Phinda + what other camp for first timer?

Apr 16th, 2009, 02:26 PM
  #21  
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If my friend agrees, it is looking like we will do 4nts Phinda, 4nts Londolozi(or Exeter if price seems too high) and then 2nts at Thanda just for me. We are trying to get great wildlife, no young children and no more than 6pp/vehicle. We will be taking up two rooms since there is no SS for staying 4nts. Any comments or advice?
moremiles is offline  
Apr 16th, 2009, 03:09 PM
  #22  
 
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I've stayed at Kirkman's and had great luck with sightings, despite it being in February during the rainy season. Kirkman's used to be part of Mala Mala and has some shared traversing rights with MM. Given that they are part of andBeyond, you might find it works to combine with Phinda. The "camp" is actually duplex bungalows with main buildings and a dining boma area. It's "colonial style". We saw lots of leopards, rhinos, lions, etc... the Big Five on one drive.
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Apr 17th, 2009, 01:14 PM
  #23  
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Thanks Shaytay. We just want no more than 6pp in vehicle and no young children which is proving more complicated-I think the agent told me that there was no guarantee about the vehicle numbers at a lot of these camps so we're still working on it.
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Apr 17th, 2009, 02:34 PM
  #24  
 
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Moremiles, I'd ask that your wishes be sent to Phinda or whatever lodge/camp in advance. Max 6 in vehicle and no young kids is a very reasonable request. Upon arrival, I'd repeat that request.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 18th, 2009, 10:08 AM
  #25  
 
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The issue with a lot of the southern Africa camps and lodges using open vehicles is whether they seat you "three across", with someone having to use the middle seat. That would be the question I'd ask.
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Apr 18th, 2009, 10:13 AM
  #26  
 
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You can stress your interest in photography, which is likely to be accurate.
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Apr 18th, 2009, 11:44 AM
  #27  
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Thanks, those are things I've been asking. I would think that even at the least exp. Londolozi camp that chances are, there would not be young children.
moremiles is offline  
Apr 18th, 2009, 12:21 PM
  #28  
cw
 
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moremiles,

We were at Phinda and Londolozi in September a few years ago and we didn't see any young children. There were a couple of older teens with their parents at one camp.
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Apr 19th, 2009, 10:09 AM
  #29  
 
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Going in Sept. should cut down on kids.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 19th, 2009, 11:20 AM
  #30  
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Thanks-we've both BTDT so now we're anti-kids on safari, at least young ones!
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Apr 22nd, 2009, 08:19 PM
  #31  
 
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If your trip will be spoiled if there are 7 people in your jeep and/or if there are children, you should consider paying for a private jeep. That way you definitely won’t have kids or a large number of people. Otherwise, the camps are just going to do the best they can, and if the camp is full, then you may have kids and may have more than 6. Only you can determine if either or a combination of both will spoil a ride for you.

Kids are of course less of a risk, as most camps don’t allow children under 16 in camps anyway. So first avoid those camps that allow younger children (at Londolozi I believe Varty allows kids under 16, Tree and Granite do not, check the websites, they all give this info.). Even for those camps which allow children, I don’t think any camp allows kids under like 8 or so to ride in a jeep unless the parents have a private jeep. (I was at Tree Camp at Londolozi last month and there was a family with children who were about 3 and 5 years old at one of the other camps and they even took their kids out on rides but had to have their own jeep.)

As for the numbers in a jeep, go for the smaller camps, at Phinda that would mean avoiding Forest and Mountain. The more people at a camp, the more potential you have for more than 6 in a jeep. I stayed at Vlei and loved it and would recommend it, they have 6 suites and use 2 jeeps which means only 6 people at most if the camp is full. At Londolozi, Granite only accommodates 6 people in total, so you would not have more than 6, and you may have less if the place is not fully booked or if one of the villas decides to book their own jeep. Pioneer only accommodates 6 people as well.
Cicerone is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 09:51 PM
  #32  
 
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In my (limited) experience with about 10 safari camps I've had a kid in my game drive vehicle only once. And the kid (8yrs) was totally bored and chattered the whole time. I asked for and was transfered to another vehicle. So camps I think are understanding about the kid thing. I'll tell what is just as "bad" are newlyweds on their honeymoon, never been on safari, new video camera and have to take photos of any and every animal.

As for 7pp in vehicle, you can ask, but unless you're willing to pay extra or go to a camp that has 4 per vehicle as SOP then your chances are about 50/50 I'd say. And I suspect that the less expensive camps are less expensive because they put more guests in fewer vehicles.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2009, 06:32 AM
  #33  
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Thanks and it seems like we have pretty much decided upon Tree Camp and Phinda Forest, then Thanda for just me the last two nights.
moremiles is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2009, 03:42 PM
  #34  
 
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I think the craziest "kid" I ever had in a safari vehicle was the actor, Jon Bernthal ("The Class" TV show.) He was at Mala Mala with his family... 22, going on 12! Sometimes, it's not the age, as Tom pointed out. Also, you may find at the South African camps that the "safari goers" are there more for the lodges and less for the wildlife.
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Apr 24th, 2009, 06:10 AM
  #35  
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I am a bit worried about that Shaytay and I did want my friend to go with me to Botswana but she is a bit fearful of her first trip. Hopefully, it will work out well since we are there for the wildlife! I don't want to have to pack many clothes either, or anything dressy for evenings.
moremiles is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 01:07 PM
  #36  
 
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we were at Mala Mala in August 2 years ago and, yes, there were 7-8 very active and noisy young chilren, thenk's God not in our car.
Fabio is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 01:18 PM
  #37  
 
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I've also seen a number of kids at MalaMala. But MM seems very sensitive to this. For the 14 nights at 3 different times I've been there, I've never had a kid in my vehicle. And never had 7 guests in a vehicle, 4 or 5 is typical. (Total including me).

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2009, 05:51 AM
  #38  
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Tree Camp doesn't take kids under 16 and no more than 6pp/vehicle. Our agent is clear on our preferences and will relay the info to Forest Lodge also.
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