Review by: Mr Fraser Gow

Countries Visited:
Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa & Zambia
Holiday Type:
Honeymoon
5 31/07/2012

Overall Impressions

The honeymoon was a trip of a lifetime. Although, I?m sure you?ll want more than that.....and will appreciate detailed, constructively critical feedback, so let?s start with Victoria Falls.... The hotel was stunning and we were really well looked after. It was a great start to get over the jet lag. The semi-wild animals that roam the grounds are a nice feature and the river deck is fab. We could?ve probably done with an extra afternoon there just to make the most of the pool, etc. (that?s not a criticism as we appreciate the difficulty with itineraries). The only minor criticism we would have is the food. Being a 5* hotel we felt it didn?t quite live up to that billing. Although, I do think we are spoilt living in Scotland with the abundance of local produce and the standard of food here. Interestingly, I was of the same opinion and came to the same conclusion when I went to Lille in France recently. Lagoon, Northern Botswana, a fabulous setting next to the river and absolute luxury in the middle of nowhere - superb! The food this time was amazing in their own unpretentious way....really, really tasty! Listening to the hippos and painted frogs at night was so therapeutic. Really well looked after by the staff and guides they did their utmost whether it was driving over trees off-road to find wild dogs or setting up a romantic meal in our room for our game-drive return. ?Little Kwara, Okavango, again nice setting although huts a little too tucked away in the trees - they should make more of their view. The accommodation was not quite as good with no privacy in the toilet and unpredictably cold-ish showers. Food was just as good with such enthusiastic chefs seemingly so proud in their work. It?s true the biggest danger of safari is obesity! They did an African dance which was cool. One complaint: the launders wrecked one of my favourite shirts by staining it in the wash. Other garments were stained but with repeated washing they came out. One other complaint about the safari in general: we paid a lot of hard-earned money per day (approx. £500 per person??) and whilst we appreciate the sheer logistical effort that goes into the whole operation, we were left with a bitter taste in the mouth at having to give the guides, rangers and staff a daily tip. We gave the suggested amount because it simply wouldn?t be fair these poor people losing out - THEY DESERVE THEIR MONEY - they work hard and do a good job. But we the customer shouldn?t be having to pay their wage on top of everything else. It would be much more digestible if it was factored in at the beginning and we weren?t left with the feeling that it was the fat cat owners that were profiteering in the end. I appreciate this is not your problem Greg, it is much bigger than even Kwando Safaris, it?s a way of the world. All the same I felt it was worth a rant!!! OR Tambo...poor, disorganised service at the reception. Other than that - does what it says on the tin! Le Prince, Mauritius, outstanding service, room, hotel, activities and, not forgetting the food, absolutely superb!! Breakfast could have been a little better if you compared it to dinner because dinner was something special. From summer truffle, smoked bacon emulsion risotto (our favourite) to the Mauritian buffet (not seen a buffet like it). You could tell this was not 5 but 6*! One complaint: the weather. You associate Mauritius with blue skies but it was overcast and showery :-( Understandably, global warming plays it?s part and it was just coming into their good season but we had, perhaps wrongly, assumed it would be better. Other than that the internal flights were fine, especially the wee cesna pilots - all very friendly. BA is BA and having flown Emirates if I was given the choice it would be Emirates all the way. The food was fine but entertainment rubbish and could hardly hear the movies. Tried to be as detailed as possible for you and hope you haven?t fallen asleep at your desk! Finally, a big thank you to you and your staff Greg. It was an excellent and very professionally executed trip, all-in-all (apart from one or two minor things) it really was an amazing trip and one we won?t forget for years and years and years to come. It was fantastic!

Countries Visited

South Africa 3

Were only in the airport in Jo'burg!

Zambia 5

See above

Accommodation Visited

The Royal Livingstone Hotel 4

The hotel was stunning and we were really well looked after. It was a great start to get over the jet lag. The semi-wild animals that roam the grounds are a nice feature and the river deck is fab. We could?ve probably done with an extra afternoon there just to make the most of the pool, etc. (that?s not a criticism as we appreciate the difficulty with itineraries). The only minor criticism we would have is the food. Being a 5* hotel we felt it didn?t quite live up to that billing. Although, I do think we are spoilt living in Scotland with the abundance of local produce and the standard of food here. Interestingly, I was of the same opinion and came to the same conclusion when I went to Lille in France recently.

Lagoon Camp 5

Lagoon, Northern Botswana, a fabulous setting next to the river and absolute luxury in the middle of nowhere - superb! The food this time was amazing in their own unpretentious way....really, really tasty! Listening to the hippos and painted frogs at night was so therapeutic. Really well looked after by the staff and guides they did their utmost whether it was driving over trees off-road to find wild dogs or setting up a romantic meal in our room for our game-drive return.

Little Kwara Camp 4

Little Kwara, Okavango, again nice setting although huts a little too tucked away in the trees - they should make more of their view. The accommodation was not quite as good with no privacy in the toilet and unpredictably cold-ish showers. Food was just as good with such enthusiastic chefs seemingly so proud in their work. It?s true the biggest danger of safari is obesity! They did an African dance which was cool. One complaint: the launders wrecked one of my favourite shirts by staining it in the wash. Other garments were stained but with repeated washing they came out.

OR Tambo City Lodge 3

OR Tambo...poor, disorganised service at the reception. Other than that - does what it says on the tin!

Le Prince Maurice 5

Le Prince, Mauritius, outstanding service, room, hotel, activities and, not forgetting the food, absolutely superb!! Breakfast could have been a little better if you compared it to dinner because dinner was something special. From summer truffle, smoked bacon emulsion risotto (our favourite) to the Mauritian buffet (not seen a buffet like it). You could tell this was not 5 but 6*! One complaint: the weather. You associate Mauritius with blue skies but it was overcast and showery :-( Understandably, global warming plays it?s part and it was just coming into their good season but we had, perhaps wrongly, assumed it would be better.

Staff Review 5


Finally, a big thank you to you and your staff Greg. It was an excellent and very professionally executed trip, all-in-all (apart from one or two minor things) it really was an amazing trip and one we won?t forget for years and years and years to come. It was fantastic!