Singita, Kings Pool, Mombo


Apr 28th, 2004, 09:26 PM
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I've been to Mala Mala on three occasions and yes,the game viewng is the best that RSA has to offer in my opinion.
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May 1st, 2004, 07:56 PM
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JackieSun: I was at Duma Tau in Jan. 2003. Wildlife viewing is exceptional, as I saw over 30 mammal species during a two night stay. Highlight was a wild dog kill of an impala. The Linyanti area is one of the best for predators including the very rare wild dog. You must take a night drive while there, that is a definite highlight. A hippo was killed adjacent to camp by lions a day before I arrived. The tents are very nice with great views and hippo sounds from nearby and the staff is very good as they are throughout the Wilderness Safari's camps. I am leading a Predator Safari next January and Duma Tau is one of the 3 camps I picked along with Duba Plains and Chitabe. Enjoy your trip!

hdr: not sure if this info will be timely for you but the green season is fine for Kings Pool -- same area as described above for Duma Tau. I cannot comment on Singita but a combination of Linyanti (Kings Pool) and Moremi (Mombo) is great as the habitats and scenery are different and the wildlife is phenomenal in both. Also, Duba Plains, while not as luxurious but still very pampering, was the best camp for me and my wife. It was small, intimate and had the best staff that you really got to know. Wildlife is not as diverse but it may be the most incredible lion area in existence. I saw 13 different male lions in 3 days and the prides are famous for their daytime buffalo kills.
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May 2nd, 2004, 01:01 PM
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PredatorBiologist: Thank you very much for your comments. Can you see the hippos from Camp? How far is Duma Tau from WS Savute? Do you know how long it will take to transfer?

We are also staying at Savute, Chitabe, and Vumbra. Have you stayed at these as well. Any insight you can provide would be much appreciated.
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May 2nd, 2004, 01:42 PM
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JackieSun: Unfortuneately I have not been to any of those camps as we did Duma Tau, Duba Plains, and Mombo Camp. We could see hippo from Duma Tau camp but the water was very low during January so they were a good distance out, should be much closer during sometimes of year. On game drives there were some isolated water spots with excellent hippo viewing including seeing one completely out of water who had not returned before light. You can also see them out of the water on night drives.

Savute camp is fairly close by, I would guess (but not really sure) less than an hour drive thorough good game viewing habitat. Your flight transfers will be short too. From Duma Tau to Vumbura is probably about 30-35 minutes and then onto Chitabe only 20-25 minutes.

I have heard great things about all the camps you have chosen -- it should be a dream trip. I have picked Chitabe for my next trip as wild dogs are a real focus for me and that is a hot spot for them. I had gone to Mombo for that purpose and was very dissappointed that a viable pack of dogs had not been in the area for a year or two although all the literature was still touting Mombo as a wild dog paradise. In fact Mombo was wonderfully luxurious but we had our worst guiding there and had our least impressive wildlife experience despite its reputation. I have heard Chitabe is very similar in its wildlife and has outstanding predator viewing. Vumbura has been highly recommended to me as well with very good leopard and lion sightings as well as the nice mix in of water activities and water loving antelope. I would love to go there but am so attached to the lions at Duba Plains that it my choice for now -- I hope to see Vumbura in the future and it definitely will round your trip out perfectly with the water.
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May 2nd, 2004, 10:48 PM
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Predatorbiologist said:

> I had gone to Mombo for that purpose and was >very dissappointed that a viable pack of dogs had >not been in the area for a year or two although all >the literature was still touting Mombo as a wild >dog paradise. In fact Mombo was wonderfully >luxurious but we had our worst guiding there and >had our least impressive wildlife experience >despite its reputation.

Predator, my friends here must have thought that was me posting! I have said pretty much the exact same thing before. I was there at Mombo a few months after you. If you would email me at [email protected], I would be curious to the name of your guide there. Thanks.

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May 2nd, 2004, 10:56 PM
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I spoke to the wild dogs and they told me that they could no longer to pay $800 pdpns (per dog per night sharing) and have now taken up new residence in the South Luangwa for 1/3 the price of Little Mombo!

See link, and if it has already transferred over to May 03rd, go back to the April 26th newsletter, for a great picture of one of the wild dogs.
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May 3rd, 2004, 08:29 AM
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Clematis: I will e-mail you shortly. I can go on along time about Mombo.

Rocco: Stop pumping up Zambia so much -- like the dogs I can't afford Mombo again and I want to explore Zambia before everyone else gets there.
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May 3rd, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Not to worry...nobody is listening anyway about Zambia. Botswana is definitely the "in" country right now, and for the beginners, Kruger and Sabi Sand are about all that fits in their comfort zone.

Just take a look at Robin Pope's availability for May and early June at and you will see plenty of vacancies. These vacancies, I am fairly certain, are available at a nice discount over rack rates, and the South Luangwa is very beautiful right now.

For those not requiring top-notch accomodations, nice accomodations at Kafunta and Kaingo are available for possibly $150 pppns in May and June. Those prices are just not even comprehendible when you consider what lodges in South Africa and Botswana are commanding.

Although I plan on breaking the bank for next year, I am very happy to be having an 11 night safari this year for about $1,000 USD less than a 3 night safari at Singita will cost me next year, if I am fortunate enough to proceed to Singita next year.

I do hope that Zambia thrives as only then will Botswana and South Africa feel any competition and hopefully will follow by lowering their prices, rather than Zambia potentially raising their prices. It's all about supply and demand.

However, the only reason, I feel, that there is not more demand for Zambia is because others are unfamiliar with it. It really is a piece of cake to get to Zambia. Either it is a direct flight from London or a 2 hour flight from Johannesburg. Once in Lusaka, it is a 30 minute flight to Lower Zambezi National Park or a 60 minute flight to South Luangwa, possibly aboard a 19 seat Raytheon Beechcraft airplane if you schedule on the right day with Zambian Airways.

One advantage that Zambia also has, at least over Botswana, is that it is possible to use a free add-on frequent flier flight from Joburg to Lusaka, while the same is not available between Joburg to Maun.

The freedom of doing different activities in Zambia, especially in the Lower Zambezi, puts Zambia in a class all its own. In the Lower Zambezi, one can choose between morning game drives, morning bush walks, tigerfishing excursions, mekoro/canoe excursions, afternoon bush walks and night game drives (with tracker AND guide if at the right camp).

Morning game drive/Night game drive is fine if you are going to be on a 3 night safari, but if on a longer safari, that will start to get real old after a few days, especially if in the same game lodge for more than 3 nights.

Sausage Tree Camp, in the Lower Zambezi, will even set up dinner in the middle of the Zambezi River on a sand bar! if you happen to be there during the full moon. How exciting is that?!

I really believe that Zambia is just waiting to explode, but fortunately has not yet, making visits very affordable, even at the best places. Even the very most expensive places like Chichele Presidential Lodge, Tena Tena, Chiawa Camp and Sausage Tree Camp are only $400 pppns in high season...very expensive sounding to some but still 33% - 50% less than its similar South African and Botswanan counterparts.
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May 3rd, 2004, 07:14 PM
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Jackie Sun, just saw your question, sorry I did not get back to you sooner.

We were in Duma Tau in April 2003 and had a great experience there. Our superb guide was Lee, perhaps you can ask for him in advance. In any event they are all great there, the ambience is palpable, very friendly and genuine . What sets it apart from the other camps we visited is the easy going nature and the unison of ALL staff as a friendly family. It is not as luxurious as some (Mombo,Jao, Singita etc) but you will definitely not be uncomfortable.

In terms of game it is mostly mopane with some water too. We saw lots of hippos and elephants in the water, you can fish for tigerfish too from their boat. We saw a tremendous variety of game including leopard,lions, African wildcat, caracal,hyena etc etc. There are night drives there as well.
We tried to find wild dogs without luck but there were some in the area seen by others. Like some earlier posts I was dissapointed at Mombo in not finding wild dogs as there literature indicates.

I think you will like it there.
Bon Voyage.
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May 3rd, 2004, 11:51 PM
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Roccco: I can't wait to read your trip report following Zambia. I definitely hope to get there and to the beaches of Mozambique before both become too popular.
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