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south africa trip - help needed with provisional itinerary

south africa trip - help needed with provisional itinerary

Dec 12th, 2006, 02:45 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,825
south africa trip - help needed with provisional itinerary

first of all ,many thanks to those kind souls who have already spent time sharing their time and knowledge with me.
i've received the following provisional itinerary from wildlife Africa - comments anyone?

Day one - fly from ORT to Djuma via Hoedspruit, staying 3 nights in the Djuma Bush Lodge.
Day 4, transfer to Mala Mala, staying at the Main Camp.
Day 7, transfer from KMI to Cape Town spending 7 nights at the commodore Hotel.

Are the two safaris very different? i've no idea how to choose between the many alternatives.

Including all transfers, drives and food on safari, plus B& B and car hire in Cape Town, I've beeen quoted US$ £3,820 each.

What questions do I need to ask about the trip?

Thanks again so much for your help,

Regards, Ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 04:12 AM
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Hi Ann,

I am a big fan of MalaMala, and gameviewing is certainly my passion, and for me, it is the place I will go on my next 3 African trips. The gameviewing there surpasses anywhere else I have been! Their cyberdiary is making me green with envy at what they are currently seeing, but hopefully I shall be seeing it soon as I leave Dec 27 and I cannot wait!

Have never been to Djuma, but have been to a few in the Sabi Sands, and for me, MalaMala wins hands down.

Kind regards,

KayeN is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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When's the trip?

I have never been to djuma.....but, a recent thread had some good mention of the cheetah sightings there. I think they have some sightings updated on their website. Although, i dont keep check on their sightings.....you may want to take a look there.

MM is always a favourite around here.....cant go wrong. But, seriously the Sabi Sands always delivers some great game viewing and i think you will hv a fantastic time!!!


Dec 12th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 317
I have been to Djuma and enjoyed the experience very much...however...Djuma Bush Lodge is not their upscale lodge...Vyutela is. I think the density of sightings at Mala Mala can not be beat but what would lead me to Djuma would be two things. One, it is much, much smaller and homier. It has a more Botswana feel to it...ie: warmer, less of a hotel feel and less vehicles at sightings. If this is your first safari I would suggest Mala Mala as you will probably be blown away by what you see. At any rate these are not comparable lodges. If you can amend the itinerary to Djuma's more upscale lodge I think you will be happier.
After reading your question again I am not sure if I read it correctly. Are you asking if there is a difference between the two lodges as you are going to both of them vs. going to one of them or to one of them and to another location altogether?
If you go to both you will certainly see there is a tremendous difference in how two lodges that actually border one another try to do the same thing very differently.
eyelaser is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 01:07 AM
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Hi, thanks to your all for your responses.

The plan is to go after DS has finished public exams, in July/august.

The itinerary supplied by the tour company, [very promptly, i may say] is both MM & Djuma, hence my enquiry about how different they re - will we be repeating the experience too much?

By the sound of it, the answer is no, particularly if the styles are different.

Eric - I suspect that the tour company has quoted for Djuma Main Lodge, because cost is an issue for us. I will ask them to quote for the more up-scale accommodation, however, to see if it will increase it a lot.
Am i right in thinking the the safaris and drives will be the same?

Thanks again, y'all

annhig is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 05:09 AM
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I think that both of these lodges are in the Sabi Sands, so I would expect the wildlife experiences to be similar -- if it were me, I would only stay at Mala Mala (which is the largest property in the Sabi Sands and has an excellent reputation) and use the extra time to visit another park in South Africa.
thit_cho is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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Ann, the viewing will be identical regardless of which lodge you stay at at Djuma. I really liked Djuma but if I had a choice, money not an issue, between the two for a once in a lifetime safari I would stay at Mala Mala. I think the game drives are most important and those at Mala Mala in general can't be beat. Camp life and ambience are things to think about on a 2nd, 3rd or 4th safari. I think you will find differing opinions regarding the relative value of the lodge vs. the game drives. So having said that, while I really enjoyed Djuma and think the people who run it are great if I had one place to go in S. Africa and game viewing was the main focus then Mala Mala would be it. Now, the other couple of places to consider so that you could experience a different type of camp, ie: a tented one would be Ngala tented camp (cc africa property) or Tanda Tula. I love the night sounds of the bush and that is one thing that being in a tent vs. a building allows one to experience. Of course you can open windows that are screened but it is not the same feeling as having canvas walls. These two camps are also smaller. Moving from one camp to another however adds cost especially if you fly. Djuma and Mala Mala border each other so I suspect that Mala Mala would transport you overland so the cost would be little to nothing. I looked at the website for Djuma's Bush camp and thought it looked really nice actually and it seems to be designed for families.
eyelaser is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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i agree with Eyelasher's comments, having just been to a few camps in the area. I would mix tanda tula or Ngala with mala mala, but for me, the main camp there at mm is too large and if your budget allows upgrade to rattray's. this past trip we did honeyguide in manyeleti (cheaper, but well done and great viewing) and then we did Rattrays which is 8 bungalows- which are spectacular beyond words. however, rattrays and mm main camp use same areas for viewing, in the former though there are only 4 in the vehicle which is nice if you have a serious photographer.
BonnieN is offline  
Dec 16th, 2006, 02:19 AM
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thanks so much for the info. you've pretty much confirmed what I thought, ie that these two places would be fairly similar. however, i've done a bit more research, and have now started looking at Kenya/Tanzania! possibly with Zanzibar thrown in. any thoughts?
annhig is offline  
Dec 16th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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You still haven't told us when you plan to travel. The date (month) can best determine whether Tanzania or Kenya or a combination of both. Zanzibar can easily be added from either country.

If further planning Kenya/Tanzania, I would suggest you start another thread with these countries in the title.
Dec 16th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 244
I have done both trips, though without zanzibar, since I don't do beach vacations. They are pretty different. For up close animals, I would go for mala mala in sa, but if you are in excellent physical condition and go in February or August thereabouts you could include Mahale to see chimps which we were unable to do, but friends felt it was a major highlight of Africa.
BonnieN is offline  
Dec 17th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Sorry - I've done [or rather not done] just what OPs fail to do, and omitted a vital detail - we can travel at any time during July and august - our summer, but winter in south Africa.

I'm holding off starting another thread til I've done some more research - but thanks for all your help so far.

annhig is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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Greetings--Just a heads up about Cape Town weather. I was there in late August and it was quite windy, cloudy, sometimes rainy and cool. It took 4 days before Table Mtn was clear enough to climb. But it was a good time for safari in Botswana, which was main goal. But had a great time in Cape Town and surrounding area. Be sure to rent a car if you are on your own at that point. Enjoy.
Pyewackett is offline  
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