MalaMala reverts to 2008 rates for 2009

Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:11 AM
  #1  
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MalaMala reverts to 2008 rates for 2009

just saw the announcement in a pop up when I logged onto the website, citing the economic situation. Now if only I could convince my husband a 2nd honeymoon is in order for our 1st anniversary...
kak113 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
  #2  
aby
 
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i reckon in the next few months prices will be further reduced
aby is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Why stop there, revert to 2004 rates

Of course most other SA camps quote in Rand. So there's a discount since the Rand was at 7.5 to 1 USD (Aug 2008) now at 10 to 1 USD, a 33% difference.

regards - tom
ps - been some discussion re this buried in other threads comparing various SA camp rates now days.
cary999 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:19 AM
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This exchange rate info gets me so confused (taken from MM website)

"The public rates are quoted in US Dollars, whilst payment may be made in any international currency. On confirmation of the reservation you may request that the reservation be converted to South African Rand at the current rate of exchange. This rate of exchange then becomes binding on both parties until final payment is made at this exchange rate. The conversion to South African Rand only applies to reservations within a 6 month period prior to travel."


I know at Mashatu I paid my deposit in US $$ then when I paid my final bill at the camp they charged me Pula, kind of confusing again.

I also didn't know about the pay for 3 nights and get the 4th free, so we could have stayed an extra 2 nights since we paid for 6...hmmm.
CarlaM is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Tom, your point is well made. Mala Mala is in fact charging a 33% increase over 2008 rates, by holding the dollar amount the same. Since they will now earn 33% more rand, they make out quite well in this new economy. Not sure how such an increase can be justified or why it dosen't offend more potential customers, but evidently they can get away with it. In fact they should be lowering U.S. demominted rates by 1/3 to keep prices the same as in 2008. I assume that whatever the traffic will tolerate is their mantra. To some extent they confuse non US travelers but the fact remains they will be enjoying a 33% price increase which should not be taken as a gift by anyone, regardless of their nationality. Also, I have unconfirmed information that suggests that South African nationals pay a lower rate and may also pay in Rand. I guess it has always bothered me that various rates are charged not only for Visas but also by camps and lodges, depending upon the national origin of the individual. All of these operators seem to not quite realize the horendous state of the World economy and what this will mean to their old business models. The decline in most major currenies against the dollar mean that non U.S. travelers will be at a severe disadvantage. If these camp, lodge and tour operators want to stay in business they will have to go further than to simply hold their U.S. dollar based rates the same. Even the token discount offered by Wilderness is a half hearted attempt. This coming year should offer some bargains so I would sit tight if possible and not book until the last minute. I'm a bit of a skeptic and so don't believe we will ever be able to find out the actual decline in bookings for the coming year. Even if the agents have such information (and they may not) it will not be in their interests to provide it to potential tourists and safari customers. Back to Mala Mala, the past two years has seen a dramatic rise in tourists from Australia and Great Britain. However, they will certainly see a fall off from those countries and their advance bookings have already begun to show it.
Ted
Temba is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:55 PM
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<<that various rates are charged not only for Visas>>

To a certain extent, disparate visa pricing is based on reciprocity.
thit_cho is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:16 PM
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Michael,
An interesting topic but according to the US State Department, reciprocity influences the visa requirement itself, not the fee that is charged. Also, I doubt their are many tourists from Tanzania and Botswana coming to the U.S. to spend thousands of dollars touring our country. I wish it were so but we are not there yet. Still, your point is an interesting one.
Ted
Temba is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Interesting take on it Temba/Ted. To perhaps reiterate, by MM quoting in USD they are RAISING the rate for GBP and EUR customers. That is, the EUR has weakened against the USD by about 14% since Sep. Thus EUR customers would be paying 14% more (in EUR) just due to exchange rates. Even if no price increase. (And you said as much in your last paragraph about Great Britian).

Also agree that charging different for visa and camp by nationality is aggravating. Don't they know we elected Obama?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Temba

But when they priced in $ and held their prices stable even as the Rand strengthened to 6:1 vs $, did anyone cut them any slack for effectively dropping their prices 50% from 1999 levels when it was 12ZAR to $1.

I've appreciated the fact for most of the last five years that their rates haven't increased and I was paying in $ so I knew what it was going to cost.

Clearly they will have a decision to make if the ZAR pricing of competitors causes them to lose market share.

As I stated Singita and Rattrays are now pretty comparable, last year Singita was 25% more when I visited.

As usual when pricing comes in to the picture, it's up to individuals to make their own decisions, and for businesses to respond based on the effect on their business.

MM's occupancy rate has been in the high 80's for quite some time, if it drops to the 50's they still have the same revenue and they might consider it worth it, to maintain $ pricing and consistency.

Selfishly I wish they didn't have the pricing power they have, because I love the place, but with $ pricing I don't have to worry about my vacation costing 25-30% more than the previous year.
napamatt_2 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 02:05 PM
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I travel frequently and have obtained dozens of visas, and I have noticed that some countries (e.g., Brazil) have increased their visa fees following an increase in the fee the US charges for a visa.

Moreover, reciprocity is not the sole factor used to determine whether or not a visa is required.

The US also has a very high Henley Visa Restriction Index (measuring visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry), so there are certainly countries that permit US citizens to enter visa-free (or to obtain visas on arrival) and whose citizens require a visa to enter the US.

Fyi, the country with the lowest Henley index is Afghanistan, with Iraq one place ahead.

http://www.henleyglobal.com/citizens...-restrictions/
thit_cho is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Matt,
I agree that with your comments but am curious as to what this next year will bring to Mala Mala's strategy. Will they be abole to keep occupancy up at 80% or will they be forced to reprice downward. I support free market pricing, it is what afterall makes the world go round. One cannot help but wonder how the various camps and lodges arrive at their variuos strategies, given the variation in currency between and among the different countries from which their clients originate. In a robust economy, a lot of things work. This new economy may require a new paradigm. We all loose if the camps and lodges get hurt too badly. Still, I think I'll wait a bit longer before locking myself into anything for 2009.

Michael,
Your comments are interesting but fail to convince me that the rationale behind the high visa fees, charged U.S. citiznes, has any basis in reciprocity but is instead predicated on the wealth of the particular nationality in question. Nice try though....
Ted
Temba is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 03:22 PM
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they announced it more than a week ago......and i guess it's just the beginning of further reductions!
EVEN malamala has to step down a bit and join the "crowd"

div
divine54 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
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oops - a solution will be to frequent camps which charge in ZAR - at least for europeans ;-)

div
divine54 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 05:30 PM
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I saw the Mashatu website, where can I find the details of pay for 3, and stay for 4? Thanks ........

RE MM. If they are actually, down on occupancy to 50% for next year. It will be a good time to visit, as with fewer vehicles out - there will be no rush to leave a sighting in 20-25 minutes as I endured last time. The gameviewing density at MM is very good, including predators.

At some other Sabi Sands areas, it was pretty silly to drive around looking at Leopards etc etc., and then you consider yourself lucky if you see the odd zebra or so. There was hardly enough plains game in the smaller game drive areas.

HariS is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Author: HariS

I saw the Mashatu website, where can I find the details of pay for 3, and stay for 4? Thanks ........

It's on the pop-up on the MM website.


"The Mashatu Game Reserve 2009 rates will remain as published in May 2008; however Mashatu will extend the “Land of the Giants” package once again for 2009. Effective 10 January – 30 June 2009, a pay for 3, stay for 4 policy will apply at Mashatu Main Camp and Mashatu Tent Camp."
CarlaM is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Pay for 3 stay for 4, pay for 4 stay for 5. Well over half the camps I've been to have such deals. Always look for it, obviously makes for a big per night discount.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the info.
HariS is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Certainly better than the "pay for 6 get the 7th night free" offer from Wilderness. Can't help but wonder whether or not East Africa is getting some of the traffic that normally heads for South Africa & Botswana (and perhaps Zambia?)?
Temba is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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If I can get a pay for 3 get 4 type deal at MM later next year, I'll pull the trigger on it.
napamatt_2 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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And the best news is, my TA just told me that my cost is coming down, becuase she had quoted on 2009 rates, which we booked. But MM have processed all bookings at the 2008 rates, so I save a few hundred bucks. That should by me a couple of cokes eh! Tom.
napamatt_2 is offline  

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