Trip Itinerary - Please Critique

Mar 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Trip Itinerary - Please Critique

Planning a short trip to SA this September/October. Right now this is the tentative itinerary -

Day 1 - Depart London
Day 2 - Arrive Jo'burg, around 7 am. Drive towards Tuli Block, Botswana to arrive around 1300 at Ponts Drift Border. Transfer to Mashatu Tented Camp.
Day 3 - Mashatu Tented Camp
Day 4 - Mashatu Tented Camp
Day 5 - Mashatu Tented Camp
Day 6 - Leave Mashatu towards Kruger with overnight at a lodge midway between Tuli Block and Ngala.
Day 7 - Ngala Walking Trail
Day 8 - Ngala Walking Trail
Day 9 - Ngala Walking Trail
Day 10 - Mala Mala
Day 11 - Mala Mala
Day 12 - Mala Mala
Day 13 - Overnight to London

Mala Mala lodges and Mashatu are all under Rattrays ownership - Do they offer discounts for stays of 7 nights or more?

Any suggestions?
amolkarnik is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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I think that looks great. If you find out about a deal for 7 nights, please post it.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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I am wondering how you selected Ngala?!
We are staying at Ngala Main Lodge in October and also at Mala Mala. Many people here rave about MM; but hardly anyone at all ever mentions Ngala Main Camp. Our agent highly recommended Ngala (as well as MM).
wkwb42a is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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You can't go wrong with Mashatu Tented Camp and MalaMala. I loved both of those camps.

I haven't heard of Ngala so I googled it and the second link listed was this review. It says the tented camp provides one of the best game-viewing experiences outside of Sabi Sand and that the walking safari is highly recommended. It doesn't speak very highly of the Ngala Main Camp but I'm not sure if the negatives are based on the price/accomodations or the game viewing. I would imagine the game viewing is in the same place so maybe they think it's overpriced.

I think you will have a great trip! Also, I haven't heard of any discounts at MM for lengthy stays.
sundowner is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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The only Mala Mala, Mashatu package that I've seen includes Pafuri (a Wilderness Camp) in the north of Kruger. See:

We stayed three nights at Ngala Tented last September and loved the game drives--saw large herds of buffalo and elephants, and lots of lions. I liked the remote feeling of the area and the small size of the camp. It was lovely.

cw is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Thanks all for your replies.

atravelynn - Mala Mala have confirmed that they have 'currently' embargoed all deals on long stays. It probably means that they are available at other times.

wkwb42a - Ngala is one of the few reputed operations in the Kruger area offering dedicated walking trails. Ngala along with Phinda are the only CC Africa walking trails in SA that are highly recommended. I had to stick to the Kruger area for logistical reasons, thus Ngala. We plan to visit Mala Mala after Ngala for 3 nights

sundowner - I have read reviews that rate the Ngala tented camp higher than the Ngala main camp (albeit at a higher price). Ngala is located in the Timbavati reserve bordering Kruger and close to Singita, so I suspect the game viewing is on par but probably not as good as Mala Mala. However at ZAR 4500 pp for the 3 night walking trail, it excellent value for money. The walking trails camps are in a remote location. It is a CC Africa operation, so unlikely to be a compelete let down.

cw - Have emailed Wilderness about the package you highlighted. Shall post if I hear back. Some experienced Africa travellers we know are currently visiting Mashatu and Pafuri, so I shall have first hand feedback in a couple of weeks.

amolkarnik is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Thank you. I would be very interested in your friends' accounts of Mashatu and Pafuri.

cw is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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I'm at Ngala Tented Camp for four nights in September, followed by four nights each at Dulini, Mala Mala and Londolozi. A bit over board on Sabi Sands but still....

I spoke to the guide I had at Londolozi last year and he was from the Timbavati area. His comments were that the main camp is at the end of a long, thin strip of land (near the airfield) and it takes nearly 30 mintes drive to reach the main game viewing areas. The Tented Camp on the other hand is actually in the main game viewing area.

If you have seen the map of the rserve (in the CC Africa 2005 annual) you can see this quite clearly.

Tanky is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 09:00 PM
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Amol: looks like a great itinerary. For your overnight between Mashatu and Ngala you may want to check out the Coach House in Tzaneen. I have not been but it was highly recommended to me when I looked at doing the same drive. Hopefully I will be doing a similar itinerary in the future.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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Just to clarify -

The concession at Timbavati where Ngala is based has 2 properties on it- Ngala Main Camp, Ngala Tented Camp.

The walking safari is conducted on the same property here.
amolkarnik is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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I have decided to amend this itinerary to drop Mala Mala and instead include Pafuri.

I have been quoted £445 pp for 3 nights (rack rate ZAR 1900 pppn) for Pafuri.

I also have 2 brochures for Pafuri, so have a spare one going in case anyone wants it (email me your address and I'll send it).
amolkarnik is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:50 AM
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From what i can gather though industry talk wilderness are promoting a new route jo'burg - Parfuri - Mashatu - jo'burg,

pafuri camp looks stunning &

Malamala and ngala are great kruger options BTW I would maybe swap ngala for Pafuri unless it is purely the walking that you are after.

Which lodge in Malamala are you looking at?
GavinAfr is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 04:20 AM
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GavinAfr - I will be keeping Pafuri on the itinerary and its being swapped in for Mala Mala (main camp).

Ngala is mostly to do some walking which we love.

amolkarnik is offline  
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