Comments on our South African holiday - 13 February to 12 March 2012

It was an excellent holiday, well planned and arranged.

West Lodge, Graskop: Very well appointed B&B, though the Garden Room was somewhat noisy, due to traffic, and only one very mediocre restaurant in town was open the night we visited.

Umlani Bush Camp: Delightful location and very well run.  We enjoyed the thatched huts with al fresco showers, and the lack of electricity gave it an authentic touch.  The guides were excellent and good communicators, and the centre seemed well managed.
We were very fortunate with the game drives, managing to see the big 5 all on one morning though we saw little on the evening drives after dark.

Isibindi Zulu Lodge: Quite similar to Umlani, with accommodation in thatched huts. These were secluded and had amazing views.  The manager was flexible and helpful.  He invited us to join a safari drive immediately on arrival.  We ate well.

Battlefields Tour: Exceptional.  The guide, Mike Nel, was a real enthusiast, and graphically brought the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift to life.

Cathedral Peak Hotel: We loved the place, the hotel, its situation, the perfectly kept grounds, the swimming pool, our spacious room and provision of guided walks.  There was an excellent and varied choice of food, but as it was buffet style, it involved a lot of walking!

Lalaria Lodge, Salt Rock: Another very attractive B&B with a stunning view over the Indian Ocean and a lovely swimming pool.  We didn’t find much to do in the immediate locality, apart from attempting to swim in the ocean.  The hosts were friendly and helpful, but one night might have been adequate.

Knysna Quays Luxury Apartments: Beautiful apartment and provided a chance to self cater and do the laundry!  Eating out was also easy.

The Oystercatcher Trail: For us the walk was not particularly challenging, but nevertheless thoroughly enjoyable.  Transport was unobtrusively organised and accommodation and food first rate.  We were also treated to some excellent wines.

The Hideaway, Swellendam:  Another very attractive B&B, with and exceptionally helpful and friendly host (English!), who a fortnight earlier had booked us into the best restaurant in town, invited us to have a pre-prandial drink, and gave excellent advice re wine tasting on our route to Cape Town.

Klein Bosheuwel Guest House, Cape Town: We had a beautiful room with a view over the very attractive garden.  The host, Tim, was very welcoming and he and his staff gave us helpful advice about accessing the attractions of the area and places to eat, including fine dining at Constantia Uitsig Restaurant.  Being larger than other B&Bs we stayed at, we had the opportunity to meet our fellow guests over breakfast.