Review by: Natasha & Brian McCann - Belfast

Overall Impressions

Dont know where to start. Highlight for me was Whalewatching in Hermanus and the beach at Wilderness. My husband's highlighs were the safari at shamari and table mountain. It was non stop unreal!! From One&Only capetown and the fab room with view of table mountain, to our drive around the rugged cape, to chilling with a nice bottle of wine and wonderful food in Franschoek, to spa massage at views hotel, to lion spotting and being chased by a bull elephant in the bush. It was UNBELIEVABLE - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Countries Visited

South Africa

The scenery and wildlife are just incredible. We stood at the bottom of the world where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet and we dumstruck by the power and the beauty. We stood on Table Mountain watched the sunset in silence as shadows fell on rocks that could tell a million years of stories. In the bush I stuck my hands in the good red earth, its impossible not to feel a sense of something godly or spiritual in this country. The people, are friendly and have a deep natural warmth. The food was fantastic and the wine incredible, the only thing better than that was the price - its soooo cheap when you get out there. A fill of petrol for 25 pounds, a gourmet - 5 star, three course meal for two with 2 bottles of wine 80 pounds...We will be going back!

Accommodation Visited

Franschhoek Country House & Villas

This was probably the most disappointing for me - it felt a bit shabby. I know it has a shabby-chic theme, but really it needs a refurb. The bathroom was moudly, the carpets were really grubby. On the plus side, it had terrific views over the vineyards and pool, the sunset was beautiful. The food in the restaurant was one of the finest meals I've ever had. Its just it lacked in finesse and special touches. Also the location was a bit of a shock because its right on the main road, we were intially given a room over looking the road - it was tiny too - so I complained and got us moved. Make sure future guests know to book a room with a pool view.

One & Only Cape Town

Dont know where to start! Location superb, a stroll from the V&A waterfront (if you like steak you must go to baltezar restaurant there). The facilities are amazing, the bar, Reubens for breakfast - and what a feast it is - best hotel breakfast we've ever had!! The Spa - oh my you must go to the spa. Its beautiful, so serene - and split into men's and women's - so its great for a bit of private time out. The staff are the nicest, friendliest people. There's lots of lovely touches like hot chocolate when you arrive, free nibbles at night, we we even got complimentary champagne and the room! The best view in capetown - looks right over Table Mt - you cant get better!

Views Boutique Hotel and Spa

When we arrived it was all glass and shiney like something from the sixties and so I panicked - BUT - when you get inside you realise how beautiful the building is. Lux cream carpets, glass, drift wood furniture and floors, a telescope for star gazing and whale watching. Just superb! Our room was divine, huge window, with glass doors over looking the most incredible beach I've ever seen - its not bounty ad, its rugged, rough, and the waves roar at night, such an experience. The most beautiful sunsets, schools of dolphins and whales swimming past. The breakfast is just ok, because the main restaurant feels stuck in the 80s. The more informal restaurant was ok, great for a beer and a pizza. There's so many great places to eat nearby tho - dont be put off by ''the girls'' restaurant's location - (near a garage forecourt)the sea food is unreal. The spa at views is just ok - the float bath and swimming pool and showers bit mouldy and need a good clean. The massage was incredible. There was a water shortage in the area and so we didnt use the bath change linen etc

Lavender Manor Guest House

Kobus and Isabelle are the owners and this was our first time staying at a B&B and so I didnt know what to expect. In many ways it was like staying in your old aunt and uncles, who just spoil you. The linen was starched and so clean. The breakfasts were tasty. They welcomed us like old friends and helped us with maps and booking restaurants etc. There's a ''bar'' in the house and Kobus lets you help yourself and Isabelle does your washing and lights candles in your room for your return from town. So sweet such nice people, a pleasant experience. The scenery here is unreal - Misty cliffs especially. The whale watching made a life's dream possible for me. I have always wanted to do it - seeing them so close was breath-taking. THANK YOU MAHLATINI & CLAIRE!!

Bayethe Tented Lodge, Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Out of this world. We stayed in Bayethe - our ''tent'' was luxurious!! Huge bed, stand alone bath, outside shower, (although the monkey's stole the shower gel)! Plunge pool and sooo quiet. At night the breeze knocks the canvas and you hear the insects, animals and nature. One day when I woke up there was a monkey on the tree outside another day a giraffe was visible from deck. Dont worry no lions can get to that area. I heard about snakes though, and every night my husband would have to go on a rambo style insect killing spree, before I could sleep. There was a lot of moths. (also no TV or radio etc - but was glad of that) The food was heavenly, the champagne flowed - and because its all inclusive there's no mega bill after. The staff are so so friendly, we had a bush breakfast one morning, as a suprise - they took us into the wilderness and made us a bbq after early drive - fabulous. The ranger Jacques was so friendly, the game drives were fantastic. We walked with wild cheetah, were chased by a bull elephant - HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY THAT?

Staff Review

Claire was incredible - it helps when you know she has been there and can personally recommend places to visit and stay. Apart from that she put together so many options for us and was so good at dealing with me chopping and changing. She is professional, friendly and you know she really wants you to have the best time possible. I wish I could book every holiday through her - and will certainly do so in the future. I've recommended her to so many people!