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The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing Luxury KwaZulu Natal Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019
We had an amazing holiday.
Everything was fantastic.
The transport wa spot on, great drivers, all on time, vans really comfortable and water supplied, a really nice way to travel, and you also get to hear all about the local area. Both companies were excellent.
Virgin - was a brilliant airline, not sure why I haven't used them before, SO much better than BA.
Rhino ridge was amazing from start to finish. We has a great female safari guide, who we got very fond of. The wildlife is more sparse but as its more challenging to find we enjoyed this, the surrounding are spectacular. Our guide had great knowledge of the birds. walking safari was excellent and highly recommend. The rooms were superb, very comfortable.
Thonga beach lodge staff were brilliant, the whole place was amazing, the range of activities excellent and again out guides excellent. The food was wonderful. Again the bird guiding and general guiding was brilliant. We really enjoyed the cultural side of our visit, seeing the local communities and church etc. My only comment on thonga for future guests would be if they can afford it maybe to go for a lodge with a ocean view, our lodge was great , the childrens was quite cramped and low down with a very damp musty smell - not that they noticed it, but I think if people were expecting luxury they might not get what they wanted... saying that it was fantastic for us. The lodge staff were amazing and went out of their way for us.
Oyster box was a phenomenal hotel and quite a shock to be back in the world after Thonga - but really worth the stay - we loved it, they Kindly gave us a room for the next day as we had a late flight.
The whole experience was brilliant and really well organised- thank you. We ALL loved everything!
we loved having transport rather than driving, it meant we could relax , sleep and find out about the country from the driver.
If we changed anything, I might spend a little less time at the beach and maybe take in another safari region also. We were repeatedly recommended the Phinda private game reserve (andBeyond) so maybe we would have spent a couple of nights there, in addition, local guides and the tour people said it would give good variety to the Rhino ridge.
However we were 100% happy with what we did, we really look forward to our next safari !!!
Alison D reviewing Luxury KwaZulu Natal Safari & Beach Holiday on 23 July 2019
Really brilliant being met in the airport off the plane. It got the holiday off to the right start and driver really chatty and knowledgeable. Great transfers to and from the camps with drivers that were like guides - pointing out animals and full of interesting facts. All really friendly.
4 Rosmead in Cape Town; We loved it here. Just the right side of plush and a lovely warm, friendly welcome. Breakfast were delicious. It was a real haven to come back to and even though it was small it didn’t feel intrusive. They were also really helpful with great places to eat.
Tours in Cape Town; Our guide, Bevan, gave us an incredible insight into the history of South Africa whilst also being really knowledgeable on wild life and nature. No question was too hard and his answers honest. He had an intern with him from a township and this allowed us a different perspective. Bevan was brilliant with my daughter. The Cape Point trip was a full on day with lots packed in. Our highlight was the penguins but we also really enjoyed seeing Cape Point and getting our first taste of the wild life to come! Our stand out experience in Cape Town had to be the tour of Masiphumelele. We’re so pleased that we did this as it gave us an insight of the lives of so many people in SA. The visibility of such poverty was tough going at times and we learned much about the harsh realities of living in a township such as how dwellings regularly burn down, TB & HIV incidence but equally we saw the resilience, warmth and resourcefulness of the residents. We loved being shown around the nursery and the library and the chance to have a very different experience. Being in someone’s home for lunch was a real privilege. We got such a lovely welcome there and the food was really delicious. The tribal dance routine felt a little forced and I wasn’t convinced there was much pride in the display. I think being shown a little more of the craft workshop or the older people’s group might have worked better. Although I can see how this allowed us have a purpose to go into the unofficial part of the township. All in all a moving experience that will stay with us both for years to come.
Getting around Cape Town; We quickly learnt from local people it’s not actually that safe walking around Cape Town except for in the Waterfront. Uber is the best way to travel - much safer and cheaper than the local cabs. The fares are ridiculously cheap.
Food/Going Out; There are so many great places to eat in Cape Town. The indoor food market at the Waterfront is an absolute must. A huge variety of food that is great quality. Also a great place to hang out for a while as there is always bands playing. The Waterfront overall was a pleasant way to do a bit of shopping. We got some great township art there. We ate at the Cod Father in Camp Bay. It was night so we couldn’t benefit from the incredible views. The food was incredible and really fresh. Really warm service too. The Nelson Eye? was also gorgeous for meat eaters. A slightly retro steak house but with the best meat (nor for vegetarians!). We had great steak, ribs and a divine mint crisp local dessert. We also found a lovely place on Kloof Street called the Dark Horse (its sister restaurant the Black Sheep was closed). Really excellent small plates and great selection of wines.
Moswari Game Reserve; This part of the holiday blew us away. The safari was spectacular. From our first game drive we saw and learnt so much about the incredible bush. We saw the Big Five within 24 hours (although we appreciate that must be unusual) but it wasn’t just that we saw them we saw them in amazingly dynamic situations - lion cubs suckling the lioness, rhino doing a strange greeting, a herd of 40 elephants at almost touching distance, a leopard eating its kill in a bush and then majestically descending. I could just go on. It wasn’t just these but also the wonderful giraffe sightings, all types of buck and antelope, a rainbow of different coloured birds. This was an unforgettable experience.
Our guide and tracker, Weinond and Bricks, were perfect. Weinond was a lovely gentle and sensitive man with an encyclopaedic knowledge for wildlife and nature. Bricks was a skilled tracker and I am certain that without him we would not have seen half of what we did. You could feel their passion for the animals and they seemed to take as much joy from a spot as we did. Whilst driving Weinond filled us with information about life in the bush. This meant we learnt so much about the habits and habitats of the magnificent animals and birds we were seeing.
The camp and rooms were top class. It was a small intimate camp with nicely spaced lodges for privacy. The view from our lodge was stunning. The room was large, beautifully furnished and with the best bathroom ever. If there was one thing that could be added it would be would be access to drinks in your room. Sometimes you want a beer or a nightcap without having to go all the way to the main camp.
The food was luscious. There was something for everyone and it was all of a really high standard and cooked to perfection. It was definitely restaurant standard. My only complaint is how much weight I’ve put in because I couldn’t resist!
The service throughout was warm, friendly and appropriate. Very professional.
We stayed for a night in the Giraffes Nest. This was a special, magical experience. The setting was fabulous and ‘nest’ itself beautifully decorated. It was winter so it was a cold night but they gave you lots of blankets and a cosy robe to help with that. Once in the best you we’re in your own but with radio connection back to the camp. Whilst we only spotted 2 animals during the night it was a special experience sleeping under a blanket of stars. It was a bit overpriced I think for what it is and I think in the winter it should be possible might to stay a bit longer in the morning ( we were collected 6 am to join our drive group) as this might mean you would see animals in the light.
Finally, I cannot recommend this camp enough to people. A truly spectacular holiday that we will never forget. I’ve definitely been bitten by the Africa bug!
Dara d reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 02 July 2019
Thanks for all your help in making the arrangements, everything went so smoothly from landing in Jo’burg to departing a week later.
We all had a fantastic time, Kirsty (our youngest) was able to go on all the game drives and we were very well looked after both on the drives and back at the lodge. The food was great, staff were all very friendly & nothing was too much trouble for them (e.g. providing hot milk for Kirsty at bedtime). The kids all enjoyed the rock pool during the day and we all loved the game drives.
We were lucky enough to see all the big 5, with the additions of Cheetah & Wild Dogs. I think it was the second to last day before we managed to see some Hippo (and finally I’ve been able to take some photos of them - I have only ever seen them at night before). We had the adventure of being caught up with some Lionesses stalking a herd of Zebra (one of the younger Lionesses went a bit early & scattered the herd).
We’re certainly aiming to go on safari again although it will be a while before we save enough to go again (maybe the kids will be taking us next time!)
Jeff W reviewing South Africa Madikwe Safari and Mauritius on 13 May 2019
Lawhill Luxury Apartments (Cape Town): We loved the apartments (especially having a ground floor room that we could access the waterside directly from). Only comment would be that it was a bit of a dark path towards them if heading back from the apartments from the v&a after dark.
Wine Tour (Cape Wineland): The wine tour was great - the guide was really knowledgeable and we went to the bird park at Spier and played with Cape foxes and held owls, which was great! The ‘winetasting’ for the kids was great too. At the last vineyard we actually chose to do craft beer tasting rather than wine (to please the husband!!) which was a good option.
Township Tour by Bike (Cape Town): Again, this was great. The guide was very knowledgeable and made us feel very comfortable. We also loved finishing at Mzoli’s barbecue.
Mosaic Sanctuary (nr Hermanus): This was fabulous. We got the room with the best view (no. 2) and it was just lovely. The staff were all fantastic and thoroughly looked after us - we had a welcome drink back from every activity! The kids loved the quad biking and the guide even let them ride their own bike (with him sitting close behind them!). The nature walk and beach trip were both great too. The kids went sand surfing! Food and drink were all lovely.
De Denne Guesthouse (Oudtshoorn): The guesthouse here was probably a bit dated given we had just left Mosaic but the staff here were also lovely, as was the evening meal and the lovely setting (the stars were amazing!). We visited an Ostrich farm and had a guided tour to ourselves, which was great. The kids got to hold a baby ostrich so much excitement!
Fynbos Ridge (Plettenberg Bay): The house at Fynbos Ridge was great and there was so much to do in the area. The owners were lovely and breakfast was great too. We weren’t offered any of the extras noted in the itinerary (evening meal, spa treatment etc) but we weren’t bothered - perhaps it would have been available if we’d asked. The setting was therefore quieter than we had expected but that wasn’t an issue at all - again perhaps just something to note in the itinerary? We do say private nature reserve but we may try to make this clearer as it is quite isolated and long road to get there... I suppose.
Kariega Main Lodge (Eastern Cape Safari) - this was amazing. Apart from the first drive, we had our ranger to ourselves and he was great, really knowledgeable and keen to share. We asked lots of questions too! He made the kids feel very welcome and included. He even included a night drive after dinner to see the nocturnal animals. We weren’t sure if it would be too late for the kids but they fell asleep so we enjoyed it and saw lots! Delighted to hear this about Kariega
Thanks again for organising it for us. We had an amazing trip and are still talking about it to everyone we see!
Lorna T reviewing Classic Garden Route For Families on 29 April 2019
Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.
Laura L reviewing South Africa Madikwe Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018
We had an absolutely fantastic time on our Garden Route trip and I would be more than happy to provide feedback for you and Tourdust. I also thought you might like to know directly some of our experiences.
All the logistics worked smoothly from our meet and greet through to car pick up. Glad we picked the larger van as it meant we and our suitcases had lots of space. The vehicle was perfect for the longer drives.
Pumba was a perfect introduction to safari for our kids. The dedicated ranger was ideal as it allowed us to modify our plans to suit the children and we managed to see elephants, giraffe and lots of other game up close. They even tailored one afternoon so the kids could try archery and fishing whilst we relaxed. The food and accommodation was lovely and well suited for a family of our size. Food was delicious and ample to keep us full of energy.
We have been privileged to stay in many great hotels but we agreed Hunters country house is probably our favourite. The service was outstanding, food was great and they even proactively booked us into their restaurant Zinzi and. Leaned the car! Accommodation was again perfect for us with to adjoining rooms and the grouds are beautiful. We have already highly recommended to other friends. Being between knysna and plattenberg is a great location and we had lots of exciting adventures.
Zeekoe at Oudtshoorn as you know was our next stop. It gave us a great chance to visit the caves and that was pretty much all there was so two nights was the ideal length. We ate both nights at the hotel as nothing was open as it was a Sunday in the town. The food was ok but the fact there was lots of space for the kids to run around and we met several other families made it another good location. We actually enjoyed driving over the mountains and heading in land for a while. The kids loved a small adventure park near the caves that had some water slides.
The whale coast hotel at Hermanus was a different location being in the town. The accommodation was ideal again as we enjoyed being close to all the restaurants and shops whilst also having two floors and three bedrooms. The breakfast provided by the hotel was basic but with so many other nearby great restaurants it wasn't an issue. It was also close to shops and as it had a kitchen we got some extra items for those early mornings.
Finally we made it the vineyard for Christmas. I can't thank you enough for the effort you undertook to find us suitable rooms as again this little appartment with three rooms, a living space and kitchen suited us really well. Especially as it gave Santa a place to put stockings. I was a little skeptical about the hotel in advance having stayed in many other great Cape Town locations but it was a lovely hotel. Great food, kids menus, and we managed to have Christmas lunch at Myoga which was outstanding. The kids loved searching out the giant tortoises that lived there and it provided a nice location for some running. The staff were very friendly, always willing to help and I would highly recommend it as it gives you a break from the hustle and bustle of the V&A whilst also being easy to drive to.
I can't really explain well just how much fun we had and we all agreed that it was probably our best holiday yet and far exceeded our expectations.
Michael F reviewing Classic Garden Route For Families on 09 February 2016