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St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Johannesburg, South...
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St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

I simply can't make up my mind. I haven't ever been to this area in 8 years and have always been there in winter. We'll be spending 3 nights in Pongola nature reserve, 2 nights in Ndumo and then I've got 4 nights I can't decide on. I've got to start booking now since the dates are 30th December to 3rd January.

We are looking for self-catering where we can have our own braai and enjoy some good wine and I'd really like to have a bit of a view, don't want to be stuck in a backyard or look into another building. Would also prefer for the place to have aircon and not thousands of kids around. Any recommendations?

We are doing this trip to northern KZN especially for the birds, which is why we are going to the more rustic Ndumo instead of Tembe. Anyone know of Tembe does game drives for day visitors? Would love to just pop in, but will come back another time for a proper visit.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Yes miki it certainly can be done. Our party of 5 decided to do a day excursion from Hluhluwe to Sodwana Bay and beyond. I happened to look at the map at saw Tembe which we had never been to but 2 of our party myself included were avid watchers of their live webcam. So it didn’t take much convincing to drive onto Tembe taking pot luck to see if we could get someone to tour us around in the park. We had 2 vehicles neither were 4 x 4. We just rolled up at the gate and went into the reception and asked. The kind receptionist offered us 2 options, one driver from the Tembe staff and the other from Masizwane Lodge. The latter was cheaper so went engaged the services of their guide to do a 3 hr. visit through Tembe. As a result of that very first excursion 4 of our party returned the next year for a 4 day visit. Funnily enough our guide from the first time had left Masizwane and was one of the guides in Tembe and was our designated driver for the duration of our stay We did a short trip into Ndumo before we checked into Tembe (last year ) and it is only a 40 minute trip down the road to Tembe.

We have stayed in Kosi Bay ( Kosi Bay Lodge ) as well as Mpila tented camp in Imfolozi but neither were air conditioned and it was in Sept so I don’t know how comfortable it would be Dec and Jan w / o . Both also had brais. I will say that KB to really get the most out of it a 4 x 4 is best. We had one so we could go into the coastal reserves, no hassle and not have to rely on 1 of the tour / lodge operators. St Lucia would have more choices re accommodation but a totally different ambience and more crowded.

Hope you get to see Tembe ~~(PS I have TA reviews on the aforementioned if you want more detail.)

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Forgot to say with regard to the Tembe day visit we arrived at around 1pm on the day and being lunchtime and non game drive times the drivers weren't at their busiest had it been in "peak time " it may not have been possible as there is a limited number of vehcles available. Also, we never saw another safari vehicle driving around at that time and when we stopped at Mahlasela Hide/Pan ( where the web cam is located ) we had the whole place to ourselves. Its worth bearing in mind actual the time you might be best fronting up there. Might be worth emailing them to ask if its possible to book a vehicle / driver.

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Thanks! I'll then definitely try and arrange a drive there. Can you recall how much you paid?

London, United...
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4. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Have you ever been to the Umlalazi nature reserve near Mtunzini? The birding around there is amazing. Saw a number of trogans!

Northampton, United...
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5. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Hello and great advice above! I was thinking of Mtunzini, nice cabins close to the beach and the home of the rare palm nut vulture. Cape Vidal to was good when I stayed there and I think the log cabins have had a facelift since I was there a few years ago? The chalets at Imfolozi are great with the best views of some of the reserves rolling hills and wilderness area. There is also Mkuze which I was thinking of visiting on my next trip.All these are KZNW operated, all with braais but I don't think any have air con?

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN (free information service)

Johannesburg, South...
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6. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Thanks! Mark I had a look at Mkuze, but will leave that for another time, looks like a good long weekend option from Jozi, I'll just have to give up one of my Kruger visits. Definitely going to look into the cabins at Cape Vidal! Will just have to deal with the heat! (-:

Edited: 06 February 2014, 07:22
Johannesburg, South...
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7. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Mark, do you know if i can request specific cabins at Ndumo and Cape Vidal? Any recommendations?

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

miki I shall get back to you on price as I shall ask the others who were in our party tonight so I hopefully can see if the figure I have in my head is correct so as to best make sure its right. ~~

Johannesburg, South...
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9. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

Cape Vidal is fully booked in December )-:

Northampton, United...
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10. Re: St. Lucia, Kosi Bay , Imfolozi or?? for 4 nights in December

I know all these places fill up fast, its all the fishing types from your neck of the woods! What about Sodwana Bay or Kosi Bay? You could also look at the private reserves such as the Zululand Rhino Reserve, or of course check out Mkuze again? You will have to contact KZNW to ask about specific units. They have plans of some of the camp layouts on their site. Somewhere I enjoyed was Macadamia Lodge in Monzi. Its on a private estate and borders the golf cousre. Lovely people and very quiet, Ideal for exploring the wetlands, Imfolozi and Cape Vidal.

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN (free information service)