It was fantastic knowing that we could rely on people picking us up and taking us everywhere we needed to go. Everything seemed to work like clockwork!
Staying at Thornybush was the highlight. They did so many little things that made our honeymoon extra special.
Highlights: Beaches and snorkeling! The beaches were beautiful and it was so much fun to try and find beaches you would be on alone. Police Bay was such an incredible spot. We couldn't swim, but it was gorgeous and was the only place that I found perfect shells. We really loved the southwest and the northwest coasts. In the north, we loved the area by the marine park (not St. Ann, the one on the west coast.) There's a fantastic new restaurant there called Dell Place and it had the most amazing views over the marine park there. We enjoyed snorkeling anywhere we were allowed to go into the water. We also went on a great hiking trail, and later that day enjoyed going to the Takamaka Rum Distillery. That was the most beautiful building we saw on the island. We went diving, but we weren't there in the right season for the good visibility.
The only downside was how expensive ferries are between the islands! We would have loved to have spent more time on La Digue, but ferry prices are outrageous!
The game drives and the lodge were both amazing! Our ranger, Ryno, did everything is his power to make sure we saw a ton of animals. He taught us so much and made the game drives an exceptional experience. As mentioned early, the lodge was incredible. I want our bedroom at home to be as nice! The people were fantastic, as was the food.
Johannesburg was a little daunting, but an interesting experience none the less. We had a ten hour layover, so we took the train to Park Station and took a hop-on-hop-off red bus tour. We're so glad we did it so we could experience the city a bit. We were nervous because we had a lot of carry on luggage, but doing the tour was perfect. We only got off at one stop and everything was fine.
Overall, it was an exceptional honeymoon. Thank you for everything you did to make it special for us!
We cannot say enough about our experience at Thornybush! The people working there were excellent. Our ranger was so knowledgeable and the tracker was very dedicated to his job. I couldn't believe that they were both up at 4:30am to say goodbye to us. The managers did everything possible to arrange outside trips. Our room was filled with flowers, candles, and champagne on our first night of our honeymoon, and I will never forget walking into that. The dinners they arranged,especially a lantern lit dinner in a dried up river, were also a memory we will keep forever. The work that went into that dinner was remarkable. The little touches meant so much, like having hot towels for our hands and small drinks ready for us when coming back from game drives.
The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been more opportunities to explore the area during the day. There is a down time between game drives; breakfast after game drives is around nine and there is nothing planned until 3:30 with the exception of eating. There wasn't much else to do during the day other than eat! We did arrange an outing one day, but there weren't many options for that time between 9-3. We are not people that usually sit around when in a foreign country.
Aside from that, we will continue to rave about the place, the food, the people, and the room. Everything there was perfect and made for a very special honeymoon. We would recommend going to Thornybush to everyone we know!
The positives: The location, car rentals on the property, and the snorkeling! The beach that The Beachcomber is on is beautiful. The views are magnificent. The snorkeling is amazing; it was like snorkeling in an aquarium right outside the room. Having a restaurant next door was a huge plus, although if you show up past seven they will not serve you (It happened twice) and they close up pretty quickly even if you are eating. The owner's daughter, Charlene, was very helpful in getting us a car early in the morning to go diving. She also gave suggestions on places we were thinking of going and gave us parking passes.
The negatives: It looks like it has been years since this place has been updated. It was very disappointing going from Thornybush to this place. We know that we chose it because we couldn't afford other options, however we still feel like the room should have been better for the money. The room was very basic, which is fine if everything works. Two people could not go to the bathroom consecutively. The toilet would only flush once and then you had to wait about fifteen minutes before you could flush again. The water pressure was low. The two single mattresses pushed together were very uncomfortable. When the air conditioning didn't work, we said something and they did the right thing by moving us to another room. When we slept in the other room, the shower sprayed out the sides and the faucet was broken in the sink. The funniest was when we asked if we could have a 5:30 wake up call. We first asked if they do that and the girl simply said,"no." We thought she didn't understand, but then she asked," What time?" We said "5:30," and then she simply again said,"No." In their manual it does say they give them, but there are no phones in the room. We also thought it was odd when we came back from dinner at 9:30 and everything was pitch black. There wasn't a sign of life, including no sign of the guard on duty. The night before leaving, the place was again shut down and dark before ten. When we came out at 4:30m for our ride to the airport, we walked into the lobby to see the guard sleeping on the couch. The whole thing was a bit odd.
The breakfasts were not very good either. They will make you omlettes or a crepe, but that got old pretty quickly. It became amusing how the omlette never had the correct components in it.
We ended up getting used to the place, and we did have a fantastic time. We explored pretty much all Mahe and got over to Praslin and La Digue. The islands are beautiful and our days were very active. The Beachcomber ended up not being so bad, but it could be a spectacular little hotel if some maintenance and care went into it.
Nikki was very helpful in giving us ideas that could accommodate our budget while still making our honeymoon special.