Tinga Game Lodges

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Feb 2nd, 2006, 04:57 AM
  #1
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Tinga Game Lodges

Just returned from 2 nights at Tinga.
Anyone interested in a report?
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:21 AM
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Yes please..Very interested!
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:31 AM
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I'm interested to. Please share your experience with us!
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:56 AM
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OK.
Tinga has 2 lodges called Legends and Narina and both are 5 star luxury. The rooms can rival Singita, the food is 6 star but the game viewing is 1 star. Now hold on a sec as both myself and safarinut had and incredible game drive this morning. We saw lion, leoprad and 2 of the other B 5 on foot.
OK, bottom line. SABI sands is better.
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Gizzy way to load us down with uneccessary detail
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Napamatt and others
Sorry for the quick report as duty called and I had to take care of business.
Here is a more concise report.
As I have said Tinga Narina and Tinga Ledgends are 5 star upmarket lodges which are really fantastic and are both situated along the Sabie River with fantastic views.
However the game viewing is the main concern here.
Whilst Tinga is supposed to be a private concession within Kruger (and I include all other private concessions) it/they simply has/have too many rules and regulations governing them by Kruger. They do not have a decent network of roads within their concessions and are not allowed to make any new ones. This means that the ranger cannot work a block looking for fresh tracks and then go offroad to find the animal. Talking about offroad, this is another bone of contention as the rangers are allowed to go offroad but afterwards they have to return to the spot and access any environmental damage and submit a report to the kruger Park authorities. They simply do not have the time to do this on a daily basis and tend to not go offraod unless they really have to. Yesterday morning I personally read the rules and regulations manual for the private concessions and I was horrified to say the least.
90% of our game drives was done on the public roads due to the restraints that kruger gives the private concessions.
Going to Tinga or for that matter any other private concession within Kruger is by me a very Upmarket and expensive Kruger Park Safari. If Kruger park authorities lift the rules then the private concessions will do well but until that happens avoid them at the costs they are charging. They simply cannot compete with the Sabi Sands.
I have just returned back to my bungalo in Skukuza after having done the same drive last night with a very good ranger, Collin, and we bumped into each other. I was in my personal Jeep and he had new guests. Tinga and all the other private concessions in Kruger are battling as the laws are too strict. They take the money and then cut off your hands. IT IS NOT WORKING!

Napamatt, what was your quirk about.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 03:22 PM
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Just making sure you didn't interpret my post as hostile.

Thanks for the info. I would assume Singita Lebombo and similar ventures would be in the same position.
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Feb 4th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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This also explains why Tinga (along with Tintswalo?) are the most luxurious lodges available at a discount on MT Beds...
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Feb 4th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Napamatt, No problems at all, I just did not understand your post. I'm cool.
It is my understanding that the private concessions in Kruger are not doing as well as they thought. Out of all of them Singita Lebombo is doing the best but I know they qare also unhappy with the road network they are allowed.

cruisinred
I am not to sure about why these lodges are being advertised at discounted rates on MT-Beds, but at those prices one would expect a safari game drive similar to the lodges in the Sabi Sands.
I seriously did have a great time, but something has to be done if these concessions are going to compete at the same rates as the SS lodges.
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Feb 4th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Hi Matt,

The Singita rangers have complained about the restrictions placed on them at Lebombo since the beginning. Fellow guests at some of the places I stayed at on the Panorama Route have also reported seeing the Singita vehicles on the same tourist roads as the self-drivers.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 4th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Julian,

I would not be too pleased if I was paying Singita Lebombo/Sweni prices, only to do game drives on the same public roads where others are doing self-drives.

Makes me wonder if Singita Lebombo/Sweni are able to get any return customers. While I was at Singita Boulders, one of the guests was already making her fourth visit in the last couple years, but I cannot imagine Lebombo/Sweni enjoying the same kind of loyalty from their guests.
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Feb 4th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Hi Rocco,

I wouldn't be too pleased either, which is why I'd never stay at Lebombo or Sweni (aside from the aesthetics of the lodges, which really don't do anything for me). If I do Singita, I'll stay at Ebony or Boulders.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 4th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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Out of curiosity -- why did you choose Boulders over Ebony?

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 4th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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Julian,

Singita Boulders was the only option, due to availability, but I loved it and preferred it to Ebony, which I visited one day during my stay.

I was lucky to get into Singita, at all, because it was really a last minute type booking, a couple weeks before I arrived. I bought some budget package from www.skyauction.com, and typical me, I completely upgraded it.

Originally I was supposed to stay at the Skukuza Rest Camp, but upgraded by about four stars to Singita!

If I remember correctly, here was my first soujourn into Southern Africa:

Rosebank Hotel, Joburg (1) (This was the only hotel I did NOT upgrade, but it was nice enough, a 4* hotel just a block away from the Grace)

Singita Boulders, Sabi Sand (2) (I could not afford a longer stay, and had no idea about all the surrounding lodges...I only knew that Singita was voted #1 in the world, and that is where I wanted to visit)

Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town (4)

Matetsi Water Lodge, Victoria Falls (3)

Victoria Falls Hotel (1) (unplanned, my flight, the last one of the day out of Victoria Falls was cancelled...Matetsi had supposedly reconfirmed my flight and as a result of their screw-up, they put me up in a suite at the VF Hotel, full board)

Mount Nelson Hotel (3) (I was supposed to spend two nights here and two nights at La Grande Roche, but with the extra unexpected night in VF, I did not want to spend only one night at the Mount Nelson, and we liked Cape Town so much we decided to spend all three nights at the Mount Nelson.

Obviously back then, I had no idea on how to plan an itinerary. With the extra costs of flying all the way back to Joburg, I may have been able to afford to add Hwange at Makalolo Plains. With the same 14 nights, had I had Fodors to plan it out, I would have done this:

Table Bay Hotel (5)
Matetsi Water Lodge (3)
Makalolo Plains (3)
Rosebank Hotel (1)
Singita (2) (given that this was all that was within my budget)
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