Feedback to Anna Lee and Cindy Botha
Bielby South African tour.
We had the most memorable holiday. South Africa is such a diverse country and the people we met were very friendly, and generally the staff very helpful. We had some amazing food and wine along the way, with the only exception Zimbabwe. We were delighted that we had such a private tour, and want to thankyou for your attention to detail. We wanted to provide feedback, and do apologies that it has taken us so long to get to it.
Pretoria – We would have to most highly recommend the Rovos Rail trip, if you have any clients that may enquire. The whole experience was 5 stars in service and excellence. It is however important to remind them that it is a train and you do get rocking at night. Some people have difficulty sleeping because of this. Others love the feeling.
Victoria Falls – the Kingdom hotel was comfortable, but the overall service was less than we expected. Management and staff were not very involved and although we needed US Dollars to buy everything they had no change at reception when purchasing such things as water, dinner was only buffet and not very exciting. Breakfast was reasonable. The room was very good so if the intention is to have a room and breakfast and not much else then it will do. Perhaps it is a Zimbabwe. We did visit Ilala Lodge for dinner and their accommodation looked impressive even though it was a bit more expensive. May be worth considering.
The Tour Company and guide in Vic falls were good. We did the lion encounter – excellent, (I have now patted a lion) and the helicopter ride over the falls is a must. Thank you for the private river cruise. We were expecting to be on a large boat, and delighted that it was only us and the boat driver and the guide. We got to see a great deal and were able to get quite close, thankyou.
The Safari Club Hotel was just lovely – we had the best night. We meet up with a group of photographers on their way back to Australia, and got to hear some funny stories and see some great photos. The hotel was very comfortable and homely and the staff very nice.
We were delighted to meet Henry and Annekie (you have lovely parents). They were both delightful and very knowledgeable, and we had a lovely trip all the way to Kruger. We all loved the Rissington Inn and could have had more time here for R&R. The service and hospitality just superb, and we had great company for dinner!
The balloon flight was very good and well run. Kapama Game lodge is top notch- everything was just fabulous. The safari’s were first rate and the service excellent. A very good lodge. The safaris are quite cool (cold in the morning) so it would be good to stress to clients to not underestimate the need for warm clothes. They did provide everyone withblankets after dark and in the morning. We did see the big 5 and had great tracker and guide. It is just amazing to see the animals so close. Please tell Henry we saw the secretary bird, and it is the first time our guides had seen one at Kruger.
Martin Fine was our tour guide in the cape region and he was just excellent. He picked what we liked and tailored things to us. We loved Stellenbosch and the wineries. Martin took us to Fairview Winery and we did a private wine and cheese tasting – This was exceptional and truly memorable.
The accommodation was superb at Kleine Zalze – originally they had us in rooms with twin beds and when we highlighted this was incorrect, they upgraded us to a suite, with a lounge, kitchen, separate bedroom and balcony, very nice.
The Protea Hotel Victoria Junction was very new and nice; staff polite and helpful. Despite the political history and significance of Robben Island, we would only recommend this those who felt a bond with the site. It takes a large part of the day and not a well structured tour. It could be so much more but if time is an issue then they should do something else in the region and buy the video. The weather was good so we could go up Table Mountain. Martin gave us a good perspective on everything. We weren’t able to fit in the full city tour as we were too pushed for time so you may want to factor that into further itineraries.
Our trip to the cape peninsular was just amazing – we saw whales along with all the other usual wildlife. Martin picked a lovely place for lunch. It is a full day so not able to fit in the botanical gardens. We did some shopping on our free day. We loved Cape Town and have much more to see and do here.
The trip to Mauritius is a long one especially as Le Mauricia is well over an hour from the airport. We found the rooms comfortable, but the staff were not helpful – rude even, and the dinners not quite to our taste. Overall the facility is a bit tired and aimed more at families and young couples. If we had our time again we would have looked for something a little more upmarket. The advantage of Le Mauricia is its location and accessibility to outside food and enetretainment. We highly recommmend Le Bistrot De Bacchus just up the road from the resort, excellent food and wine.
We booked a quad bike and waterfall tour (full day) with the same company that did our transfers, and have to say we were very disappointed. They sent a small compact car for the 4 of us – 2 hour drive – very uncomfortable and poorly arranged. The vehicle was totally unsuitable for four adults. We were also told we could see the falls which were in the same region as the bikes but it did not take us long to determine that there was never going to be be enough time.. We are unsure how the tour guide believed we could combine the two tours given the four hours travel it took just to get to the bikes and back. . We did raise these issues with the guide on returning to the resort as this could have been prevented.
Overall we had an amazing and memorable trip and for that we would like to thank you. Your assistance in the planning and your organisation has been highly commendable. We have passed on your name, Henry and Annekie, and Matin Fine to several others who are planning to travel to South Africa so hope that you may hear from them in the future.
We hope this feedback is of use to your organisation and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions for us.
Ray and Linley Bielby