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Trip report; private reserves @Kruger. Pt.3: Elephant Plains

Trip report; private reserves @Kruger. Pt.3: Elephant Plains

Nov 12th, 2010, 11:41 PM
  #1  
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Trip report; private reserves @Kruger. Pt.3: Elephant Plains

Elephant plains is in Sabi Sands GR, near Kruger, South Africa.

As usual I put some pics in the report (and video too), so the real report is here:

http://www.aardvarktravel.net/chat/v...ic.php?t=47715

...but feel free to comment or ask any questions here in this thread on Fodors. I'll be glad to answer them.

Ciao,

J.

PS. previous parts of trip report are here:
1) Africa On Foot, Klaserie NR: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ca-on-foot.cfm
2) Shindzela, Timbavati NR: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...-shindzela.cfm (WARNING: THIS ONE LACKS THE TRIP REPORT TAG)
pixelpower is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 07:54 AM
  #2  
 
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Great photos Pixel - as with your other reports from this trip. I found your description of EP enlightening. Seems like others on this forum LOVE EP, but your description doesn't make me very likely to elect this lodge. I'm looking at my first trip to SA and Bots, so in the early stage of planning. Thanks for your comments.
Cateyes555 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 02:36 AM
  #3  
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Hey Cateyes555,

I was a bit afraid that my report would be interpreted in a bit of a negative way :-s

To be clear; I recommend the lodge.

I mean, OK, it is the typical "hotel in the bush that caters for regular tourists that are afraid to leave their home if their holiday location does not have 5 starts present after the name" (I'm putting up a cliché purposely here). But they are (almost) all like that in Sabi Sands. At least EP is still affordable!

And yes, it has some less good points, but no lodge is perfect.

You have to look at the broader picture. Take the trip we had, for example. We've been at...
- AOF/Klaserie (fantastic guiding and walking safaris but a bit less game sometimes when compared to Sabi Sands)
- Shindzela/Timbavati (perfect tents and location, but no traversing rights nor sharing sightings with other lodges ...which can be a little negative effect as well sometimes)
- Pungwe/Manyeleti (idem as Shindzela but the tents are a little less good in my eyes; see my trip report that I will be posting in the upcoming week).

...if you add EP to that, then it fits in perfectly, as it is again a different area, a change of pace and, and: a different type of safari (a perfect type to "up" your photo count, for instance).

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 02:42 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi Pixel - I understand you were not putting down EP. I guess I am finding it more confusing reading about lodges/options in South Africa, than when I went to Tanzania and we did luxury tent camping. That's what I'd like to reproduce - proximity to animals/nature. Clearly your rondavel surrounded by others and with glass windows did not provide this - as you pointed out. I don't mind staying in a hard sided structure (as opposed to a canvas one) as long as I can step out on a porch or deck and look out upon Africa. But I also don't want to pay premium prices to do so. I've got a lot of studying ahead to try to make this happen I guess.

Thanks for your comments!
Cateyes555 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 05:08 AM
  #5  
 
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Jochen-

Great trip report, and even better photographs. I really look forward to reading more and seeing any more images from the safari.

All the best-

Andy
andybiggs is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 11:11 AM
  #6  
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@ Cateyes;

Ok, good to hear my message was not misunderstood The thing you are looking for DOES exist in the Kruger Area, but it is not so common.

I mean; we did a private tented camp safari with Ewan Masson in Botswana (see trip report here; http://www.aardvarktravel.net/chat/v...ic.php?t=37455 ) and we were looking to reproduce the same thing in or around Kruger. Now, we found some offers that looked very similar, but the biggest problem is that apparently Kruger does not have private campsites.

So we decided to go for some good-value bush camps in the private reserves around Kruger, and we did not regret our decision.

While looking for info on Kruger, we came upon other types of safari that we may try in the future. Like pure walking safaris. Check out Rhino Walking Safaris (http://www.rws.co.za ) for example. It is a tad expensive, and all in one area (south-west of Kruger), but the offer looks great. Plus you can prolongue your stay in one of their tented camps and do some regular game drives. However, they are not allowed to off-road there (nowhere within the private concessions that are IN the actual park).

So you see; there's plusses and minuses for every available option out there. I think the best is to combine at least two places.

Happy hunting (*),

J.

(* I mean hunting for lodges eh, NOT animals, lol)
pixelpower is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 11:17 AM
  #7  
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@ Andy; hey man, how are you doing?

Any upcoming trip, or are you back from one? I could always go for some pics of yours too. Food for the soul! Any new pics online?

Ciao,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 09:23 AM
  #8  
 
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Thanks for the report. I really enjoyed your photos! Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for details and background on pricing. That fills in some blanks for me. I laughed when I got to the marshmallow. And the jeep math was helpful too.

Maybe the tracker was upset about picking up the bottle because he felt he was being ordered to do something the rest of you would not. In reality, he was positioned best to grab the bottle.

Great photos, especially the leopards, and especially that one at night. Really stunning!
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 10:44 PM
  #10  
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Hey Lynn,

Thanks!

Note that tourist are not allowed to get out of the car while on gamedrive, so...


;-)

B.regs,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Nov 16th, 2010, 02:28 AM
  #11  
 
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Jochen, I just got back from the Sabi Sands myself. Trying to sort through tons of raw files, as well as other work that has been waiting for me here at home.
andybiggs is offline  
Nov 16th, 2010, 03:38 AM
  #12  
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Aha! Show us some pics, K?

I am back there end May begin June. If we can meet up let me know!
pixelpower is offline  

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