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Thanks for getting in touch. We had a great time in Namibia, in no particular order, some thoughts:
Oberland Lodge was the accommodation we liked the most: well designed, privacy, good setting, convenient, good food.
Etendeka Mountain Lodge was stunning, in terms of setting, and the tents were the most high end tents I’ve ever stayed in. Dennis shared some spectacular views of the night sky through his telescope which was really interesting.
All our guides were good, professional, knowledgeable, personable. Can’t praise them enough.
A highlight was the catamaran tour, both our boys had this as their top excursion I think. I’d have preferred a tour with a few less people but not a big issue.
Sossusvlei was one of my highlights, climbing the dunes was good. Actually, across the whole holiday, I’d have liked to have done more hiking / walking safaris but that’s probably down to my planning.
Mushara Lodge had excellent service and the staff performed a few African songs after dinner one night, which was lovely. The lodge itself could do with a refresh, in terms of physical product.
The Elegant Guest House was clean and comfortable. And nicely close to Joe’s Beerhouse. Plus it had the best wifi and so a hit with the kids.
The car we got (Toyota Hilux) was excellent, I’m trying to find an excuse to buy a one.
The Cornerstone Guesthouse was probably the least glamourous place we stayed (it was all clean and safe though) but actually the two owners (I forget their names now) gave some of the best/friendliest service.
Logistically everything went off without a hitch, guides showed up on time, all the accommodation was right and they were expecting us. We had some requirements around our son’s medication being refrigerated, everyone was very helpful with this.
I’ll let Sarah chime in with anything I missed and at some stage I think we’ll be in touch about a trip to Botswana Or maybe Peru.
All the best,
Philip A reviewing Highlights of Namibia - Classic Self Drive on 28 July 2022
The trip was fantastic thanks. difficult to really make any suggestions for changes.
Everything ran smoothly from a logistics point of view and all food and accommodation was great. The owner of Pure Riads came and introduced himself while he was visiting and made some recommendations for restaurants etc.
The mountain guide picked the ideal route for our level and was very informative on the journey.
On the return airport pickup from Marrakesh, we initially didn't see the transfer bus and the local contact mobile number did not appear to be in service which might be worth checking but it was no issue as the driver spotted us.
My wife is already dreaming of her next trip with a different group of friends so no doubt I'll be in touch
Chris B reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek - Value on 27 July 2022
Finally arrived back in Sydney yesterday after a great trip. We all enjoyed Morocco immensely and your organisation was top notch. Some highlights were;
Essaouira, really enjoyed this town and a great introduction to Morocco for us with a more relaxed vibe. The riad we stayed in was fabulous and the female manager Hyat (probably misspelled) couldn't of been more helpful with both suggestions of things to do, places to see and restaurants to eat at. A very friendly team in general and a lovely lady.
The High Atlas, again a real highlight despite the issues with early season snow & ice. The guest house in Imlil was great with again a very friendly owner who was keen to provide as much assistance as possible. The changes to our itinerary were well handled and in the case of the extra night at basecamp post climbing Mt Toubkal, worked in our favour. Only 3 of our group managed the climb due to the icy conditions and those of us who did the summit day needed crampons which were provided free of charge. We were the first group camping at basecamp that year and our preference to do so was accepted without complaint. The only issue I might raise was the lack of anything to sit on in camp, though I guess using the sleeping mats is closer to the Berber tradition. I brought my own mat along which was a good option. Our guide Mohammed was great and really helped us to adapt to the altitude despite some sickness amongst the group. He also managed to get us all through some very difficult ice & snow conditions, putting his body on the line on several occasions when people went flying out of control. This was both on summit day and the prior day when he had to contend with all 6 of us. The food was also excellent and the cook very friendly despite limited English. The whole team worked very well together.
The desert camp was a real experience and very luxurious. Sundowners up on the dunes, the dinners & facilities available and the camel ride were highlights. A long drive was well split by our stays at the Kasbahs which were both fabulous & highly recommended. Hassan & his offsider Khalid were good drivers, friendly and helped us enjoy the whole experience. The excursions along the way were also excellent. The full second day at the desert camp was maybe too much with very high temperatures but they moved us to another cooler camp with shade & more basic facilities during the middle of the day. Again I guess we really got to experience the full nomad lifestyle with a long hiatus during the hottest part of the day.
Marrakesh, again an excellent riad with a nice meal the first night. Good location, very friendly staff and a lovely place to retire to after a day exploring. A very interesting & bustling town.
Chefchaouen, what a wonderful place to spend some time. Another exceptional riad with some great facilities with a perfect location. Again staff were exceptionally friendly & helpful and the city was an absolute pleasure to explore. We all loved this extension & Mustafa our driver was exceptionally helpful as well. We decided to do some trekking 1 day in the nearby Rif Mountains and he was only too happy to drive us there & back through some amazing scenery. He was always concerned for our welfare and even came up to check on us while we were out exploring Chefchaouen.
Tangier, an interesting city and once again the place we stayed was exceptional with a very friendly & helpful French Canadian hostess. The town was a bit more touristy with some issues with touts, 2 nights were enough. Mustafa got us to the ferry up the coast in plenty of time.
A great trip overall and one that we all enjoyed immensely. Thanks for all your organisation & efforts especially after all the Covid delays and civil war made our trip to Ethiopia impossible.
Chris S reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 27 July 2022
Sorry for the late reply - I blissfully didn’t check emails while we were away.
Well I must say - THANK YOU. That was a seamlessly organised, mind-blowing trip! It was everything we dreamed of and so much more.
The hotels, people and places were magical. We just loved every single moment of that totally epic adventure.
We will be back in touch when we are ready for our next one!
Thank you so much and well done for such a brilliantly organised trip.
Suzie G reviewing Family Desert Holiday in Morocco on 27 July 2022
It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.
It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.
Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!
My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.
William M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020
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
Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)
The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.
Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!
Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good
Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.
Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.
Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.
Pippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019
Once again you organised a really good holiday for us.
If there was one criticism it was that there were too many flights. I don’t know whether you could do Bangkok first, Chiang Mai, then fly down South?
Your drivers and Guides - all really good. The variety of transport on the tours in Bangkok and Chiang Mai; we all loved.
Tamarind Village - Our room was a bit of a squeeze, with the 3 of us and 3 big suitcases.
Lisu Lodge- I enjoyed our time here. Going forward I would suggest only 1 night or they need to have some more activities. I liked how we ate on the floor, the food was really good. Staff very friendly. We liked the cycling, tea plantation, trekking and white water rafting.
Riva Surya- good location.
Elephant Hills- we loved looking after the elephants, the lake was also a really good experience. The guides were informative and looked after us well. The resort locations and tents were perfect.
Santiburi - amazing; we upgraded to a beach bungalow which was fantastic. The hotel is in a stunning location, the facilities and the service was impeccable. Sam has some private Thai boxing lessons, which he loved. We had cookery lessons and used the paddle boards. A perfect end to quite a busy holiday.
Natasha L reviewing Thailand Family Adventure on 24 September 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
Fantastic holiday - I think we all really enjoyed ourselves. California is really relaxing, the people we met were lovely, and the scenery is amazing - so huge.
flight - using San Jose airport was a joy. Out of the airport within 30 mins of landing.
car hire - very straight forward.
Copilot - useful. We did download Google maps too, but sometimes the GPS worked better with co-pilot than Google maps (although may have been the phone)
Argonaut hotel - Great location, pleasant staff. Included in resort fee is discounted bike hire (if you get up fast enough to get them) - that was a bonus.
Drive to Auburn - long! we didn't manage to avoid San Francisco rush our - our fault. But a very good idea to get there the night before the rafting, meant the rafting day was much more relaxed.
Holiday Inn - as expected. Nice pool and breakfast was good (and cheap). We quickly learnt that it is really difficult to get food in US after about 8:30 at night, esp in less touristy spots. In n Out Burger an experience.
White water rafting - Our fellow rafters and helmsman (Conner) were good company for the day and we had a great time negotiating rapids, jumping in the water and taking in the scenery. It was all safe without over doing the briefings. Would have been good to have some photos which were only available straight after the trip, rather than on a web site. Nearby Marshall Ward state park was good for non-rafters.
Resort at Squaw Valley - The hotel was amazing. Beautfiul setting. Buffet breakfast in Cascades was a fabulous extravagance - a real treat.
Mountain biking in Tahoe - tremendous. Great bikes, fantastic guide who managed to accommodate both 50+ year old parents and v fit teenage boys. And local knowledge of guide set us up for the rest of the day - recommending places to eat in Truckee and places to visit on Lake Tahoe.
Drive from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite beautiful - well worth going the eastern route so enter Yosemite from East. The drive through the pass was amazing, definitely worth emphasizing that people should make the most of it.
Tenaya Lodge - hotel was a little tired. But we appreciate that Yosemite was getting full by the time we booked. And in fact, it was prob a good thing we were there - as we were out of the smoke in the valley. (The Ferguson Fire began the day we arrived). Sadly after the drive through on arrival, we saw little Yosemite scenery. On the plus side, Tenaya Lodge was cooler than the valley and had less bitey insects.
Walking in Yosemite - guide was excellent. Offered lots of options, and was very informative. Also very personable.
Santa Cruz - great hotel. Lovely city. Organic supermarket, farmers market, Olita's on wharf - all great. The Mystery Spot was hilarious. The surf school were generous and allowed us to keep the boards for several hours after the lesson, as the waves were not that great the two days we were there.
Andrew C reviewing The Ultimate California Adventure on 26 July 2018
Here are 4 write ups on the White Water rafting trip we had in July 2013
From my 14 year old boy:
To put it simply I have never had so much fun in my life. For the first two days I enjoyed a break from the otherwise high tempo country of America. We saw animals that none of us had seen before, swam in waters in which all of us had a ball and lay in the perfect heat of the Utah sun. This incredible experience of food and rest was then followed by the grand finale of white water rafting! The anxiety and nervousness soon turned into a thrill so extraordinary that I have sworn to myself that I will feel that incredible thrill again. Looking back, it was probably the most perfect three days that I can remember. So I mean this genuinely when I say, you must go on this holiday!
From my 12 year old girl:
It was so much fun. We saw coyotes, bears, river otter and more. The people were so nice and the food was amazing . The first two days were calm, but then on the last day we hit the rapids! That was the most fun. We bounced up and down, up and down and got completely soaked. It was a moment I will never forget.
From my 11 year old son:
The scenery was absolutely fantastic, and the water was calm and slightly warm. This was to begin with but after that we got into fantastic rapids. I was scared to begin with but the sparkling feeling in my head and the butterflies in my tummy gave me a great sense of achievement when I had done it!
There were five of us and we had two boats and two brilliant instructors for three of the most incredible days. Calm waters as we either sat in the boats which carried all our food and equipment or we gently floated with our feet out in front of us as we past the million year old rocks of changing earthy colours. The tempo changes: the water becomes white, we all put helmets on and then the rapids begin and our stomachs reach the sky, it really was seriously scary, I looked around at my family and they were all having a ball. Time disappeared fast and we all felt so pleased with ourselves as we had completed the last rapid. I felt rather proud! We were fed like Kings and we all played our parts in making the three days incredible ones we will never forget. Tracking the stars, searching for scorpions and spotting bears all added to the whole experience.
Camilla D reviewing Grand American Family Adventure in Utah on 06 October 2014
Following on from our conversation yesterday - I just wanted to reiterate how delighted we were - and what a huge success the holiday was. It was a bit of a monumental trip for us - and it is not easy travelling with the various ages of the children - but it went very well. The advice and recommendations were great - the hotels were all as you described, and in the right place etc (although as I said I would not have stayed in Yosemite Lodge)
The journey was well paced, the satnav guide was invaluable (although I used the free version - even so I would not have known about it without you mentioning it and it was a godsend)
It was great. And you were incredibly patient with my endless badgering and questions - for which many thanks.
The rafting in particular was fantastic. The guides actually forgot our tents - which was quite funny - Kit clearly felt a thin nylon tent was protection against mountain lions, but once we established that the tent made no difference - he was fine. The food rafting was delicious - although I have to say spectacularly wasteful. 35 pancakes for 6 people for breakfast??? With bacon, fruit, eggs etc etc as well? The children were appalled at how much was thrown away - but I guess that is a the company's thing..
The only thing it would have been good to have been tipped off in the notes about was how much nicer the food is in Yosemite village - rather than the dreary depressing hotel canteen. Maybe other guests would try the dining room - but there was such a long wait for a table - we didn't bother. The buses are very good - and the food options are much better in the village - which we didn't realise until the second night - the guide told us actually. I would definitely put that in the notes for other guests - we didn't try the formal dining room - so maybe that is good - but bypass the canteen.
We loved the arches park - having never heard of it - it was mind blowing. And the wonderful platinum hotel in Las Vegas was fabulous. Great location, gorgeous rooms, esp after the motel style dark rooms in Moab and Gouldings.
I had been toying with the idea of sitting in a launderette in Monument Valley - but figured the Navajo prices would be astronomical. Imagine my delight to find I had not one but TWO washing machines and dryers - complete with washing powder - in the hotel/apartments in Las Vegas. Perfect. We left LV with completely clean clothes, ready for the rest of the holiday. A small but very delightful point!
It was all great. Thank you so much for your efforts, and patience, you definitely gave us a holiday perfectly tailored to US - fitting the older children in really well, and pacing everything so perfectly. I will be in touch again!!
Kathryn M reviewing Highlights of America's South West on 06 October 2014
Some highlights: I really enjoyed the rodeo - I had expected it to be touristy & tacky, but I actually thought it was great. Boulder - although we didn't do too much there, the drive up was amazing & we really liked the lodge & the peacefulness (apart from a huge storm!). The Burr Trail Grill next door was excellent - really lovely & friendly staff & the best apple pie ever. We went to Willis Creek, 12 miles south of Escalante - this was a slot canyon that you can walk through easily & choose to do as much or as little as you like (the slots are 100metres long, so it's easy to walk out or turn back when you've had enough). Particular highlight for everyone was the Fiery Furnace Walk - Mike was absolutely fantastic with Rory & Lucy. It was perfect for Rory as he loves rock scrambling, so Mike encouraged that. Lucy was very nervous, but he helped her overcome her fears. & he was a very interesting person to spend some time with - I think we finished near to midday! We really liked Red Cliffs in Moab & I liked Moab itself - nice to get some fresh fruit & veg after too many burgers!
Some things we'd probably change: I know I said I didn't want to go to Vegas, but I didn't ask the children & I think they might have liked it! It would probably have saved the longer flight & connections from Seattle & it looks as if the drive from Vegas is similar in distance as from SLC.
I think Beverley would have liked longer in some places - we're used to holidays where we stay in one place, so living out of a suitcase was a little different for us.
I'm also in two minds about the rafting. We were not helped by the weather where we had storms & rain all night until around 9am. Lucy got very cold so didn't enjoy it after the first 2 rapids. Rory however, really enjoyed himself. Overall though, it just seemed that it was a 2 day trip that could have been condensed into 1 day. Again, I think if the weather was different, we would have enjoyed chilling out a little more, but as it was & for the price, it was a little disappointing. We met another family while rafting who had booked through you - they were from Hampshire.
Overall, great adventure, good places to stay, amazing scenery, we met some interesting people, saw some amazing storms (hail the size of golf balls! We were told August is their 'monsoon season') & had a great time, so thank you for putting it together for us. Hopefully we'll be back some time for another adventure…I'm still sizing up Toubkal with Rory in a year or two.
Beverley C reviewing Grand American Family Adventure in Utah on 06 October 2014