Review by: Owen McKenna

Overall Impressions

All hotels excellent, perfect recommendations and guidance from Stuart. Cape Town a little commercial, safe access very much limited to the Waterfront area, but Uber taxis necessary but easily accessible. Thoroughly enjoyed excellent wine and food in Franschhoek. Chitwa Safari lodge beyond expectations, excellent staff and lodgings, truly a lifetime experience.

Countries Visited

South Africa

As above, huge variances dependent on where we were. Experienced the poverty of Cape Town and on the drive to Chitwa, contrasted by the wealth and privilege of the Waterfront area, the wine region and the actual safari lodges. Disappointed that we weren't able to confidently & safely experience downtown Cape Town, as even just walking from Bo-kaap to the waterfront area was interrupted with constant harassment for assistance (just to cross the road), in return for money.

Accommodation Visited

The Clarendon Fresnaye

Lovely greeting by Abbie who couldn't do enough for us during our stay. Very nice touch to have buns and cookies upon arrival in recognition of Alison's birthday. Slightly disappointed by the lack of view from the room as it was on the lower area looking onto the 2nd pool, as opposed to one of the 1st floor rooms in the main house. Staff excellent, everyone very helpful and friendly.

Franschhoek Country House & Villas

Just a lovely hotel, in the style of a french country house. Again staff excellent, very welcoming, always willing to help. Lovely buffet for breakfast, great choice and very relaxed. Location just a nice distance from the town, close enough to walk if we wanted, but transport was only a phone call away. Missed out on seeing the local shops in the town as had set aside Saturday afternoon to have more of a look around, not realising they closed in the early afternoon on a Saturday.

Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge

A truly exceptional experience. Again very welcoming on arrival, and on our first safari within an hour of that arrival. Excellent safari guide and tracker (Stevan and Beth), very entertaining and knowledgeable. All the lodge staff were helpful and friendly, calling us by name always makes you feel special. The cuisine at the lodge was excellent, though slightly let down by the offsite BBQs, as whilst the food and drink was plentiful, the standard of the food was not as high as at the lodge. The lodges themselves were very clean and comfortable, the outlook onto the lake and the wildlife very special.

Staff Review

Stuart was excellent in his knowledge and guidance in this trip. Contrary to my original thoughts, Stuart was able to bring his experience to create an itinerary that absolutely worked. He provided options that ensured I was able to create a very special trip to mark a milestone birthday for my wife. Just prior to our departure, Stuart again was able to extend his experience to recommend even places to eat, routes to take, that meant we thoroughly enjoyed a trip of a lifetime. When speaking to anyone about the trip, either prior to going and since returning, I have no hesitation in recommending Mahlatini and specifically Stuart, for the support, attention to detail and quality.