South African Game Lodges- too crowded?

Dec 19th, 1996, 08:59 AM
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South African Game Lodges- too crowded?

Rangers at private lodges in South Africa do indeed radio one another when they find one of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino), and it is possible that more than one vehicle will be present at a sighting. The better game lodges, however, restrict the number of vehicles at a sighting for the very reason you mention--to preserve the sense that you are out in the wild. Mala Mala and Londolozi are experts at creating a thrilling game experience, and you probably won't see more than one other vehicle at a major sighting. Both these lodges have traversing rights over huge areas and put only a small number of vehicles in the field. In truth, the game experience in East Africa is far more crowded--Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania can feel like a real zoo with all the white minibuses crowding around a lion or cheetah. The weather in April is perfect: Many of the migrant birds are still around, and the annual rutting season has begun, when males compete for the right to mate with females. The temperature will be pleasant but be sure to bring a warm jacket for early morning game drives and night drives. Hope this helps, and hope you have a wonderful time.
Dec 19th, 1996, 09:04 AM
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Khoka Moya lies in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, on the border of Kruger National Park. It has changed hands since I visited the lodge in 1994, so I can't tell you much. Back then, Khoka Moya put more emphasis on bush walks than on game drives. You see far fewer animals on a bush walk but you do learn more about the ecology and get a better feel for the bushveld. The lodging at Khoka Moya was in simple A frame huts, with basic en suite bathrooms, a much more rustic experience than anything offered by Mala Mala or Londolozi. It was also a lot cheaper.
Feb 18th, 1997, 03:26 PM
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I do not know if the game lodges are too crowded at the moment. My husband and I are going on a three week safari in July, l997. We are going to stay at Pom Pom, Shinde, Machaba (Ker & Downey); Signita, and also the Shamwari Game Reserve--I don't know much about this latter one. I will let you know if we think things are too busy. If there is anyone out there who has any comments, suggestions, please feel free to post them. I am especially interested
in the art of the Venda, Ndebele, and Zulu tribes. Does anyone know the best places to purchase their crafts?
Feb 19th, 1997, 10:09 AM
Wisha Graybill
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I am a South African, but have lived in the U.S. for the last 24 years. We do go back periodically. My sister and brother-in-law live in Johannesburg, and are ardent fans of the game reserves. Their favorite is Sabi Sabi. We went there in 1994 and 1995, and it was absolutely fantastic! Our guide's name was Franz. He is supposed to be the best. And no, it was not too crowded. April could be a little cool, so be sure to have a coat.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for in accommodations. Sabi is very nice, very comfortable. And the food is wonderful.

Anyway, wherever you go, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Have a good time.
Jul 2nd, 1997, 02:13 PM
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I went to Mala Mala a few years ago and it was absolutely fabulous. For the most part, the game drives are separate. It is true that the rangers radio eachother when they find one of the big five but this benefits everyone at the camp. Otherwise, it would be much more unlikely to see rhinos, leopards, etc. which is a most awing experience. At most we had four or five 4x4 vehicles together - for instance when we viewed a lion kill at night. The rangers are very knowledgeable, friendly. We had an unbelievable time and I only hope to have the opportunity to go back.
Jul 18th, 1997, 02:00 PM
Pam Covington
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I was very interested in you reply to the crowded South African Game Lodges. I am planning a trip to Suthe Africa next May. I plan to spend a month between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Any advise on thindg to see or avoid? I hope you enjoyed your trip.

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