The trip surpassed any expectations. The game drives were nothing less than amazing. We even saw elephants, a hippo, kudus and vervet monkeys at our lodge. A vervet monkey stole a doughnut from our table and climbed into the tree to enjoy it. When shooed away by waiters, he grabbed a pear from another table. It was cute.
On the 2nd day at the River Lodge, 2 other ladies (who also stayed at More Quarters) were offered a tour of Ivory Lodge and we went to see it too. What an amazing place, looked immaculate, but they are closing it in April for refurbishment and are also completing the building of a 2-bedroom suite.
The guide (Mike) we had at Sabi Sands was very, very knowledgeable and good. We saw the Big 5. They said leopards are hardest to spot, yet we saw them on 4 out of 5 outings. The rhino was most elusive in our case. On the last morning, we missed the game drive ad we had to depart at 7:30 for Nelspruit but we met up with a couple we were on game drives with at JNB and they said they saw 2 rhinos by their car and it was a bit scary having them so close, especially a young male, unpredictable.
Tongabezi was OK, but could have been better. We had a bug eating frog in our room and he jumped onto my friend’s pillow in the middle of the night and she jumped on my bed. Made it interesting :).
We had lots of nice conversations with Marc (I think he is the manager). Chonde, the guide, was very good and knowledgeable. After our Zim side of the falls, we went for lunch on Livingstone Island and we went into Angels Pool where they took some amazingly scary photos of us right from the edge. Chonde then took us to the Zambian side of the falls for getting-wet session #3, then to Simonga village (where the poverty was heartbreaking).
Our Chobe outing was great – saw lots of kudu and impala, warthogs, zebras and giraffes. We almost gave up on elephants when finally a herd headed for the river. The buffet lunch at Chobe Safari Lodge was Ok. We had 2-hour river cruise to see more rhinos, impalas, buffalos, and we saw some crocodiles and amazing birds. The Chobe day was totally worth it.
Upon check in at Royal Livingstone, we were greeted by 4 zebras grazing by the pool. We LOVED Royal Livingstone and would go back there anytime.
The best food of all the lodgings however was at Tongabezi, where they gave a new chef, Derek, who just got the a few weeks ago from the Winelands. His food was innovative and super delicious. His soups we so good, we asked him to email us some recipes.
View Lion Sands River Lodge
View Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
View Tongabezi and Sindabezi
View The Royal Livingstone