Roccco

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Apr 21st, 2004, 09:42 AM
  #1
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Roccco

Sorry for starting a new thread,can't reply on previous thread?why

Anyway,if you attack RSA safaris on the economical front then I fully understand your statements and agree one hundred percent with you!

The Sabi Sands has become ridiculous with their pricing and I hope that Zambia opening up will provide enough competition to drive prices down.Lion Sands is opening their new Ivory lodge soon and although spectacular one night will set you back
14 000 rand or 2100 US dollars!

Cost excluded I do think the SSGR provides a quality safari in terms of game viewing.

Chiawa does look spectacular and yes I would much rather go there than visit Djuma Bush Lodge.

To close,I agree with you that first timers that want to maximize their experience in terms of cost Zambia is the better choice at the moment.
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Apr 21st, 2004, 10:51 AM
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Wow, $2,100 for a safari. I visited Kruger and the adjacent private reserves in 2000, and I (can I admit this) preferred Kruger, where we were able to drive ourselves and we didn't rely on guides radioing animal sightings (crackle, rhino 100 yards ahead on left, crackle...). To me, the Sabi Sands doesn't feel remote or wild, and it certainly doesn't have the wilderness feeling of being in the Okavango or South Luangwa.

But I do understand that the Sabi Sands is an altogether different experience, and offers things to those whose sole interest may not be wildlife viewing -- why else would Singita tout its 12,000 bottle wine cellar (do you really need such a choice at the end of a safari -- wouldn't an average wine suffice). But I guess there are those who like to civility of the Sabi Sands because they aren't charging those prices to keep visitors away -- people must be paying!
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Apr 21st, 2004, 10:55 AM
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safarinut,

Thanks for keeping a cool head. I should have clarified better in my original post. It is purely a matter of economics.

Instead of 11 nights of Zambian safari, at two different parks ($3,800 for a couple sharing), I only would have been able to afford 3 nights at Mala Mala, and 2 nights in Joburg at the Michelangelo. While I trust that Mala Mala is fabulous, it also translates into 8 fewer nights on safari.

I look forward to the day that I am able to again enjoy South African game lodges, but as long as Zambian lodges are less than half the price, I will be spending a lot of time in Zambia.
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Apr 21st, 2004, 01:49 PM
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Thit Cho,

Take a look at Chiawa. It is a beautiful camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia (opposite Mana Pools, Zimbabwe), and offers a bush spa, fine dining, night game drives, bush walks, and mekoro excursions.

If I didn't get such a great deal at Kulefu this year, I would book at Chiawa in a heartbeat. However, Kulefu's rack rate is nearly identical to Chiawa, but Chiawa is firm on their pricing while Star Of Africa has been flexible with their pricing on Kulefu.
As nice as Chiawa looks, I cannot justify paying more than double ($395 pppns vs. $193 pppns).

Chiawa does have one of the best websites I have seen, and it really just makes you want to be there!
www.chiawa.com

I do wish that there was a bush spa at Kulefu so that I could keep scaredtodeath happy and occupied. Hopefully if I return to Zambia in 2006 I will include Chiawa as well as Moshi in Kafue, which will hopefully have reopened under the Star Of Africa banner by then.

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Apr 21st, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Sorry to keep ranting, but take a look at Chiawa's latest newsletter, February 2004, for some amazing photos of elephants and resident ground hornbill.
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Apr 21st, 2004, 02:17 PM
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I visited the website after your post, and the place looks great (I hadn't heard of this lodge before). Hopefully, I'll get back to Zambia in the next few years to visit Kafue - S.Luangwa - Lower Zambezi.

I'm still trying to plan trip for this Summer, and this may be the first year in five that I don't go on safari. But I'm still undecided.
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