Safari - needs to be affordable

Old Dec 7th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Safari - needs to be affordable

My husband and I will be in S Africa in February and we'd like to go on safari for a couple of nights.

Can anyone suggest a place that is no more than US$500/night? On this board I've gotten recos but those places run from US$800-$2000/night. Ouch!

lucynyc is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2004, 10:29 AM
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You can visit Kruger NP with a 2WD rental car, and stay in the lodging within the park, much less expensively than if you stay in the adjacent private reserves. You will also be able to spend many more hours driving on safari (at least 10 hours per day if you like) compared to the fewer hours in the private reserves. All in all, its not nearly as luxurious but I thought it was much more fun, and I have done both -- private reserves and Kruger.

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Old Dec 7th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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lucynyc (from sandi in nyc) - Check out Honeyguide Tented Camp which is located on the Manyeletti Private Reserve adjacent to Kruger and north of Sabi Sands Private Reserve.

When we visited in 2001, before the USD lost it's value against the SA Rand, we paid about $250/nt/pp (drinks including soft drinks and alcohol were extra, but not expensive). I'd assume the price is higher these days, but doubt it's as high as $500. Honeyguide is a small tented camp - believe 10-12 tents that were, if I recall correctly, refurbished within the past two years. Though rustic in appearance, it is a true African experience (sleeping under canvas always is), had wonderful managers, competent and friendly staff, great rangers and trackers and the food was pretty darn good. Most of all, the game viewing was excellent.

Even though rustic, you do sleep on very thick mattresses with great sheets and under down-filled duvets. Traveling in February when it is hot and humid, you probably won't need more then a sheet to cover you.

Check out Honeyguide thru a Google search or try, select South Africa, the Mpumulanga area (where Kruger is located) and see if this meets your needs.
Old Dec 8th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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thit_cho is correct. Last June/July I spent 14 days in Kruger and don't think I spent $500.00 TOTAL for the two weeks. That's because it was a self-guided safari(s)staying within the (public) park - Kruger. When you stay adjacent to the park you're staying in private reserves, and yes, you get very good guides and service - but you also pay through the butt for it. The most reasonable private lodge I stayed at (I was in SA for over a month) was called Leopard's View Lodge....great food, good service and a awesome price: about $100.00 a night. Located in Baule, part of the Kruger ecosystem. In the Park I stayed at five different places, Letaba and Tamboti were my favorite(s). Good luck and feel free to e-mail me.
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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There are some wonderful specials out at the moment. Try in the Madikwe where you will have an amazing game experince, there is the new madikwe Safari Lodge that is very reasonible or Buffalo Ridge which is really wonderful and special.

I have rates somewhere if you are interested let me know!
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Old Dec 14th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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Are you a tour operator???
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Old Dec 15th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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Following Thit_Cho's lead I'd also recommend looking into a self-drive - but not necessarily in Kruger. We self-drove Addo, Imfolozi, Hluhluwe, Ithala and Kruger and of those Kruger, whilst enjoyable, was our least favourite. The others were far less busy and hence felt more exciting and remote. My favourite of all was Ithala - least dense in terms of animal life (though saw a number of white rhinos very close up indeed) but most spectacular in scenery and my second favourite would be the combination of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi where we saw few other cars but lots of animals. Neither was good for predators but then Kurger only afforded the briefest glimpses of a lion and leopard in the far distance (from a tarmaced road crowded with other visitors). I received a free Portfolio Collections booklet in the mail today and noticed it included a lot of safari accommodations, some of which might be in your budget. They have a website.
Also might be worth looking at Tanda Tula which I recall my agent mentioning when I was looking for less expensive private lodges.
A lot depends on where in SAfrica you will be based and how many nights you have...?
Kavey is offline  
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