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Inyati, Arathusa or Simbambili 2 families with teenagers

Inyati, Arathusa or Simbambili 2 families with teenagers

Old Feb 6th, 2007, 10:09 AM
  #1  
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Inyati, Arathusa or Simbambili 2 families with teenagers

There will be 7 of us - 2 families (brothers) - one living in Cape Town with 2 teenage girls (13,15) - one living in the US with a son (18) looking to do a trip to the Sabi Sands area in June (4 nights). Which lodge would you choose - Arathusa, Inyati or Simbambile. Is it worth paying the premium for Simbambile? (we will have to pay a single supplement for our son). Any other recommendations?? This is a great forum - I have learnt so much - thank you!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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santharamhari
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I would pick between Arathusa and Simbambilli if i were you....

Arathusa is supposed to be good value for money and is meant to be very good too......

Simbambilli has gotten great reviews here in the past....

The reason i suggest picking between the two (whatever your budget dictates) is that, if i recall Inyati is in the Western SSGR?, there are too many cars there sharing sightings.....

I may or may not be correct, but, i think both Arath and Simbam are both in the same general area of the SSGR.

Hari
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 03:58 AM
  #3  
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Yes, I believe that Simbambili and Arathusa do share the same game drive area. There is little on this board about Arathusa - does anyone else have experience with them?
Taga safaris are really pushing Inyati - are unwilling to even give me details on the other lodges...
The crowding information is troublesome - do you know who Inyati shares their game drive area with?
I do appreciate any information you have to share - thanks!
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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santharamhari
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Lynda,

Just stick to what Taga says......
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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santharamhari
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Having difficulty posting here....it didnt post my entire msg....

Anyways, what i meant is, Taga safaris are based in SA.....they know everything about the Kruger and the Sabi Sands.......so, they are in a better position than me to advice....

Kind regards,
Hari
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 11:06 AM
  #6  
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Thanks Hari, have you used Taga Safaris? I have mixed feeling about their service so far.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Hello LyndaAnn,

Feel free to do your own research if your agent isn't giving you as much information as you want -- here's Simbambili's website:

http://www.simbambiligamelodge.co.za/

Simbambili has gotten excellent reviews from people on this forum, though I haven't stayed there myself.

Other lodges you may want to consider are Djuma and Chitwa Chitwa, which are quite close by:

http://www.djuma.co.za

http://www.chitwa.co.za

Another option you may want to consider is Kirkman's - as a CCAfrica property they won't charge a single supplement.

http://www.ccafrica.com/reserve-1-id-2-21

Cheers,
Julian
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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santharamhari
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Lynda, all the suggestions provided by Julian as above make for a fine safari, also.....

Hari
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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santharamhari
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LyndaAnn,

www.safariasap.com has good options for CCAfrica that Julian mentioned.....check out their website. Lots of options.....

Hari
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:32 PM
  #10  
santharamhari
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other options in the price range of Arathusa are....Nkohoro, Elephant plains and as julian mentioned, Chitwa Chitwa....

I havent been to any of these properties, but have read good things about all of them on these boards.......

I say this because i just checked that safariasap site and i didnt see anything for your time of travel (june)(atleast nothing posted yet)

Good luck. I know it's a choice of plenty......

Hari
 
Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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LyndaAnn:

Inyati is in the western SSGR and share traversing with Ulusaba,Exeter,Dulini,Savanna and Idube.I have had great sightings in the western Sabi Sands and believe this to be a better option than the northern Sabi Sands.I would pick Exeter Leadwood in the western Sabi Sands.Andrew and Nicolene run the camp-great place!.Arathusa is the the old Chitwa Chitwa Safari lodge and they share with Chitwa Chitwa,Simbambili and Elephant plains.

I have used Taga safaris for my 2006 trip to Mombo,Duba Plains,Jao and Londolozi tree.This was the best service I have ever had from any single travel agent in my life.

I am not a travel agent and offer my advice as a ''safarinut'' who has visited most of the lodges in the SSGR.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 07:30 PM
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Lynda,
We were in the same position as you- three families, 12 in all including kids wanting to do a 7 day affordable safari in the Sabi Sands. After much research we decided to split it between Elephant Plains in SS and Akeru camp in the Timbavati reserve. We will be there last week of June.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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Thank you for all of the responses - much appreciated.
Safarinut - I have read many of your posts with interest - thank you for sharing your wealth of information. Unfortnately my experience with Taga has fallen short of yours so far.
I will check out the other options you have all mentioned.
AKR1 - have fun! We went to Akeru a few years back with our son. We were the only ones in the lodge and the 3 of us had undivided attention. It is a rustic camp (no electricity). We have fond memories of that trip.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 11:12 PM
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Dear LyndaAnn,
I hope that i will be able to help out with your decision making. My wife and I worked in the Northern Sabie Sand for 6 years and managed Simbambili. We were also employed at Chitwa Chitwa's old Safari lodge which is now Arathusa Safari lodge. We were employed there untill Sept 06. Safarinut has been one of our guests that made a life lasting impression, and we rate his info highly. Recent happenings in the SSGR include a coalition of 6 males moving in from Kruger last year, and they have settled in the Western sector after causing havoc with the lion population in general. Their coalition has now been reduced to 5, and they killed a Rhino female on the ottawa boundary a couple of months ago. You can imagine that they rule the area with an iron fist, which could make for entertaining drives. The northern sector has less vehicles than the Western sector, and like everything else in life there are positives and negatives about it, and it might help you in your decision. With the lower vehicle activity, it could take time to find the animals, but the reward for the guide and his guests that has patiently waited while their team did foot work, is that the rules of the north dictate that you can then spend as much time as you want with the animal, if the animal is comfortable with that. With higher vehicle densities the positive aspect is that with the team work the west is renowned for you will have a lot of possible sightings in a very short time to choose from, but that you might have to move on after everyone is happy with the sighting, to rotate the various vehicles through. In the SSGR it is policy to only allow a max. of 3 vehicles per sighting to offer exclusivity to visitors and minmal impact on animal behaviour. I would definitely go with Safarinut's recommendation and can also add that if you decide to include the north, the extra premium for Simabambili is worth it. Ask for Mark as your ranger, he is also the GM and a great friend. Your kids will enjoy him immensly and surprise yourself and the other couple by asking for a "honeymoon turndown" at no extra charge, to spoil you rotten. As a foot note, even though we live in JHB now, I still accompany return guests to Simbambili on the odd occasion to relive the magic we experienced while living there. I would also inquire about the single supplement for your son, as 7 people for a couple of nights at the lodge could entitle you to a better rate. Safarinut , ek kan nie wag vir die krieket en rugby wereld beker nie, hoop om binnekort van jou te hoor. Hope this helps.
Cheers
Jaco
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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Stayed at simbamibile between Xmas and Newyears, terrific game lodge, loved it. Game viewing was very good, lots of leopards (Sadly enough including a death one, Safari's daughter Mbali). The food was very good, great wines, the lodges beautiful with a nice plungepool. Excellent massage therapist, and i could go on and on. I would return to Simbabili in a heartbeat.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 09:19 AM
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Thank you all for the feedback - much appreciated!
It is interesting to see that the unprofessional posts by my highly recommended tour operator have been removed. I learned a lot from this experience - most of all "buyer beware".
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 04:55 PM
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We stayed in Simbambili in May of 2004. My husband and I were travelling with a friend of ours, and my agent was able to get them to have her share our chalet, therefore no single supplement. And when some chalets freed up, she got her own chalet at no additional cost. They were terrific and pulled out all the stops. Wonderful service, great game viewing, beautiful suites, we loved it. And Mark was there at the time and a very good guide. I would highly recommend it.
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