01-26-2013, 11:44 PM
Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve vs Kapama Private Game Reserve
Can anybody compare Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve vs. Kapama Private Game Reserve?
Does anybody have first hand knowledge of the two Game Reserves?
How does one get from Capetown to Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
01-27-2013, 05:48 AM
Your airport for Mkuze is Richard's Bay. Check with Kulula and SA Express for flights from CPT.
We just stayed at Kapama Karula and it was fabulous! Magnificent pool villa and excellent game drives. We went to the main lodge for their incredible spa but I don't think we'd like it because it's a large lodge/hotel (150 people, I think--and kids!) Their Buffalo Camp looks good on website. Access Kapama reserve thu Eastgate (HDS) Airport at Hoedspruit (2nd largest runways in SA--dinky airport) Flights from CPT on SA Express. All Kapama lodges are very close.
Mkuze Falls--went fall 2010. Good rustic luxury villas. Dry falls. Very good game drives--super sharp ranger and tracker. Hospitality was wonderful and the food was good. Very reasonable drinks. The price was right. 2+ hr drive from RCB airport (high speed trucks galore on the winding route) . We visited the tented camp and it was more lux than I expected.
Each reserve is different bush and topography. More water at Kapama and maybe more hills than I remember at Mkuze. Both will give you a good game experience--we've only seen leopard at KK (our 6th safari).
December will be hot and you'll need anti-malarials for both areas, KK since you're so close to Kruger and Mkuze for the wetlands nearby.
Last edited by kyshel; 01-27-2013 at 06:11 AM."wherever you go, there you are"
02-04-2013, 03:10 AM
Thanks a million of this valuable information. Sorry to be so late to get back to your reply, we were traveling.
I looked at both resorts. The Kapama River Lodge had no availability for the dates we wanted and the Kapama Kurula Lodge and Mkuze Falls Lodge were voted down by my fellow travelers as too expensive.At this point, I have secured bookings at the Vuyama Safari Lodge and the Victoria Fall River Lodge. The Vuyama Safari Lodge was advertised as a special by the Vacationist and the price was right, although, it seems to me, it does not seem quite as luxurious as the Mkuze Falls Lodge. It is somewhat easier to get to it since it is in the vicinity of the Kapama Lodges which have better air connection from Cape Town.. We will spend just one day in Johannesburg, and we picked the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Melrose Arch Johannesburg in the Melrose district and will do a half day City Tour.
For Cape Town I am waiting from the Steenberg Hotel for dates in mid-Nov. For Victoria Falls we plan to add one extra day to go over to the Chobe reserve for a day excursion.
If you have any further advise, or comments on this trip I would welcome it.
02-04-2013, 06:42 AM
Vuyani looks darned good for the price. How many nights are you doing safari? Did you check Buffalo Lodge at Kapama? Don't worry about Mkuze being more luxurious; I'm not sure it is any more than Vuyani. KK was extremely expensive but we bought the first deal on LL. I keep thinking it was an error. KK mgmnt came out to ask how we got that price [it was so low]!!
Have you looked buy 3 stay 4 deals at some lodges? They may not be avail for your timing, tho.
I found this lodge in my files--never got there but it's on the list: Nambiti Hills--awesome location.
Highly recommend Chobe day trip. It's top 5 on our list for VFalls--that's next. I'll pick your brain later! This might interest you7:
Zimbabwe for the Traveller @ African Bush Camps
Victoria Falls Travel Guide Tony and Boo Peel run this newsletter--jammed with info.
Loved the Steenberg--take advantage of brunch if you can.
It's very difficult to coordinate so many stays with so many great choices in SA. Good luck."wherever you go, there you are"
02-04-2013, 10:22 AM
Thanks for your reply. I booked the Vuyani Safari Lodge Vuyani Safari Lodge (Hoedspruit, South Africa) - Lodge Reviews - TripAdvisor for 4 nigths. Price is
ZAR 3900 + 14% VAT for 2 people for 4 nights. Stay 4 pay for 3 was not available. The lodge looks good and I have been in direct contact with the owner, Mr. Bernard Coppes. Let's hope none one of our group will get sick or cancel, because the lodge is small, only has 5 bungalows (they are building 2 more) and so they charge a hefty 30% cancellation fee.
Also just booked 2 nights at the Muchenje Safari Lodge Muchenje Safari Lodge (Chobe National Park, Botswana) - Lodge Reviews - TripAdvisor at Chobe for 2 nights. Price is ZAR 8322 per person for 2 nights. We are flying into BKK Kasana airport and the lodge will pick us up at the airport and also transfer us back to Victoria Falls River Lodge. All meals, game drives and water/canoe game watching on the Zambesi River, and transfers are included in the price. We decided to go to the Muchenje Safari Lodge for 2 nights first and then do the Victoria Falls River Lodge for 3 nights instead of 4 nights and doing a day trip to Chobe while at the Lodge because I found out that SA has a flight on fridays from Victoria Falls to JNB that goes on from JNB back to Washington DC. Not having to do a transfer from Vic Falls on their own, but getting on the plane in Victoria Falls eliminates the risk for the other 2 travelers of missing their flight back home since they are still working and can't afford not to show up the following Monday.
Thanks for the two links you sent. They look very informative and will give me pertinent reading material.
As for Capetown, I keep hoping that the Steenberg hotel will open up more dates. I have been in contact with them and Roger, the reservations manager, said they would but couldn't say when. I am tempted to buy 2 nights for the current opening of September, and then just pay the difference when the new dates and new prices come up. The same for 5 nights at the
Village Life at West Cape. For Cape Town, I have also seen some very nice Apartment Hotels with 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bath, Living Room, full Kitchen, Pool, etc. which looked great and would make this a very affordable alternative for 4 travelers.
Yes, it is not easy to organize such a trip for 4 for 16 days with so many locations, but so far, I am coming in at half the price than a professional travel consultant gave us a quote for.
The travel agent quoted us a lump sum, and there was no transparency as to prices.
My next worry will be the flights within Africa. All those planes are very small and I'll have to make sure that all 4 of us get on the same plane. We are flying South African Airlines and I wonder if SA can book the inter-African flights for us on the same ticket. The only other airline is Botswana Air from JNB to BKK. Any suggestions there?
Once all finished with the various bookings I will have to look into travel insurance. Any ideas on that?
Again, thanks for your tips.
Last edited by LL_Travelfan; 02-04-2013 at 10:26 AM.
02-05-2013, 07:54 AM
First, I am puzzled about Vuyani price--$1000 for 4 nts for 2 persons? Must be a typo somewhere--if not, you got a better deal than anyone I know! I read the response from owner regarding the only ONE bad TA review. We learned the story about the Cape Buffalo in the area--fascinating.! Bernie Koppes had an excellent explanation for that guest. You will certainly be in good hands at Vuyani.
The lodge in Chobe looks great, too. Always to have part of your experience as a river safari. Watch out for those hippos and crocs!
Don't forget all those pesky little things like updating tetanus (a MUST in our book) and I'd check w/doc regarding hep. Prob won't need it. We already have YF vaccine as required for other travel. Also pesky issues like visas--VF Telegraph has all the dope on crossing Zim / Zam.
I'm sorry I can't help with insurance--we almost never buy it because it's different for us.
Did you end up with 4 in your party?
You're flying SA to CPT now--or just from CPT to other places? I hope you're flying upper class because SA is not known for comfort nor service for economy long-haul.
Try: Matrix - ITA Software for flights. Have you looked at Kulula?
routes - kulula.com
They fly some of the routes you might want.
Extra tip for Hoedspruit: Get your driver to stop at the shopping center in town and buy some wines (same center as Tupperware--not kidding--it's a big retail store!) You can enjoy them in your chalets. KK didn't even charge us a corkage fee to bring some to the restaurant. There are also plenty of stores to pick up stuff you may have forgotten--and bank ATM for rands. Sunscreen for game drives, too!
Get your adapters on Amazon--they are exclusive for SA--Type M. We liked this 2 in 1. You can buy a 2 pack to share.
Amazon.com: OREI Grounded Universal 2 in 1 Plug Adapter Type M for South Africa & more - High Quality - CE Certified - RoHS Compliant WP-M-GN: Electronics"wherever you go, there you are"
02-05-2013, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all the info. Sorry, I misspoke. ZAR 3900 was the cancellation fee. Our charge at the Vuyani Safari Lodge is ZAR 31200 including VAT for 2 bungalows for 4 people. I converted that to $3523 for 4 people for 4 nights. We are now 4 travelers, the 5th one cancelled.
Yes, we will do the river safari on the Zambezi river from the Chobe/Muchenje Safari Lodge.
We got 2/3ds of our shots for the trip, including YF vaccination. We went to our city's health dept. and got 2 series so far and will get a third series when we get back to the States the April.
Both of our other travelers are nurses so they are on top of it and we will be in good hands during the trip.
I will still have to look into visa requirements, but I understand you can get most of them at the border when entering, but suggestion was to bring Cash for them.
As far as travel insurance is concerned, we usually don't buy it for ourselves either, but our fellow travelers will probably get it since they have to be back to work and can't afford delays, so I will look for some global travel insurance.
Our 2 travel companions will fly SA from Washington, DC to CPT in business class. We will fly LH from MUC to CPT also in business or first and we all return on SA from VFA-JNB to Washington DC in business class.
For inter-africa travel I thought of using SA with the exception of JNB to BKK where I got a quote of $280 one way on Botswana Air. Thanks for the suggestion of kulula.com. I will look into it.
Thanks a million for the extra tip of stopping at the Hodespruit Shopping Center. Picking up some wine or drinks and anything extra we forgot. Knowing that there is an ATM machine there might come in handy too. And I will look into the adapter situation, we have some, but I will make sure we have the right stuff. It would be a shame not to be able to charge the cameras.
Thanks again for all the info and tips.
02-05-2013, 01:23 PM
LLTF--no problem--happy to help--it's daunting to book all this stuff!! SA adapter is only used there--no clue about ZIm/Zam/Bots (probably already on out multi-plug versions) We just liked the dual one to charge 2 items at once--and if we needed another, we would have gotten the two pack. So far, we haven't killed each other over an adapter.
Good to have nurses in your group--I always call my physician brother and he tells me to call my doctor (his partner)!! All our preventive shots are covered by insurance 100%, which makes it easier to "just do it". Simple to keep up to date. So many people don't consider the tetanus, tho--super necessary.
That ATM is at the major bank, BTW. Hoedspruit wine store--Get a bottle of SA bubbly and have a sip for us. Cheers!"wherever you go, there you are"
02-05-2013, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the tip. We'll get some SA bubbly and will think of you having given us the idea!
02-06-2013, 06:33 AM
- Join Date
- May 2007
- Fort Myers, Florida
LLTF- thanks for the welcome back. I have been lurking around but just haven't seen any trips that fit my schedule and wants. I am sure there will be something soon.
My hubby would love to go back to SA. I don't know if your trip is all completely planned or not but we had a great time. We combined 4 LL packages - Mateya Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Preserve, Steenburg Inn - Capetown Wine Country, Grootbos in Gansbaai and Sabi Sabi Camp in Sabi Sands. We thoroughly enjoyed the two animal safaris and having the marine safari was quite unique. We dove with great white sharks (in cages of course), explored the beaches, saw whales, seals, penguins and dolphins. Going to the wine country was great in that we got to do some tastings but also were close enough to the Cape of Good Hope and explored it by car. The food was excellent everywhere we went and both of us couldn't believe how good it was. We only rented a car for the Capetown portion as we didn't need it for the rest. As I said, we flew Delta from Atlanta to Joburg (stopped in Senegal for refueling) r/t and then flew South African Airways Joburg-Capetown, Capetown-Nelspruit, Nelspruit-Joburg. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I will try to help but I know that Kyshel is the expert for SA.
I know you are going to love it!