Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

Phinda, where the h is silent but the rhino flatulence is not--Trip Report

Phinda, where the h is silent but the rhino flatulence is not--Trip Report

Jul 24th, 2007, 09:30 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 448
Lynn, you are so right, it's tough to bring up this issue of latecomers right at the welcome drinks. I think what I will do next trip is to have my TA ask early on what the camp's policy is on latecomers. It will be a factor to help decide if that is the camp for us. I've also come to see there are advantages to camps that do not have a two-tiered pricing system depending on your country of origin.
Hills, your wardrobe plan sounds perfect.
Clematis1 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259
Lynn, what a truly wonderful trip report, it's got it all. I can hardly wait not only until I get back to Africa, but until Lynn goes again, just so we can get her next report.
hguy47 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 12:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
When do you go so we can see your report?

What's this about two-tiered pricing? If I pay the higher tier, then of course I am against it. Good idea to ask in advance about latecomers.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 259

Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression we were going back soon. We just got back in March, and although we probably won't be able to get back again for two or three years, that doesn't mean I can't (although I will have to) wait to get back.
hguy47 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 04:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Thanks for the kind comments. Until you are there again, physically, you can hang out here, virtually.
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,027
What a great report, Lynn. Thanks!
Patty is online now  
Jul 25th, 2007, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,558
The finale brought a tear to my eye as well. What a fabulous trip Lynn. Your photos are terrific. I admire your writing skills and thanks for the laughs too

I was trying to figure out for the past couple weeks what bird was making the sound that kind of sounds like a continuous camera shutter and I think its your favorite hoopoe:

Is this right?
CarlaM is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
Fantastic photos. I can't decide which is my favorite, the cheetah stretching, giraffe lined up as if posing for you, mother and baby nyala, baby rhino, nyala bull....the list goes on. I haven't had time to read the trip report yet. I thought I'd just skim through it, but you caught my attention at the very start, so now I can't wait to read it through properly. Welcome back, and again thanks for the wonderful photos.

Dana_M is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 07:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Thanks for all the nice comments and the hoopoo recording!
atravelynn is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!
Kavey is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 111
Since returning from my solo trip to Northern Tanzania with CC Africa, I am thinking about my next trip. I am hoping to go to Phinda, but didn't want to go alone again. After reading your report, I may reconsider. It was lovely, and I can now appreciate staying at a location for a while to really get to know it and experience more and diverse activities. I was limited on time last month and stayed at the crater for 2 nights and Klein's Under Canvas for 2.

Thanks for such a great report. Hopefully I will get to go soon.
godmother_lr is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 02:02 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790

Wonderfully written and descriptive report.

If someone had say 8 nights for a first time in SA safari, would you recommend spitting it between Mala Mala and Phinda? or stay only at Phinda and split N and S?

bat is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 03:44 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 448
Bat, as someone who just did that (split my SA time between those two, although it was not a first time safari), I would not pick your last choice. I think someone would not be unhappy if they spent the whole time at Mala Mala, as many here have done. They really have it together. For variety, some might consider maybe 2 nights at Phinda. The problem is the transfer is very expensive. Leave your email if you want more info.
Clematis1 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
IF first time safari in SA, I would be tempted to split the 8 nights. If all at one camp, you may have a feeling that you have experienced only one thing. Although I hasten to add that 8 nights at MalaMala would be just great for me. The transfer to Phinda will be a few hundred $$$ and likely take all day. You may have to fly back to JNB as part of the transfer, I'm not sure, you need to check into that. Does atravelynn cover that transfer in her report, she did that.

Ok, all that said, again for first time SA, I'd do 4 nights at maybe Kings Camp in Timbavati reserve just north of Sabi Sands or another camp in Sabi Sands. Then Mala last. The transfers between these camps will be quick and a lot less $$$ than going to Phinda.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
Last September we spent four nights at Phinda, two at Londolozi (more nights not available), and three at Ngala Tented. Our transfer from Phinda to Londolozi (sorry don't know the cost) was direct by small plane. Londolozi is next to Mala Mala so I assume the transfer time would be the same, an hour a quarter, roughly. We did the morning game drive and Phinda and arrived at Londolozi for a late lunch and the afternoon drive.

The four nights at Phinda were good for us coming from the long flight and considering we wanted to do one optional activity. It was our first safari and I'm happy we were able to see three camps and three distinctive areas, though two would have been just fine.

cw is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 05:41 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 448
Hi Tom, we can't recall the exact price of flying in a small private chartered plane (the only way we were told after much squirming on our part) from Phinda to Mala Mala, but it was way more than a few hundred dollars. Very expensive. We did not go back to JNB and the flight was only an hour ish.

I like your suggestion of a Sabi Sands camp and finishing at Mala Mala.
Clematis1 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
We're flying directly between Phinda and Sabi Sand in a few weeks, so it doesn't take all day. Don't know the cost because it was included in our total. But I wouldn't discount the idea just because it might add cost to your trip. After all, all that matters is whether it fits into your budget or not. Obviously, it worked for Lynn and me.
hills27 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 12:13 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 448
I recommend everyone ask their outfitter or TA what the cost of each portion of their trip is, if it is a custom safari you've organized. You should know. Then you'll know if you paid $1386 for a shared plane charter from Phinda to Mala Mala. That is for two people one way for about 1 hour, folks.

We thought that was too high and found a better quote from a different airline for $960. It's still a lot of money for one hour of transfer.

In addition, it cost $670 on a shared flight to get to Phinda from JNB.

Mala Mala to JNB on a larger SA plane was $418.
Clematis1 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

For the most intense game viewing, 8 at mm wins.

For variety IŽd do 4 mm and 4 Phinda. I would suggest the 4 be spent at Forest Lodge but a 2/2 split between N/S would also be good.

To do all 8 at Phinda with a 4/4 split, youŽd have to have a special interest in that area or want to do a variety of the activities offered. I think 8 nights, without rhino tracking, flight of the eagle aerial viewing, canoeing, etc. could get just a little long for the average safarier.

I did mm first then Phinda because the no-single-supp room had to be certain dates and I could not leave earlier to stick Phinda on the front. So I had an overnight in Joburg between the 2.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,923
I'm doing 6 nights later this month - 3 at Rock and 3 at Vlei - before going on to Singita Ebony and Lebombo. I'll let you know what I think when I return.

Lynne, excuse my stupidity, but what's N/S?
hills27 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:19 AM.