Mala Mala or Lion Sands River camp?

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Jan 25th, 2006, 07:32 AM
  #1
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Mala Mala or Lion Sands River camp?

Always the same problem: what would you choose: Mala Mala or Lion Sands River camp we are more interested in great ghame viewing than the lodge itself although we would still want to be in a nice one of course. Not many people seem to have been in Idube , Any comments?? Thanks!!Ivee
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Jan 25th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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I love Lion Sands, they have extremely knowledgable rangers (ask for Trevor), the game viewing is great. I have seen the big 5 in 1 day on several occassions. The food is excellent. I hear Mala Mala is good, but I know Lion Sands is great. If you can afford Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands, its even better.
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Jan 25th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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I should have added a link to my comments and others on Lion Sands in another post.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...t=0&dirtyBit=1
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Jan 25th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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Mala Mala is phenomenal, just got back from my ninth trip. Lion Sands I hear has very good game, but might be better in winter because it's big advantage is Sabie river frontage. Also not being a huge property can be a problem. We saw the dominant Male Leopard of Lion Sands at the northern point of his territry which is on Kirkmans camp land, which is traversed by Mala Mala, he had a kill in a tree. If he stayed in that area for a couple of days that would greatly reduce the chances of seeing a big male Leopard at Lion Sands, while Mala Mala regularly sees 5 male Leopards besides the one in question.
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Jan 25th, 2006, 07:48 PM
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I did see that big male leopard, napamatt was talking about......near Kirkman's.........HUGE GUY!!! very relaxed.

Have also seen several leopards at lionsands. I have been to both.....lion viewing in Mala Mala is a lot better....however, the lodge itself, if you compare Lion sands River lodge to Mala Mala main camp.....Lion Sands is way better!!!

I did have some very good cheetah viewing in lionsands, but apparently, it is a hit or miss thing. At mala mala, we spent 4 nights and didnt see even one. Apparently, in all of Sabi Sands, they are hit or miss, could be in one property one day and the next property another day.

But the main draw of the Sabi Sands are quite honestly, its leopard viewing....very relaxed and active cats. Lions, you can see anywhere in most of Africa. Cheetahs and wild dogs, you are better off in Botswana.
 
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Jan 25th, 2006, 09:12 PM
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That big male leopards name is Tumbela. He was even featured in a stupid National Geographic show called "Be the creature" Here is a couple of pictures of him.

http://www.pbase.com/mytmoss/image/50150763

http://www.pbase.com/mytmoss/image/50150764

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Jan 25th, 2006, 09:16 PM
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Hi Ivee

If your real interest is great gameviewing, then I would be off to MalaMala. I have just been to Lion Sands Ivory Lodge and MalaMala, and for the gameviewing, the answer is too easy! MalaMala! As already mentioned, the area of MalaMala is far larger. I also found the other vehicles at Lion Sands in shared areas a real nightmare. I couldn't believe the traffic in some areas. Way too many vehicles in such a small area! The hippo viewing in the Sabie River was very good! The area that Lion Sands has available to them, does not allow a large number of leopard to have their territories within that area, so while we saw leopard sightings each gamedrive, it was often the same few leopards - they have one territorial male, Tumbela. The accomodation of Ivory Lodge was fantastic but it alone would not be enough for me to return to Lion Sands. The new Rattrays camp is equally unbelievable in its accomodation but in a very different way. I really loved them both. I do find the accomodation at main camp very comfortable and I have no complaints about it!
Kaye
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Jan 26th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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Tumbela - thats the name our ranger Warren got from the guys at Kirkmans. I really liked the fact that our ranger did so much follow up for us about a Leopard not regularly seen on Mala Mala.
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