Is Singita Lebombo as the best choice?

Jul 13th, 2008, 03:34 PM
  #1  
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Is Singita Lebombo as the best choice?

Hello everyone,

I'm going to South Africa during the 2010 World Cup and will have time to go to a game lodge between 7-10 July, but only those dates. I am already booked for a stay at the Singita Lebombo lodge, while on the waitlist of Singita Boulders or Ebony lodge (my first choice but is already booked). I've also heard many good things about the Londolozi Tree Camp and I am considering staying there as well (I can cancel my booking at Lebombo without penalty at this point). My question is if I should just stay with my booking at Singita and hope that a room opens up at Boulders/Ebony or cancel and stay at the Londolozi Tree Camp instead? Also, any suggestions to other places or tips would be very much appreciated. This will be my first time on safari and probably the only one I will experience for a long time so I want to make sure I make the best decision possible. Thanks to everyone who posts a suggestion.

Regards,

YC

PS My two priorities in choosing a venue is 1. the best game viewing possible and 2. the best resort experience possible, with my budget not so much a concern. Thanks again!
worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 03:40 PM
  #2  
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Sorry, the title should have read "Is Singita Lebombo the best choice?" instead of "Is Singita Lebombo as the best choice?" This is the first time I've posted something on the forum and made a mistake.
worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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If game viewing is more important than accomodations, then i would switch to Londolozi. For a different choice all together, check out Mala Mala Rattrays, which probably will give you even better game viewing because they have sucha huge driving area yet won't let you down for luxury.
bigcountry is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Worldcup,

Singita Lebombo isn't even located in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

In the Sabi Sands, relatively the gameviewing is more or less comparable everywhere ..... except, larger concessions have more plains game possibly.
HariS is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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I'm aware that Lembombo is not in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, but in a private concession Kruger National Park. My question was if Lebombo would be great for game viewing or if I should go an alternative route, such as staying in Londolozi Tree Camp in the SSGR and if one lodge was better than the other facility/service wise. I just wanted to clear this up, but thanks for the response. Also, I wanted to know if anyone could suggest other great venues.

YC



worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 11:17 PM
  #6  
sniktawk
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IMHO,absolutely not, unless the concession has a secret that the surrounding public area of Kruger does not.



 
Jul 13th, 2008, 11:36 PM
  #7  
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I must be very mistaken, I think I'm getting all the names of the places wrong and am very confused. Can someone correct me, please? All I know is that I am confirmed for the Singita Lebombo Lodge 7-10 July 2010 and waitlisted for Boulders/Ebony but I understand that the Londolozi Tree camp has arguably better game viewing (especially with leopards) and am trying to decided whether it is more worth wile to go there instead of Singita Lebombo, or stay at Lebombo with the possibility of transferring my booking to Boulders/Ebony. Other than that, I have no clue what is better. My apologies to all for confusing all the names and locations. I hope someone can help clarify this for me. Thank you everyone!

YC
worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:59 AM
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Alright, let's see if this can be cleared up. Singita has 2 lodges Ebony and Boulders that are in the Sabi Sand and their concession are adjacent to Londolozi. There is even an agreement with traversing rights for 1 vehicle from each concession able to go to the other. Londolozi is famous for its leopards but Singita is also well "stocked" with leopards...they just don't hype them. I have had about the best leopard viewing anywhere at Singita including a kill. Having said that, there is so much luck that like the stock market, past experience is not a guarantee of future performance. I don't think you could go wrong with either. I would probably go wit Londo versus the Singita's Kruger lodges. Singita Lebombo is located within Kruger Park and as a newer lodge there is somewhat less habituation of the animals to humans and vehicles. My understanding is that the Kruger concession is a bit wilder and because it is off the beaten path offers something the general tourist traversing Kruger will not see. Having said that I would prefer Sabi Sands for my first safari.
So, what are other alternatives? Djuma (Vuyatela) & Exeter (CC Africa), are just two but very good alternatives to Singita and Londolozi and a substantially lower price. Certainly they are not as luxurious but the game viewing should be excellent. Obviously Mala Mala is a consideration as well with its 3 camps.
I don't know how soon all these properties will be booked up with the World Cup around but I suggest making a decision soon and not looking back...you will have a great experience at any of the venues.
Regards,
Eric
eyelaser is offline  
Jul 15th, 2008, 11:17 AM
  #9  
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Thanks Eric! That helped out very much. I'm trying my best to secure a booking for Boulders or Ebony. But if that is not possible, I think I will go to Londolozi Tree Camp instead of Lebombo. But I'm still open to more ideas, I'm not confirming anything soon since its still in a long time from now...

YC
worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Hi, I have stayed at Londolozi Tree camp for New years 06/07, as much as i enjoyed Londolozi i prefered Simbambili! Give it a try...
Alejandra is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Another consideration and my personal favorite of the luxury resorts is Mateya in Madikwe. http://www.mateyasafari.com/
The animal viewing has been fantastic and was built as a private residence with only 5 individual/detached cottages. It is in a malaria free zone too. I have stayed at Singita Boulders (a 2nd choice and also very nice) but not familiar with Lembombo so no opinion there.

Mateya will give you more bang for your buck than any of the Singita properties. Good luck with whatever you decide.
patsy120 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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My 2 cents on Mateya and Madikwe Reserve. I was not at Mateya but at Madikwe Hills Lodge for five nights in May of 2007. Madikwe Hills Lodge is gorgeous, everything wonderful, as I'm sure Mateya is. But - Madikwe Reserve for game viewing is at the bottom of my list of the safaris I have been on, around 12 different camps, 3 in the Sabi Sand/Kruger/Singita area. At Madikwe most of the game sightings were around unattractive man made water holes, a large dam and a small concrete water pool. Also, the restrictions of driving off road in Madikwe Reserve limit what you can find, see and track. I'm not saying Madikwe Reserve is not good, just that I have been to many much better - for game viewing/drives. Madikwe is relatively new, give it another 20 years maybe.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #13  
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Thanks! I will look into Mateya, but its also good to hear another opinion about that property...

Since my first post, I have found out that all of Londolozi is completely full for the time I want. So is Sabi Sabi (Selati, Earth, Bush) and Mala Mala. I'm amazed that all these properties are filling up so fast for July 2010! Does anyone have other suggestions to good lodges around that area? Thank you.
worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 11:11 AM
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Besides MM I have been to one other camp in Sabi Sand Reserve, Leopard Hills. I recommend LH highly, game viewing/drives as good as MM and rooms better/plusher. BUT - significantly more $$$. Also bordering Kruger and about 20 miles north of Sabi Sand is the Timbavati Reserve. In Timbavati I have been to Kings Camp twice and going back this Sep. for eight nights (then to Ngala Safari Lodge). Kings Camp is an excellent $$$ value, much less expensive than MM or LH and game viewing about as good.

There are more excellent camps in Sabi Sand and Timbavati Reserves but I have not been to them. Hopefully someone else will add their experiences for you. In meantime, here is a link to a map showing these reserves and camps in them. http://tinyurl.com/2dvbs2

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Kings Camp is a good value with nice, large accommodations and very nice staff. They don't have private plunge pools like some other resorts you're considering. (OK I'm spoiled since experiencing them). My sister was a bit disappointed in Leopard Hills (I've never been there). I can't recall but I think the food was disappointing to her for the $$$ she paid.

Maybe I was lucky at Mateya when I was there but IMO, the animal viewing was fabulous. We saw all of the Big 5 plus saw wild dogs which was a big treat. Animals sightings can be the luck of the draw I'm sure....that's nature!

I'm in the process of planning another trip to Mateya and hoping to experience a week in another African country I've never visited.
patsy120 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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I wonder what the wild dog population is now at Madikwe Reserve? When I was there (May 2007) there were two, only two dogs. About six months before the big pack of 20(?) had escaped under the fence. Don't know why two were left behind. The Reserve brought in two more and were habituating them in a fenced area. Wonder if now the pack has reestablished? They usually have very large litters.

No, Kings Camp does not have plunge pools for each hut, which is fine with me. They do have a nice pool. Agree, the manager Warren Moore and his staff are very nice. And the chef, Himler, was/is outstanding, I hope he is there in Sep.

It's a hot lazy Saturday afternoon here, so, just one more story about Madikwe (maybe Mateya is different?). On my third day there two ladies from the USA joined me for the morning game drive. When we got back I had breakfast with them and they asked me if that game drive were typical. I said yes it was. They said, "Oh, well, we just came from Leopard Hills and Kings Camp and the game drives there were so much much better, exciting". (Madikwe Hills, Leopard Hills and Kings Camp are part of the Seasons In Africa group/corp and you can get good deals by booking for all three camps). I told them they were doing their safari backwards, should have done Madikwe Hills, then Kings Camp, then Leopard Hills. They agreed. (Their travel agent should have known this). Anyway, as we say, YMMV

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 03:09 AM
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? on King's camp.

Are the bungalows detached or are each of the buildings split into 2 rooms?

Thanks for any advice
africa_fan is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:26 AM
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Kings Camp - Most of the bungalows are one building split into two rooms/huts. The bungalows are spread nicely on the small property. I think there are a couple of bungalows that are only one room, if I remember correctly. Rooms are spaceous, decorated nicely British Colonial, large bath to the side. Very comfortable but not plush like Leopard Hills. Bar, dining room, boma, up stairs terrace/lounge, all very nice.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:13 PM
  #19  
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Hello everyone!

I'm glad someone brought up properties in the Madikwe Game Reserve. I'm going to extend my trip to South Africa (I don't think I'll get a chance to go back to SA for awhile) so that I could have a chance to visit another lodge. I chose to stick with Lebombo (forced to, in fact) because there was no more availability in any of the other places I was looking at (Londolozi, Sabi Sabi, Mala Mala, etc. are all fully booked) for July 2010.... I also wanted to see another part of South Africa so I was thinking about staying in Makanyane in the Madikwe Game Reserve (wanted Mateya but was also full). Is this a good idea or would people go elsewhere? Another lodge or reserve entirely? Thanks for any input!

YC
worldcup2010 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Phinda Game Reserve is well known in South Africa. I have not been there but if you search here on the forum for it you will find many threads mentioning it.

Again, if you can not get into Singita nor MM, Leopard Hills is equal to them IMHO. Have you tried Leopard Hills for the time you want? Call them and ask, easy to do. I have called every camp I've been to in SA at one time or another, including Kruger Park.

regards - tom
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