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Private Reserve or Regular luxurious Bungalow at Kruger NP

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Jul 26th, 2005, 11:11 AM
  #1
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Private Reserve or Regular luxurious Bungalow at Kruger NP

Hi All,

My wife and i are going to South AFrica in a few weeks and are debating whether to stay at a private reserve or at a more upscale camp. Granted the drive and meals aren't included, but I was wondering whether either method is better than the other. Please help!

thanks a bunch!
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Jul 26th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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Hello,

It depends what your priorities are. If you really want a great game-viewing experience, I would opt for a private reserve -- the expertise of the rangers and trackers ensures that you see things you would never have spotted on your own, and their knowledge of the bush and animal behaviour means that what you do see will have more context. The rangers keep in touch via radio, which means you effectively have several sets of expert eyes roaming around seeking out great sightings, as opposed to the inexpert eyes of your travelling companions.

In a private reserve, you'll be able to go off-road to follow predators on the hunt, and you can drive at night to see the nocturnal wildlife. Even if you book the ranger guided drives at Kruger, you still can't go off-road.

Finally, there are far fewer vehicles in a private reserve, so you won't find a traffic jam in front of the lion pride or the elephant herd.

Hope this helps with your decision making!

Cheers,
Julian
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Jul 26th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Julian,

That is some wonderful information. Greatly appreciate it. Any advice on which of the private lodges to stay at? I am looking at one in the Sabi sand region called Chitwa Chitwa.

Trying to coordinate the flights etc coming either from vic falls or cape town.
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Jul 26th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Chitwa Chitwa Safari Lodge was terrific. If you do a search you can read what I wrote about it after my stay there in 2003. I recommend it. They have a sister camp called Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge which I believe is a little pricier. In the same general vicinity and price range, Elephant Plains is also well recommended.

We spent 3 nights in Kruger NP & 3 nights at Chitwa & loved both.
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Jul 27th, 2005, 02:11 AM
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Hi Bortz,

I've stayed at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands, and loved every minute of it -- I recommend Londoz wholeheartedly. It's not cheap, but the experience is first class.

I've posted a more detailed response in the "URGENT: Safari in S. Africa?" thread which is running on this board. There are also some suggestions from other Fodorites on that thread which may be useful to you if Londoz is out of your price range.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Julian
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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To add my $.02, my wife and I stayed at Royal Malewane in the Thornybrush Game Reserve and it was spectacular. RM boasts the only certified "Master Tracker" currently alive in South Africa - a man by the name of Wilson (who works with Juan, an outstanding guide). As you've already read in some other replies, a great benefit of working with a tracker and guide in a private reserve is that you are placed in very close proximity to wildlife large and small. It's an unparalled experience.
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