Hi Gavin, We had a fabulous trip, everything went like clockwork just as you had arranged.
If the itinerary said that we would be met in the lobby of our accommodation at a specific time then that is what happened. Only once did we have to wait for a pick up and that was at Cape Town Airport when we flew in from Maun, the representative wasn’t waiting for us when we arrived but we didn’t panic as we were seasoned travellers by then and he arrived within a few minutes apologising for the delay due to an accident on the road that delayed him.
The itinerary worked well but if we were to change anything we would avoid flying into a high altitude area (Rwanda) so soon after arriving in a different time zone. We struggled with sleeping for a few days so next time we visit we would get a connecting flight from J’berg to Cape Town on arrival from Australia, have a couple of days sightseeing and adjusting to the time difference before moving on to other places. It didn’t spoil our time in Rwanda, we had a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon after the Gorilla Trecking and felt much better from then on.
All of the accommodation that you arranged was of great standard, except [name withheld] Lodge which you had warned us was very basic. The staff there were wonderful but we were pleased it was only one night as the bathroom was very old and the shower quite mouldy and the worst bed we have ever slept in, hard as a rock but we managed ok.
We never felt unsafe for one minute during the whole trip, this was definitely due to the fact that the transfers were arranged and so reliable so thank you for that. We realise we paid a lot of money for our trip and could have saved a bit if we took taxis and made our own arrangements but it was definitely worth it to have peace of mind.
The mix of accommodation and experiences was really good, from hotels, lodges, tented camps etc. The food everywhere was a big surprise; usually we return from a holiday and can’t wait for a home cooked meal. This time was very different, the food was amazing everywhere with a great variety and we loved it.
All of the drivers/guides were really knowledgeable and went out of their way to ensure we had a great experience. Special mention must be made of Abou Nsinga from Primate Safaris who looked after us during our 5 days in Rwanda. Abou added in so many extras, every time we expressed interest in something he went out of his way to stop and show us more. He stopped at a tea plantation so we could talk to the workers, Mark had told him about an English guy he had been talking to at Lake Kivu who was in the country building suspension bridges so Abou stopped at one on the drive back to Kigali so we could go across it. Abou also took us to the Congo border crossing and spoke to the security to ensure it was ok for us to have some photos. Abou lives in Kigali and had been away from his wife and children for 5 days so would have been very keen to get home but he did not rush us at all during the drive from Lake Kivu and it was his suggestion to make all of the extra stops. He went out of his way to ensure we had a great time and experienced as much as possible.
Our guide Onesmo from Wild Frontiers who showed us the Serengeti was a true gentleman and was amazing at spotting all of the animals. The Kati Kati camp staff couldn’t do enough to ensure we had a great time and it was one of our favourites.
Wow, what can I say about Splash Enclave. The camp is pure luxury and the staff so attentive. Our guide Tom and tracker Mike were fantastic, showing us so many different experiences. As you know the camp has only been open since the beginning of June and I go down in history as the first person to swim in their pool. I think they thought I was crazy as the water was cold but I couldn’t resist. We live at the beach and I am a real water baby so swim every chance I get so having the free time at Lake Kivu was much appreciated too.
Kambaku River Sands was another highlight, again the staff were fantastic, the accommodation amazing and we could not fault it at all. Cordy spoke highly of you.
We really enjoyed Victoria Falls, walking with the lions was a once in a lifetime experience as was the helicopter flight. Of course, the Victoria Falls Hotel was beautiful and in a perfect location.
I can’t leave out Chobe Marina Lodge, again the staff were amazing, the food fantastic and seeing the animals from the boats on the river was a great experience and a different perspective after the game drives in the Serengeti. They arranged a trip across to an island in Namibia for a village visit too which was great.
We were really happy to be staying at the Portswood in Cape Town. We had been warned by several people in Australia about the crime in Cape Town and to be very careful walking around. The location was perfect as it was so close to the Waterfront and we felt secure at all times. We used the on/off bus for 2 days and booked a day tour to Cape Point so the accommodation was in the perfect location.
By the way, thank you for the perfect weather in Cape Town, not a cloud in the sky and no wind the day we went to Table Mountain. [We try our best! - Ed] A week earlier would have been a different story I believe.
All in all, we had a fantastic trip and we will definitely be returning as soon as we can. We are thinking of a trip in September (maybe next year), that way the water will be a bit lower at Victoria Falls (we want to swim in the Devils pool) and will go back to the Serengeti to see the migration as the wildebeest cross the Masi Mara so will combine that with a trip to Kenya.
We will be in contact with you to arrange our next trip and we really appreciate everything you have done for us. If you have any Aussies who want some feedback you are welcome to pass on my details as sometimes it can be a bit daunting booking with an overseas Company when so much money is involved.
Thank you again for everything and keep in touch.