Review by: Jen and Mike - United States
- Countries Visited:
- Botswana, Mozambique & South Africa
- Holiday Type:
Overall, this vacation met all our expectations. While there are a few things we would do differently having experienced it - we had a fabulous time and experience, and Mahlatini's ability to tailor the trip to meet our needs definitely played into that.
This was our favorite country on this trip. Not only did it meet our "idea" of a safari, but the people were so friendly. We felt safe and comfortable traveling in Botswana - and it is where I could easily recommend to friends - single, couples or families.
Mozambique is still trying. While we didn't feel unsafe, there were many times where we felt uncomfortable. It was also a long travel day, and not sure it was worth the time out to get there.
Everything goes through South Africa. Spent too much time in airports, which were fine, but the roads, etc outside were not very well maintained. while the resort was very nice - South Africa isn't on our list of return places...and I wish we'd spent more time at other places in Botswana or Namibia.
This was my favorite location by far. Atmosphere and the staff were perfect. The accommodations were clean, they did a great job keeping bugs and critters out of the "tents". The food was really very good. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the family-style dinners, but that is because we aren't social! This is the camp, and company, I am recommending highly to single female friends wanting to take a safari. If there was one spot we'd go back to - this was it. I loved that there were long drives in the morning. Felt it really gave us an opportunity/best chance to see as much wild life as we could. While they ran more vehicles - there was only the rare occasion (lions feeding) when we saw them. As there weren't any other camps nearby - it was us and the wild.
The accommodations, staff and food at Leadwood were premiere. And since it rained the entire time we were there, we got to enjoy it! We arrived very late (getting to Leadwood by car is NOT recommended)and had been traveling all day. They had a table set up in our cabin, let us clean up and started with a fabulous meal - even though it was after 9pm. The food was wonderful - lunches were my favorite by far. On the safari side - Sabi Sands was disappointing after Linyanti. The rain may have accounted for the lack of wildlife, but there were a few other contributing factors: There was only one vehicle operated by Leadwood and 8 guests. Due to that - we chased after a leopard for two days - by passing anything else. I'd already seen leopards and would have loved rhino, water buffalo and hippos that we zipped by on our quest. Not the guides fault - majority rules...but that was frustrating. Also, the morning drives were only about 2 hours as opposed to the 5 hours we'd experienced at Kwando. While some guests complained about missed meals on the longer drive - we really got more out of the safari by having time to see stuff. All that said - Leadwood staff had hot water bottles, ponchos and blankets, so we didn't let the rain keep us off the trail.
The lodge itself and the accommodations were beautiful. We weren't picked up at the airfield. We caught a ride to another lodge and waited until they came and picked us up from there. Then all the managers tried to blame other guests for the delay that caused them to miss picking us up. The staff tried very hard - we enjoyed our butler. The food was not very good, although presentation was nice. It was relaxing, and a nice end to the trip overall...but we wouldn't go back, and probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Staff Review 5
We were not easy! Greg is the reason we went with Mahlatini. I'd researched options on the web, but had not received any recommendations from friends or family. We sent inquiries out to 3 different agencies. It wasn't just how prompt our inquiry was returned, but the level of service and customization. Niki called the day I sent my inquiry on line. She gathered enough information to match us up with Greg. From then on, Greg clinched the deal. He was so willing to provide various options for us to look at - work on pricing and flight arrangements. When we returned, everyone has asked how it was and if we could make recommendations - we have no problem at all recommending Mahlatini. Thank you.
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