Londolozi vs. Mala Mala

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Nov 15th, 2005, 02:09 PM
  #1
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Londolozi vs. Mala Mala

What are all of your opinions on Mala Mala vs. Londolozi? We just returned from Londolozi, and were thrilled at the experience. Is Mala Mala about the same? It looks like it covers much more land area....
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Nov 15th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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buyers remorse?

lands is not everything, while for some it is, I figure that your game drives are around three hoours, which gives you an hour and half outbound ans the same on return, trace a circle around any camp, work out an 11/2 drive and then it becomes apparent that the boundless wilderness is in fact quite meaningless. Particularly in the sabi sand where the entire reserve is so densly populated with lodges, by comparison to say Botswana or Zambia, or Tanzania or.....

For me, M/mala is old school, to formal, wheras londoz had a more relaxed feel, although I'd like to invent a term for their sophistication, "bush wazire"
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Nov 15th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Could you throw in Elephant Plains as another comparison. Is there a geographic
area Elephant Plains is located in? I know Jscale had high praise for Elephant Plains.

Bush wazire is a good one!

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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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Paloaltotraveler,

I have yet to discover what my opinion is of Londolozi, as I will not be there until next month - but it is looking good so far as I have been waitlisted for Bateleur for over 6 months and have finally received word that we are now in Bateleur.

On MalaMala, I do have an opinion. I am obsessed with gameviewing, and with my limited time in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, my best gameviewing by far, has been at MalaMala. I have in the past stayed for relatively long periods of time, and I have been happy to spend most of my time just at MalaMala. I am not saying the accomodation or the food is the best that I have ever experienced, but accomodation and food is definitely not the reason I fly from Australia to Africa! I am really hoping that I am nearly as happy at Londolozi that I am at MalaMala. Also, a large part of the appeal at MM is the knowledge of family history on the big cats - knowing a leopard cub I saw so many years ago being pregnant with her first lot of cubs is very exciting to me. I have heard a lot of people comment on the volume of vehicles in the Sabi Sands, and I do see a little of that at Singita where other lodges have traversing rights - but I like a lot of people out and about finding different sightings, as to me, if handled correctly, you only see other vehicles off and on, most rangers go out of their way to avoid traffic, unless it is at a special sighting. To me staying longer, means that we go to areas in MalaMala that are not frequently used by vehicles because people staying two or three nights usually want to see specific animals, when I stay there longer, I want to see lots of different things, and each time I go, I do see things that I have not seen before!

Kaye
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Nov 15th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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Ditto to Kaye. I have found that game drives can in fact be much longer than three hours. I do get Mkhonzo's point about the formality of Mala Mala, that has put some people off, I am perfectly relaxed there as are the staff with me. One thing I do like as opposed to more relaxed camps, Mombo being a good example, I have never found myself wondering where I should sit or how to proceed with anything at Mala Mala. At some camps I have arrived at breakfast and wondered what the form is, that can be uncomfortable.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 08:04 PM
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Tired accommodations,too formal,old school....These are reasons people don't visit Mala Mala and it's a shame.Once you look past this and actually go you will return many times.

Mala Mala has the highest number of return guests in the SSGR.Do I need to say more?

Hey,Londolozi is a great camp and will satisfy the most discerning traveller but if I want to experience THE best gameviewing that South Africa can offer my vote will have to go to Mala Mala.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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Honestly folks, get out a map and study it.
The game viewing at Mala Mala is NO different to Londolozi or anywhere else in tha Sabi Sand.

Kaye: You will enjoy the viewing at Londoz, don't sweat it. As for seeing the same family of cats that you saw on previous visits...well maybe you might miss some of the geneology, however you will learn about other clans of dogs, cats and hyena.

The sand is ONLY 57 000 Ha. In wild life terms and compared to parks in the rest of Africa that is small. Just next door the Kruger is arguably the same size as the country of isreal.

The biome of the sands from the sabi river to the fence in justicia is much the same. There is no sudden emergence of brachystegia woodland or.....
It is all pretty much acacia woodland...my terms might be off a tad, bottom line is this biome hosts the SAME species of game. The same species of GAME attracts the predators, whose numbers and distribution are determined by the densities of prey species & since the vegetation is equitable throughout the sands.....come to any conclusions?:

In addition and further fodder for thought: There are no physical boundaries seperating the various companies, MM. Londo, Nottens, Sabi, Singita and so on. Ever seen an elephant with a MM passport stamp in his travel documents?, ever seen a lion in mal mala eying out an Impala on tthe londoz side, thinking....mmmm I can't tackle that Impala because it is in Londolozi? Cmon folks....lets have some common sense when discussing game viewing in the sands.....
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Nov 16th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Last comment from me - the existence of so much river frontage is an advantage for Mala Mala during the dry season.

Of course I may be wrong about that.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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hey napa, you have a point, however the various lodges in the sands have sucked into the acquifer for the past four decades establishing a healthy network of water points throughout the reserve.
I think that practically every lodge that does not have river views has worked a water point to the front end of their lodge in addition to strategic locations around their properties.

That said, the sand river is a gorgeous piece of geopgraphy that passes through many of the lodge properties in question, undoubtably Mala Mala has more than a fair share of the waterway.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 09:41 AM
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<<The game viewing at Mala Mala is NO different to Londolozi or anywhere else in tha Sabi Sand>>

It would be silly to continue on with a serious discussion with someone who believes this
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Nov 16th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Oh come on safarinut, how can you say that?
obviously you don't believe so?
Please share your insight and motivate why the viewing is different within the sabi sands?

I will agree that how you see the game is diferent, however I battle to understand why the game would difffer.

If you were to argue that the game in the Timbavati was different to the sands, I would say there is room for discussion. The former is dominated by mopani veld. If you were to compare the northern kruger Pafuri area with the southern kruger, Pretoriuskop/Skukuza area I would again agree that the game is different, but to say that any of the lodge properties in the sabi sand has better or worse game viewing is a major statement AND I for one would sincerely like to know why?
Even if you do think it silly to share your opinion.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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This should answer any question....regardless of the accommodation...the leopards are literally "dripping from the trees" at Mala Mala..unlike anywhere else.
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Nov 17th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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oooooh another one!!

Nikitripro.....You astound me! Having posted some really informative advise in earlier discussions, you chime in that the leopards are dripping from the trees at MMala, unlike elsewhere....

I trust that that was"a tongue in cheek" comment?

I am waiting for safarinut to embelish on exactly why the game is better at mala mals. Is it because the grass is sweeter? The bush thicker? There are less alien plants? They have no erosion? The water is more abundant, although that can't be true because i read in an earlier post that it rains less there....or something to that effect.

OR is it because they bait to attract predators, or do they hide salt licks in the grass to attract the zebra...

Or is it simply a quirk of nature that the dominant granitic soils dissappear in M/mals being replaced by the basalt soils typical of the more arid areas that attract low density herbivores such as roan, tsessebe & sable??

I just want to know...never to old to learn.
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Nov 17th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Mkhonzo you have it all wrong.

A few years ago Mala Mala traded some animals for Tsessebe. The Tsessebe were hugely popular with the Lions, and so they have been returning the favor by spending more time on Mala Mala than in other areas.
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Nov 17th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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I wondered, but glad to know there is finally a logical explanation........
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Nov 17th, 2005, 01:09 PM
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Wow - what a discussion. No buyers remorse from us staying at Londolozi. We are returning in 17 months and are bringing my husband's parents with us - deciding to revisit Londolozi or try Mala Mala. Seeing game is much more important than the room. What do you mean by Mala Mala's formality? People put on a coat and tie for dinner? One thing I liked about Londo was anything went - some dressed up for dinner, some didn't even change clothes from the game drives. Also - Mala Mala doesn't allow traversing from other reserves?
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Nov 17th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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Slightly off topic, but we were able to find leopards whenever we wanted to while at Simbambili. We saw 5 different leopards within the first three game drives. It got to the point where we were starting to pass on the leopard sightings in favor of other sightings such as rhinos and cheetah.

The rooms at Simbambili are beautiful...the food is excellent...the service is great...and Jaco is an excellent guide. I have seen the rooms at Mala Mala Ratray's and they honestly make me queasy, and these are supposed to be the best rooms?

I would like to go to Londolozi Tree but not for double the money of Simbambili...or quadruple the price if you pick up Simbambili on www.mtbeds.co.za
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Nov 17th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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rocco,
are you sure those were leopards? they must have been out for the week, (from Mala Mala of course)on an excursion Larson style to look at some tourists in the Northern Sands.
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Nov 17th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Rocco, what a coincidence you should mention rhinos and cheetah. I was going to post a question to this thread asking if there was a place in Sabi Sands that was best to see those two species.
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Nov 17th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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atravelyn,

I have only been to MalaMala and Singita in the Sabi Sands, but I have never had trouble seeing Rhino, but the last few years, I have had trouble seeing cheetah, usually get one or two sightings at Singita. For the past few visits, have not seen cheetah at MalaMala, though they certainly have sightings there just not when I am there!

I am also going to Londolozi and Lion Sands next month, so shall be interesting to see what I do see - I would love to see more cheetah!

Kaye
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