Kruger area private reserves plus Phinda?

Old Dec 1st, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Having just been to Phinda and sitting here at Londolozi ---

We stayed at Rock for 2 days and Vlei for 2 days and I would stay at vlei again. Something Phinda has that you probably won't see in Sabi Sands is cheetah -- and there was a mother with 6 cubs about 2.5 months old there that was great. Also the cheetah brothers that were wonderful and the three lion brothers that were amazingly affectionate with one another. I hope the photos turn out as good as the experience of watching it was!

Also we saw both black and white rhino and 3 leopards. But the leopard sign=htings were not as impressive as at Londolozi.

There are fences and we saw them often. If that is a problem for you, then this is not a good camp for you. However, seeing cheetah was important to me and we saw several so this was good for me.

Accomodations were great and I liked the openness of Vlei -- which is ismilar to Forest but smaller in the number of guests accomodated. Food was very good also and the staff at Vlei was wonderful. I was not as happy with Rock but the mother cheetah was there. IT is abou an hour between the two areas sp you can go there from Vlei but you spend a lot of time in the vehicle.
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 01:35 AM
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Thanks, sounds like a great cheetah sighting! Do you still get a wilderness feel at Phinda with the fences? I've heard them mentioned a few times and that might be a distraction for me.

Do you mean that the fences are more prevalent around Rock?

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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 03:12 AM
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I did get a wilderness feel even with the fences -- what is on the other side does not look different. One time, tracking a leopard we found where he had gone under the fence. Most roads are not along the fence line and you only see it there.

I did not like the atmosphere and the staff as well at Rock. It is notan open area and you are unlikely to see animals roaming about as you do at vlei. They also cannot drink at your pool as they do at vlei.

Our guide at vlei was definitely better than at Rock and that makes a lot of the experience. Our last night at Rock we had a bush dinner. There were two other couples in our vehicle. They did not want to go outon the morning drive and I had the distinct impression thatour guide did not want to take just us. He even mentioned cutting it short. Sure enough in the morning -- he was not feeling well and we wentout with te other guide who only had 2 guests in his vehicle. There were a couple other instances of things he said or did that I felt were unprofessional.

On the other hand, the staff atvlei went outof their way to ensure we were happy.

Federal Air flies directly between the two so it is easy to get from one to the other.
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Old Dec 1st, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Makanyane has a piece of property contigous to the reserve which they traverse at the beginning and end of game drives. When we visited in February 2005 we had a lot of luck here. The big problem I had with Madikwe was too few roads so you do tend to see a lot of vehicles in the central plains - but a lot was not that many, and sightings were limited to 3. Having spend so much time in SSGR it was a little frustrating too see Lions but not to be able to get very close.
The major problem there in late summer certainly and maybe earlier were flies. In the central plains there were billions, and they were a huge nuisance.
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