Review by: Roberta Fernandes Portela

Overall Impressions

The trip itself was like a dream come true. We always wanted to visit Africa and started with South Africa and Seychelles. Everything went smoothly (except one transfer that was late and we had to take an Uber to the airport, however even then our hotel host was making calls and keeping us calm) and Caroline was already aware of what happened by the time we arrived to our next destination and promptly offered us an apology and a refund. Things like these happen, but in these moments is when you know when you are dealing with outstanding professionals. Normally this could ruin part of our trip but we were so well served and so in love with everything around us that it didn't really bother us at all. It was a trip of a lifetime and we just can't stop talking about it to our friends and family, and wish upon all our loved ones an opportunity to visit these wonderful places.

Countries Visited

South Africa

South Africa just became one of my favorite places in the world. The nature is unbelievable and the people are so special. Everyone we interacted with was friendly, humble, gentle. These people show how much difference kindness can make. It is a type of energy that we are all constantly seeking, even though we may be unaware of it throughout our busy lives. It's when you stop to visit, just soak in and embrace what is around you that you realize your life just changed for the better by simply being at a truly spectacular place.

Seychelles

Seychelles is the nature paradise exactly as we'd seen in the magazine pictures. The weather is all-around perfect and the climate is so relaxed. People were very friendly, not necessarily catering, but they don't need to try hard because the ambiance already makes you feel you are in a special place. We had 4 scuba trips that were really good and had a great time hiking around Moyenne Island where the giant tortoises call home.

Accommodation Visited

The Clarendon Bantry Bay

This is a small hotel that feels like a home, yet very luxurious. More than our spectacular room with a living room and an enormous deck overlooking the ocean, what we enjoyed the most was the service. Our fantastic server at breakfast (I believe his name was Andrew) made me feel like royalty by calling me milady and just being all-around so so nice and helpful, even knowing what we liked every morning and already taking care of that (they learn very fast how you like your coffee). Our night desk people (Kline and the other gentleman whose name I am sad to not remember at this time) were incredibly friendly and even called the restaurants we were heading to ahead of time to ask for special attention since we were on our honeymoon, so when we got there we were always greeted with a special treat (courtesy champagne, extra dessert). It's those little things that bring joyful experiences to our lives. Absolutely recommend the Clarendon Bantry Bay to anyone who is lucky to choose Cape Town as a destination.

Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge

I have been an animal lover since I was born, so seeing the animals out in the African wilderness has always been a dream of mine. I am a veterinarian so I am constantly around animals but the feeling I got when I was out on the safari was something indescribable. Those animals were so relaxed, happy, healthy and living in perfect harmony. Furthermore what was even more impressive was the mutual respect between the animals and the locals. This was something simply beautiful to see. Even during breakfast when a red-billed hornbill kept constantly trying to steal food from the buffet, the ladies would calmly walk towards him and he would perch on the tree (for a few minutes, until he tried it again). No stress, just a constant exchange of positive vibes. Absolutely everyone there was incredibly nice to us and felt like long time friends even though we were only there for 4 days. My husband and I would like to give a special praise to Dylan (our ranger, who kept us entertained even during drinks after dinner when he didn't have to), Ranson (our tracker), Dinho (our all-around helper) all the ladies who kept us very well fed and everyone else who played a part in making our short time in the Sabi Sands truly unforgettable. Chitwa is a magical place and I came home relieved to know that there is a haven out there where animals and people can happily coexist.

Carana Beach Hotel

Carana beach is a really nice hotel with exclusive access to a beautiful beach with white sand and turquoise water. It has some nice comfy beds on the pool deck by the beach front where we could easily spend all day lounging. The reception staff was very nice and promptly accommodated any requests. We knew we would be away from the city centre and there was truly not much within walking distance but that was not an issue since every activity we pursued had someone that would pick us up there. I would definitely recommend this hotel. The massage at the spa was excellent!

Staff Review

I can't say enough good things about Caroline. She was always on top of everything and gave us peace of mind that we truly didn't have to worry about anything.It takes a lot to coordinate so much in so little time. We had two weeks to visit three places (Cape Town, Sabi Sands and Seychelles) and coming from the United States we were insecure about our ability to plan well enough to guarantee we could enjoy our time there without running into complications. This is where Mahlatini comes in, as recommended by a friend of mine. I am so happy I entrusted Caroline to do the planning for me as she recommended places we will never forget. There was always someone there for us, to take us places and make sure that we could spend our time and energy enjoying ourselves and everything around us. Caroline and Mahlatini deserve all the praises that they get!