Review by: Henry & Rozanne Wilson
- Countries Visited:
- South Africa
- Holiday Type:
We have been very impressed with all aspects of the holiday arranged by Mahlatini. Donna's professionalism, efficiency and knowledge have been outstanding. The transfer arrangements were faultless, the accommodation and safaris met our high expectations and the whole experience was first class with the exception of numbers in game vehicles - see below.
We know South Africa well having holidayed there regularly for over 20 years. Miraculously we think it gets better and better. Admittedly we did not go anywhere 'dicey' but we felt secure and unthreatened. The people are extremely friendly and helpful and standards of accommodation and food of a high order.
We much enjoyed our time here. The lodge is well laid out and the food was very good without being sumptuous. We liked our room with a very large bed and the view of the watering hole often with buffalo etc was great. The game was plentiful - we saw The Big Five during our time there. The guiding was good if not the best we experienced and we felt everyone tried very hard to make it as enjoyable as they could. Although Thorneybush is an enclosed reserve it never givers this impression being so vast. We were critical of the the fact that there is only one vehicle and had there been more than 4 of us it would have been too crowded.
This camp scores highly for its accommodation and the number of leopards which we have rarely seen elsewhere. Our room with splash pool was gorgeous and the bed and fittings excellent. We ate very well and there is a great view from the splendid dining/sitting area. Our room did not have a view which was a pity and with a bit of work it could have. The guiding was very skilful and the trackers do actually track, often leaving the vehicle. We saw more varieties of animal and birds at Serandella but that was compensated for by 5 different leopards. We felt we covered some of the same ground a bit too often - although Sabi is unenclosed the are that each lodge can traverse is not unlimited. Certainly it is big enough but by definition sightings are far from from guaranteed eg we did not see rhino at all. This would make it less suitable for first time safari goers. Again the least satisfactory aspect was the allocation of vehicles and guides. If the lodge was full 16 not 12 as I was informed - there would be 8 visitors in each vehicle which we find far too many. Often new people join and we have to cover all the same subjects again and again. We found ourselves switching between vehicles and guides which is not ideal. On this basis I would probably give both lodges scores of high 4 rather than 5
Staff Review 5
As I have said Donna was first class to deal with. Her knowledge gives confidence and everything worked like clock work. We will certainly hope to use Mahlatini again. I perhaps should have been warned about the risk of high numbers of people in game vehicles but it worked out fine luckily. A very Big Thank You to Donna and the whole team from us both.