Kruger v. Chobe

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Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:14 AM
  #1
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Kruger v. Chobe

We are traveling to South Africa this August and have to choose between Kruger and Chobe. Chobe is more convenient for us, but we don't want to miss out on anything. Is Kruger a far superior park?
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Hello,

I'm a bit confused by your question -- Chobe is in Botswana, not South Africa. Are you thinking of another South African park, like Madikwe or Hluhlwhe?

If you are in SA, Kruger is much more convenient than Chobe, unless you are visiting Vic Falls.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:29 AM
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I'm sorry. We are going to South Africa mainly but we are also going to Victoria Falls. We aren't strictly staying within South Africa.
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:36 AM
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In my opinion, based solely on one visit to each park, the game viewing is far superior in Chobe, but its not as easy to visit. You could visit Kruger with a 2WD car but you'll need a 4WD for Chobe. Its not a problem if you're going with a group, but Chobe is more difficult to self-drive.

Also, game viewing from the Chobe River is spectacular and may be unique -- I don't think any other major parks offer river cruises to see game, but I haven't been to Mana Pools (hoping to get there next year) or Selous, so I could be wrong.

But, you can't go wrong with either choice.
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Re Kruger -- do you plan to self-drive in the park itself, or do you plan to visit one of the private reserves outside the park? If you are thinking of the Sabi Sands private game reserves, I think that would be the superior experience.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 10:26 AM
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I don't know. We were going to visit Notten's Bush Camp. I'm kind of clueless about the whole thing. You think that would be better than Chobe?
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 10:36 AM
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To be honest I haven't visited Chobe myself, but based on the information I got prior to my trip to Botswana this year I decided to pass -- it sounded pretty crowded and the predator sightings aren't great (though if you like ellies you'll be in heaven).

I have visited the Okavango Delta, the Linyanti area, and the Sabi Sands and the best game-viewing by far was in the Sabi Sands. It's not as wild as the Delta or Linyanti, but neither is Chobe.

If you go with a private reserve, you'll have a lot more privacy and the benefit of being able to follow animals off-road, something that's not allowed in the national parks. You can also do night drives to see nocturnal animals. I believe Notten's Bush Camp borders Londolozi, where I had awesome sightings on my trip in August 2004 and again duirng my trip in June/July 05.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 10:49 AM
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Thank you so much! Do you have a recommendation for a private reserve in Sabi?
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I may be wrong but I dont think Nottens provides quite the experience of a Londolozi or Mala Mala or many other Sabi Sand camps. My experience with Mala Mala is such that I have been eight times with eight days planned in January. Others on this board have had excellent experiences at Londolozi, Singita, Simbambili and others.
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 11:04 AM
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I wholeheartedly recommend Londolozi, where I stayed during both of my trips. The accommodation is very smart, but more important the guiding is superb. You can see more on www.ccafrica.com. Londoz isn't cheap, though -- what is your budget?

If Londoz is out of your price range, there have been a couple of recent threads about the Sabi Sands -- I think one was called 'URGENT: Safari in South Africa' and the other was called 'Kruger Park vs private game reserve' where people have made recommendations for lodges in the Sabi Sands area.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 11:09 AM
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Here's a link to one of the threads:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 11:11 AM
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ksld,

you can find a list of websites to all Sabi Sand camps on my website,
http://www.safari-portal.de/Lodging....tml#SabiSandGR

Londolozi, Singita and MalaMala are the most famous farms.

Djuma has a nice map of Sabi Sands that helps for orientation. Personally I would prefer a farm that is located at the Sand River.
http://www.djuma.com/images/sabisand.jpg

Please note, that the south of MalaMala (Kirkman's) is now run by Exeter.

Mitch

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Aug 3rd, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Mitch

Good point on Kirkman's. I here that they are not doing so well, so there may be a chance of a deal there for August. I stayed there many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Most recently I was there to see some Lions having trekked down from Mala Mala Main Camp.
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 01:02 PM
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I was at Kirkman's pre-Exeter and agree that it's an excellent location. Not that we are big-5 counters, but the big 5 is easy there. (Maybe too easy...)

But for a first trip to Africa, you will see more wildlife diversity in Sabi Sands than in Chobe. (Again, if you really love elephants, Chobe is still in the running. And Chobe is so convenient from Vic Falls, are you sure you can't do both? Two nights in Chobe is sufficient.)
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Thank you so much. I'm checking all of these places out. Londolozi is a bit more than we can spend, but possibly one of the others will work out. I also checked out the old strings, so thanks Julian for pointing them out.

Sounds like Kruger is the way to go.
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 01:54 PM
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There's a distribution map in the excellent 'A Time with Leopards' book that leads to the assumption that the Kirkman area is the best leopard spot of whole MalaMala. This is also the area where Kim Wolhuter made his famous NG films. Can any MalaMala visitor confirm this?

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Aug 3rd, 2005, 02:04 PM
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Well from personal experience, I think that this is true. We had some amazing leopard encounters at Kirkmans, including a leopard whose (hidden) prey was stolen by three male lion! She used our vehicle as cover to slip away. The 3 lion proceeded to have a tug of war over the carcass for more than 20 minutes. And then there was the time...
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Aug 4th, 2005, 03:21 AM
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If you go with Kirkman's, check to see what their traversing rights are now that they have separated from MalaMala. I emailed MalaMala about this when the property was first sold as that was when I was researching the Sabi Sands, and according to them the traversing area for Kirkman's were going to be greatly reduced following the sale (whereas MalaMala vehicles can still traverse the entirety of the area). Has anyone stayed there since the sale who can confirm this?

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 4th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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What is your budget and how much time do you have?
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Aug 4th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Kirkman's has traversing rights over the southern two portions of Mala Mala, about 1/3 up the sand river, if you check out the map on malamala.tv
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