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Kapama or Sabi Sands

San Francisco...
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Kapama or Sabi Sands

We're 3 adults with Sept 19, 20 and 21 available (3 nights) for safari in Kruger. Can you please advise?

1) Our agent is highly recommending Kapama - if 2 nights we could do Buffalo Camp, at 3 only the Kapama River Lodge (64 rms).

-I read forum comments that Kapama is fenced and that detracts, but our agent said almost all reserves are fenced - please share your thoughts, especially destination experts. Would you also recommend Kapama, and if so, the Buffalo Camp over the River Lodge?

2) Would it make sense to see 2 different places if one is Kapama? We were thinking of a transfer to a Sabi Sands lodge (2 hrs?), but not sure what's available and recommended. As 3 adults we're currently forced to do 2 rooms, so $250-400 a night might work , max $500 (with a deep breath).

7 replies to this topic
Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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1. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

There's no camp within Sabi Sand with rates that would work for your budget, if I understand it correctly. You are looking for nightly rates of $250-$400 per room? Not per person? If you can get that at Kapama, then that's a good deal, I believe. I checked a couple of places I like that have accommodation for three people in one suite or chalet, but they don't have availability.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

Back to your question about fences. Yes, all private reserves have some fence. Sabi Sand has it on three sides, with the eastern and part of the southern sides open to Kruger Park with no fence in between. That's also true for some of the reserves farther north - open to Kruger, fenced on the sides next to privately owned and occupied land. Kapama and Thornybush are two that are fenced all around, but don't then expect them to be some sort of touristic game park. They are authentic Africa bush with very real wild animals in them. In fact, I use and recommend Thornybush regularly.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Edited: 24 July 2011, 20:03
San Francisco...
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3. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

Dave,

Thanks so much for your replies. We are looking for a rate around that price per person per night, up to $500/pp/night. It's good to know Kapama and Thornybush are not touristy game parks but real bush experiences with wild animals. Would you recommend a split of 2 nights (say at Kapama, Buffalo Tents) and 1 night elsewhere for variety? We're also especially interested in the wild cats, but may see at Kapama? Our first trip to the area. 3 world travelers, 2 are active seniors.

Warm regards,

L

South Africa
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4. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

All reserves in South Africa are fenced, yes, but it's the size of the reserve that matters. Kapama and Thornybush are both rather small reserves, compared to the Sabi Sand and Kruger. The Sabi Sand on its own is several times bigger than Kapama, and it also shares an unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park, which is over 2 million hectares in size. Compare this to Kapama's size of around 13,000 hectares, which is cut into two sections by a public road. It really is only a couple of miles across from one side to the other side. So while the bush and animals are all wild and natural, it feels more contained and artificial to some people, and you don't have that feeling of being deep in the vast and remote African wilderness. Having said that, Kapama makes an effort to stay away from the fence lines during game drives, so you may not feel as if you are in a small reserve, and smaller fenced reserves have the added benefit of being able to stock relatively high quantities of wildlife, which means you are likely to see a lot of animals and there is a little bit less luck involved (compared to greater Kruger, for example). The only exception to this is leopards - if you want to see leopards, you should choose Sabi Sand over Kapama.

With a budget of up to $500 per person per night, there are several lodges in the Sabi Sand game reserve you can also consider, among them elephant plains game lodge, arathusa safari lodge and nkorho bush lodge, to name a few.

Kapama buffalo camp has recently had a complete revamp. I have not yet been to the new camp but from the pictures it looks fantastic.

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris

Dubai
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5. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

I am a regular visitor to The Greater Kruger National Park and have stayed in the Timbavati, Manyeleti, Klaserie and Sabi Sand Reserves. Some of the smaller farms I have visited are Tsukudu and Kapama. We generally have the best cat sightings in the Sabi Sands and the worst in Manyeleti. Tsukudu and Kapama in my opinion are akin to a large zoo and I do not get that "completely wild at heart" feeling.

For your money I would recommend one of the more budget offerings in the Sabi Sand reserve. Chitwa Chitwa has normally got good rates if you contact them directly and some good offers can be had on mtbeds.co.za particularly at the Sabi Sabi lodges.

Tempe, Arizona
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6. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

MTBeds is a good spot to check for deals.. but their listings for the safari properties tend to be for SA Residents only. The poster above mentions Sabi Sabi as an example - and it is indeed available at reductions of as much as 60% - for SA Residents only. Chitwa Chitwa? 70%. R2000PP instead of R6600 if you are a resident of South Africa. I could add that these discounts are also often available to residents of the neighboring countries.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Edited: 30 July 2011, 15:06
Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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7. Re: Kapama or Sabi Sands

I just looked at the Thornybush site.. and a chalet is available at n'Kaya for your dates - R6000PP. This has a bedroom, 2 bathrooms, and the furniture in the living room (called a lounge in SA) includes a sofa bed. Here's a page with all sorts of photos of it - http://www.nkayalodge.co.za/

Not an indeal solution, but a comfortable one with really good wildlife. And an average nightly rate of about $300PP. If you are interested, you can contact Thornybush directly and ask for the 3-for-2. For that matter, ask them about rates for their other properties, too.

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