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Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

delhi
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Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

Hi!

Planning to travel to SA on family vacation. Out of 11 people, 4 people are 70-75 yrs (grandparents) & a under 6 yrs kid as well.

Confused between choosing sabi sands vs a more conveniently located game reserve like Shamwari or Gondwana?

- what's the pros & cons, traveling in June 1st week

- is it too rainy in garden route area

- how different are the experiences, 1st safari for most

- best game reserve along the garden route area

- diff between shamwari & Gondwana

- experience & convenience more imp that budget

- all of us are vegetarians

Looking forward to ur advise, thanks!!

Kruger National...
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1. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

Hi there!

Sounds like you have a great trip ahead!

Let me see if I can assist with your questions.

-what's the pros & cons, traveling in June 1st week?

Well, for the Kruger area, this is prime game viewing time. It is our dry season here, which means that the bush itself thins out (due to the non-existent rain fall), allowing for very easy game spotting and viewing. Further to this, the animals also tend to gather around water holes which makes for great viewing too.

The temperatures are mild, being warm in the day (19 degrees or so) but cooler at night (I suggest packing warm layers for the game drives!).

In short, June is prime game viewing time in the Kruger.

- is it too rainy in garden route area?

I have not been to the garden route area during this time, so maybe some someone from there can help you? But, just going on the weather patterns, June/July generally come along with rain in the Cape.

- how different are the experiences, 1st safari for most

Well, the Kruger is South Africa's premiere game viewing area - being over 2,2 million hectares in size, and with over 146 mammal species, it really is world famous for a reason.

It was established in the late 1800's, so is steeped in romance and history too; Further to this, and arguably most importantly, it is one of the last remaining areas where wildlife actually occurs naturally.

If it is more convenient for you, then an Eastern Cape reserve will be fine, but if time and budget allow, I would go for the 'real deal'.

- best game reserve along the garden route area

Shamwari is quite a good option in my opinion.

- diff between shamwari & Gondwana

I am not sure - maybe someone else can help out here?

- all of us are vegetarians

That's no problem at all - all lodges can easily and happily cater to any dietary requirements.

If you choose the Kruger area, there lodges are great for groups & families;

- Gomo Gomo Game Lodge (Klaserie)

- Elephant Plains (Sabi Sands)

- Kambaku Lodge (Timbavati)

- Simbavati River Lodge (Timbavati)

- Naledi Lodges (Balule)

I would definitely recommend inquiring as soon as possible, because for a group of 11, you will need to book well in advance to secure enough rooms :)

Warmest regards

Jacqui Sive l Owner l Lodge Trackers

New Delhi
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2. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

Thank you very much for such a detailed insight!!

I would definitely try for Kruger, if it doesn't seem doable then we ll go with shamwari?

Is shamwari the best in this region - eastern / western cape region?

Helsinki, Finland
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3. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

Most of the lodges we were looking at, have braai-type of dinners, ie. meat barbeques, open fire etc. If there are strong religious reasons for being a vegetarian, would this feel uncomfortable?

Elephant Plains, the one we eventually booked, is offering vegetarian alternative to one in our group so dietary requests as such are not a problem (I would imagine this is the same everywhere).

4. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

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Removed on: 22 April 2014, 17:42
New Delhi
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5. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

Meat being served is not a problem as long as veg options are there.

I have availability at singita castleton (sabi sand) (agent hasn't given cost yet), shamwari (eastern cape), Gondwana (near knysna)

Please rank in overall terms.

Thank you for all the inputs

Kent
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6. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

If you can't make Kruger I would say Shamwari is the best in the Eastern Cape.

SOUTH AFRICA
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7. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

It would be unfair to try to compare Godwana or Shamwari to Singita Castleton. Singita Castleton definitely out ranks the other 2 in every aspect, but then again, once your agent gives you the pricing, you will see that Singita Castleton is much more expensive, hence they should come out tops on the ranking between these 3 options.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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8. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

It would seem odd to tell you that maybe you need a more knowledgeable agent - but one clue is offering you Singita Castleton without also telling you about how costly it is. It tells us that you are an affluent family, which also tells us that a number of upmarket options are being ignored. Having said that, finding space for 11 guests in June is not going to be easy. Further, lodges that welcome a child that young need to be sought out, too. If you are talking about this June, any discussion of Elephant Plains is irrelevant. They won't have space. Geiger's Camp in the Motswari Reserve has 5 bedrooms, and could probably accommodate the child in an extra bed. There, you have the whole house. 1933 Lodge at Lion Sands might work, depending on whether there are other young people. It has 4 lovely bedrooms and a sort of dormitory for children. Both of the above are richly furnished homes for the owners and their families but are offered to the traveling public, too. Finally, thinking of the reality of finding space for a family as large as yours when you plan to be here in just a couple of months… I could suggest some of the larger lodges such as Thornybush Waterside, Ngala Safari Lodge, Phinda Mountain or Forest Lodges. All good places and lodges that would make that 'extra' effort to give you a specialized vegetarian menu.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Kruger National...
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9. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

Dave has hit the nail on the head - I am concerned that your agent is only offering you three options - there are over 100 lodges in the Kruger area, a good 25% that would suit your needs! I whole heartedly agree with Dave above.

10. Re: Sabi sands vs western/ eastern cape game reserve

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