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nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Adelaide
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72 posts
11 reviews
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nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Hi All,

Have done research aplenty, head is spinning, but down to 2 options at similar overall price.

3 nights nThambo then 3 nights Kings Camp, or

3n Ngala Lodge then 3n Simbavati River Lodge

Can anyone help my wife and I make the call?

We have never holidayed in super luxury, but always comfortable. 40yo. Want to relax and enjoy our first and maybe only African holiday.

Thanks in advance,

Matt

Queensland...
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2,062 posts
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1. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

I don't know these lodges but 3 nights in each is ideal imo.

SOUTH AFRICA
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2,537 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Hi Matt, how exciting for you to be planning your first trip to South Africa! Of the 4 lodges that you are considering, of course the most expensive 2 are Kings Camp and Ngala Safari Lodge. A combination of these 2 would have been superb, as they are definitely worth the higher cost. If you cannot do a combination of Kings and Ngala, and have to do the combinations that you have mentioned, then my choice would be the Ngala/Simbavati combination.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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8,475 posts
58 reviews
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3. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

If you are comfortable driving yourself, then I would suggest 3 nights at Kirkman's Kamp in Sabi Sand and then 3 nights at Ngala Safari Lodge (or vice versa). The drive between the two is maybe just shy of 3 hours.

But you then can take advantage of a serious rate reduction at each of them because you qualify for the 6-night discount from AndBeyond.

Speaking of the lodges you asked about - nThambo and Kings Camp are quite different, for sure. But they really are not so far apart and you wouldn't notice much difference in the environment.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Edited: 17 July 2014, 20:06
Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
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4,867 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Hi Matt

What a tough choice!

All of these lodges are located in Greater Kruger, inside private reserves adjacent to the famous Kruger National Park.

They are all inclusive lodges and any combination should give you a great time.

I have stayed at Kings Camp a couple of years ago and have to say it was just beautiful, and the game viewing was excellent. Big cats and more every day we were there. The camp is in a beautiful setting, and the rooms, food and people were all fantastic.

.

Would be great paired with Ngala as Tanya has suggested, Ngala being ran by @Beyond will be very special, their lodges always give a fantastic experience.

If you choose Kings see if you can book ahead a game vehicle with six people maximum, meaning as a couple you have a whole seat to yourselves on game drives. Not essential but just something many of us prefer. When the camp is full, they have a mix, but if you request ahead, you 'may' get the six max truck. This six maximum is also offered by most of the @Beyond lodges, in which case you may get this for your entire stay, would need to double check but I think this is offered at Ngala also, Tanya may be able to confirm.

Enjoy planning

SOUTH AFRICA
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2,537 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Yes, you are correct, Ngala is also max 6 guests per vehicle.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
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24 reviews
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6. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Thanks Tanya

South Africa
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1,590 posts
23 reviews
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7. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Both options are great - I don't think you will be disappointed, whichever choice you make. Personally I would opt for the Ngala/Simbavati combination. Of the two options, this is the slightly more upmarket combination, and with Ngala in the far south and Simbavati in the north of the Timbavati, you will see a nice variety of areas. nThambo and Kings are quite close together, Kings Camp in the central Timbavati with nThambo almost directly to the west in neighbouring Klaserie. Tough choice indeed, but either way I expect you will have a superb safari experience!

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris

Atlanta
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813 posts
25 reviews
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8. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

We are currently at Simbavati after four nights in Kruger rest camps. I must say that Kruger and self drive was, in my opinion, a much, much better experience. Our guide here has been driving so fast that he was missing significant "finds". Self drive allows you to go at a slow pace (or fast) to allow for the best sightings. And personally, I like the search. The feeling I get here is that the guides are trying to get to a possible sighting rather than taking the time to enjoy the journey and find (without the help of radio) their own discoveries. Of course, this also means that it's hard for guests to enjoy the journey and discover something on their own, which is half the fun!

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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9. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Interesting perspective, RB and much appreciated. You are correct about the Simbavati Guide trying to take you to good sightings. Most guests at that (or any private reserve) will not have been to Kruger first. I believe they expect and appreciate the efforts of Guides at the lodge or camp to show them as much as possible.

Most of my South African friends and neighbors can't afford private reserves, so they would understand very well the more easy-going approach to safari time that you had in Kruger. Kruger experts, the Sandmans, post here regularly and believe that a mix of private reserve and national park safaris is a great plan.

Atlanta
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813 posts
25 reviews
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10. Re: nThambo/Kings or Ngala Lodge/Simbavati River Lodge

Yes, bwanadave, I appreciate your point. And I should slightly amend my comment. Tonight I appreciated very much a mad dash to see a leopard. We would not have seen this amazing creature if it weren't for the radios and the guide specifically taking us to this sighting. It was incredible. As you and the sandsmans say, a combination is probably ideal. We enjoyed process oriented drives through Kruger and saw many animals, birds, plants and then have experienced more outcome oriented drives at the lodge, where we finally saw a leopard. I just hope people can realize in their own adventures how exciting it is to actually spot the animal themselves. Of course, it is also exciting to see elusive species no matter the circumstance.