Moderate Lodge in Sabi

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Mar 30th, 2005, 06:30 AM
  #1
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Moderate Lodge in Sabi

We are going to SA next Jan and visiting Kruger. The number of lodges and the variety of prices/facilities is mind numbing. We've pretty much decided on an adjacent private reserve as opposed to the main Park but would love to hear about other peoples experiences and recommendations. For 3-4 nights we'd pay as much as 6000 R per night total. Thoughts?
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Mar 30th, 2005, 11:26 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Jack

I cant recommend Mala Mala enough. But I know plenty of others on the board have mentioned Simbambili and Djuma Vuyetala. You might want to search the posts for those. In January the game viewing is not at its best because barring a drought there should be plenty of water, so the animlas are more dispersed, but they are usually in great condition and everything is green. That would be a good time to visit smaller camps with less river frontage because they will not be dependant on the river for water and therefore game. Mala Mala has 30km of river frontage which is terrific in the dry winter months.
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Mar 31st, 2005, 06:25 AM
  #3
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Thanks Matt..
I've broadened the search to include your recommendations. It's a great point to seek out a lodge not based on a water way.
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Apr 2nd, 2005, 06:12 AM
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I recommend both. If you have 4 nights, try 2 in Kruger and 2 at a lodge in Sabi Sands. We did 3 at Olifants in Kruger and 3 at Chitwa Chitwa and loved both, for different reasons. We loved being able to drive ourselves in Kruger, unaccompanied by anyone else, set our own schedule for each day, pull out a map in the morning and choose a route and stop along the way wherever we wanted for as long as we wanted, with no one else around. At the time of year we went, in November, the park was not crowded at all. Just the two of us in our vehicle, encountering a lone lioness on a dirt road just before sundown. Waiting for a herd of 30 elephants to cross the road in front of us. Seeing two hyena cubs napping under a tree. Watching 3 rhinos saunter single-file along the river. Being stared down by a herd of buffalo. Waking up in our bungalow to the sounds of the hippos in the Olifants river, and walking out to our porch to enjoy the sunrise and watch the elephants. Not having to listen to the sound of other peoples' cameras or of a ranger on the radio looking for the next sighting. We did one game drive in Kruger with a ranger and a group, which I would not do again, and one game walk with two armed rangers and a small group which was fantastic -- walking up to a herd of elephants enjoying a mudbath was priceless -- and cost a pittance. My husband also did mountain biking at Olifants -- just him and two armed rangers -- and enjoyed lunch along the river, a stone's throw from the hippos. The accommodations were comfortable, not luxe, but fine. Then Chitwa Chitwa was also wonderful. Very reasonably priced compared to other Sabi lodges, but of course much more pricey than the park accommodations in Kruger. Having a tracker and ranger on game drives at Chitwa allowed us the incredible spectacle of watching leopards mating -- something we never would have seen on our own, I'm sure. The food was terrific, much better than at Kruger, and our bungalow overlooking the waterhole -- frequently visited by all sorts of wildlife including a herd of buffalo and a bull elephant -- was lovely, with a stunning bed and bathroom. And fortunately we adored everyone at Chitwa Chitwa and enjoyed their company. But I would not have missed doing Kruger on our own for anything! So I encourage both.
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