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Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

Fort Lauderdale...
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Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

Hello:

We are going to a safari for 2-3 nights in mid April and were trying to decide between the several well rated parks (at least by my research). Since we have a limited time we have decided on going with a private park.

Our budget is $250 to 375 per night per person. It is just my wife and I. We would prefer a our own place however, being in a lodge would be OK if it was nice. We are definitely going to want to go out on all the excursions we can.

The choices are about boundless, however, having never gone the information is overwhelming. I have looked through the postings on TA and again, a lot to take in.

So which region would be the best for the once in a lifetime opportunity? Balule or Sabi Sands or Thornybrush or Timbavati?

Thank you for guidance.

phila
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277 posts
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1. Re: Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

We stayed in Sabi Sands (elephant plains) after spending time at Mashatu (in southern Botswana) and Pafuri (in the northeastern part of Kruger).

Sorry to add to your confusion, but of the three, Mashatu was by far our favorite. It can be done in 2 or 3 nights easily.

We flew from JoBurg to Polokwane and then were taken by private car (about 2 hours?) to the border. Mashatu is literally right across the border (the crossing itself was kind of in a neat sideways elevator over the Limpopo).

The differences between Mashatu and some of the others you mention (aside from a different cultural feel in Botswana that really appealed to us) is that Mashatu has a nice mix of terrain - including high ridges and some lower brush, though not nearly as thick as Sabi Sands. We also stayed in the tented camps, which felt closer to being in the bush.

The only downside is that if you must see the Big 5 (an overrated concept if ever there was one), you will be dissapointed as they do not have rhino or buffalo. But they more than make up for it with other plentiful species.

Know this - whatever you decide, it will be great!

margaret river
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2. Re: Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

Have the exact same scenario right now, except we are going in June, we are probably rolling with timbavati, but cheaper, still good sightings etc anyway, will be watching the comments :-) found sabi a bit out of our league financially and for a bit cheaper it appears we can get own cottage with nice middle range luxury for a better price in timbavati!

scotland
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255 posts
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3. Re: Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

We went to Timbavati last year - Umlani - it was incredible. They do daily updates for some of their sightings on FB if you want to check it out. Accommodation is traditional rondavels and the hosts and rangers are amazing. We saw the big 5 most days & dozens of other plants & animals, too.

Enjoy,

:-)

Brussels
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4. Re: Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

I've done about 10 lodges in Kruger reserves, and out of those, nThambo was the best. Because for the amount you pay you get a fantastic view from a great room, and because you get decent traverse, great guiding and sightings that are never overcrowded.

Ciao,

J.

Birmingham, United...
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5. Re: Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

Hi Sorksy,

Where are you staying in Timbavati?

Thanks.

6. Re: Which Private Park? Balule vs Sabi vs Thorny vs Timbavati

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