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January 2013 First Time Safari - Help with Safari Lodge

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Jun 28th, 2012, 10:05 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 31
January 2013 First Time Safari - Help with Safari Lodge

Hi everyone,

I'll be in South Africa for a mere 9 nights/10 days in January. It will be my first time to South Africa and on safari, and I am extremely excited!

I'll be in Cape Town for 4 nights, then the winelands for 2 nights, and want to finish with a 3 night safari. Cape Town I booked independently, but I've been looking at quotes for the winelands + safari portion.

I've read a bunch of old trip reports and posts, but would love to see if anyone has an opinion on the best place to stay in the January green season. Here are my main options:

-Kirkman's Kamp
-Ngala Safari Lodge
-Kapama Buffalo Camp
-Madikwe River Lodge

Based on value for money and perceived quality of the experience and game viewing, I am leaning towards Kirkman's Kamp. Ngala I think is a fine option, but as of now I prefer KK for the Sabi Sand area access. I am skeptical of the whole fenced reserve experience so I'm not sure on Kapama. Madikwe intrigues me because of the wild dog populations, but the quote for the transfers and safari to Madikwe is much higher than the Kruger area safaris, and I don't think the overall experience would be that much "better" (if at all!)

KK the right choice here? If there's anyone here with experience going in January or green season in general with some tips, I would greatly appreciate comments.

Thank you!
thusspakezara is offline  
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Jun 28th, 2012, 01:22 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 93
For your first safari, I would highly recommend Kruger over Madikwe. KK is a nice option. Also consider Londolozi Varty Camp as well as Mala Mala Main Camp. You will LOVE Africa. Such a treat. If you are looking for a "value" camp, consider Elephant Plains or Arathusa. Even though they are accessed from a Gate further North, they do offer more value if budget is a concern.
boudecca is offline  
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Jun 28th, 2012, 06:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I think Boudecca gave good advice. Though I've been to Mala Mala and not KK, they are next to each other.
atravelynn is offline  
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Jun 28th, 2012, 08:41 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Stay in Sabi Sand reserve. I've been to MalaMala, Kirkmans, Leopard Hills. All three great camps as well as others in Sabi Sand.

Stay away from Ngala Lodge and Madikwe reserve, also been there, will not go back.

regards - tom
ps - when replies around here say "Kruger" you don't know if they are talking about Kruger National Park or the Greater Kruger Area.
cary999 is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2012, 07:13 AM
  #5
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Thank you, everyone! That is really helpful information, and I do think I will go with KK: it fits into my budget and has no single supplement (though MalaMala does). It'll be a great time and it's nice to hear that everyone has had such positive experiences in Sabi Sand!
thusspakezara is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2012, 07:23 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Please let us know how it goes and take many photos.
atravelynn is offline  
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