say they are in the same price range as Djuma Vuyatela. While the gameviewing is probably superior at Mala Mala/Simbambili, it would seem that if Djuma Vuyatela attracts families and groups of friends, that Mala Mala and Simbambili may do the same.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 10:10 PM
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anglo dutch couple


Just got back from a golf trip at Pinehurst.I will respond to all your questions tomorrow.Sorry for the delay!
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Jul 19th, 2004, 12:31 AM
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That's ok, hope you enjoyed your trip! I noticed that in your advice in another post you were talking about driving time to different lodges. Unfortunately, neither of us can drive... Also, do the places you recommend offer activities in the period between the game drives, e.g. tour of the "panorama" route? and does Simbambili have a web site? cheers!
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Jul 19th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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anglo dutch couple

Although Mala Mala is my favorite game lodge in the SSGR it isn't one of the most romantic/honeymoon places and this is why:

1)Main Camp has a capacity of 50 guests(although I have never seen more than 25 guests there on three previous visits)

2)They don't have private plunge pools

3)You don't have the option of a private meal in your suite.

4)''His'' and ''Hers'' bathrooms,nothing special.

Simbambili on the other hand is a great choice for a romantic getaway.

What exactly do you mean with affordable game viewing?.Give me a rough budget.

I am not sure how you can get an affordable flight from Vic Falls to any gamelodge in the SSGR,but Mark from Taga Safaris will definitely be able to help you on this one.

Once at the game lodge of your choice in the SSGR it's easy to get to the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport as you will find daily flights with charters from most lodges.

;;Also, do the places you recommend offer activities in the period between the game drives,;;

This all depends on the lodge you choose,Lion Sands probably offers the most ''extra''activities but not all activities are included in the nightly rate.

Simbambili's website:http://www.thornybush.co.za/msimbambili.html

I will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Good luck on your planning!
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