Londolozi Camps & Sabi in February

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Jul 31st, 2005, 02:12 PM
  #1
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Londolozi Camps & Sabi in February

OK, I know it's outrageous, but I'm now planning the next but one trip to Africa in an attempt to stave off the withdrawal symptoms. Napamatt suggested Kruger / Sabi for Feb next year and we're seriously thinking about this.

We are looking at options such as a combination of Simbambili & Thornybush or a combination of Londolozi & Ngala. Taga & CCAfrica have specials running right now & it would make 8 - 10 nights affordable if we can negotiate these specials for early next year.

However this is a completely new area to me so i have a few questions:

1.What can we expect game-viewing-wise and temperature-wise in Februay.

2. Which of the Londolozi camps would anyone recommend (Pioneer, Founders & Bataleur seem to come in at around the same price).

3. Anyone been to or heard anything about Thornybush Main Lodge?

4. I'm confused as to whether the Jan / Feb / March season is high season or low season - it seems to differ on different websites or even not get a mention at all. Any views?

Thanks as always for any help,
Ruthie
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Jul 31st, 2005, 02:52 PM
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Ruthie,

My first trip to the Sabi Sand was in early March (2002). Back then, I wasn't even aware of a high season or low season, only that the weather in Cape Town in March would be very nice and the majority of tourists would have already left by then.

Well, not only was the weather in Cape Town great, but also the weather in the Sabi Sand was very nice, as well (along with the weather in Victoria Falls). Moreover, at Singita, we had great gameviewing, seeing plenty of lions, including my only lion kill to date, leopards on just about every game drive, and even a cheetah with three young cubs! Additionally, there were plenty of elephants, rhinos, giraffes and other wildlife around.

At the time, I had nothing to measure it against, or else I would have been absolutely blown away with the good fortune we were having on our game drives.

I would suggest you consider a combination of Londolozi Bateleur (stay 3 nights, get 4th night free) and Simbambili (as you mentioned, Taga Safaris has a very good special). 4 nights at each lodge would be incredibly productive, and hopefully by going in March you would avoid any crowds.

Of the Londolozi camps, other than the very expensive Tree Camp, the only other one that will feature a private plunge pool is Bateleur. You would really be able to enjoy your own plunge pool in February or March.

Thornybush Main Lodge is reputedly very luxurious, but it is not in the Sabi Sand. I wouldn't be able to comment on the strength of the wildlife in comparison with the Sabi Sand Lodges.

As I said, you may be better off waiting until early March rather than February. Possibly a few less tourists and the temperatures will not be overly warm as they may be in February.

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Jul 31st, 2005, 05:07 PM
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Ruthie

Game viewing is always good in Sabi Sand, we have never been disappointed at any time. In fact our most recent trip was probably the lightest we have had for predator sightings (or real quality sightings) and that was July.
We have had temperatures in the 100's and down in the 80's. Our one time in March we had unseasonably cold, wet weather which was miserable, but definitely unusual. I say go for it.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 07:29 PM
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Ruthie,

All 4 Londolozi camps are within walking distance of each other (walking trail connecting them) with Pioneer at one end, then Founders, then Bataleur, then Tree Camp at other end. There are "chalets" and "suites" at Pioneer, Bataleur, and Founders and suites only at Tree Camp. So the lesser priced accomondations are the chalets. I did not see the interior of chalets while we were there, but I am assuming they are somewhat smaller and do not have a connection to private sala (that is, they only have a deck). I think the chalets may not be spaced as far apart, but not sure about that. However, as Rocco stated, it is my understanding that only Bataluer will have the private plunge pools at both the chalets and the suites. I think that the other camps may have plunge pools at the suites only. Therefore, in February when it is hot, there is an advantage to the chalets at Bataleur. Each camp has their own swimming pool of course.

Bataleur is the largest of the camps with a total of 12 rooms, while the other camps each have about 6 rooms, is that is a consideration to you. Tree Camp does not allow children.

Whichever camp you stay at, game viewing will be in the same area, so nothing to worry about as far as that goes. Rangers and trackers are very good at Londolozi, or at least at Tree Camp where we stayed, and I'm sure they are all from the same pool.

If you can stay at two CCAfrica camps in early 2006 and get the discout they are offering on their website for 2005, then the price becomes pretty attractive.

We were ther in June, so someone else will have to help out with the weather in Feb., but I assume very hot. I would think that the rainy season would normally be over by February, but I think there could still be a chance of rain.

Hope that helps.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 08:25 PM
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Ruthie,
I was at Thornybush in July 2002. The gameviewing was great but at that time this was a fenced reserve, as in a few properties had a huge fence around the total area. There was a pride that were giraffe hunters, and every five or six giraffes killed, new ones would have to be bought to replace the ones killed. I didn't like that aspect, that the cats might become a bit inbred and that the grazers were not free to come and go, as in the Sabi Sands. The other thing that I couldn't get over, was that they served no lunch, to this day it is something that I still bring up in conversation about my time there. No-one else seemed to mind, but my niece and I were astounded as up until then it was never a question that I thought I needed to ask.
I also had 2 half-day trips from here that I really did enjoy, to a Cheetah reserve, whose name escapes me at the moment, and they had not only cheetah, including the king cheetah, but wild dog and one of my favourite antelope, the sable. The other place we went to was Mhololholo, (not sure of that spelling), but this is a centre that is run for all animals and birds to be brought into for a permanent home or to get well after an accident and then put back into the wild after recovery. I did love this place, as we did get up and close to many of the vultures, eagles, kites, serval and honey badgers. This place also featured on one of the cable channels about the time we went.
I am off to Londolozi in December and as I have never been there I cannot comment on that at all, other than it is next to MalaMala which is my favourite place in the world. My main criteria is gameviewing but I am not against nice accomodation.
I have gone in December the last few years, and to date the early mornings and evenings have been a bit cold. During the day it has been warm, but not enough to tempt me to a pool, but as they have similar weather to where I live in Brisbane, Australia I feel that January and February would be the hottest months so you would normally be back to camp by 10am and not out of camp until 4pm, so you miss that really hot middle part of the day.
Hope this helps a little.

Kaye
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