Review by: Lee & Sara Parker
- Countries Visited:
- South Africa
- Holiday Type:
- Family Holiday
I thought the entire trip was fabulous. Greg did a superb job of matching our requirements to the itinerary and we certainly weren't disappointed.
This was our third trip and each time we have done something slightly different. We have always been impressed by the hospitality, professionalism and high standard of service of our various hosts. South Africa will remain a favourite destination.
Game viewing- Being a small private reserve the Game viewing was authentic and we saw lions, leopard, herds of elephant and giraffe as well as many memorable species of birds. We were particularly impressed by our guide, Mr Jomi Krobb who was extremely knowledgeable about the Reserve and wildlife. He is a great advocate not just for Marataba but also for wildlife preservation. We undertook eight Game drives and a walking safari and loved every minute. Accommodation- This was our first tented lodge and as such we felt much closer to the wildlife. The tents are extremely luxurious with both indoor and outdoor showers which was a unique experience. We stayed in one of the luxury tents which are more peaceful and secluded and we still felt very safe. My wife indulged in several of the spa treatments and she felt they were to a very high standard. Cuisine- Could not have been better. Being a fairly fussy diner I was not at all disappointed. Although there are only 3 or 4 choices for each meal course (which is to be expected in the bush) the lodge catered for all of our group very well. The wines again are limited as to be expected but infact were very nice indeed. Only one tiny gripe- the literature explained it would take 2-3 hours to reach Marataba from Johannesburg airport but I think this should be altered as both the outward and return journeys both took 3.5 hours and this was without any stops.
This was our second trip to Frannschoek and The Last Word was perfect. One thing that stands out about South Africa is absolutely superb service and attention to detail and we weren't disappointed. Rooms for each member of our group were very nice, I believe Franklin said they had recently been flooded and hence had a ground floor refurbishment so the decor was very new. The bedrooms were very well equipped- dual sinks, underfloor heating, huge bath, fridge, sherry decanter. We were poolside with a private conservatory/verander. There is a communal self-service bar which is limited but very functional and is a nice way of meeting other guests. The breakfast choice was perfect with a choice of about 3 or 4 cooked courses. There is no evening meal served but on our late arrival on the first day Franklin took the initiative of booking my group into a restaurant which was brilliant and I really appreciate this kind of service. Overall I'd thoroughly recommend The Last Word. It is conveniently located just on the very edge of the main thoroughfare and secure with gated off-street car-parking.
Bushmans Kloof Koro Lodge 5
Really superb accommodation. We stayed in Koro lodge which means you have staff at your disposal, your own chef, manager and guide. It was fairly rainy on one day however the up-side was we had a fantastic log fire in the living room which really added to the atmosphere. Sandra the chef was amazing, I was really impressed with her cooking and the variety of food served- there is no menu instead several different foods are served each time of day. The lodge manager, Malcolm was really helpful-great food and wine knowledge and information about the area. Again attention to detail really impressed me- especially phoning ahead to the Twelve Apostles to hint to them that one of our party liked chilli with basically everything! Wilimena also stood out as a great host, very helpful organising our clothes, making sure our mess was cleared up! Having come from Marataba where some of our group had never been on safari Bushman's Kloof was a little slower in pace and in hindsight it would have been better for us to undertake this element of the trip first- the lodge manager did mention that most people only stay for 2 days.
This was a great way to finish our trip. The Twelve Apostles is a very nice hotel as Greg explained and I will definitely find an excuse to return there. It is oh so tempting to spend the entire time in the hotel rather than explore CapeTown but we managed to drag ourselves away. The concierge, led by Masoud and shuttle drivers to the Waterfront were great, very helpful- even once or twice dropping us off in different places and to be honest the success of the hotel depends on this service as it is some way from the Waterfront. The rooms were fantastic and we wasted no time in taking advantage of a couple of sea-view rooms that became free and we upgraded- totally worthwhile. Nicole, the manageress really impressed me by taking the initiative to introduce herself over breakfast and assist in making reservations for us. We intend to investigate whether the London Red Carnation hotels have the same level of service as we know the ones in Guernsey do!
Staff Review 5
Great guy, really helpful in planning a very memorable trip to reunite our family and help celebrate my Mother's retirement and 65th birthday as well as my brother's engagement as it turns out! There is no substitute for first-hand local knowledge. Many of our hosts have met Greg and I'm sure he has vetted the majority of places himself. We are sure to use Mahlatini again.