We couldn't have wished for a better honeymoon!
We were so impressed with South Africa, even though we only saw a tiny part, we loved the people, the culture, the magical atmosphere and both said how much we want to go back and explore more of the country soon.
We weren't as blown away by Mauritius, what we saw of the country was beautiful and we had a lovely time there, but we both said we didn't really get a strong feel for what the country is about (in terms of culture, influence etc) unlike other places we've visited. The weather also wasn't amazing but obviously that can't be helped! We had a couple of days of really nice hot sunny weather but otherwise it was quite mixed with lots of cloud and some rain.
We think this might be our favourite place in the world! We weren't sure what to expect as neither of us had been on safari before, but the Lodge had such a lovely feeling to it, helped greatly by the lovely staff who work there and the authentic, unfussy but very comfortable atmosphere. The food was outstanding, unfussy and just really authentic, home-made and delicious. Edward was our guide and was so knowledgeable and fun, we were like sponges and soaked up everything he said! We were picked up from thornybush waterside Lodge when we first arrived and thought it looked lovely, but once we arrived at Shumbalala we preferred it straight away as it felt more authentic and personal. On our last night we had a braai with the other guests and the staff arranged a candlelit bath in our room with champagne, it looked so nice! Thank you so much for the recommendation!
We had a great week and Shanti Maurice is a lovely resort. It is kept very nicely, was very quiet when we were there and had lovely facilities. We thought the staff were good overall, but some seemed more genuine than others and on occasion when we asked for help or advice, they weren't overly helpful. We also found that they sometimes tried to sell us spa deals, extra meals, expensive drinks etc which on finding out the price all seemed overly expensive. A glass of champagne was £32! The food was very nice, our favourite place to eat was the Rum Shed, where the staff were also some of the friendliest. Our room was very comfortable but quite basic. We were given a voucher for a complimentary couples massage and dinner which was very kind of the resort, but other than that there weren't any extra honeymoon touches. The resort was lovely and we don't really have any complaints, I just think Shumbalala is impossible to beat and Shanti Maurice is lacking in something 'special' - we just couldn't put our finger on what!
Stuart was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient from the very beginning. He didn't push us to make a booking unlike some other agents we spoke to and I felt like he really listened to our requirements and recommended an excellent itinerary to match. Stuart also responded very quickly to our emails, gave just enough information without bombarding us and made something that could potentially feel quite overwhelming with lots of options, feel nice and simple. Thank you for making our first experience of booking with a travel agent a successful one!