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snuglbear13

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About snuglbear13

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  1. @@Atravelynn - Yes, Wesley is a he. It isn't posted on their website. Darcy emailed it to me when I expressed interest in their previous trip. Here is the Tanzania itinerary. She said the Kenya extension wasn't ready yet. Didn't see anywhere to upload a file ITINERARY Mar 15 Arusha. The African Tulip Hotel. Arrival into Kilimanjaro International Airport where you are met by a representative from The Wild Source. Transfer approximately 50 minutes to Arusha. Accommodation in the African Tulip. Mar 16 Manyara Ranch Private Conservancy. Manyara Ranch. Mar 17 Manyara Ranch Private Conservancy. Manyara Ranch. Mar 18 Ngorongoro Crater. Lemala Ngorongoro Camp. Morning drive in Manyara Ranch Conservancy with a picnic lunch followed by a transfer (approx. 2 hours) into the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Continue to the Lemala Ngorongoro Camp, located along the crater rim, for the evening. Mar 19 Ndutu. Njozi Ndutu Camp. Early morning game drive inside the Ngorongoro Crater, taking advantage of your proximity to the crater entrance while wildlife is busiest and vehicle numbers are fewest. Enjoy a picnic breakfast and a picnic lunch as you game drive on the crater floor. In the afternoon, you have a 2-hour drive to the legendary Ndutu area. Mar 20 Ndutu. Njozi Ndutu Camp. Mar 21 Ndutu. Njozi Ndutu Camp. Mar 22 Ndutu. Njozi Ndutu Camp. Mar 23 Central Serengeti National Park. Lemala Ewanjan Camp. Morning game drive departure from camp, making your way through the Ndutu region en route to the Naabi Hill entrance of the Serengeti National Park. Continue on game drive through the park with a picnic lunch en route to Lemala Ewanjan Camp, located in the Seronera region. Mar 24 Central Serengeti National Park. Lemala Ewanjan Camp. Mar 25 Departure.
  2. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sands, South Africa 2) Website address if known: http://www.lionsands.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Sept 2015 - Peak season is approx Dec 18-Jan 3 We did get a special offer of 2 free nights in Capetown 4) Length of stay: 4 days, 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? The safari was only a part of what we did in SA. We chose here based on almost guaranteed sightings of cats/tripadvisor reviews, no kids, and we wanted to relax in a luxurious room after being on numerous flights and over 30 hours of driving to and from places. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Direct - yes 7) How many times have you been on Safari? First time 8) To which countries? NA 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? NA 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? Yes 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 20 rooms 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? I think #4. It was not connected to another room. There is a lodge layout on their website. Our room overlooked the Sabi River. Fantastic view!! Across the river we saw elephants, impala, and kudu. One afternoon I woke up for a nap and saw a lioness hunting! 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Extremely comfortable. Well stocked bar with alcohol and chocolates. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes! There was so much delicious food you won't be in danger of going hungry. The desserts were ok, everything else was superb. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Breakfast menu was the same each morning, though it offered at least 7 options. Lunch and dinner were varied. I am not vegetarian and can't comment. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at meal times? Depends on the meal. Breakfast and dinner were usually communal (no guide) and lunch was single table (no guide). One day out of 3 there was a traditional south african theme night with a bonfire. We sat with our guide and vehicle group while the staff sang and danced. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? NA 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. open safari, 4WD. Pic to come 19) How many guests per row? 3 rows, stadium seating. 2 guests per row 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? I don't have the best sense of direction but yes there were varied routes taken. see 21 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Set game drives: morning game drive 0530 to 0830, evening game drive 1630-1930. The morning and evening drives we stopped for a sundowner outside the vehicle. Private vehicles available, not sure of the cost 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Private conservancy. Lion Sands limits the vehicles that traverse the property. The most we saw at a sighting is 4. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes. No off-road driving in Kruger 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. I'm not sure if there is a specific policy. If we spotted something, we'd observe on our own, then use the radio to call others. When others radioed us, we'd get a decent position, then get a better position as others left. There were never more than 4 vehicles to a sighting. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Big 5, including leopard. Did not see cheetah. Excellent sightings including leopard on 2 days out of 3, a lion with his tooth hanging out, and a lion and lioness with 2 cubs. Also saw baby giraffe, baby elephant and rhino. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Very good. We had the head guide, Landon, and he was in constant radio contact with other guides. The only frustration was we didn't seem to have much say in what we pursued for the game drive. Our vehicle wanted to see cats but since we had seen so many already we were taken to buffalo and rhino. None of us spoke up so not sure if that would've made a difference. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? NA 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: He had thorough knowledge of the animals and their history. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Definitely! With a smile, nothing was too much trouble though we are not high maintenance guests 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Pack for a Purpose - guests bring suitcases packed with basic yet necessary supplies as listed on the Pack for a Purpose website Save the Rhino Foundation - anti-poaching rhino Bhubezi community projects - educate and provide car for children, create jobs for disadvantaged http://www.lionsands.com/more/responsibility/ 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: no children under 10 allowed. Management has set the bar for this property. Service and friendliness were better than our honeymoon at the St. Regis in Bora Bora. I loved everything about it and would definitely go back. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Pics to come
  3. My avatar is a pic of my Persian cat, Wesley. He is my only one, for now. I'll keep you updated as I get more quotes and itineraries. It's definitely at an uncomfortable area as far as budget for right now lol Have you considered doing the Big Cat Migration plus Kenya extension in March through The Wild Source? I know you already have 2017 planned. That's also something I'm considering
  4. This thread has been invaluable for my newbie safari planning, especially concerning tour operators/guides. thank all ya'll who have contributed!
  5. @@bettel I just joined ST a few days ago so I'm a little late to your report. WOOOOOOOWWWW!!!!!! What an incredible trip! I love any and all cats so your trip report reads like my wildest dream. Lions mating, the cheetahs playing in the water, active leopard and cheetah kills. My favorite is all the adorable lion cub faces. All this trip reading is playing with my heart and head! I was originally planning Ndutu/Olare for Feb or March...now I'm wondering if I should just do Kenya where I'll still see some migration. Thank you for the amazing pictures!!! Did you really only use a 70-200 lens? You got so close! Will you be writing lodge reviews? Truly thank you, this was incredible!!
  6. @@Atravelynn Thank you so much for the thoroughly detailed trip report! Your pictures are fantastic! Cheetah cubbies are adorable! I love cats too, and this greatly helped me to decide which months and areas to concentrate on. I'm curious what you do with your pics. It's a crime to just keep them on the computer. Do you have a shrine or safari room in your house? I'm planning a Feb/March trip to Ndutu and hopefully Olare or Naboisho Conservancy if budget permits. Do you know if Ndutu Njozi lodge is only for guests who book through TWS? I didn't see a website or rates. Their quote was quite high so I'm awaiting several other quotes.
  7. @@amybatt Amazing report and beautifully stunning pics! I am in love with cats, all cats. If I saw nothing but cats I'd be in heaven! I laughed out loud when I read this, " I shared the vehicle with a couple and their young (4 year old) son. Bearing in mind how much I dislike kids, you can imagine that that set the tone. That is exactly how I would've felt. Now that you've been to both, which would you recommend to someone wanting cat overload? (My first safari was in Sabi Sands. I've seen the usual suspects and am planning on half my trip in Tanzania to see the migration, and half Kenya.) Not sure if my budget will allow that but i'm trying. I'm at the pricing stage of our proposed Feb/March trip. Is it worth going into the Reserve on the off months? I notice some lodges don't include it. Thanks for your response
  8. Tanzania/Kenya (Ndutu and Olare conservancy) in Feb or March, Kauai in May (if we don't go in Aug or Sept this year), Australia/Fiji in October, Dec TBD for my dad's 70th bday...probaby St. John USVI @@penolva - what are ya'll doing on your South America trip? We are getting ideas for 2018
  9. Following this. My preliminary safari plans for 2017 include going to Naboisho Conservancy @@AsiliaAfrica

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