I am planning to be in Zimbabwe next August and would like to plan a 4 day stay at a safari lodge in either Sabi Sands or Timbavati (b/c they are not fenced) prior to my stay in Harare. I would like to stay under $500pp/pn at the MAX, and would really like to be under $400pp/pn. I am, of course, willing to bend when needed b/c of the pesky budget. This is our first time in Africa, and first safari. It's just my husband and I. Here is what is most important to us in order of importance.
1. Great game drives. I would really like to not be in a super crowded vehicle (seems on these forums the magic number is 6 persons per vehicle). Good drivers and trackers who make it an enjoyable and not rushed experience. Obviously, this is most important. This is why we are going.
2. Comfortable, clean rooms. I do not need luxury, but would like to be able to be sit in an outside terrace off the room (hopefully with a decent view) to read a book during the middle of the day.
3. We do enjoy well-prepared food and eat relatively healthfully (not fried, fatty foods). Good food is a plus.
4. I would really like coffee, tea, and water to be included. I don't want to feel nickled and dimed with paying for every bottle of water. Of course, local wine included is a major plus. But I don't want to pay an extra $2000 overall for "free" wine.
I have looked at: Inyati and Tanda Tula. Feedback and other suggestions are appreciated! Thank you.