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Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

Baltimore, Maryland
7 posts
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Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

Hello!

My fiance and I are planning our first every trip (and safari) to South Africa! We are both so excited that our dream vacation is becoming a reality. We were introduced to Londolozi through friends who recently went to Londolozi Pioneer Camp for their honeymoon. Given that our trip will also be a honeymoon, naturally we thought it would be a good fit for us. We have recently learned how expensive Londolozi is and thus have also been presented with the option to stay at Exeter River Lodge. While Exeter River Lodge seems to be just as beautiful, it is also at a very attractive rate.

Given that this is our first trip, which do you recommend? We do appreciate luxury (it is our honeymoon), but we are also looking for a very warm, family-oriented, not compeltly remote experience. We like to be by ourselves but do enjoy the company of others. I am studying to be a veterinarian so we also would love great guides and rangers, but I imagine the game viewing is great at both locations. Overall, I am just really torn. Is the extra money at Londolozi really worth it for us? It is nearly double Exeter.

Also, if there are other camps similar to Londolozi but closer to Exeter in price, please let me know! Someone help!

Thank you so much!

Johannesburg, South...
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703 posts
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1. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

Hi noodle1824,

Exciting, but at the same time can be a bit confusing, especially if you want everything to be perfect.

Londolozi is fantastic, and they really do strive for service excellence. There are other options at Londolozi like Founders Camp (ZAR8750) and even Varty Camp in the superior rooms(ZAR8750) or the standard(ZAR7650), which are both a bit closer in rate to Exeter River. These rates are for 1-3 night stays, but for longer stays the rate does come down. The game viewing will be equally as good at both. Savanna & Dulini are also fantastic options to consider and both offer honeymoon specials and Pay 3 / Stay 4 specials. Guides & trackers at most of the lodges are generally excellent and really know their stuff, so that shouldn't be a worry at all.

I hope this helps a bit, and gives you a bot more clarity. The truth is that whatever your choice, you will have a truly wonderful honeymoon safari and without doubt will be one of the highlights if not the highlight of your dream vacation!

Regards.

Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

Tailor-Made Safaris & Tours

Washington DC...
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3,976 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

If money were not a factor, I'd say Londolozi. Exeter is an excellent choice, however, with &Beyond always doing their utmost to make your stay memorable. You may be aware that Exeter has a honeymoon special that gives the bride 50% off the going rate. But I think you should also take a look at Dulini, which also has the same honeymoon special. Dulini is the smallest, and most intimate of the camps mentioned, with only six very well appointed chalets. It's a great place to honeymoon (though, in truth, I can say the same about each of the camps).

Although not a vet, I worked for CVM/FDA for many years. But you don't need to be a vet to know that the guides in Sabi Sand are outstanding. Just ask and they'll tell you what you want to know.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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8,492 posts
58 reviews
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3. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

I have just stayed at both Savanna and Dulini - and highly recommend them.. as well as Exeter River. All have specials that can offset some of the costs.. The Honeymoon rates, the 4-for-3 rates, the 4-night rate at Exeter.. Your reference to wanting to stay somewhere that you will interact with others nudges Savanna up a little. All guests dine together.. and you eat in a different setting every evening. The Executive Suites are huge.. and private to the max. Generally in the price range of the other 2 mentioned above. Rangers.. special. Maybe the best of the 3 I mentioned.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Baltimore, Maryland
7 posts
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4. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

Thank you all so much for the help! It seems like every time I think I have chosen a lodge, I learn of a new one that is just as wonderful. It certainly makes the decision very difficult. Despite budget, I am still not willing to let Londolozi go. Dulini seems amazing and I like the small size of the camp. That said, I am a bit nervous about sleeping too far from the main lodge. Are any of these situated in that way?

Also, how does Leopard Hills compare to Londolozi, Dulini, and Exeter?

Thanks!

Mytmoss
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432 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

I do not put Londolozi and Exeter in the same category. While the rooms and service may be similar, I think the Londolozi safari experience is superior by far. You would enjoy them both.

Mike

Johannesburg, South...
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703 posts
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6. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

Hi again noodle1824,

Leopard Hills is very nice, and also quite intimate, but also quite social. It is in the same sector of the reserve as Dulini and Exeter so game viewing will be excellent. They have had a revamp over the past couple of years with all the rooms being upgraded. It is however quite expensive, less than Londolozi Pioneer, but not by much. Londolozi traversers their own land, so you won't see any other vehicles other than Londos vehicles, which is a small difference between the other lodges mentioned like Dulini, Savanna, Exeter, Leopard Hills all of which are in the Western Sector, and all having traversing agreements with each other and the other lodges in that section.

Don't look at too many more options, you'll just get more confused.

Regards again.

Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

Tailor-Made Safaris & Tours

SOUTH AFRICA
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2,537 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

Bottom line is if you have the budget for the more expensive Londolozi, then it definitely is worth the extra cost. If you can't stretch the budget that far, then Exeter River remains an excellent option.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Baltimore, Maryland
7 posts
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8. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

wonderful, thank you so much for the very helpful information. I have one final set of questions.

In addition to the lodges in Sabi Sands, we also looked at the following places;

Ulusaba River Room or Rock Cliff Room in Safari or Rock Lodges

Phinda Mountain Lodge in Phinda Private Game Reserve

Thanda Safari Lodge in Thanda Private Game Reserve

Any thoughts on these and how they compare to Londolozi?

Again, sorry to keep bringing new ones into the mix. I promise this is the last set. This is our first trip to Africa and we may not be able to come back for a few years. There are so many wonderful options out there that it really is overwhelming!

danielle

SOUTH AFRICA
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2,537 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

In my experience not one of these lodges would compare to Londolozi. My first choice of the additional lodges you have mentioned, would be Ulusaba Rock Cliff followed by Ulusaba River and then Phinda Mountain.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Johannesburg, South...
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703 posts
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10. Re: Londolozi or Exeter River Lodge

I agree with Tanya, and if not Londolozi then I would rather consider Dulini, Savanna or Exeter River over the other lodges you mentioned.

Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

Tailor-Made Safaris & Tours