Suth Africa on Wednesday!

Aug 23rd, 2004, 06:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 104
Suth Africa on Wednesday!

Thanks to much helpful and insightful reporting avialable in this forum, we're heading off for our first ever trip to South Africa on Wednesday feeling confident in choices and well equipped with info!

After a couple of months of lurking, wanted to say "thank you" to all you knowledgeable and nice people. We'll be at Phinda (Forrest & Rock) and Singita (Boulders) for the next week or so. Upon return, we'll post a trip report giving forum members the latest on these destinations from our Safari newbies eyes!

Thanks to you all...

Mike14c is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Bon Voyage!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 07:01 AM
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Mike, when you arrive at Phinda (are you driving, and if so, from where?) and stay at Forest Lodge, be sure to look up Benson, a former ranger and now in management at the lodge, and Jabu, who serves tables in the lodge. Meet Kenny G the tracker as well, and Guy, the ranger (excellent one to request). Tell Jabu the people who helped her contact her sister in Califronia say hello.

Just a suggestion: be sure at night to always go back and froth to your chalet with a guard. Lots of animals walking about!!! And ask the lodge to give you the booklet on Phinda that explains all ther ecosystems in that sand forest. You are in for a treat. Be sure to get a bird book for sotuhern Africa, and take it out with you. Good binocs are a must!!

If you are driving from Phinda north to Kruger, you can go through Swaziland, or around it, but whatever you do, allow twice as much time as you believe you need. We did drive down to Phinda, and it was a nine hour trip at high speeds.

Have fun.
Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 104
Tandy/Jeffr: Thanks for your suggestions. I'll follow-up and hunt down all the Phinda people.

We're actually flying from J'burg to the Phinda Airstrip on a Federal Charter. Hope its not scarry!! But since we're flying all the way from New York City to SA for just about one week in the bush (are we crazy?!?), we are flying as much as possible.
Mike14c is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Mike, assume you're out of JFK on SAA 202 - will be doing thye same a few days after you. Flying from JNB to Phinda makes sense - their airstrip is paved, as I recall - I've driven on their airstrip - the last time I was on the strip it was at sunset two eyars ago, and a mom cheetah and three little ones were sitting in the sun on an anthill - lots of fun watching them.

Phinda has lots of birds, so a good book is valuable. The nice thing about Phinda is they do night drives, getting back in after 9 p.m. many nights - use spotlights - very nifty. You will see everything here!!!!

If you are near chalet #3, pass along our hello. Have a great time.
Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
Have a great time. Especially at Phinda. I have very fond memories of my stay at Vlei in March which is next door to Forest.

As TandyJeffR says, the folks there are great and very accommodating.
It is just an all around superb game reserve to visit. Make sure to do some of the outside activities like "The flight of the fish eagle."

We also took the Fed Air flight from J'burg to the Phinda air strip. It was fine. No problems whatsoever. We were greeted by a couple of giraffes and a few wart hogs.

I am envious and wish I could stow away in you luggage w/ you. Please do write us a trip report upon your return.

Have a wonderful time
divewop is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 250
Mike, have a wonderful trip and make lots of notes - you know how greedy we all are for info.

Flying all that way for a week! You're only as crazy as the rest of us when it comes to Africa

RuthieC is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Mike, think of the flights as sight-seeing opportunities. We had great ones. Would you see if Carmen is still there? You can't miss her, she's a blond guide from Holland. If you get Fanwell as a tracker, you are in luck! He used his break time to secretly track something special for us one day. Don't forget to read the game viewing logbook when you arrive. If your binocs aren't the best, Singita will loan you a stronger pair. Make new friends, have fun!
Clematis is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 12:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 104
More good intelligence! Thanks so much all. I think we're pretty well armed -- we've got field guides galore, and have been studying up on birds.

Dare I ask yet another question -- how dressy do these lodges get a night? We're mostly bringing very casual clothes for gamin viewing and relaxing, but are bringing a sports jacket and dress shoes just in case...
Mike14c is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Not dressy at all at Phinda. Many evenings we've come straight in from the drive and had dinner. Some wear shorts, some long pants. Cannot speak for Singita - would think perhaps a bit dressier. You will, by the way, love the chalets - very asian in design. Wood and stone, very nice indeed.
Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Not even dressy at Singita, though some change into a pair of slacks and sports shirt for men; for women slacks, a sweater and a pretty scarf. But folks wore everything, but none were dressy - rather nice casual.

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