Leaving Next Week!! Need input on final lodge -

Oct 13th, 2004, 04:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 40
Leaving Next Week!! Need input on final lodge -

Okay, we have Dugong in Mozambique and Lion Sands Ivory booked through mtbeds at *great* discounts!! We have about four more days between the two to fill. I'm trying to choose between the following:
Leadwood Lodge, Ulusaba Rock Lodge, Royal Malewane, Tsala Treetop Lodge.

We could get Leadwood Lodge on special thru mtbeds, but I would be willing to pay full price for the other lodges - am just horrible at making decisions under pressure. Would greatly appreciate ANY input!
Buffyp73 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 05:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Buffyp73 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

You are aware that Tsala Treetop lodge is in Plettenberg Bay area and not in Sabi Sand area, right?

If you are able to get Royal Malewane at a discount, that would be my recommendation. If not, Leadwood would be an easy choice.

I congratulate you on having the patience to hold off on your bookings until the very last moment. Reminds me of movies where the soldiers are instructed not to shoot the enemy until they see the "white of their eyes", rather than when they first catch sight of them.

Regarding other possibilities, you should also strongly consider Dulini (neighoboring Leadwood and nicer looking than Leadwood in my opinion), Exeter River Lodge (the very closest lodge, at least on my maps, to Singita Boulders & Ebony) and for a more African feel, why not Hamiltons Tented Camp?

In summary, I would rate the remaining possibilities as follows:

1. (Exeter) Dulini
2. Hamiltons Tented Camp
3. Exeter River Lodge
4. Ulusaba Rock Lodge (you are already going to get that way over the top feel at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, so I do think that the location of Exeter and the different feel of Hamiltons would better round out your itinerary).

Buffy, please do us all a favor and let us know your final pricing, which lodges you attempted to get but were unavailable and how hard it was to get your exact dates. Also, please confirm that you are NOT South African but are obtaining these prices as a non South African resident.

Thanks and good luck.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 07:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 40
Roccco - I'm interested in your comment that Dulini was nicer than Leadwood. The specials at mtbeds are even better for Dulini. In what way do you think it is nicer?

Also, in regards to Tsala. I know it's in a completely different location. How much of a difference does that make in the travel time? (Completely ignorant to traversing the country here) Is it a problem to fly from Tsala to a lodge? I even thought of doing Tsala before Mozambique to kind of break things up. I don't know why, but I've been in love with the thought of Tsala since someone came back with a trip report last year. We weren't able to fit it in last year and probably won't be able to this year either if it means we have to overnight off-site to get there.

As for the whites of the eyes...Ha! I'd actually scrapped SA at last minute for Thailand because the airfare had me buggered. However, when I (wistfully) checked Mtbeds on a fluke and found all the great deals available...SCHWING!!! We can swing it in spite of having to pay full rate air. Kind of fun to scramble for last minute deals, actually, though I won't be doing it next year! ;-)

I will let you know the finalized itinerary as soon as I nail it. I am South African, (living in States) but none of the deals I got were for SA residents - they were available for all.
Buffyp73 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553

It is all just a matter of personal preference. I just prefer the decor of Dulini over the decor of Leadwood, but it may be the opposite for others.

I do also think you should strongly consider Simbambili for your final lodge as well, especially after running into these latest photos:


Also, it wouldn't hurt to ask Taga Safaris if they can match any pricing that you may have, as they are very competitive on all the quotations that I have ever received from them.

Have a great time and let us know where you do your final booking. Please take LOTS of pictures and entertain us with a trip report upon your return!

Roccco is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
Buffy I too must applaud your patience. After too high airfares to India and Sri Lanka scrapped my plans there this year, I looked at Thailand too and was likewise disappointed. My goal was to wait until a month before our planned departure date and snatch up a good deal to anywhere in the world, but alas I couldn't stop myself from flinching and jumping on the first semi-deal I could find. And of course, since then better options seem to be sprouting up everywhere.

You've inspired me to be stronger for next year's trips! Have a fantastic time!
hlphillips2 is offline  

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