Specific questions regarding South African lodging

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Jul 11th, 2004, 02:18 PM
  #1
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Specific questions regarding South African lodging

I'm trying to plan a trip to South Africa for late March, 2005 and would appreciate your input. There will be 3 couples traveling together from Johannesburg.

We're looking for a 3 night safari. We'd like something more upscale, spacious room with a private deck (preferably with a private plunge pool), good food and excellent wildlife viewing. (I especially like anything in the "cat" family).

We also would like to fly to the reserve from Johannesburg (no long drives getting there)so it needs to be airline accessible. We are trying to work on a lodging budget of approximately $1,400 per couple per day (not including the flight to the reserve). Is this a reasonable expectation? Are we paying top dollar to go in March (their Fall season)? It sounds like a good time of year to visit South Africa.

I have been reading this board for quite some time and have viewed dozens and dozens of web sites. They all sound fantastic but I'm concerned that the photos of the rooms are of a fancy suite, not the standard rooms. I trust those of you who have traveled more than the ads I read. I understand that we can't afford some of the very top notch places such as Singita but am hoping to get something in a nice, smaller complex. Thank you for taking the time to read my request. I'm hoping you can offer suggestions.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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type african safari in the search box for some initial insights.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 03:20 PM
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mgmargate, If I type in "african safari" in the search box, literally every posting ever made appears without covering my specific needs. I have been reading this board for weeks and am very appreciative of all the great information I've gathered. It is now that I want to book soon that I want to specifically select a reserve & accommodations meeting my criteria. Thank you.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Did you try clicking on Roccco or safarinut?If you can get one of them or a good travel agent to interact with you can make it happen.Good luck.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 09:44 PM
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The choice would be easy here (given the limited time frame). The Sabi Sand is the natural choice, in this case.

For very exclusive lodging in an excellent position, Simbambili may work out the best. It is about $600 pppns and I believe each room features its own private plunge pool. It borders Mala Mala, yet has more than enough traversing rights to accomodate a 3 night stay without covering the same ground, over and over.

Taga Safaris website has an excellent series featured on their website following the "Leopards of Simbambili."
www.tagasafaris.co.za

Also, Taga Safaris may be the best tour operator to book this with, since they do their filming at Simbambili and seem to have a close relationship.

For other choices check out www.tagasafaris.co.za. Good luck.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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jilllibeans

Simbambili will be a great choice.They don't share a border with Mala Mala but they do have a very good traversing area.

You can't go wrong with Taga Safaris as a tour operator.

Also check out exeter lodges,Sabi Sabi Selati and Bush lodges,Lion Sands River lodge,Nottens bush lodge,all in in the SSGR.

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Jul 12th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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Thank you so much for your reply. Simbambili does sound lovely. Whatever I book, I will book through Taga Safari. It has been often mentioned as a great operator to work with.

One question...how is Malaria in that area in March? We are 6 adults, no children.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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I prefer South Africa in spring. My game viewing in November has been awsome, and everything with babies! Even saw a zebra being born.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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jillybean, From what I've read in travel articles, any time of year is good for most of South Africa. If you can't take the heat, it's better not to go in December, January, February. Good months are suppose to be October, November and March and April. At least this is what I've read, no personal experience. Not sure about this malaria thing. I'm still doing my research.
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Jul 14th, 2004, 04:36 PM
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November is a good time to travel SA, when we do most of travel anywhere in the world. However, thunderstorms happen regularly in the Kruger area. These are amazing storms, but rarely last maybe a 1/2 hour and never inhibited our games drives, in morning or afternoon/evening.

As to malaria meds - for visit to Kruger area this is a must, though in their winter Jun - Aug with the time from dusk to dawn being malaria biting time - the temps are rather chilly if not downright cold, so malaria meds not absolutely necessary. I wouldn't however go by this as if it's not cold, the mossies will be out a bitin'. But strongly suggest to check
the www.cdc.gov/travel and then discuss with your physician or tropical diseases specialist.
 
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Jul 14th, 2004, 11:06 PM
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For malaria info, take a look at www.malaria.org.za/Malaria_Risk/index.html. Its source is the Medical Research Council of South Africa.

I can't vouch for the info on the CDC site, I haven't read it fully and I'm not a physician. Although I didn't see any mention of variations of risk in different times of the year. And I was amused to read as a South African "Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.", etc., etc. Although admittedly it lumps Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, St. Helena (U.K.), Swaziland, Zimbabwe together for this supposedly informed advice. This advice has also been reproduced by one or two other U.S.-based travel info sites. The reality is that in a WHO survey some years ago, S.A. was listed as one of only 12 countries where it is safe to drink the tap water. (Apologies for straying off-topic.)
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