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Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

New Jersey
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Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Hi,

We are planning a trip to go on safari next July or August 2014. My travel agent is pushing for us to stay in Phinda and travel between their resorts. However, I am also interested in adding Sabi Sabi to the itinerary-as friends of ours were there many years ago. Can anyone offer some feedback on if this is reasonable? If so, how should we coordinate this? Or should we stay at only one location? I want to place us in the best areas for seeing game. I know it may be cold that time of year but we are limited on dates.

Thank you!

13 replies to this topic
Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Hi we stayed at Sabi Sabi last July and want to go to Phinda both are a great safari places who is your agent

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Cold won't be a problem - early morning and after dark, dress warmly in layers.. and you may need a new agent.. 'Pushing' is a red flag, in my opinion. I think listening to you and then helping you get what you want is the right approach.

Combining Phinda and Sabi Sabi - or any lodge or camp in the Kruger area adds some serious expense and time. You either pay for a charter flight to get from one to the other (for which my supplier charges R6550PP, about $675) or use a commercial flight between Durban and Nelspruit, or do as some of my clients did - and fly from Nelspruit to Jo'Burg and stay overnight at an airport hotel and then fly the next day to Richards Bay and then have a road transfer to Phinda.

If you have just 4 nights for your safari, then I agree that 2 nights at different lodges in Phinda is a good use of time and money. AndBeyond offers a very good discount if you stay 4 nights. It's a huge reserve, so choose one in the north and one in the south. I was there 2 months ago - stayed at Forest & Mountain and looked at Vlei and Rock. All of them are well-designed, well-staffed. If you stay just 3 nights, they have an offer that will fly you to Phinda and back from Johannesburg - for free.

As for Sabi Sabi - a very good reserve now, just as it was when your friends were there. Highly recommended. But not easily combined with Phinda, sorry to say.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Edited: 03 August 2013, 17:50
New Jersey
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3. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Thanks Dave your review is extremely insightful! For first timers.....which location/lodges would you recommend over the other ? Should we plan on only safari or also aim to see Johannesburg and/or Cape Town? We have about 12 days in total

Glasgow, United...
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4. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

I agree with Dave in that any agent that tries to "push" one particular reserve or lodge, isn't necessarily working to provide the best for you. Whilst an agent should suggest lodges and reserves based on what you want, they should be listening to you!

At Phinda you are more likely to have good sightings of black rhino and cheetah, whilst at Sabi Sabi you will get great sightings of leopards.

In the end it should be down to where YOU want to go - I've been to both reserves and you won't go wrong with either one - but with the time you have it's probably not worth combining the two unless you pay for a direct charter flight between them.

Edited: 04 August 2013, 14:58
New Jersey
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5. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Thanks bush maniac-you have given me more to consider!

Frankfurt, Germany
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6. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

I agree with what's already been said above. Both reserves are excellent for Big 5 game viewing. We've never been dissapointed. Combing the two the two reserves would be perfect but splitting it for 4 days into 2 complete different locations costs too much time.

I would choose the most luxurious lodge that offers you the best prices. At that time of year all lodges have super specials going! Splitting into 2 lodges is always the best decision.

If we knew what the rest of your itinerary is like then maybe we could help you optimize your bush experience around it.

Regards

Michelle - Owner - Cape Town Guide

Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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7. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

I cannot see how long you are actually planning for safari or where you have said four days, but I do agree with Bushmaniac, if you can get to Sabi Sabi it would fabulous and increase your chances of seeing leopard. They have also recently had some regular cheetah sightings with a new male in the area, but of course there is no guarantees as always with what you will see, but check out their website for more.

The logistics yes are a bit tricky, if you have more than four days though I would be considering doing both for sure, the &beyond lodges are wonderful.

Edinburgh, United...
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8. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Bwanadave, is there really an offer of a free flight to/from Phinda if you stay 3nights?

I cant see it on their website but it would be a brilliant offer if available.

Any more info, anyone? thanks!

SOUTH AFRICA
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9. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Correct, the free flight would be from JNB to either Richards Bay or Durban, and the road transfers between these airports and the lodge would also be free. On this year's special offer though, if you did the maths, it was cheaper to take the pay 3 stay 4 night special offer at Phinda, as your saving would have been more than the cost of the flights/transfers. For next year it would depend on the long stay discount that your agent offers in your package.

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

washington, dc
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10. Re: Sabi Sabi versus Phinda

Is the Charter to Phinda $675 per person? Does it leave from Kruger airport? How many person minimum? Just trying to figure out if even makes sense looking into this...

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