Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Travels in Namibia and South Africa

A short review of our Namibian trip...

Chameleon Guest House, Windhoek * * *
Intersting location, very inernational, very nice guest rooms available

NauaNaua Game Lodge * * * * *
Excellet set-up, highly recommendable. New owner: Stefan & Daniela Kondzilewsky 00264 67 687100 We were the first guests!!Stefan is planning to buy a Cessna Aircraft, allowing him to offer air/safaris out of NauaNaua

Brandberg Rest Camp, Uis * * *
Interesting, historical set-up. We were the only guests that day

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch * * * *
Exciting place, good kitchen.

Central Lodge, Keetmanshoop * * * *
Nice, well kept location

Ai-Ais Hot Spring Resort ???
Was not open yet. All workers have booked out Terrace Bay Fishing Resort * * * so we left the place as only tents were available. Opening in about 6-8 months. We were asked to drive back to CANYON LODGE * * * * , where we were welcome with drinks and had dinner, and breakfast. Very good service. All charges went to Ai-Ais!!

In south Africa
Daisy Country Lodge, Springbok * * * +
Nice set-up

Hantam Huis, Calvinia * * * +
A great historical place with unique atmosphere, kitchen & restaurant, Golf View B/B,

Laingsburg * * * *
Very nice place, well kept. Great hospitality.
On the way from Springbok to Laingsburg we had a flat tyre. Had to run on "tempa/spare tyre" to Knysna. Our car had not a very common size of tyre (!)

Generally we would recommend for Namibia Tours 4x4 vehicles, we had many critical places to pass with our sedan. We do have to mention however that we had almost every day some rain.
Thank you again for your kind assistance.

Beste regards
Norbert & Elisabeth

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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

African Luxury Train Safaris - Possitive comments - October 2008

My first experience of what I call posh food. This was a learning curve.
Leonard Quinn - Crew U.K.
Cape Town to Pretoria Route - 20 to 22 Oct 08

Many thanks for an excellent journey. The staff were fantastic and very helpful. The food was delicious - cant wait to travel with Rovos again.
Christine & Fred Prottey - Wolverhampton U.K.
Cape Town to Pretoria Route - 20 to 22 Oct 08

Food better than Australian Indian Pacific and Canadian Rocky Mountaineer.We consider the standard of service, Ladies and Gentlemen providing service to Ladies and Gentlemen to be among the highest, if not the highest we have encountered anywhere.
Geoff Brown & Gerry Helfrich - North Berracoppin - Australia.
Cape Town to Pretoria Route - 18 to 20 Oct 08

All a wonderful experience. Bar and Waitress staff are terrific. Special thanks to Chef and cooks. They are the true stars on this journey.
Robert and Pamela Gresty - U.S.A.
Cape Town to Pretoria Route - 17 to 19 Oct 08

Excellent selection of food and wine and great service all round.
Ricky and Sheila Vittele - Thousand Oaks Calif. U.S.A.
Cape Town to Pretoria Route - 17 to 19 Oct 08

Overall we have really enjoyed this journey and would recommend it to others.
Musa and Alisha Yusuf - Harare Zimbabwe
Cape Town to George -10 to 11 Oct 08

The dinning cars are superb. Lounge areas very civilized and relaxing. Outstanding food, thank you to all that assisted in making such great meals.
Marc and Jackie Warner - Glenashley R.S.A
Golf Safari Tour (Pretoria, Durban, Pretoria) - 16 to 20 Oct 08

When we returned to the train it was like coming home.The wonderful staff never made you feel that anything was an effort. We have some "new logs to burn one day in our old age memories".
Koos and Linda Jacobs - Bocksburg R.S.A
Golf Safari Tour (Pretoria, Durban, Pretoria) - 16 to 20 Oct 08

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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Kosi Bay - Accommodation was very disappointing

Stay at Kosi Bay in KZN Wildlife chalets June/July 2008. The chalets were OK... but are in desperate need of renovation. It was cold and most of the windows were damaged allowing the cold air into the chalet.

The roof needs to be closed off somewhere at the top as we had squirrels living in the roof who seemed to fight all night. Now I know you are in the bush but when they are in your room at 1am, it's not so nice.

The DSTV did not work as the bill had not been paid. We did not go there to watch TV but let's face it, Kosy Bay in the evening is not exactly vibey, and you can only look at the stars for so long each night. I actually demanded to speak to the person who should have paid the bill. They gave me his contact number and the TV came on for 1 day then was off again. When we booked, we paid for all facilities including DSTV and a chalet that had windows intact.

There was no heater either so we froze to death with lots of blankets.

I should actually demand a refund or a free holiday but I'm sure that will not happen. I'm sorry to say, but when you call the parks board its like talking to a brick wall.

Denny wright

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Little Mazot, Knysna in the Garden Route

I needed affordable but exclusive accommodation for my dream holiday in Knysna.

I highly recommend The Little Mazot. Not only is it stylishly furnished, it has the most beautiful view of the heads, very central yet quiet. Easy to find on internet also.

The owners are so friendly and makes you feel welcome.

J van Wyk

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Monday, 23 June 2008

2 Great nights in the Kruger Park

I needed last minute accomadation in Kruger Park in early January. Thanks for helping out. The 2 nights at Satara and Berg en dal were great.

Our 2 boys(5 and 9) still talk about the experience of seeing Lions in the middle of the road and a Cheetah right next to the road (we were lucky!!) We hired our own car and had no rangers, so to see this in the public park was amazing. We also saw a dead impala in the fork of a tree (a leopard had taken him up there)

Response from your company was great and all worked out smoothly - an unbelievable 2 days at a VERY reasonablre price

Thanks again

Neil from Australia

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Van Zijls Guesthouse in Nieuwoudtville

The worst place to stay over in Nieuwoudtville (Northern Cape, just over 50km west of Calvinia) is at the only advertised guesthouse in that town namely Van Zijls Guesthouse.

He owns a couple of houses which is let during the flower season, as well as a restaurant.
Dont get caught by the pretty pictures on his website as it is very bad; dont pay in advance either.

A lot of flower tourists were caught before according to other sources in the town.

Just a friendly warning.
Leon G Volschenk

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Mkuze Falls Tented Lodge

My family and I have just returned from a weekend break at Mkuze Falls Tented Lodge.
The facilities and service throughout were without any doubt five star. The food too was quite faultless in both quality and quantity although with the excellent game drives to enjoy it was far from easy to find time and appetite to do it full justice.

The ranger and the tracker really knew their business and we have much in the way of photos as a result.

Sincere thanks to all concerned.
R Hunn

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Sunday, 22 June 2008

A Great stay in the Kruger Park

We needed last minute accomadation in kruger Park in early January.

Thanks for helping out. 2 nights at Satara and Bergendal were great. Our 2 boys(5 and 9) still talk about the experience of seeing Lions in the middle of the road and a Cheetah right next to the road(we were lucky!!).

We hired our own car and had no rangers ,so to see this in the public park was amazing.We also saw a dead impala in the fork of a tree(a leopard had taken him up there)Response from your company was great and all worked out smoothly-an unbelievable 2 days at a VERY reasonablre price

Thanks again

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Mhofu in Marloth Park

Het vakantiehuis Mhofu in Marloth Park, bij Kruger Park in Zuid-Afrika is een verrassing! Een mooi comfortable bush-huis met 2 veranda's boven en beneden. De inrichting is Afrikaans met 2 fijne aparte slaapkamers met een eigen toilet en douche. Zeer veel privacy. De tuin is prachtig met alleen maar inheemse bomen (zeer oude) en struiken. Veel voeder plaatsen en een heerlijke afgeschermde braai waar je veilig lunt bbq-en. Krugerpark is binnen 20 minuten te bereiken voor de Crocodilbrug-gate. De rivier is maar 200 meter van Mhofu af, dus een wandeling vroeg in de ochtend is rijkdom. Wij hebben de Panoramaroute gedaan (prachtige uitzichten) en we zijn naar Swaziland geweest. Verder in het Kruger Park en Marloth Park zelf veel flora en fauna bewondert.

Fantastische vakantie.

Vanaf 485 euro voor 7 nachten!


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Thursday, 17 April 2008

Kruger Park and Bundu Country Lodge

Berg en Dal Camp in the Kruger National Park and Bundu Country Lodge

We had an AMAZING time and I must have looked at my photos a thousand times already.

We loved the Kruger Park, such a magical place and were lucky enough to see all of the Big 5.

Thank you for all your hard work, advice and patience. You certainly saved me a lot of time and stress (As you may well remember, I find booking holidays a very stressful experience!).
It is fair to say that it was one of the best holidays we have ever had - right up there with our honeymoon. We will have to find an excuse to return some day and when we do, I'll be sure you look you up again.

Thank you.
Best wishes

V Westmacott

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Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Awesome game drive in the Kruger Park

Unfortunately we had a really bad start in Kruger Park. Upon arrival to Skukuza we booked another 2 game drives. Then in the afternoon I got really sick, I got high fever and was very ill. My girlfriend got hold of the doctor who turned back to Skukuza and in the evening I was able to see him. By then I had over 40 degrees fever and was totally dehydrated. After some intravenous and other medicine I was on my feet again the next day and saw the doctor again in the morning for a checkup.

It was probably something I had eaten. The doctor was really helpful.

Then we had a sunset game drive and a sunrise game drive the next day. The morning drive was really, really good. Our guide was superb, she spotted things that we never understood how she even saw and she could tell us a lot of both the animals and the plants. That was really an interesting experience. We saw 4 of the big 5 and had a great time.

Our overall impression from South Africa (which can also be confirmed from my mother and sister who are in SA right now) is that the people we met were so friendly and helpful. Also, I have been around the world, trying a lot of things but I must say that the safari actually was among the best experiences I've ever had.

I was a little afraid that the Kruger Park would feel like a "zoo", specially since I'm not really interested in animals, but I couldn't be more wrong. The excitement when we sat in the jeep in the sunset drive holding a flashlight trying to spot animals... awesome.

Besides I would like to thank you for your professional approach and service.

Best Regards
F Derkum

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Friday, 22 February 2008

Skukuza in the Kruger National Park

We had a fantastic holiday in South Africa and our visit to the Kruger National Park was definately a highlight.

Unlike the many reports we've received about "you can find more wildlife in your own backyard than in Kruger", we got to see the big 5, giraffes, wild pigs, hyenas, zebra, kudu's, impala, eland, baboons, monkeys not to mention the colourful birds. I think the fact that we stayed for four nights gave us the opportunity to see these animals and there is nothing on the earth that can prepare you for the exhilaration of finding a animal in its own wild environment.

Skukuza is great camp that provides the overseas traveller with all the shopping and restaurant facilities needed.

But (and there is always a but,) there are a couple of things that as an agent, you may want to know about and want to mention to the Skukuza Camp Managers :

On arrival we wanted to pay by visa for our park fees but were told that the on-line system was down. We tried to negotiate to the staff that we do not have the cash on us and that we wanted to use our visa to gain frequent flyer points. The staff were downright infexible and unwilling to work towards a solution and we were forced to withdraw the money from an ATM (which was fortunate at such a remote location). This now incurred some added fees to our account, however small and we have no frequent flyer points. Early the next morning the on-line system was back on which made the experience with the staffs apathy and disinterest even the more upsetting.

Secondly, it would have been nice to have had kitchen facilities in the bungalow especially when it was clear to us that the option was available. As an overseas traveller you do not have the same opportunity to carry incidentals with you that are convenient like taking a portable gas stove etc. The communal kitchen was lovely and clean but the stove was slow and it took forever just to boil water for a cup of coffee let alone cooking dinner. Way too long in the travellers precious time. There is also no clear instructions to tell you if the stove is on the higher setting or lower setting. We tried both but always felt that there is no heat coming from the hotplates. The urn on the wall that was meant to provide us with hot water still took just as long to heat up on the stove as the water was definately not hot when coming out of the urn.

Apart from that the bungaloes were clean and interesting to stay in.

We will definately return to the camp as we had an overall great experience and thank you for all your help in organising the reservations in Skukuza.

L Sellek

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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Camps in the Kruger Park

Thank you for the warm, friendly and very efficient service from the point of contact right through to the follow-up after the trip.
We returned from our trip to the Kruger Park on Saturday, having booked one additional stay-over at Malelane Rest Camp so that we could enjoy Friday as our last day in the camp while the sun was out!

Armed with the confirmations all the check-ins went very smoothly and although it rained or was very overcast at least 60% while we were there and the park had lots of water, lush vegetation and thick bush - we still had some extraordinary sightings.

Leopard still escapes us of the big five, but had plenty Elephant, Buffalo, Lion and Rhino sightings along with a stunning Cheetah sighting. All the grazers had lots of babies and young calves and all the animals look in superb condition. Other highlights were Hyena pups, and the birdlife was incredibly active - seeing many of the Roller and Francolins throughout the park, Fish Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Kori Bustard, Buzzard, Vultures, Saddle-billed and other Stork, Ground Hornbill, and for me the crown was a Martial Eagle that swooped across directly overhead the vehicle.

During the stay, the phone lines were down several times/days causing problems for credit card users - but we had fortunately made sure we had sufficient cash for the trip although we were concerned the last few days. We did not have Skukuza and Letaba planned in on the travel, and these are the two camps that have ATM facilities that I am aware of.

We enjoyed each of the camps we stayed in which all have their own charm, Shingwedzi, Mopani, Olifants, Talamati, Satara and Lower Sabie. Mopani got incredibly hot peaking at 43 Deg C while we were there - so we didn't mind the cloud cover at all. Not fantastic lighting for the photographers though!

One thing to remember is that the booking is actually made under SATours and Safaris and not the individuals name. It wasn't a problem, just a tip to perhaps let other clients know.

We are planning the next trip already so we will be in contact again soon. Just have to figure out my travel schedule for 2008 so we know over which period to schedule the trip.

Kind Regards,

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Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Nottens Bush Camp in the Sabi Sand

I cannot say enough good things about Nottens! What an amazing place! The hosts (Nikky and Dale) were so warm and inviting, it was like staying with friends! The other guests were equally interesting, two of the groups were repeat guests, one for the second time and one for the fourth. Every detail was perfectly thought out and beautifully executed. The food was beyond delicious. Gift has a superb talent for creative design and organization, and Lee made the most amazing baked goods. The two of them were a perfect team.

Christmas in the bush was magical – they had cleared out a small area and had a central fire, loads of small candles on the ground and suspended from the trees, there was a full moon – we had our sundowners and appetizers were cooked on a small brai. Not only was there no artificial light, there was nothing artificial about the entire experience. The staff work together like a well-oiled machine.

Not to mention!! Our trackers (Joe and Gideon) found EVERYTHING. In two game rides, we covered the big five PLUS cheetah. Seeing leopards was the best Christmas present I have ever ever had.

Basically, I can’t say enough good things about Nottens. We will definitely be back.

And yes, please feel free to use any of my comments! The only drawback might be that everyone will want to go there and Nottens will get so popular we will never be able to get reservations again!

Thank you SO MUCH, Lientjie. You made this possible, so you get the most praise of all!



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Monday, 24 December 2007

Addo Elephant Park

We had an absolutely wonderful overnight stay at Addo.

The chalet was lovely and being a scorcher of a day, the aircon most welcome and we saw a vast amount of wildlife which just made the stay that much better - saw everything except the big cats.

I will definately be recommending the park and referring your services to many friends.

Thank you and best wishes for the festive season.


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Tuesday, 11 December 2007

5 Day Fly In/Microbus Kruger-Safari

Other than the lost passport at the airport, everything else was great.

I have to say the 5 Day Fly In /Microbus Kruger & Mpumalanga Safari was beyond my original expectation. The Tremisana game lodge was comfortable and in particular the staff there are really nice and knowledgeable. I had a great time.

I told people there that one day I will come back bringing some friends with me.

Again, thanks for making all the arrangement.


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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Superb time at Sabi Sabi

We had an absolutely wonderful time at Sabi Sabi!

The service was excellent, the food was superb, the rooms were marvellous and the surroundings beautiful. We had some fantastic game drives and saw loads of animals, followed leopards, spotted lions, hung out with elephants and greeted zebras.

The only small comments I would give is that the ranger didn’t need to eat with us every evening. Once might have been OK, but we would have been very happy to be on our own but felt a bit obliged to dine with him…which I am sure can’t be that much fun for him every evening. It probably didn’t help that our ranger, was very good at the game drives but his social skills were perhaps not as excellent. Another small thing: We were surprised to be asked for tips – and that the amount suggested were as high as they were (R 150 for the ranger from each person each day…that is more than most people earn and that is just his tip!) Of course it was voluntary but it was surprising nevertheless. These are just very minor things and only worth mentioning because the rest of the experience was so superb!!!

Best and thanks a lot,

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Monday, 26 November 2007

Kapama Adventure in the greater Kruger Park

Kapama was an extraordinary adventure that left us with memories we will carry for the rest of our lives. The guides and trackers were amazing, the lodging was excellent and the food was wonderful. I highly recommend the trip. And, all transfers arranged through SA Tours went seamlessly.

I want to thank you for the work you did to set this trip up. many thanks!!!

D Holden


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Thursday, 15 November 2007

Kruger National Park - South Africa

Trip to the Kruger National Park

Thank you SO much for your wonderfully efficient reply - you have even managedd to surpass the exceptionally high standards set by your company in the past.

What a rare pleasure - dealing with people like you.

Thank you again - kind regards


Berg en Dal Camp - 3 Bed Bungalow
3 single beds, Aircon, Fridge, Hotplate, Sink, Utensils, W/C and Shower

Biyamiti Bush Camp - Cottage
1 bedroom with 2 single beds, 2 bench beds in lounge (not recommended for 4 adults), Fan, Kitchen, wc and shower, View.
No restaurant facilities available at this camp.

Lower Sabie Camp - Safari Tent
2 Single Beds, Ceiling Fan, Fridge, grab rail in shower and toilet, Kitchenette, No additional persons allowed, River View, Utensils, Wc and shower, suitable for the disabled

Satara Camp - Luxury Bungalow
2 single bed, converted to double on request, Aircon, Fridge, Kitchenette, Microwave, single sleeper couch, Utensils, Wc and shower

Olifants Camp - Bungalow
2 Single beds, Aircon, Fridge, Hotplate, Riverview, Sink, Utensils, Wc and Shower Skukuza Camp Kruger National ParkBungalow: 2 Single Beds, Aircon, Fridge, Hotplate, Sink, Utensils, W/C and Shower

Berg en Dal Camp - 3 Bed Bungalow
3 single beds, Aircon, Fridge, Hotplate, Perimeter View, Sink, Utensils, W/C and Shower

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Tuesday, 6 November 2007

From Greater Kruger Park to the Garden Route

My wife and I had a marvelous time.

In the pre-trip calls as to what we wanted to see was absolutely "Spot On". This was a trip that we will never forget.

Yes, there was one disappointment as to the Rovos Rail. Although, the train was beautiful, the service was not as stated - 5 star. There were several little details which added up to the disappointment in that area. At no fault to the train, there were several snotty, or snobby people on board which also made for a "Not So Good Experience."

African Game Lodge - Not so good. Rooms were dirty and way out of the way for a car which I had.

Exeter Lodge was the best experience we ever had. We will defiantly go back there in the future. The people there were very professional and friendly. "Great Place"

Rosenhof Guest House; WOW simply super. Friendly, Great Food, Super Atmosphere. Super Rooms, Very Helpful. Organized Hot Air Balloons, Quad Bikes in the Mountain..........just to much to list.

Storms River Rest Camp; WOW.....No words can describe what you can see. Brilliant!!

Garden Route; Simply Superb all the way. We will be back.

Your company really listened as to what we wanted to do, and you handled it. It was a pleasure booking with you. We will book again for another trip to your beautiful Country.


J Puckett

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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Itala, Hilltop and Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal

Thank you so much for all your help with our holiday arrangements. It was both a pleasure and very reassuring making all our bookings with you, especially as Madrid is such a long way from South Africa and I had no real understanding of how the National Parks system worked.

  • We had the most wonderful time in all three parks and our chalets were absolutely the best on offer.
  • We had number one in Itala,
  • Fantastic views in Hilltop (Hluhluwe National Park) and
  • Our veranda looked over the sea in Sodwana Bay.
  • It felt as if you know all the camps personally and had hand picked our particular bungalows.

I have passed on details of your website to friends who are thinking of visiting South Africa next year. Personally, I think the website is very good indeed and can't think of how it could be improved. I was also very impressed with the very efficient way your switchboard works.

I would like to thank you and all the staff once more for your help.


J Walter

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Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Cape Vidal in KwaZulu-Natal

Last week our family visited Cape Vidal for at least the 7th time and were again impressed with the natural beauty of the place.

We will certainly go there again, though it's at least 8 hours drive from our home.

All the guards and cleaners were exceptionally friendly and helpful.

However, the receptionist at the office wasn't at all friendly: no smile or welcome. We were really disappointed that we could no longer walk (not even with a guide as was previously possible). She could have given an explanation into why it was stopped or volunteered info about the hikes at Mission Rocks.

Unfortunately the maintenance of Cape Vidal has been neglected and I would like to give you feedback on the points I noticed.

The cabins, We stayed in beach log cabin #19:

  • The living area in our cabin was spotlessly clean.
  • The linnen was old but functional.
  • The roof/loft area that housed the geyser was open to the smaller bedroom and had a thick layer of dust.
  • The light fitting in the bathroom was broken, though functional
  • The drain cover outside our chalet was broken - my husband covered it with a brick because the smell was unpleasant at times.
  • The gauze over the air vents high in the wall was broken.
  • There was a lot of rubbish lying in the bushes around the chalet. Probably caused by the monkies, but it could be picked up.
  • There was an old broken cupboard dumped under the chalet.
  • Broken tiles and empty paint cans were also left lying around.

Cape Vidal as a tourist destination:

  • The only permissable walk, to the whale tower, had many signs missing.
  • Some of the steps to the tower were broken - so were the railings. Certainly hazardardous.
  • There was generally a lack of info available: nothing about wildlife in the area or tide tables.

I hope that my feedback will help improve Cape Vidal.

J. Richter

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