Sabi Sands Game Preserve - Inyati

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Apr 18th, 2004, 08:32 PM
  #1
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Sabi Sands Game Preserve - Inyati

Has anyone had any first-hand experience with the Inyati Game Lodge located in the Sabi Sands Game Preserve? If so, please describe and pass on your recommendations, if any.
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Sep 24th, 2004, 07:20 PM
  #2
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My wife and I recently returned from Inyati, one of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve lodges. We stay 4 nights, from Sept. 6th thru Sept. 9th. It was part of a 23-night trip to S.A., Botswana and Zimbabwe. My principal reason for choosing Inyati was cost. The total cost turned out to be less than $3,400 for 2 persons for 4 nights, including R/T air from JNB to the private airstrip at Leopard Hills (10 min. from the camp). Included in this amount are also extras spent at the camp.

Inyati lived up to my expectations. It has only 10 chalets. The accomodations, although not luxurious, were very nice. I was unwilling to pay for the Singita-type amenities (architecture, pools, etc.) as I have those here every day in SW Florida. The food was good. Even though the camp was not full, the staff went out of their way to make the meals interesting and enjoyable, whether thru variations in style and/or menu or changes in the dining location (inside, outside, at the Boma with a fire, at the Tree House, on a deck overlooking the river, on a barge on the river - watching hippos not too far away). The Sand River runs through the Inyati property. The river is partially dammed to create nearby deep pools for the hippos. At night, hippos often come onto the Inyati lawn to feed. They can be dangerous, and for that reason Inyati has a ranger accompany the guests to and from their chalets at night. One night my wife and I went to dinner w/o a ranger, but with a flashlight. I spotted a hippo on the lawn, but far enough away for safe passgage.

Our daily regimen at Inyati was: 5 A.M. wake up; 5:30 A.M. coffee, tea and muffins; 5:30 to 9:30 - A.M. game drive; 9:30 - breakfast; 10:30 to Noon - walking safari with a ranger; 1 P.M. - lunch; 3:30 - afternoon tea and snacks; 4:00 to 7:30 P.M. (or later) - P.M. game drive; 7:30 (or 8:30 P.M., depending upon the length of the night drives) - dinner. The weather was cold (layers of clothing, gloves, hats, etc. for us Floridians).
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Sep 25th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Part II
Inyati shares the western SSGR sector with Exeter (River Lodge and Leadwood), Idube, Dulini, Leopard Hills, Ulusaba and Savanna. We crossed paths with game drive vehicles from each of the lodges except Leopard Hills, which did not appear to put out any game drive vehicles during our 4-day period. The rangers from each of the camps stayed in radio contact with one another and shared sighting info. All of the western sector camps have traversing rights over the 15,000 hectares comprising the western sector, with the main restriction seeming to be that you are restricted to your property for the first hour of each game drive.

Our game drives were excellent, covering the full range of the western sector, including the border with Singita. Our games drives took us to see male and female white rhinos, elephants, lions and lioness and cubs, leopards and cubs, male and female cheetah and cubs, hippo, crocodile, side striped jackal, spotted hyena, genets, giraffe, warthogs, baboons, vervet monkeys, impala, nyala, grey duiker, steenbok, blesbok, waterbuck, bushbuck, kudu, wildebeast, scrub hare, dwarf mongoose, water monitor, fish eagle, bateleur eagle, brown snake eagle, Wahlberg's eagle, dark chanting goshawk, black sparrow hawk, harrier hawk, spotted eagle owl, giant eagle owl, Egyptian goose, grey heron, black stork, and crested korhaan. My 3 most memorable animal sightings were: (1) 5 female white rhinos w/in 15 yds.; (2) 3 lioness feasting upon a kudu which they had killed minutes before; and (3) a nighttime sighting of a female leopard and her cub - the female had killed and partially eaten an impala, which it had placed in a tree - the cub went back up the tree to have some more impala, but its constant tugging at the carcass caused the impala carcass to fall from the tree right before our eyes and directly in front of our game vehicle. The impala carcass wasn't on the ground more than 15 seconds before a hidden hyena appeared and snatched the carcass away for itself, without any complaint from the leopard or cub. An "honarable mention" on my animal sightings list goes to a lioness who passed so close to me and our game drive vehicle that had I leaned over and extended my arm, I could pet her on the head. Somehow, I refrained.
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