WOOHOO! I'm going back to Zambia!


Nov 18th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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One of the things I love about the UK is the changing of the seasons... Autumn and Spring are my favourites, in that order. Summer is nice too though I dislike it when it's toooo hot. Winter, with it's long, dark nights and it's grey skies and miserable, cold weather is the one season I dislike but even then, I know that without it I'd have less appreciation of the others...

So I completely understand your enthusiasm to see somewhere in two very different seasons.

I'd do the trip Rocco's planned for you in a heartbeat!
Kavey is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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Hi mate, came looking for you. Have a wonderful time.
mimi, who ....
cigalechanta is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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thit cho,

Hope you tune in to this thread again to see this. Could you elaborate on your comment that Sabi Sands is like the San Diego zoo to you? Because of the abundance of wildlife or the controlled environment? Just trying to get a feel for Sabi Sands (where I've never been) vs. other parts of Africa that I have been.

Of course anybody else's opinion on the zoo comment is of interest to me too.

PS to Thit Cho--I searched for your polar bear trip on the Canada Forum and commented.
atravelynn is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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To be more accurate, my comparison of the Sabi Sands was to the San Diego Wildlife Park, not the zoo in Balboa Park. (As an aside, the zoo is amazing. I travel around the US often for business and make an effort to get to each zoo, and the SD Zoo is by far the very best that I have seen.)

Now, this is just my opinion and there are many that love the Sands, but to me it seems relatively small without the enormous, wide open spaces I associate with Africa (like you see in Etosha, the Okavango, Serengeti, Masai Mara, among others); fences line certain perimeters, and depending on where you stay, there may be times you drive along the fenceline; and, and I know many of you like this, but many lodges name their animals and will say they are going to see Bob the Lion or Carl the Cheetah, which diminishes, to me at least, the "wildness" of the place. Also, some places give you a cerrtificate indicating your successful sightings of the Big 5, which to me seems like the type of thing they hand out when you leave a zoo.

But, it can be beautiful, is easy to get to, has very comfortable lodging, great food and wine, and provides easy opportunities to spot the Big 5.

I have been, and it didn't leave me with the urge to return, like I felt when I left Etosha, Chobe, Okavango, South Luangwa, Serengeti, Masai Mara, and others.

I am returning next year for a safari in South Africa, and I did consider a return visit to the Sabi Sands, but it just didn't excite me -- so I will be spending time on a self-drive in Hluhluwe and Kgalagadi.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Thit Cho

I think that is a really unfortunate characterization which on balance is not helpful. Sure some lodges do have fences on their perimeter, at the risk of incurring Mkhonzo's ire - not Mala Mala, but I think Sabi Sabi does have some fenced perimiters.

As for naming, Mala Mala and Londolozi both give geographic names to Lion prides and territorial Leopard, a practise common in Botswana at least to my knowledge.

As for certificates, that is done at Mala Mala, I think of it is a nice keepsake, many of the children I see there are very excited about it, so it can't be that bad.

Agreed the geograpny is not like the wide open spaces found in other parts of Africa, but that has compensations in the type of game seen, in particular Leopard.

I find the environment no more controlled than in other areas, I have yet to visit any concession in SA or Bots where the radio was not used to relay sightings of some note. IMO Mala Mala handles that better than say Mombo, in that the ranger has an earpiece, so you dont hear the extraneous chatter.

Kavey - Sabi Sand is wonderful, its very different to the areas I have visited in Botswana, but the game and the training / ethics of the guides I have seen has been superb.
Dont let the Sabi Sand snobbery put you off.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Fair points, Napamatt. And, admittedly I did not stay at Mala Mala, and looking at their map, they do seem to have a very large, nice riverfront piece of property. If I do go back, its likely I would try to stay there, assuming I can get in (it seems booked well in advance).
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Hey napa,
You'll not encounter my ire, I make valid points (I believe anyway) which are unbiased. Go back and you'll note that I question that that deserves questioning and do my best to justify arguments, retaining a sence of objectivity. When it comes to accommodation I do not believe that my likes and dislikes are shared by others, consequently I steer away from "punting" any particular lodge and so on.

However when it comes to matters of the environment & the sensibility of game viewing areas, I know my subject and am happy to offer advice.

And on that note:
The entire sabi sand was fenced up until '93. Now it is essentially the north and western boundaries that have the fenceline. That stated Sabi Sabi does have access to the fence, just like Singita, Ulusaba and others. Yes I will agree that the sight of the fence is not idyllic, however as in the case of properties within the reserve, just because you can't see the fence does not mean that it is not there. Essentially the fence affects game movement and this has consequences for all the properties in the sabi sand.

I suppose visiting those properties allows one to "bury ones head in the sand" and live in a la la land environment.

I have to agree with the previous post though, that the S/sands is NOT the wilderness of elsewhere in Africa, that it can never be, however for what it is it is a great reserve and a huge contribution to the conservation poprtfolio of southern Africa. It is a symbol of the success of private enterprise and an examplary model of eco-tourism. It's succes has motivated many similar conservancies in the country, watch the press and keep your eye on the map as the "Royal Zulu" game reserve unfolds in the next decade.

Last chirp: I agree with you on the quality of the guiding inj the sands, overall, but believe that sabi sabi has been the leader in the practise of ranger training for the past eighteen or so years.

I have met too many of their field staff across Africa than I have of any other s/sands private game lodge. Brandon at mombo, Johno Harley, last at lonoz, Chris kruger a wilderness safaris stalwart, paul swart, also at mombo, tony rummerman runs wilderness saf staff training, ian bachelor mobile guide in tanzania, norman mann, wildernes saf, plus plus there are many other that I recall in the madikwe, ezemvelo natal parks etc.
Nuff said enjoy the weekend.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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One other bout of self-criticism. While I indicated that some of the properties have fencelines, I think that's something that we all need to live with if we want to encourage the return of farmland to wildlife habitat. I don't like it, but I much prefer safari property with a fenceline than farmland.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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I like the way you think!
mkhonzo is offline  
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Nov 20th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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I'm sorry, I don't follow your comment to me about Sabi Sands. What is it in response to?
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Nov 20th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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thit cho

I think i've asked you this question before and can't recall an answer.

Which lodge did you visit in the SSGR and how long did you stay?

Congrats Dennis!
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