Review by: Karen Chang

Countries Visited:
South Africa
Holiday Type:
5 02/05/2014

Overall Impressions

1. Donna was super great to work with. She's very knowledgeable, gives really good route planning suggestions, and tries to work with our budget. 2. The trip was really wonderful. I loved the accommodation suggestion and the route planned. 3. Great support from the staff. We had some charge issues with rental car company, Mahlatini staff (Jeanette) was able to help resolve it in a speedy manner, and very responsive. It made us feel good that they took care of problems even after our trip finished. They did not just leave us alone to deal with rental car company ourselves. 4. Highlight of the trip: [Plettenberg Bay] - cheetah walk, elephant walk, monkey land, the beach [Cape Town] - penguin colony [Safari] - the hotel, the staff, the game drives, the food, EVERYTHING!

Countries Visited

Accommodation Visited

Beachy Head Villa 5

LOVELY PLACE! Staff was wonderful. We got upgraded to an ocean view room. The staff prepared us some champagne and chocolate, made us feel like home. We loved their breakfast also, always can't wait to wake up in the morning and have the the hearty breakfast. We loved the short walk to the beach, it's almost like our own backyard beach. :) Staff was also very helpful - gave us great suggestions on daily activities and places to go eat. Room was clean, staff was great, food was delicious, location was excellent. I would highly recommend this place to friends and families!

Simbambili Game Lodge 5

WONDERFUL!!! This was the biggest highlight of our stay. Hotel: super friendly staff. It's a small lodge so everyone was like a family. Love the rooms, very clean, just like the pictures online. It definitely made us feel like we were out in a jungle at a safari. Staff was AMAZING! SO friendly and helpful. We arrived late and had to catch a quick game drive. Staff gave us some extra time to clean up and get ready for the drive, and even prepared us lunch bags (they know we hadn't had lunch yet). I was so touched that they're so thoughtful and nice (waited for us for the drive). Drive: Our guide Liam and Mamps were amazing. They were so knowledgeable. We saw so many big 5's on our first 2 days. They would go out of their ways to find the best viewing point for us, and they're so good at spotting animals. They're also very great on educating us about conservation and animal behaviors. It's definitely an eye-opening experience. They're also very responsible. I felt safe in the car with them knowing that they will take good care of us. Morning walk with Liam was also awesome - we ran into buffalo and Liam was very calm and told us what to do (where to run!). Food: Way above expectation. I wasn't expecting too much from the lodge since we're hours away from civilization. However, every meal was gourmet and nicely prepared with love. We had some of the best dishes ever. The lamb was way better than what we've ever had in any restaurants, the dishes were so unique yet SO DELICIOUS. Every day we're looking forward to our meals. Great variety and lots of fruits and vegetables. I was asking if the chef was trained at a 5-star restaurant but she was trained at the lodge!!! I even asked for some recipes so I can try it myself at home (pretty sure won't be as delicious as Simbambili's food haha). Extra points: 1. They surprised us with a candlelight dinner in our room. They decorated our room with flowers and candles. We felt so pampered!! 2. Our last day I forgot to ask front desk to call a shuttle to take us to the airport. I hurried and asked the front desk if they could help me arrange a car. They said they already checked our itinerary and already scheduled a shuttle. HOW NICE OF THEM! They know we're running around and tired and forgot about this, and they took care of it for us. I was SO thankful for their little gesture. 3. All the drivers for the shuttles were also great. Very polite, nice, and shares lots of wonderful stories. Car was clean and on time. I really really loved the staff and can't say enough about how great they are! It one of the best top-notch service we've ever received. I'm seriously going to miss this place, the game drives, the staff, and the food. Overall the stay was so great, it's going be in my memory forever! :):):)

Staff Review 5

Donna was wonderful. She's so easy to work with. She's very knowledgeable and patient. We had many revisions due to our budget concerns, and she was nice to help us out and find ways to help our trip stay within our budget. I loved all the accommodations she had suggested for us, and I loved the route she planned. She was also very responsive in emails. I would HIGHLY recommend her to my friends and families, and will definitely go to her again for my future trips. Donna is also very good at surprising us with upgraded rooms and cars :D It definitely caught us off guard (in a very good way), and made our trip that much more special. Jeanette was also wonderful. Very responsive and very nice. We had issues with our rental car charges after the trip, she was able to followup and help us resolve the issue in a timely manner. I really appreciate her helping us out so that we didn't have to deal with a rental car company in South Africa ourselves. Overall: I'm glad I went with Mahlatini for my South Africa trip. It really made our planning process and our trip itself much more hassle-free and enjoyable. :)