We used your agency for our trip to Africa this March and have finally gotten around to writing a review. We really want to provide feedback as we had a great trip, which in no small part resulted from your agency’s services.
Everything was first class and tailored perfectly for our travel preferences. Her choice of lodgings was remarkable. She even helped coordinate sending our camera, which we left in our driver’s car at the Capetown Airport, to the Nelspruit Airport. We also really appreciated her arranging for Amarula in Capet Town and a private dinner on safari for Chip’s birthday. We really could not have been happier with her efforts.
David, our driver in Capetown, also was fantastic. We have always planned our own vacations and managed our own sight seeing. David really makes us reconsider that approach. He is the consummate professional and a great guy. He really went out of his to ensure everything was perfect during our stay in Capetown and Stellenbosch. We actually felt a sense of sadness when he dropped us off at the Capetown Airport. He really could not have done a better job. We would recommend you try to use him for all of your clients.
Now for some of the detailed feedback regarding our trip/lodgings/activities, etc. Note that any critiques are truly nitpicks as the trip was outstanding.
We loved the Walden House. The room was very nice, the staff was good and the breakfast was excellent. We loved the location as it was quiet, but close to good restaurants and a reasonable distance from the Waterfront, etc. Great selection by Lise.
The peninsula tour was a true highlight of trip. We knew Capetown was beautiful, but had no idea how beautiful prior to the tour. It was the perfect way to start our trip. David, again, was a highlight as he was knowledgeable and really coordinated the day around us, including taking a boat to Duiker Island and lunch at Miller’s Point.
The township tour was very good as well. Mike Zuma did a very good job. We would definitely recommend this tour. We did feel some pressure to buy some local art at the community center.
Robben Island was definitely a unique experience. We really wanted to see it, so it was worthwhile. We would, however, warn people that the trip there and back is cold, wet and long. We would suggest that people only go if they really want to see it as it is a time-consuming trip. Also, if we had had less time in Capetown, we would not have wanted to spend a half day on the trip.
Some food we really enjoyed:
Miller’s Thumb – We liked it so much, we went twice.
Da Vinci’s – We were exhausted. It was close to our B&B. The pizza was great. Great recommendation from David.
Wakame – Great birthday lunch with a great view of the bay and Robben Island. Great recommendation from Lise.
Market at Waterfront – We liked it so much, we had lunch there twice. Great recommendation from David.
Miller’s Point – Truly incredible views of False Bay. Great recommendation from David for lunch during the peninsula tour.
The River Manor was okay. The room, location and breakfast was good. We did have issues with not having hot water the first night. When we contacted the staff, we were told that a lot of people were taking showers, so we just needed to wait a while. Lynne also went back to the room one day and when she entered, a staff member was in there. We don’t think anything bad happened, it is just unsettling to have someone in your room with the door closed. Otherwise, the staff was generally friendly.
On our way to Stellenbosch, David took us to a really cool vineyard. We then roamed around the town for a little while and had lunch. Lynne liked the town. Chip thought it was fairly unremarkable/something you can see anywhere in Europe. This is the only day we may have changed on the entire itinerary by staying in Capetown until late afternoon/early evening and then heading out to Stellenbosch. In fairness, we absolutely loved Capetown and hit a period of exhaustion this day.
The next day in Stellenbosch/Franschoek was fantastic. David took us to a good variety of vineyards with each one being distinct and beautiful. He also planned a beautiful lunch at La Petite Firme. Between the scenery, wine and food (reasonably priced as well), it was an amazing lunch. This day is a perfect example of how David really made all the difference in the world.
Chapungu Tented Camp was perfect for us. We loved the room (which felt like a secluded tree house), staff and food. Great example of Lise choosing the perfect place for us. The game drives were amazing. Our driver, Gerrad, and tracker, Cedric, were great. We saw all the animals we wanted to see, including leopard and cheetah on our last drive. We even saw lions mating multiple times. We would warn people that you get CLOSE to the animals. Lynne could have touched the lion and lioness when they walked by our vehicle after mating. Chip could have touched elephants that walked by our vehicle. Exhilarating, but not for the faint of heart. The game drives also featured drinks/snacks in the bush, which were highlights as well. One thing worth mentioning: we were under the impression that all drinks except for alcohol were included which was not the case. Bottled water, soda and juice were not included and had to be paid for (coffee and tap water were included).
We absolutely loved the Thorntree River Lodge. We had our own private hut on the Zambezi River and we were well taken care of by Florence and the staff. The food was terrific. We did feel as though we were on “Africa time” while there; pick up times and reservations were not always adhered to. Travel to and from activities were also coordinated in connection with the activities of other guests. We would have to say the highlight of this part of the trip was taking a microlight tour of Victoria Falls. While pricey ($150 US each), it was a once in a lifetime experience and the absolute best way to view the falls. We would highly recommend the microlight tour for anyone visiting Victoria Falls but they do need a sense of adventure. The Livingstone Island Tour was interesting, but we do note that the tour guides are absolutely crazy, so also not for the faint of heart.
We had an amazing time in Africa which was a direct result of the hard work Lise and your company did on our behalf. We have recommended your agency to pretty much everyone we know. Thank you again!
Lynne and Chip