My fiance are going to South Africa for our honeymoon in November 2010 and we will be traveling to the Sabi Sands after 8 days in Cape Town for 4 days on safari. I thought I had made up my mind that I wanted to do Lion Sands with 2 days in the River Lodge and 2 days in the Ivory. I've now opened back up my thinking and would love input. The reason I'm backing off the 2 and 2 at Lion Sands is that I think I want to keep my budget around $6,000 (US) and the 2 and 2 is closer to $8,000 (I am still definitely considering doing all 4 nights at Lion Sands).
The other things that I currently think are important are as follows:
1. Awesome game viewing!
2. No more than 6 to a game vehicle. I really don't want to spend that kind of money and then feel like we're crawling over somebody to be able to see and take pictures.
3. Great rangers.
4. Great service. I feel like spending this much should money per night should get you fairly high end service.
5. Good food and wine. This isn't our first consideration when trying to determine where to stay. Of course, we would like it to be great but the game viewing is more important.
6. Finally, I'm sure this sounds terrible, but I don't want to deal with kids on the safari.
Are there any other items to consider when choosing a private reserve?
Given these items, including budget, what recommendations would you have for us?