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Phinda w/tween & teen: Mountain Adjoining Rooms? Forest?

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We leave for S. Africa 7 weeks from yesterday (SOOOO excited) and I'm second-guessing our choice of lodges at Phinda. We'll be first at Londolozi for 3 nights and then at Phinda for 4, then at Kwandwe for 4. We decided to reserve Mountain Lodge at Phinda because it is family-friendly and has adjoining rooms. My understanding is the rooms we have adjoin via a balcony. I thought we'd try putting our 10 and 13-year-old girls in one and husband and I in one but we might put one parent in each room instead. I liked that we can walk between them as I wouldn't want to put my girls on their own in a separate chalet (or whatever they are called) in this situation in case one needed us at night. But I also didn't really want to split up entirely from my husband for 4 nights. Apparently the adjoining rooms don't have the view that the regular rooms do at Mountain - they are more overlooking paths, less private, no mountain view. I hear elephants come and drink from plunge pools at the regular rooms but I'm thinking that wouldn't happen at these more public rooms. So I'm feeling regretful of our choice. Can anyone share any experience of these rooms? Or any experience of staying with kids about the ages of ours in two separate chalets?

I also am feeling it would have been really lovely to stay at the Forest Lodge at Phinda, though I know they don't have any adjoining rooms. Maybe for 2 nights I wouldn't mind having me be with one daughter and husband with the other in separate chalets. Would it be worth it to ask my agent if we'd be able to do 2 nights at each lodge, if there are still rooms available at Forest? Or does it make more sense to stay in one place?

Will we see the sand forest on game drives if we don't stay there?

Thanks so much for any input!

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