Which rooms to book at Singita Lebombo/Sweni

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May 5th, 2004, 02:42 PM
  #1
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Which rooms to book at Singita Lebombo/Sweni

In planning my 2004 South African safari I would like to know which rooms to book at Singita's Sweni and Lebombo lodges.I see CN travel magazine mentions suite number 5 at Lebombo but no info on Sweni Lodge.I truly believe every lodge has a few rooms that are in a better location with a nicer view etc.All advice appreciated!
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May 5th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Safarinut,

Due to the fact that Sweni just recently opened, you may be hard pressed to find someone that has already visited. Perhaps contacting the Singita directly would be your only option, although they are likely to tell you that whatever lodge has an opening, if the others are already taken, is the best lodge. Then again, chances are that the other guests did not request a particular room and you will have first choice!
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May 5th, 2004, 02:58 PM
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By the way, were you salivating as much as I was after reading that write-up on Lebombo/Sweni in Conde Nast Traveler?!

That article was enough to make me go from swearing off Singita forever, to wanting to get back there as soon as humanly possible. Next year will have to be good enough. Until then I will allow you to visit and let me know which room is the best!
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May 5th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Roccco

After every expensive safari I promise myself never again and then after working for a few months I start planning the next one!(maybe I'll grow up one day)I find it very important to know which room to request as once you're there it's too late to cry.

For example suite 8 and 9 at Boulders don't have river views and knowing that I booked suite nr 1 with a magnificent view of the Sand River.

The lodge as you point out correctly usually replies that all rooms have nice views,but I will ask them.

Yes,that was a great article but I was planning a trip the day Singita won the bid for this concession,just thought I should see Boulders first(glad I did,but will never return) Roccco I know this area of Kruger well and always had great sightings there.

I hope someone visits before I book.
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May 5th, 2004, 06:38 PM
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Well here is a provisional itinerary:

2 nights at Nerina lodge,Tinga Private Game Reserve,KNP

2 nights at Ivory lodge,Lion Sands,SSGR

5 nights new Harry's Mala Mala,SSGR

3 nights Tintswalo Safari lodge,Manyeleti Game Reserve

2 nights Singita Lebombo,KNP

3 nights Singita Sweni,KNP

Total of 17 nights on safari...just about right!

Cost depends on exchange rate!


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May 6th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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safarinut,

I am curious...does Mrs. Safarinut accompany you for 17 straight nights in the bush or does she kick back in Cape Town or elsewhere for part of the time?

I, personally, would love to do 17 nights straight but would have a hard time with Mrs. Rocco if I did book 17 nights straight. Still waiting to see how she is going to handle 11 straight nights in Zambia, and I would never dare such a feat if most of the time was not with top-notch Star Of Africa lodges.

Your itinerary looks great. One thing is certain, you will not lose much time transferring between lodges.

Have you already been to Botswana? How about Zimbabwe or Zambia?

I cooked up an itinerary of my own that I am favoring for September, 2005:

Kaingo, South Luangwa (3 nights) $1,350 Total

Mwamba, South Luangwa (2 nights) $800 Total

Sausage Tree Camp, Lower Zambezi (4 nights) $3,200 Total

A Room With A View, Joburg (1 night) $250 Total

Mala Mala, Sabi Sand (3 nights) $3,000 Total

Singita Sweni, Kruger NP (3 nights) $5,450 Total

Atlantic House?, Cape Town (3 nights) $900 Total

Misty Beach Chateau, Hermanus (2 nights) $400 Total

Zambian Air Transfers $1,000 Total

South African Air/Road Transfers $1,150 Total

GRAND TOTAL - $17,500 USD for high season in South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and hopefully Kruger/Sabi Sand. Cape Town should be nice enough by mid to late September and I do think that spending a couple days with the whales in Hermanus would be a very nice way to end the trip.

I really do not want to spend more than about $17,500. I could do this cheaper in June but do not wish to endure bad weather in Cape Town, shoulder season in Zambia and no whale viewing to save only $1,500. If I did do it in June, I would cancel Sabi Sand/KNP in favor of nine nights at Kwando's lodges for about $2,000 USD less than three fewer nights at Mala Mala & Singita.

I foresee a nervous breakdown for an agent or two on next years trip, but at least I am researching diligently before bothering any agents. Unfortunately, Kwando, Mala Mala and Singita will all require tour operators/travel agents.
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May 6th, 2004, 07:14 PM
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Roccco

No I could never get her to do more than 10 nights before and likely never will.I don't mind going alone though.

She's been to Lion Sands and Mala Mala before so will skip those.She will meet me at Tintswalo lodge and spend eight days on safari not missing Singita of course!

Her parents live in White River so who knows what they will plan.

I've been to Zimbabwe several times including Kariba, Matusadona National Park,Hwange National Park and Victoria falls,Zambia once but not on safari though.

Every time I plan a safari there's never time to head up north as I always get ''stuck''in the SSGR.I am only 30 years old so I suppose there's still enough time left...I hope!We go to Africa every year so soon there won't be any lodges left in the SSGR to see,if they would just stop building new ones!!! I really love this place!!

I am in a comfort zone in the SSGR and know what I will get for my money and has never been disappointed.Reading how Clematis had a bummer at Mombo gave me chills,as this will mean I leave Africa disappointed and will have to wait a year to return.I know.. there's been hundreds that had a wonderful time at Mombo I am maybe just using this as an excuse to go to the SSGR AGAIN!

Well after this trip I will definitely plan for Zambia or Botswana,really want to see Mombo and Duba Plains in Botswana and Saugage Tree and Chiawa in Zambia.

I know the scenery in Zambia and Botswana is hard to beat,maybe the feel as well it's just I have followed different predators around the SSGR some for longer than five years and will have to check on them once more!

Your itinerary looks great Roccco,DONT MISS MALA MALA AGAIN.

I have always booked directly with Mala Mala myself but was shocked to see a website (can't remember now which one)showing rates at $25pp/night less!

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May 13th, 2004, 06:58 PM
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Safarinut,

What do you think of this itinerary?

Late August - Mid September
Kwando Lagoon (4)
Kwando Kwara (4)
Joburg (1)
Mala Mala (3)
Simbambili (3)
Singita Lebombo (3)
Cape Town (4)

Does it matter if I do Mala Mala or Simbambili in any particular order? Also, are the plunge pools at Simbambili, to the best of your knowledge, heated? I had an unheated plunge pool at Vuyatela and it was completely useless in mid-June, and I don't think mid-September will be too much warmer.

I am encouraged to see Simbambili after seeing the "Leopards Of Simbambili" footage on Taga Safaris website. It is truly amazing footage and since Simbambili borders Mala Mala, and I would like more than six days in the Sabi Sand, it seems like a good idea.

What do you think, and are there any specific rooms I should be considering at Simbambili?

Thanks.
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May 14th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Rocco
The plunge pools at Simbambili are not heated. As for a particular room my favourite is room no 1 because it is close to the lounge/dining area. All the rooms have the same view so from this aspect it does not matter.
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May 18th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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I returned from Lebombo about 10 days ago, and had a great time. We stayed for only two nights, the service and food was fabulous, and the ranger and tracker we had (Leonard and Hilario) were very knowledgeable.

Our lodge was 14, but unfortunately the view was obscured by the trees. Our friends were next door at 12 and they had a fabulous view of the river. However although there was no view it was not worth changing suites as we were staying such a short time and were so busy - we had very little time in our suite anyway.

Half the suites were being repaired - they had found various things wrong since opening and were putting them right during our stay. What's so special about suite 5? I haven't seen the CM travel magazine...
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May 18th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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the heated plunge pool discussion is interesting. do ANY lodges have heated plunge pools?
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May 18th, 2004, 05:22 PM
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mhron,

If you wish to visit the very beautiful South Luangwa National Park, in Zambia, Kafunta River Lodge has a natural hot spring jacuzzi that works every bit as well as a heated pool/jacuzzi.

While it will not bubble up like a jacuzzi, nor reach 100+ degrees, I would say that it is a constant very cozy 90 degrees in the natural hot spring jacuzzi and the views are just incredible. There is a neighboring swimming pool (unheated, I believe).

The best part is that one can visit Kafunta for perhaps $250 per person per night sharing, if you are a halfway decent negotiator.

Here is a great picture of the natural hot spring and jacuzzi, as well as the view that is offered:

http://www.luangwa.com/riverlodge.htm

While the food I ate at Kafunta was mediocre, the overall experience was excellent. The owners, Ron and Anke, are very nice and really take an interest in their guests and seem to treat the staff with a lot of respect.

Kafunta River Lodge is an excellent value and the game viewing was pretty good, even in early June of last year. By August and September, I am sure that the gameviewing is excellent.
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