Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge vs Mala Mala

Old Aug 9th, 2006, 10:20 PM
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Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge vs Mala Mala

Mala Mala is booked for when we are attempting to go in 2007. Our tour operator has suggested Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge as an alternative. I do not know anything about this and am looking for opinions
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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santharamhari
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To the best of my knowledge, the game viewing at Sabi Sabi isnt as good as MM. Sabi Sabi and Lion Sands share some traversing areas with each other and i dont think they have a good relationship between each other. I hv been to Lion Sands. Game viewing was ok, not as good as MM.

I will be at Exeter next week. Will be glad to report back.

Hari
 
Old Aug 10th, 2006, 03:15 AM
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There is a road that separates MM from SS. It must be one "hell-of-a divide" to make the game viewing better in MM than SS.

SS & LS do not share traversing, they operate in their own territory.

Bush Lodge was refurbished in 2000, the rooms were quadrupled in size and at the same time the capacity of the lodge was reduced by four. The camp is spread out with wonderful decor, most rooms enjoy a spectacular view of the savanah in front of the lodge and an attractive waterhole.

The food is outstanding, five course dinners, three buffet islands for lunch, and well breakfast is breakfast, you can have it all from what I recall.

Staff at bush are friendly and welcoming, whats to add, it IMO is a more than suitable alternate to MM.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 03:21 AM
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Hello Spiegel,

Sorry to hear that MM Is full. I'd recommend taking a look at Londolozi next door - it has the second-largest exclusive traversing areas in the Sabi Sands (after MM) and excellent game-viewing. I've stayed at Londolozi several times and had superb leopard sightings in addition to close-up viewing of rhino, lion, cheetah, and even wild dog (twice!).

http://www.londolozi.com

Cheers,
Julian
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Just returned 3 weeks ago from
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge. We had a wonderful time, and the accomodations and staff could not have been nicer! Food was great and the rooms were amazing, even though we didn't spend that much time in the room. Jabu was a fabulous guide, and he took us out on additional drives in his quest to make sure that we saw more. Amazing experience of tracking leopards....saw them mating one day and actually saw a leopard stalk and kill an impala on the night drive.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Hi spiegelcjs,
I have not stayed at Sabi Sabi,but I have stayed at Lion Sands and I would definitely agree with Hari that the gameviewing is not as good at Lion Sands as it is at MM.

Lion Sands has 1 territorial male, , while MM has 4 territorial males, so they have a far larger area. I have seen Sabi Sabi vehicles sharing a road with Lion Sands vehicle and we often passed one of their camps, situated on what I would consider a fairly well used road. The vehicles that I saw from Sabi Sabi were mostly overcrowded. In my opinion, the gameviewing is better at MalaMala, I think the Sand River has a lot to do with it and of course the size of the property. MM is a similar size camp to the Sabi Sabi camps, but I have never seen the traffic at MM that I have seen at Lion Sands.

I have been to a few camps in the Sabi Sands, MM is my absolute favourite, though I have returned from Londolzoi in July and I had good gameviewing there, even though I found it disappointing in December 2005.

Does your tour operator have any other suggestions?

Opinions really do vary so much you need to try and read as much as possible about what people have seen at Sabi Sabi and if they have been happy. Food and decor would not be why I am choosing my gameviewing lodge.

Kind regards,
Kaye
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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I have to agree with Kaye, that i dont pick camps/lodges for their accomodations/food.

Trvlcrzy,
Is Jabu the big guy? If he is the same guy who used to guide at Lion Sands, couple yrs ago.....i hv to agree that he is very good.

Hari
 
Old Aug 10th, 2006, 08:50 PM
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Jabu is a big guy and I know he said he had been at Sabi Sabi, left to go to another camp, and had returned to Sabi. He really was great! July was his tracker.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Decor does not matter to me at all. You spend so little time in the room and most of that is asleep. The game viewing is the thing. Assuming MM is booked, what other suggestion do you have. Londolozi has been suggested. Is there a particular camp that is better than another.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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trvlcrzy,

Ah, so i guess we are talking of the same guy......good to hear he is still around in the area. In 2003, at Lion Sands we spent lots of time with a female cheetah trying to hunt impala. Lots of fond memories....

Hari
 
Old Aug 10th, 2006, 09:51 PM
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Hi spiegelcjs

This is my opinion only -

I had a bad experience at Bateleur last December, bad may be too harsh a word, let us say, unpleasant memories, but I had already started booking through CCA for July 2006, so I decided to proceed but would not go back to Bateleur. This time I went to Founders and Pioneer and I had a chalet at Founders and a suite at Pioneer and to be honest I was perfectly happy with the chalet at Founders. All the staff were so helpful and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. I had a friend that works at Singita with her husband and baby to lunch twice, and the staff at both those camps could not have been any nicer.

My gameviewing was very good and I had the same ranger and tracker for both camps and they were just fantastic, tracking for days for leopard and lion cubs, while I reclined on the seat with a book and kept an eye on the vehicle.

Though given a choice, I would prefer MM, Londolozi would be my 2nd choice.

Kind regards,
Kaye
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Hari: We also had the chance to spend a lot of time with the female leopard as she stalked the impala. Was fascinating!! Then we went back to the kill area the next morning and found that she had been successful in keeping her kill, aka no hyenas, but she had moved it to a more secluded area.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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You might consider Djuma, which is the property just north of MalaMala.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Another possibility is Kirkman's, which used to be part of MalaMala (southern end). I was there in February and saw lions, leopards, rhinos...on one drive we saw the Big 5. They are now owned by Exeter, but are managed by CC Africa. Kirkman's has some traversing rights with the southern part of MM.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Hello,

My favourite camps at Londoz are Tree Camp and Pioneer Camp. Both are very small (6 rooms each) and intimate. The staff are very warm and welcoming and, as Kaye says, nothing is too much trouble. Next year, Founders Camp will be reduced to 5 rooms (all chalets) so it should provide an equally intiimate experience. I'd recommend going with one of these three unless you really want a chalet with a private plunge pool, in which case Varty Camp (FKA Bateleur Camp) is the best option.

Cheers,
Julian
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I do not need a private plunge pool. I do not have this at home so therefore will not miss it. I am going for the animals and that is all. I will talk to my tour operator on Monday about these three options.

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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Shay Tay,

I'm sure Kirkman's is a great camp, but, i dont think the game viewing is as good as other areas in the Sabi Sands. However, you have a fair chance of seeing the Selati pride which is a very large pride (atleast during my MM visit in 04)

Hari
 
Old Aug 12th, 2006, 05:04 AM
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Hari,
please would you share with me how it is that you know the intimacies of the games dispersion around the sabi sand. Please educate me on the bio mass diversity that makes the game in the kirkmans area less prolific than londolozi as an example.

It baffles my brain that you come up with these inane statements that the game is good bad or indeifferent without offering a justification?

Curiously standing by.
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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I'll offer my thoughts on the Sabi Sands, but this is based on one visit but a lot of reading.

To me, the Sabi Sands seems like one medium-size private reserve (one that, if in Botswana, would have two or three lodges at most).

So, I would think the lodges with the best game viewing would be those with the largest area (MM), along a river and near the center of the reserve (I would conjecture that lodges furthest from Kruger and westermost in the Sabi Sands, like Ulusaba, would have the worst game viewing since they wouldn't get a lot of animals crossing their area).

I'm not a huge fan of the Sabi Sands, but if I return, from what I've read, I likely will visit MM, and that decision is based largely on the fact that MM is, by far, the largest reserve and its adjacent to Kruger, so animals crossing from Kruger to the Sabi Sands cross MM.
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 07:34 AM
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Mkhonzo,

I did stay at Mala Mala in 2004 and went down that far south only once in a four night stay to see the Selati pride. My guide on the trip, mentioned that the game down there wasnt as prolific. Apparently, this has been mentioned by other posters on this board about Kirkman's. I dont mean to offend anyone....nor get into an arguement at this final minute of my stressful packing for my trip. I request you to do a search here.....

Rgds
Hari
 

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