Maps of SA with airports/game preserves

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Jun 11th, 2003, 01:22 PM
  #1
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Maps of SA with airports/game preserves

I am having a helluva time finding good maps for SA that include aiports (specifically near Nelspruit and Hoedspruit) and the nearest safari lodges. Anybody have a good one?

Please help.

Kevin

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Jun 12th, 2003, 12:36 AM
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Hi Kevin
I have a map, but in paper format ! I checked the AA website and they have maps, but also only in paper format. I?ll try instead to give you an idea of the region with words. Here goes . . .
There are 3 airports serving the Mpumalanga/Kruger area: Phalaborwa in the north, Hoedspruit in the middle and Nelspruit in the south.
Phalaborwa has direct flights to and from Johannesburg only ? it is not in the area you are looking at but I must mention that the airport terminal is a sight to behold! The architect decided to design something unlike any standard building and it looks more like a watering hole with life-size bronze statues of animals.
Hoedspruit has direct flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Lodges closeby are Tshukudu, Shumbalala, Chapungu, Thornybush, Serondella, Akeru, Ngala, Kings and Tanda Tula.
Nelspruit is at the southern most part and has direct flights to and from Johannesburg, but only direct flights to Durban and Cape Town (odd!). Lodges closeby are Bongani, Berg-en-dal, Lukimbi, Lower Sabie, Crocodile Bridge and Jock Safari Lodge.
I have the idea in my head that you were interested in Ngala, Leopard Hills, Kings and Djuma? Ngala and Kings are definitely closer to Hoedspruit, and Leopard Hills and Djuma are about equidistant to Hoedspruit and Nelspruit. If you need to book your air before finalising a lodge I suggest that you opt for Hoedspruit ? you will be no worse off. If you plan on hiring a car and driving to the lodge then I am sure the establishment you choose will provide you with detailed directions/map.
Most of the banner names in terms of lodges (Singita, Londolozi, Chitwa Chitwa, Exeter) are in the same bunch as Djuma and Leopard Hills.
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Jun 12th, 2003, 05:32 AM
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kewilliam -
I have a map of the northern part of SA - Limpopo province. You may be able to go to the site and find one you can use.

http://hotels-tours-safaris.com/sout...impopo_map.htm

Two other I sites where I have printed maps are
http://www.africaninsights.com/maps/mapsa2.gif

http://www.natal.co.za/npbmap.htm

I don't remember how I found them. I'm leaving for a photo safari on 7/30/03 in this area near the Botswana border and was trying to figure out where I was going. The first one has the most detail. Good luck!
Cindy
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Jun 12th, 2003, 07:02 AM
  #4
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There's quite a good map on Singita's website (a PDF file you have to download) Shows airports/lodges.
http://www.singita.com/pics/GeneralInfo.pdf
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Jun 12th, 2003, 01:19 PM
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Kevin - I pulled out the guidebook I had from our trip, remembering there were some maps - It was a Frommer's of Southern Africa, year 2000 (we travelled in '01). You might want to check if they have a more current issue with added lodges other than those in my issue.

The map they include shows the airports as listed in other posts, namely Phalaborwa north of the private reserves.
The most often used being Hoedspruit which best serves lodges in the Private Reserves of Timbavati, Manyaleti and Sabi Sands. The driving time from the airport is about 1-hr. to Manyaleti and from there another 1-hr to Sabi Sands area.

The only lodges shown on the map are those reviewed by Frommers, which were in Timbavati - Umlani, Tanda Tula, Ngala Lodge (not tents which is IN Kruger Park).
In Manyaleti - Honeyguide and Khoka Moya.
In Kapama - the Kapama Lodge affiliated with the Hoedspruit Research & Breeding Centre for Endangered Species.
In Sabi Sand - Djuma, Exeter, Leopard Hills, Londolozi, MalaMala, Nottens Bush Camp, Sabi Sabi and Singita. Note: Ulusaba is also located here.
Then in Makalali which is further north of these areas, you'll find Makalali Lodge and Garonga.
There is an airport at Skukuza inside of Kruger, where you can get a road or air charter transfer to most lodges.
And one called Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (small) outside Kruger.
Finally, there is Nelspruit south and outside the park.
I believe there is also an airport at Malelane, which would have been an alternative as Nelspruit was fogged in most of the day we were heading that way, though it cleared by the time we arrived.

I believe once you decide on which lodge, they should be able to advise the best airport to use.
We had a road transfer from HDS to Manyeleti on well paved roads till we entered the reserve, then it was pretty wicked. Likewise our transfer from Manyeleti to Sabi Sands was quite treacherous - definitely need a 4WD.

Departing Singita in a 4WD to do the Panorama route, it was terrible getting out of the park, but the rest was good blacktop road.
The average time by road from JNB to Kruger is about 5-hrs +/-, but once inside is another story and then your car stays parked for the days you're on private reserve land. Your safari drives are done by camp vehicles.

The r/t air from JNB to either of the two airports (HDS or NLP) is about $250 (currently) then whatever the cost of transfer from airport to camp.

I can't seem to find any maps other than those sites listed by others and none (even my book) list (any) all the lodges - so it's difficult.

Hope this helps somewhat!
 
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Jun 12th, 2003, 03:43 PM
  #6
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Man you guys know everything! Thanks. We will fly into Hoedspruit.

Now I just need a special lodge for the honeymoon. I want a nice, relaxed, secluded brush experience for around $600 US total per night. Must be luxurious to some extent. We are going in the first part of December so it seems that is high season and the prices are much higher than right now.

And where do you book these safaris? Some of the websites (like www.djuma.com) don't even have rates on them.

I won't spend over $1,000 per night for both of us.

Kevin


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Jun 13th, 2003, 05:40 AM
  #7
sandi
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Kevin -

Check out the following site:

www.e-gnu.com/

select "accommodations" on top bar (or "selected search"), then scroll down to So.Africa (or other countries) and select "view establishments".
Many lodges/camps are listed (not all*). When your selection appears you find details, then select "view prices".
This will give you an idea of going rates for dates you're considering.

* There are some new lodges that don't appear - one I recall, Bamboboli (sp) which I believe is in Manyeleti Reserve opened by the same people who run Honeyguide, and it looks real nice with own plunge pool - don't hold me to this info, but it's important to know everything isn't listed.

While I haven't used this site, I recall another poster mentioned that you have to book with them direct and that they don't take credit cards???

If this is the case and you're not comfortable doing so, why not check with a travel agent or tour operator who specializes in Africa to arrange this for you. You already have the prices and an agent gets their commission direct from the hotel, car rental agency, lodge, etc. and there shouldn't be any additional charge to you. You simply have to check out your alternatives.

But check the site which will give you an idea of what's included (excluded) in price and whether these fit your budget. Hopes this helps.
 
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Jun 13th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Kevin - It's me again. Passing the bookstore while out, ran in quick to check for latest issues of Fodors and Frommers guidebooks. Sure enough Frommer's dated 2002 has a more detailed map of the Private Reserves at Kruger. So you can browse that book.

But there is another site for you to check, that I got from another poster (don't recall whom!):

www.sabi.krugerpark.co.za

They list most lodges/camps on the private reserves - Sabi, Timbavati, Manyeleti, along with prices in Rand (figure $1USD = 8SAR). The site is kind of "busy" with stuff to choose on top, the sides, bottom - I could ring the neck of some of the site designers - but it's not difficult getting through; suck in some air and plow though to find more information than you ever thought you'd need. I didn't check the site regarding booking, payments, etc. so that's up to you.

The name of the camp I listed in earlier post is wrong - I was thinking of Simbambili! which can be found on the above site.

Have fund researching.
 
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Jun 13th, 2003, 01:24 PM
  #9
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Sandi..

Thanks for the info but...

I cut and pasted the link to my browser (www.sabi.krugerpark.co.za) and it doesn't seem to work.

Are you sure that is correct?

Let me know.

Kevin
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Jun 13th, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Kevin - I just tried it and "it works for me".

You can try: www.krugerpark.co.za

gets into the Park site, then you can go to Sabi. Try it again. Sorry!
 
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Jun 13th, 2003, 06:09 PM
  #11
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OK got it...thanks a bunch.

I will get back to you when I narrow it down.

Anyone know anything about Garonga?

Kevin
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Jun 14th, 2003, 03:56 AM
  #12
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Kevin - checked the incorrect site address that I listed yesterday - my mistake - it should be:

http://sabi.krugerpark.co.za

which gets you to Sabi faster than to the overall Kruger Park site. So now you have both.

GARONGA - Only from comments in a book. A relatively new lodge, maybe 3-yrs. A place you go to if you're into "crystals" and "meditation". Modern and soothing environment!
When originally built it was unknown the type and amount of animals that would be found on the Reserve, as during construction in the area, most animals left. So once completed they would have to wait to see which would return.
A more current guidebook might have more up-to-date info on animals.
 
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Jun 14th, 2003, 02:45 PM
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Gonna have to pass on the crystals and meditation at Garonga...not my cup of tea.

I will keep looking and post what I find.

I called a local travel agent specializing in Africa trips on Friday so I wll see what he comes up with.

Kevin
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Jun 15th, 2003, 03:17 AM
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Kevin - instead of going to a travel agent (who probably does't specialize in Africa and will have to go to a tour operator) you might want to contact the tour operator I have used for all my trips to Africa.

Africa Tours at www.africasafaris.com

The site is "easy" to navigate, just select country from left, then from top bar for itineraries, photos, etc.
Check out "new programs" and "specials"
Some of my photos can be found under the Egypt programs - pretty good if I must say, and was surprised when I saw that they were actually good enough to use for everyone to see.

Ask for Nickie, who is South African by birth, has her operation on Long Island in NY. Very knowledgeable, and her prices are very good.

Most of what she does though are individual itineraries, so she can certainly help you with your questions and accommodations.

If you wish to speak with her directly, call at: 800-235-3692

Keep us posted on you selections.
 
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Jun 16th, 2003, 11:48 AM
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Sandi...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting me in touch with Nicki. We talked this am and she was SO helpful with lots of good ideas/suggestions.

Her safari thoughts were: Djuma Vuyatela for the first two or three nights and then to Honeyguide (less luxury but wonderful she says) for two or three nights.

She says Capetown is MUST and not optional. She shot down my idea of driving to Mozambique from Kruger. She also thought Victoria Falls would be great that time of year and well worth a visit. Who knew?

Anyway, thanks again and any advice/opinions/suggestions are welcome.

Kevin
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Jun 16th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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Kevin -

I'm glad you made contact with Nickie, she will only do what is best for you and not direct you where you do not want to go.

I can remember on my first trip to Africa - Kenya - I had so many questions and Nickie was absolutely amazing, answering every question as each was the most important, and for me they were. I've been working with her ever since.

Granted I've picked up a wealth of knowledge about Africa on my own since that first trip (and Nickie and I are always exchanging info); and even nowadays when I have the option to do it myself - she's so good, why knock myself out. If I happen on info that can assist in my trip (better prices, or a deal I've heard of), I just turn it over to here and she's more than agreeable to check things out and work with my particular quirks (we all have them).

She's got a small operation, so little overhead. Our first trip to Kenya which was independent where we chose our own accommodations, was not unlike something we could have booked thru A&K and yet with Nickie, we easily saved at least $2,000 each.

There really are so many choices once you're in Southern Africa, and unfortunately, we can't get it all done in the amount of time we've got for our vacations - so a good tour operator is well worth it.

I'm glad I was able to help and if you've got any other questions, I'm here.
 
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Jun 18th, 2003, 01:53 PM
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Still working on the itinerary...Nickie is hard at work and I haven't heard from in a few days.

Does anyone know anything about the Blue Mountain Lodge? It is in Mpumalanga Province west of Sabi Sand. No game viewing but I hear it is nice and less than 20 minutes to a gate in Kruger. More of a country setting I think. Looks OK from the website.

Please advise.

Kevin
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Jun 18th, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Hi Kevin:

From the photos and description the Blue Mountain Lodge is lovely. It's a nice place to spend an overnight if you're doing the Panorama Route.

With an overnight at BML you get to see some of the most wonderful natural beauty in SA - there is Blyd River Canyon (SA's answer to our Grand Canyon) God's Window, The Pinnacle, The Rondovals and more.

Get yourself a guidebook and read up on the details. Too much to include here.

Unfortunately, our schedule didn't allow for more than a quick drive on the route to Nelspruit for our return flight to JNB and then home - this was our last day after leaving Singita. But if you have the time -it's beautiful. Besides sometimes, it's just nice to have a day, someplace quiet and lovely, to soak in all that you've seen and experienced during your time in Africa.

Besides, isn't this your honeymoon? The BML is very romantic.
 
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Jun 18th, 2003, 03:19 PM
  #19
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Yes it is my honeymoon. I can't wait.

I am considering spending a few days at the BLM and then renting a car to drive thru Kruger. Instead of staying in the park, we can just drive out every night home to the BLM. Not sure if I should substitute this experience for a safari lodge experience. I may be able to join a safari group during the drives and just leave to go to the BLM when they head back to their lodges. Any thoughts on this? I also want to do all of those hikes etc that you mentioned in your previous post.

And yes I will soon get a guidebook. I promise.

Kevin
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Jun 18th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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BML...I think I am dyslexic.
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