We are back home and slowly adjusting to home, work and reality after visiting your fabulous country!! All thanks to you we had a wonderful trip!! I have been raving about your services to our friends and co-workers already!! 🙂
Pretoria–accommodations –Superb!! The Spanish villa was very beautiful /service of the staff was very good as well (room decorated). We wish we had spent more time in it but we had a great day and was able to see Pretoria as well–was set up by the hotel to do a 2 hr. tour before our departure to the Blue Train with the same driver and vehicle. I am glad we were able to see your hometown–had our first sightings of wildlife right there–with a herd of zebras and antelopes etc.
Blue Train experience and Service: Great!! Our butler and server made sure we were attended to for all our needs. From making sure that tasty, special vegetarian meals were prepared for me to personally handling all our luggage and walking us out and putting us into our car at Capetown! We enjoyed the complimentary champagne and fruits!!!
Cape Town Experience: You live in a beautiful town!! The apartment was huge, modern, spotless and had all the amenities we needed. We enjoyed spreading out after being on the train and washing our clothes. We loved the area and walked to the waterfront for all our meals/shopping. Perfect location again!! We loved meeting you! We took the hop on –hop off after we realized that Table Mountain access was not available and was able to see the city and went up half way up the mountain atleast.. we were sad not to be able to see Robben island but who can predict the weather! We will plan another trip during warm weather to experience that and the ocean.
Our driver Shante who took us to the cape was a delight!! Prompt, Bubbly and very knowledgeable. The kids (and both of us as well) voted her as their favorite guide for the trip!
Durban: Stuart was our driver for the sightseeing and also drove us later to Swaziland. Very thorough and laid back—knowledgeable. I know now why you put us up in the Umhlanga area as parts of downtown did look a little run down. The hotel we were in– is a great location with the mall/restaurants right across –rooms were small/construction going on etc. but it was comfortable and adequate for 1 night and we enjoyed the area—walked around. We were lazy and did not get up too early and go to the ocean as planned but I think it was not far.
Shiny drove us down to Zulu Nyala—prompt, explained different aspects of her life there which made for an easy drive down whizzing past all the sugarcane fields.
Zulu Nyala: We stayed in 3 upgraded heritage lodge rooms which were huge and could have fit all of us in 1!! So if any of your other clients ask for which one to choose that would be the way to go. The service and food is very good/clean and safe. We loved that there were animals wandering around the resort—zebras and Nyalas/warthogs etc. The sanctuary itself as you know is smaller than the surrounding ones but because of that we were able to see all the animals there I think. Also—we did not stay our whole package of 6 days (only 5) and also did a lot of the excursions—Elephant interaction/Drive into Pinda for lion viewing/St. Lucia where we did the boat ride and horse riding. –All this is arranged by them for additional cost of course but I am sure it all evens out as the other larger sanctuaries are more expensive to stay in maybe, to begin with. 2 safari rides per day, which– if that’s all we did for 6 days we would be a little bored maybe. Nothing you could have done but maybe if do another safari—we will be staying in a different, large one like Kruger maybe?? But for an intro to the bush –was perfect!! The drivers/safari guides are all very good and make sure we get to do all the activities we want to and try their best to take us to see as many animals we can. St. Lucia town is beautiful and quaint. Lovely restaurant and shops.
Swaziland: Countryside was nice and we got to experience another culture/go through customs etc. Stuart admitted he had not been up that way in a few years so we had some trouble finding Riley’s rock (which is inside the protected area/park with numerous other accommodations) but we met other people there who apparently know the area well and were there to hike/relax. Once there though, we had a great time—was given a cottage to ourselves and walked up to the main bungalow to eat. Since it was getting dark already we did not get to explore the area much. The ladies there (Ruth and Kanye) prepared fresh meals for us and served dinner outside by the fire which we thoroughly enjoyed. I hiked around a bit in the morning—very beautiful area—needs 2 nights there I think.
Hazyview/Summerfield Rose resort: Again drove around a bit to find it but when stepped out in the morning for the tour—realized was not that hard to find or far from the town area—we just did not know where we were going. Stuart was exhausted from his drive I am sure, but very patient and made sure we got there safely and was planning to drive back another 8 hrs.! I would give him a high rating for that.
Andre—the manager there took care of all our meal reservations/made wine recommendations etc. Had special cupcakes waiting for all of us.
The luxury tents themselves are fabulous and had all the needed amenities—outside shower and tub etc. Was a little cold but we loved it—probably better enjoyed if weather was a little bit warmer—would be a great romantic getaway for you and your husband!! Right on the river with beautiful litchi and macadamia trees.
The travel service used for the tour of Blyde canyon –Panorama route were very nice took us where needed and made sure we saw everything and discussed a lot about local customs etc. which I enjoyed a lot.
The pickup driver sent next day am for our ride to the airport.
Sandton: Again—beautiful area! Mall and restaurants were great there! Hotel is very good –both décor wise and service—gave us champagne, upgraded our room and gave us a dinner voucher etc. Would highly recommend to all travelers—family and business alike.
We had the option of setting up the tour with a contact that the travel agent there gave us (which would have been cheaper maybe) but we went with the hotel’s recommendation and got set up for the Soweto tour and apartheid museum etc. with a local pastor who actually has been through it all which was good. We even had traditional SA buffet style lunch near Mandela House. Again, glad we got to see all that.
Victoria Falls: I think the Ilala Lodge was the right choice for us as we loved being in walking distance of the falls and town—Rooms are clean and 3-4 star but their restaurant was 5 star. (we liked the food, casual cozy ambiance and service there better than even the Victoria Falls hotel where we went for dinner one night) We did not do the Boma dinner and show as we were just enjoying some family time/relaxing before our long trip home. We also booked and did adventure sport –swinging and flying into the gorge, through the hotel. We just talked to a local taxi driver and went to the bridge and crossed over to do the Zim Zam point
The sunset cruise was very nice and relaxing as well –the Zambezi river is indeed magnificent!!! The falls of course was awesome and as I mentioned we walked to it and did a self-guided tour at our own pace which was great!! We opted to not do the helicopter tour as well as we felt it will get too hectic with all the activities. Transfer to and from airport was prompt and uneventful.
Most of all I (we) loved and truly appreciate that you took care of us so well and set up everything meticulously just as I always go through trying to set up myself, checked us in at the right times/picked our seats and added the special touches to make us feel welcomed and safe in your beautiful country!!! That is what made me have a very relaxed vacation with my family which I truly cherished!!
We were very pleased with the hospitality and positive attitude of all the people we met there and hope it stays as unspoiled/clean and pure as it continues to progress there in the years to come.
Leela (July 2019)