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Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Melbourne
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Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

We are looking to go on a 4 night safari in Aug'08. Children are 7 & 11 and would like somewhere that is kid user friendly and has either a 2 bedroom suite or interconnecting rooms.

London, United...
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1. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Hello,

Of the camps you've listed Exeter and Londolozi Varty are the most child-friendly. Another good option would be Mala Mala Main Camp, which has interconnecting rooms -- while they don't have as many child-specific activities as Exeter and Londoz the rangers are very good at tailoring the game activities for children.

Varty does not have two-bedroom suites or interconnecting rooms, but up to two children can share a room with adults. Given the size of the rooms I'd recommend considering Founders if you have two children.

Exeter does not have any two-bedroom suites or interconnecting rooms. The ones at Leadwood are particularly spread out -- River would probably be the best choice here. You can only have one child per room at Exeter.

Ulusaba does have a two-bedroom suite (the Rock Suite) but IMO the prices charged by the lodge are hard to justify.

Note that many camps require advance notification for children under 12, and may have restrictions on activities available to younger children. Game drives for children under 12 are normally at the manager's discretion.

Cheers,

Julian

Melbourne
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2. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Hi Julian,

Thanks for your great advise. Are the Founders rooms alot bigger than the varty rooms and is this why you have suggested this? Do you think there will be a saving on price at Londolozi vs. Exeter River if we all share the same room at Londolozi. Can see issues if we stay in separate suites at any of the lodges ie. 1 parent & 1 child in each room instead of 2 adults and 2 children unless we have interconnecting rooms! Do you know the travel times by road from the airstrip that lands closest to exeter river lodge (from my understanding this is actually the Ulusaba airstrip)?

Thanks In advance.

London, United...
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3. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Hello,

The rooms at Founders are quite a bit more spacious than those at Varty (the Varty ones also have a plunge pool, which might not be ideal from a safety standpoint). With two children (and hence two cots) Founders would be a better choice.

A child between 6 and 11 sharing a room would pay 50% of the adult rate at both Exeter and Londolozi -- but Exeter won't allow four people in a room.

Travel time to the Exeter lodges depends on which one you're going to. I believe the travel time to Leadwood and River was about 40 minutes or so -- it's a bit longer to Dulini. It's a game drive so the time can vary depending on what you see.

Cheers,

Julian

SOUTH AFRICA
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4. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Hi there! Another very good lodge that you could consider due to the fact that they are very child friendly and have accommodated some of my guests with 2 children in the same suite in the past, is Ngala Safari Lodge. Though the accommodation at this lodge isn't as luxurious as lodges like Varty or Exeter River, the facilities are more than adequate, the food is excellent and the game vieiwing on the Ngala property is also very good.

Melbourne
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5. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Thanks for your time and all this fantastic advice. My children are 6 & 11 (boys) and having separate villas/rooms sounds great, the reality is that they will not be able to move freely between suites/units and of course this could be a major safety risk. Would the rooms at Londolozi Founders be big enough to accomodate 2 extra beds? Do the suites (instead of the chalets) at Varty have more room to accomodate us and would this still be in a similiar price bracket to Exeter River? What about Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge in perhaps their presidential suite for the 4 of us? Is this actually 2 separate rooms? Is price similiar? Sorry,and there are more questions...... where would you suggest to stay in Johannesburg for 2 nights prior to the safari. Looking at 4.5 to 5 star and given all the other relevant information, on top of a 15-16hr ++ flight!

Cheers,

Really appreciate all your time and wealth of knowledge.

SOUTH AFRICA
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6. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Just to let you know that the presidential suite at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge (called "Mandleve") is absolutely wonderful!! The spacious lounge & bedroom aren't completely separate but definately adequate space and wonderful luxury and privacy! It also includes your own private game viewing vehicle, which is great, especially since you'll have your children with you - with no other guests on the vehicle with you, your ranger will really be able to tailor make the game drives to as far as possible cater for the needs of your whole family, and not just for adults!!

London, United...
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7. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

Hello,

The rooms at Founders would be large enough to accommodate the extra beds. The suites at Varty are even more spacious and would give you plenty of space for the extra beds -- however, this would be more expensive than the Exeter option.

As noted above, the presidential suite at Sabi Sabi Bush would provide plenty of room for your family -- the price is about the same as a Varty suite. You'd have a private vehicle at Sabi Sabi which could be a big plus if you think that your children might not want to do the full 3-4 hour game drive.

With 2 nights in Joburg the ideal location depends on what you plan to do -- if you want some retail therapy the Michelangelo and IC Sandton are close to Sandton City and both have interconnecting rooms. If you'd like to have apartment style accommodation Michelangelo Towers and the Raphael Penthouse Suites both have two-bedroom options. You can easily arrange visits to the museums or tours from any of these hotels. The Grace is also lovely but Rosebank is a bit quieter -- it's ideal if you are there on a Sunday as the Rosebank Crafts Market is a lot of fun.

Cheers,

Julian

8. Re: Family of 4-Exeter river, Ulusaba rock,Varty or Sabi bush??

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