Review by: Richard and Bernie Stacey

Countries Visited:
South Africa & Zambia
Holiday Type:
5 17/11/2013

Overall Impressions

The transfers worked like clockwork. The Royal Livingstone Hotel was absolutely first class and recommended. The driver from the Royal Livingstone to Victoria Falls Station was amazing as he helped us through the Zimbabwe border. Rovos Rail from Victoria Falls to Pretoria was out of this world and should be recommended to everybody. Incredible food, wine and service. The Cybele Lodge was a gem - wish we had more time there ! The Serendella lodge in Thornybush was so informal, and friednly with only 6 appartments. The hostess and ranger worked really hard to make our stay so enjoyable. The Blue train was very good but not quite as good as the Rovos Rail although the staff were still excellent.

Countries Visited

South Africa 5

Everybody we met and spoke to was so friendly. It puts us English people to shame.

Zambia 5

Everybody was so friendly unlike us English people.

Accommodation Visited

The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara 5

We were treated like royalty. Staff exceptional and very friendly.

Rovos Rail 5

The train manager Gavin was a knowledgeable, friendly and capable individual who took difficulties in his stride. The food was 100% first class - better than anything experienced elsewhere. The ride was very bumpy through Zimbabwe but this was hardly the fault of Rovos Rail. Organising a trip to a cattle ranch in Botswana was a welcome break from the train and we learned a lot. I personally rate Rovos Rail better than any other train in the world (including the Blue Train). I would recommend this to anybody.

Kievits Kroon Country Estate 4

We were only here for a short time overnight but the service was good and food very good.

Cybele Forest Lodge 5

This was a gem and a magical experience. Very small and informal and exceptionally friendly. There was an exceptionally heavy thunderstorm which took out the computer communications but the staff coped but I had to leave my credit card details to settle my bill but the staff coped anyway and it all worked fine. We wished we could have been here longer - it was so relaxing

Serondella Game Lodge 5

There were only 6 appartments so it was very informal and friendly and we all got to know each other. The host was exceptional and worked incredibly hard to make us feel welcome including an African welcome with drums. Each return from safari drive was met with hot or cold towels (as appropriate) and a drink. The ranger as very knowledgeable and friendly and nothing was too much trouble on the game drives - getting in good positions to get good photos. We were there for 4 days and loved every single minute.

Taj Cape Town 5

We arrived early evening and how to leave early the next morning to catch the Blue Train. The hotel is exceptional and we wish we had longer there. The in house Indian restaurant was fantastic - well worth the experience but very busy. There was grid lock in Cape Town so every body was very delayed so we got in to the restarurant even though they were booked out.

The Blue Train 5

World famous reputation which they lived up to. The personal butler was exceptional and looked after us extremely well. A very enjoyable experience but overall I have to say that Rovos Rail just edged it.

Staff Review 5

Nikki came up trumps under difficult circumstance despite our condensing our holiday from 3 to 2 weeks. An exceptional feat of organisation.