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South Africa 2011


richardafrica
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I cant decide which I prefer... a long visit at just one or 2 camps (like last year with 8 days at Serian), or a couple of days at several camps close together (my usual trip). After reading many trip reports (thank you everyone) on the Sabi Sands area, I decided to give it a try. But where to stay? Lots of good choices... Mala Mala, Londolozi, Lion Sands, Sabi Sabi, or Singita?? I also got a good deal at Royal Malewane, which was close to the Sabi Sands. Not being able to decide on one or 2, I decided to spend 2-3 nights at each. I am very pleased to report that I had an amazing time, and that each camp delivered in many ways.

 

I arrived in JNB in the early morning, and was greeted by the Fed Air people, and driven to their lounge beside the airport. While I unfortunately had a 4 hour layover beofore my flight went out to Royal Malewane, it was easy to spend at the Fed Air facilities. They had free food, drinks, shower facilities, and a nice little store. Time went by quickly, and they finally called my flight. We took a larger plane to the area, and a small 4 seater to Royal Malewane. Most of you know that special feeling when you arrive back in Africa after a period of time. Its an amazing experience to get off the plane, be warmly greeted by your driver / guide, and see your first animals since your last visit. We were soon on our way, and had some good general game viewing on the drive to camp. Royal Malewane shares their game drives with several other camps in the area, but you really wouldnt know it. For the most part we had excellent time with the sightings, with only 1 or 2 other vehicles, or on our own. All the camps share sightings, and would take turns in the "cue". I have to say that if I was new to Safari's I wouldnt even know many things were pre arranged. We also spent a lot of time tracking animals, and were successful in finding Lions and a Leopard. Overall game viewing was quite good. Several sigtings of Cheetah (including a mother with 3 of her children), Lions, Leopard, and both Rhino's. General game was also around. The camp itself was amazing (which you expect as they have several annual celebrity visitors including Elton John). For those who love their food, you had a large selection, and the chef was always asking before the next meal if what was selected was ok, or if something else was preferred. Dinner alone had usually 5 or 6 courses (yes I gained some weight on this trip). The rooms were excellent, well decorated, with lots of privacy. What really set apart the service at the camp were the employees, who were all great. Everyone had a smile, and you were warmly greeted by name by everyone. The people I met at the camp were all regular visiters, who came at least once per year. All of this was in addition to the game viewing, which was the main focus. We got out early in the am (pre dawn), and came back when we wanted to. It was nice to not be on a "schedule". I would love to go back one day, and if anyone wants something special, than this camp can definitely deliver. I decided to take the road transfer, which was a couple of hours to Lion Sands.

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