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trvlcrzy May 4th, 2006 03:59 AM

Tintswalo vs. Sabi Sabi
Frantically working to put together a trip for our family of four in July. An agent has recommended either the Manor House at Tintswalo or Sabi Sabi. She is sending me cost differences, but I also want to know "experience differences". Any better game viewing at one over the other??

napamatt May 4th, 2006 05:42 AM

Sabi sabi is located in the best game viewing area in South Africa, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. You may want to search the forum for threads relating to both Sabi Sabi and the SSGR.

There have been some negatives about Sabi Sabi recently, while many fodorites rave about Mala Mala, Londolozi, Simbambili and others.

I have never heard of Tintswalo, where is it?

Zenz May 4th, 2006 05:44 AM

I believe that Tintswalo is a relatively new establishment based in the Manyeleti area. I do not know the camp but a number of years ago visited the Manyeleti and compared to Sabi Sabi and the Sabi Sand regarding game viewing it definately is not as good, but things could have changed for the better in recent times. Sabi Sabi and of course the whole of the Sabi Sand has an incredible reputation for fabulous game sightings especially leopard. Sabi Sabi has also been around for 30 odd years and has proven itself as a safari destination.
Have a great trip.

trvlcrzy May 5th, 2006 08:21 AM

Here is the blurb I received on Tintswalo: "exclusive safari lodge under traditional grassing. Situated on a private Manyeleti Reserve concession with the Greater Kruger Natl Park....abounding in big five game and spectacular bird life. Manyeleti is unique for its minimal vehicle density and so offering a true exclusive safari experience."
Tintswalo falls in the 4* category vs. Sabi Sabi Bush lodge in the 5*. Game viewing is more important than luxury to us for the safari.

napamatt May 5th, 2006 11:29 AM

Whats your budget for the safari portion

trvlcrzy May 5th, 2006 11:44 AM

Just seemed strange that so little has been said on this board about Tintswalo if it truly has good game viewing. No one has posted much on it since early '05.

trvlcrzy May 5th, 2006 11:47 AM

to be honest, haven't broken down the per activity budget. have thought of it more as the total trip price. With a famiy of 4 travelling, was hoping to keep our 10 day trip (11 July - 21 July) to about 10K, not including transatlantic flights (using miles for those). seems like a lot of our expense is coming from the flights within africa. current route/schedule has us beginning in Capetown, then to Safari, then to Livingstone before heading back to U.S.

santharamhari May 5th, 2006 09:52 PM

Never heard of Tintswalo before....especially, when it is being compared to Sabi Sabi. Honestly, if you are looking at going to Sabi'd be better off going to some of the recommendations on this board in terms of quality game viewing. A friend of mine just returned from Ngala and talked very highly about the game viewing there.....lions, leopard and cheetah. I think they spent 3 nights.

HildeV May 6th, 2006 04:56 AM

Tintswalo is located in Manyeleti Game Reserve.
Here you are not allowed to drive offroad.
Game viewing in May 2005 was far less than in Sabi Sands, but at certain times, the guide would stop the jeep and we were allowed to walk up to giraffes or elephants in the distance. (This was not possible in Sabi Sands) Very nice experience! We didn't see any of the big cats though.
Our camp was Honeyguide tented camp in Manyeleti and our guide told us that Tintswalo was a far nicer lodge but maybe a bit overpriced as it was located in Manyeleti and not in Sabi Sands.
If you have to make a choice, I would go for Sabi Sands, if you want to visit both , do Tintswalo first and Sabi Sands secondly.
Would I visit Manyeleti again? Definitely, but not if this was the only game reserve I was able to stay in during my trip.
hope this helped.
Go to the following link and read the "latest news " page of Honeyguide Tented Camps. Seems like they did meet quite some cats lately in Manyeleti.

HildeV May 6th, 2006 04:57 AM

sorry, forgot the link

Thandi May 6th, 2006 07:49 AM

Hi. I live in SA & have stayed at over 26 luxury private game lodges. We make sure we go at least once every year, to recharge batteries & rekindle the soul! Tintswalo is one of the newer lodges & not much known about it. Must be good, the prices are exceptionally high! There are so many lodges today, a new one opens almost every month! Are you staying at Sabi Sabi Selati, Bush or Earth Lodge. There is a difference between Sabi Sabi (a private game lodge) & Sabi Sands (the area). As Sabi Sabi, the open vehicles do go off road for Big 5 (Elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo & leopard). As this is one of the oldest lodges, the animals are very accustomed to the vehicles & come up very close. For some this is great game viewing, for seasoned safari visitors, some prefer the newer lodges as the animals are more "skittish" & makes the safari more exciting. Have you checked out both websites? Are you staying in 2 rooms at Sabi Sabi? How many nights on safari? Have you checked out Conservation Corporation on, particularly Londolozi & Kwandwe. Perhaps consider a self drive from Cape Town, drive through the garden route with a stay at Kwandwe, fly to Jnb for flight to Livingstone? Spectacular scenery along the coastal route. Bring lots of layers of warm clothing for safari, gloves, scarves, head gear (cap/woollen beanie). Early morning/late afternoon game drives are extremely cold particularly due to wind chill factor. Enjoy! Stunning experience - good for the mind, body & soul. A massage in the bush goes down well too. No tv, no radio, no noise - just the sights, sounds and smell of the African bush. Mmmm, time to go back!

trvlcrzy May 9th, 2006 08:19 AM

After researching Tintswalo and Manor House, I got really excited about going there...especially after the glowing emails I received about it from the agent. Can't tell you how disappointed I was this morning to receive her email telling me it wasn't available at all during our trip. UGH! Back to the drawing board!!
I HAVE to get my international flight reservation ticketed tomorrow afternoon, and thanks to this forum I learned that I could get a stopover on my mileage award ticket. That at least helps with the cost of a Johannesburg-Capetown flight. (they didn't show ANY availability for award travel from Hoedspruit to Jburg, unfortunately) Ok, so my big question now is: at which lodge would YOU want to stay if you were flying into Hoedspruit AND/OR would you rather splurge and go to Sabi Sabi Bush lodge....i.e. is it worth the expense?

brandywine May 9th, 2006 10:43 AM


So you already have a flight into Hoedspruit, is that correct. That airport is to the north of Sabi Sands. I believe that the easiest lodge to get to from Hoedspruit would be Ngala, which is a CCAfrica camp. There are two lodges on their property, the main camp (which has very good winter rates in July) and a smaller tented camp (which gives you the oppurtunity to actually sleep in "luxury" tents). Website:

I think you could also get to the northern part of Sabi Sands to a camp such as Simbambili or a less expensive option of Elephant Plains.

However, if you are flying directly from Cape Town to your safari, then you would be flying into Nelspruit/Kruger airport (which is more to the south), not Hoedspruit. Are you sure you are flying into Hoedspruit? You can also fly directly from JNB into some of the safari camps in Sabi Sands on smaller planes. Since your trip is only two months away, it's hard to say where there will be availibilty.

Also, are old are your kids, that may make a difference on where you go.

trvlcrzy May 9th, 2006 06:24 PM

My "kids" are 18 and 21. We don't have the safari flights booked yet, but I literally need to get my reservations ticketed TOMORROW! Have reservations in place for home to JNB and then to CPT with the reverse return. I will drop a portion of that most likely and take advantage of the "stopover" so that I can start my trip in Livingstone/Vic Falls, then head to safari (no air flights booked yet), then to CPT via JNB, then back home from CPT. Can get the JNB-CPT flight included in my award ticket, but I need to know it tomorrow!! aaaggghhh!!

sniktawk May 17th, 2006 07:16 AM

I visited Tinstwalo shortly after it opened two years ago it is certainly luxurious. You should note that in theory there is no off road excursions, you share the park others, and the game viewing when we were there was not exciting.Sabi Sands has far more "wildlife" .Avoid the smaller lodges with small concessions, and be prepared to queue for some time. If you are looking for an element of exclusivity and comfort and are prepared to pay the prices then Londolozi and Mala Mala are the only option.

trvlcrzy May 17th, 2006 07:51 PM

How would you compare Mala Mala and Londolozi to Sabi's Bush lodge?

santharamhari May 17th, 2006 09:51 PM


Expect far better game viewing at Londolozi or Mala Mala compared to Sabi Sabi. SS is in an area that battles with other lodges for game viewing. There have been not so good reviews on this board.

By far, the most popular on this board in terms of quality game viewing are.....Londolozi, Mala Mala and Simbambilli. IMO, the people on this board are more resourceful about Africa than most other sources.


KayeN May 17th, 2006 10:56 PM

Hi trvlcrzy,

Would have to agree with Hari. I have not been to Sabi Sabi, but have been to Lion Sands which appears to share some common roads, and the traffic is this area is horrific, way too many vehicles and way too many people in each vehicle. Last December, we came across a Sabi Sabi vehicle that had at least 10-12 passengers in it! It looked dangerous, even though some were obviously children, but they were 4 to a row.

Kind regards,

Roccco May 17th, 2006 11:26 PM

It seems fair to reason that the busiest times in the Sabi Sand would be December/January for Europeans and then mid June - August for Americans.

The only time I have encountered children in camp was during a mid June visit to Vuyatela. However, in a March visit to Singita and a mid September visit to Simbambili, there were no children in camp and I don't recall seeing them in the other vehicles either.

Where I am going with this is that, if looking to avoid the crowds, the Sabi Sand is probably best visited from about March - May, and then again from about mid September to late November.

I would be interested in hearing others experiences in relation to the time of year they visited.

I do have an early November visit to Sabi Sabi coming up, but given the time I am visiting, I am hopeful to avoid overcrowding.

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