Kings Camp or Mala Mala?

Jul 1st, 2009, 06:25 AM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I am absolutely sure that people will enjoy themselves at Mala Mala. If they want to go there, I have no doubt it will wonderful. I have stated on more than one occasion that Mala Mala probably has the best game viewing in Sabi Sands.

If I am wrong about the water....gee...sooooo sorry, they do not charge for water and that is good. I have clearly stated that I think that water should not be charged for. What you did not quote is that at Vuyutela I do plan on going back even though they DO charge for water, as much as I do not like it. So clearly water is not my deciding factor.

As for my comments about not going to Mala Mala, none of them are based on peoples trip experiences. So please, if anyone wants to travel there, I am sure you will have a wonderful time. If I went there tomorrow, I probably would have a wonderful time.

However I am not planning on going there because of other much more important reasons that I have stated, not including water. Fortunately I have choices of a lot of wonderful lodges that can and do provide once in a lifetime experience just as Mala Mala does.

And no Ted, I do not need nor want to filter you out. I have no shame for my comments. Taking a moral stand is not a reason for shame.

Mike
mytmoss is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 07:35 AM
  #62  
 
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Mike

Moral stand? How do you feel about long time employees of MM being intimidated to stay on strike?
napamatt_2 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 07:40 AM
  #63  
 
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Mike, thanks for setting the record straight.
Ted
Temba is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 09:42 AM
  #64  
 
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I am no fan of unions, but if they are on strike, I assume its for reasons that I am unaware of. I have been in a union myself that almost went on strike and I was against it (the strike). So I do feel for those that want to stay and work.

And by the way, I do not consider unions immoral, even though I am not a supporter of them. If their actions are immoral, then I would be against that too.

Mike
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Jul 1st, 2009, 11:37 AM
  #65  
 
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Curious that with tourist travel at record lows that Mala Mala has not adusted their rates or offered any discounts. That does suggest a disconnect by management from the real world. With that in mind and the great deals available in Botswana and Tanzania, I suspect that anyone doing the required homework will not choose South Africa. The numbers simply cannot be justified. Nevertheless, if your heart is set on a Kruger/Sabi type of safari (safari light) then I guess that is an indivdual choice. Honestly, it just dosn't seem like a good value at their current rate. Ultimately the marketplace decides the rate and so shall it be with Mala Mala as well as the other camps of that ilk. There is always Kenya (YUK).
Ted
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Jul 1st, 2009, 12:06 PM
  #66  
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napamatt -
I'll have to get a bird book & start getting geared up for that. I do think the pictures of birds you (and others) have posted are lovely - what is the one called? lilac throated roller? Really gorgeous.

Possibly Pafuri in October will be more game-y than what you experienced in January. I'll let you know next year!
Leslie_S is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 12:09 PM
  #67  
 
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try, Lilac Breasted Roller.
Temba is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 12:19 PM
  #68  
 
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Ted, seriously, help me with my homework, for safari "value", can you recommend great camps (Wilderness?) in Botswana or Tanzania for less than $400pppn? And would airfare from USA to those camps be close to what airfare is to JNB, $1,600? I'm always looking for more safari at less cost.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 01:24 PM
  #69  
 
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Tom, that's a hard figure to reach but you can come close. Wilderness has extended their shoulder season to June 15th and the rates at many of their camps is $600/pppn. They are doing a "pay for six, stay seven" special so that works out to just over $500/pppn. That would include you air transfers between camps. The flight from Joburg to Maun is still Air Bots and it is very overpriced (about $500 round trip) so you have to figure that in as well. The alcohol is free if that helps. The bottom line for me is that Botswana is a better experience than South Africa, cost wise who cares, in 30 or 40 years it will make no difference.
Ted
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Jul 1st, 2009, 01:25 PM
  #70  
 
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Oh, and for the record, Mala Mala is still a fine camp/lodge.
Ted
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Jul 1st, 2009, 01:45 PM
  #71  
 
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Thanks Ted, $500 is within range. Flight to Maun and then to camp hurts. I've never had really good safari in Botswana. Only safaried once, four nights at Khwai River Lodge on our very first safari, 2005. KRL was ok, but would not go back. I've been turned off by Wilderness because of their "own" agent thing and that they differ in price by 15%, so I've heard.

regards - tom
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Jul 1st, 2009, 02:50 PM
  #72  
 
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Tom

Bots is awesome, it's just been getting so expensive and it's a crap shoot as to whether Air Bots actually gets you there half the time. My agent is off to the Kalahari in December and I'm looking forward to considering that as an option with my MM trip in January.
Of course Mashatu is probably one of the best deals out there, it's a different Bots experience from the Delta, but great game and cheap.

BTW I live in CA - and the behaviour of public employee unions is mostly definitely immoral.

Matt
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Jul 1st, 2009, 03:47 PM
  #73  
 
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I thought I read that another airline was flying into Botswana now and I remember being surprised that Botswana was allowing it. Was I dreaming?
sundowner is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 04:59 PM
  #74  
 
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We loved Pafuri!! My significant other and I spent 3 nights at Pafuri in early September 2008. We found the place to be both beautiful to the eyes and other senses and filled with a wide variety of game. We saw very few other tourists. We could sit in our room and watch the animal show in the river including incredible elephant scenes, eland, monkeys, buffalos, crocodiles, hippos, antelopes, birds and raptors. We had three leopard sightings. We saw over 50 different species of birds. We saw a herd of over 500 buffalos pass in front of our vehicle after drinking water at the river. Saw many night creatures during the night drives including genets, civets, bats, nightjars, owls and bushbabies. We were stalked by elephants and buffalos every night going back to our room. Our guide, Edward, was incredible. Met the head of Africa WWF who was staying at the camp before going to other countries to disperse monies for conservation. Loved going to Landers Gorge. Would go back to Pafuri in a heartbeat.
vze26bsw is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 06:07 PM
  #75  
 
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The $$$ for Bots has kept (and is keeping) me away. The Wilderness deal of pay six get seven is not a huge discount, 14%. Doesn't sound like they are hurting that bad. I know there are fantastic Bots camps but getting to camps in South Africa is easier and less $$$. Plus I love the Kruger experience and its such an economical way to stretch your safari budget. My upcoming 20 days of SA safari, at Kruger 7, Kings Camp 8, and Kirkmans Kamp 5, averages out to $260 pppn. (This includes -all- expenses for Kruger, car rental etc.)

Self driving in Bots could be tempting. Should be able to do that for $250 pppn.

BTW Matt, I also live in CA (as you likely know)and half of the labor unions here get whatever they want by paying off the politicians. Not to mention our joke of a state government and those two Senators we send to Washington. But now this is indeed waaaay off topic!!!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 03:47 AM
  #76  
 
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sundowner,

No you were not dreaming. Actually Soth African Airways had applied for landing rights and flight priviliges to Maun in Botswana. Initially everyone thought that Botswana Government would grant those flight priviliges but at the last minute they refused. Botswana is very protective of its own airline, Botswana Air, and is fearful that the competition will hhurt their bottom line. So you get to Maun either by Air Bots, or nothing. I can appreciate the Botswana Governments point of view, they are a tiny country living situated between a lot of crazy neighbors (South Africa included) and they must maintain the viability of their own little airline or risk isolation and the financial hardship that would occur if for example South Africain Air were to go on strike or have a work stoppage or slowdown. Remember that Botswana is a small country (fewer than 2 million people) while South Africa has a large (50 million people) population. Botswana primary source of income comes from diamonds and tourisim is the second most important industry. Given that their is No diamond industry right now, they must protect their tourisim industry. Actually I think they do a better job of governing then the State of California. Hey Tom, perhaps you could get a California State Grant to travel their on a "fact finding mission". But back to point, only Air Botswana for now and it is a very overpriced flight.

One other point perhaps a bit off topic but appropriate for anyone considering a safari in South Africa vs Botswana. Most of the quotes you receive from agents will include your airtransfers between the different camps (note: not from Joburg to Maun but between camps). This is an enormous plus in that you really do spend all of your time on "game Drive". Usually you fly out after your morning game drive and arrive well before your afternnon drive (most flights are less than 30 minutes). Once you experience a Botswana style safari it is hard to go back to anything else. Comparisons between different camp management styles (Kwando vs Wilderness) are really minor as compared to the difference between a South African style safari and a Botswana Experience. Is it worth the cost difference? Only the person paying can decide.
Ted
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Jul 2nd, 2009, 08:51 AM
  #77  
 
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Ted

Thanks for the airline update, and I agree with the different experience, I love both, just wish I had the time to factor in extra days to save the anxiety of not knowing whether Air Bots is going to get me to JHB in time for my flight home.

Matt
napamatt_2 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 12:32 PM
  #78  
 
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"charge a single supplement if you are flying as a single"

Even if there are other passenger(s) on plane? I understand if I am the only passenger, the minimum is two, been there. But if I am single and there are others, still SS for me? Maybe I don't know what a typical flight to Maun is, size of plane etc.

And FWIW, I'm not finding the discussion about MM management/labor objectionable. Nothing wrong with different honest perspectives. Certainly a lot more civilized than has been in recent past. Did the Fodors Forum changes somehow inspire us to be more courteous? I say ol'chap, well done!!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 10:26 PM
  #79  
 
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For those of you interested in Botswana, a friend of mine just told me that Nitani http://www.nitani.co.za/ is offering pay for 2 days and stay for 3. I have no idea of prices, just posting it as an FYI.

Mike
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Jul 3rd, 2009, 04:54 AM
  #80  
 
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Tom,
You might want to ask the editors to remove your last post, above, since it makes no sense now that they (the editors), have pulled the offending misinformation that prompted your reply. In the meantime, to prevent this thread from becoming a source of even more miss and disinformation let me state that "You pay NO single supplement when flying between the various Wilderness Camps (Sefofane Air)". Also, you pay NO single supplement when flying alone on Air Botswana between Joburg and Maun. The bottom line is the bottom line, there is no getting around the fact that Botswana is an expensive safari destination. There are some self drive options but they require more skill and knowledge than similar trips in South Africa. I can't imagine finding a $250pppn rate at any of the well known Botswana concessions. Even "green season" rates will be over your budget.
Ted
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