South Africa in June/July 2014

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Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:54 PM
  #1
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South Africa in June/July 2014

I have reservations booked for June 21, 2014 to June 29 in Kruger National Park and June 29 through July 5 at MalaMala and Mashatu. We plan to fly in and out of Johannesburg. We will hire a car to drive to Kruger and drop off the car when we start our private reserve part of the trip. Is there some place worth visiting between Johannesburg and Kruger that we can see or do we just drive straight to Kruger? We have the time, I'm just not sure what else to plan for our visit. Thanks
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Jul 4th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Hi PHayden,

Sounds like a great bush trip! Regarding things to do and to see between JHB and Kruger, it really depends on where in Kruger you are going. You could stop at Pilgrims Rest, go to the Blyde River Canyon and see Bourke's Luck Potholes to name a few.

When do you arrive in JHB? Will you have a an extra day to perhaps do the Panarama Route?

Also, after you private reserve part of the trip, are you flying back to JHB?

Regards.

Brett | Safaris For Me | Safari Specialist | South Africa
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Jul 4th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Hi PHayden,

Sounds like a great bush trip! Regarding things to do and to see between JHB and Kruger, it really depends on where in Kruger you are going. You could stop at Pilgrims Rest, go to the Blyde River Canyon and see Bourke's Luck Potholes to name a few.

When do you arrive in JHB? Will you have a an extra day to perhaps do the Panarama Route?

Also, after you private reserve part of the trip, are you flying back to JHB?

Regards.

Brett | Safaris For Me | Safari Specialist | South Africa
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Jul 6th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Brett, no flights are set yet so we can come early and tour prior to going to Krueger on June 20th and/or tour after we leave MalaMala and Mashatu on July 5th. I'm exploring the possibility of flying to Tanzania after the private parks to tour the Serengeti.
Pat
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Jul 6th, 2013, 10:58 PM
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I've been to Blyde River Canyon, Great Escarpment and that area. Nice, interesting terrain. But if you're from USA and have been to Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley etc, that "Blyde" area is 3 on a scale of 10. If it's on you way to the Timbavati or Kruger's Phalaborwa gate, fine, but I would not go out of my way to see it.

regards - tom
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Jul 7th, 2013, 01:34 AM
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Should you drive to Mala Mala from Johannesburg and wish to overnight en route, again depending on what time you intend to depart Johannesburg, you might want to overnight at Walkersons Hotel & Spa outside the village of Dullstroom a good half-way stop - www.walkersons.co.za or if you wish to travel further then Cybele Forest Lodge, outside the village of White River - www.cybele.co.za a good relax pre or post safari.
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Jul 9th, 2013, 03:34 AM
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Hi Pat,

I think the Panarama Route is a nice thing to do if you have the time, but not a must do. The highlight of your trip will be your time in the bush without doubt!!

I presume you are flying from Mala Mala to JHB and then on to Mashatu?

The Serengeti will be amazing to see but I think you will miss the start of the migration which only begins in around August every year. The experience will be very different to you SA safari, but still fantastic, and probably worth doing budget and time allowing.

Regards.

Brett | Safaris For Me | Safari Specialist | South Africa
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Jul 12th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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We are getting a package deal with MalaMala that includes the transportation from MalaMala to Mashatu so I'm not really sure what airports are used.
I know we will be early for the migration but can't pass up adding the Serengeti to our Africa trip. Looks like we will have to fly from Johannesburg to Nairobi in order to get to Kilimanjaro airport. I'm waiting on responses from Roy Safaris and then will pick between Roy and Good Earth I think.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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What camps are you staying at in Mala Mala & Mashatu?

Just got back from Main Camp in Mala Mala & Tented Camp in Mashatu. Wonderful! Game viewing was phenominal with many leopard, elephant & rhino sightings.

I flew from Mashatu to Mala Mala, each has their own airstrip however we flew to Polokwane first for immigration. Adds another hour to the flight and I know the pilots were looking at ways to perhaps put a small airstrip just across the border from Mashatu
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Jul 13th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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Oops hit submit too soon!

...across the border from Mashatu in South Africa near Pont Drift to avoid having to go thru Polokwane.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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KathBC, We will also be at the Main Camp in MalaMala and the Mashatu Tent Camp. How did you like the tent camp? We will be driving to MalaMala first from Kruger and then flying to Mashatu. It sounds like we should be there in 2014 about the same time you were there this year. Did you have full vehicles every day? That's one concern I have because we are serious amateur photographers. There is already a reserved private drive for MalaMala while we are there so we couldn't request a private drive and you can't get private drives from the tent camp. Did you do the underground elephant hide at Mashatu? We have that reserved for 1/2 day.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 07:06 PM
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I've been to MM in 2005, 2006, 2009. Each time we've signed up for Main camp and each time they upgraded us to Sable camp. Will probably you also. In Sable guest per vehicle are max 4 px.

That you're also going to TZ is good, no big deal if you have the travel time. We one year did Zambia, Bots, and SA. The next year SA, Zambia, and Kenya.

Went to TZ in 2011 for 3 weeks, do recommend highly Roy Safaris.

regards - tom
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Jul 13th, 2013, 08:12 PM
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Mashatu Tented Camp was rustic and absolutely awesome!! Lots of wild life and the off roading was a blast even when you're practically vertical going down or up a dried up river bed!

The drives will be cold so be prepared dressing in layers, gloves, scarves & beanies. The vehicles are open sided with no windshields both in Mashatu & MM so if you wear contact lenses at all or even if you don't, you may want to find some non prescription glasses to wear when it's too dark for sunglasses.

Since I was solo in both places the max in the vehicles was 5 and quite comfortable. I had a private game drive in each place simply due to timing of departures & arrivals.

Good thing you've already booked the hide as I didn't think of it & was not able to get in. I believe someone from C4 Images & Photography joins you in the hide & provides photography tips. Should be amazing if the hide is active, there's plenty of water around that time of year so there were days that only a few birds appeared.

If you're also interested in going out on the Ivory Drive check that the researcher is in camp as he wasn't during my 5 days there.

Ask for Dan as your ranger in Mashatu, he's been there for over 20 years and knows the place well.

Was not upgraded during my 4 days in MM Main Camp altho they moved me to Sable Camp for a few meals likely due to there only being one family staying at Sable. The food comes from the same kitchen so it wasn't exactly an upgrade.

Definitely ask for a room overlooking the Sand River as there's usually animal activity on the other side. Ask for Matthew Hobbs as your ranger and he'll take very good care of you. Be prepared for lots of families with children in MM Main Camp that time of year.

Sure wish I was going back in 2014!!!
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Jul 13th, 2013, 08:21 PM
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This is the look everyone wore in both camps. 8-)


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--...3530.JPG?gl=US
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Jul 14th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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You should make that your profile pic, Kath
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Jul 14th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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LOL Patty good idea!
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