Review by: Mr Ian Smith & Ms Susan Bain

Overall Impressions

Overall we had an excellent trip. The recommended hotels and arrangements were excellent. Once again Mahlatini has shown that it provides an excellent services in the luxury travel market. We would have no hesitation in recommending Mahlatini to other travellers.

Countries Visited

Rwanda

Our first visit to Rwanda and very different to what we were expecting, especially the capital Kigali. It was clean, modern like many other capital cities in the world with prices to match. The primary purposes of visiting Rwanda was for Gorilla trekking and it was the highlight of our whole trip - definitely not to be missed

South Africa

Our second visit to SA and once again we enjoyed every minute. It really is a beautiful country. We did not face any difficulties travelling along the Wine Route and Garden Route, and would recommend that to other travellers.

Malawi

Our first visit to Malawi, which was spent on Likoma Island, Lake Malawi, so we did not see much of mainland Malawi. It is one of the poorer Africa countries and that is highly visible to visitors.

Namibia

Our first visit to Namibia and perhaps the biggest surprise of all. The cities we visited were clean, modern and vibrant. We travelled north to the Skeleton coast - the scenery is like no other in Africa and has to be seen to be believed.

Accommodation Visited

Kigali Serena Hotel

Excellent Hotel near the centre of Kigali. The accommodation and services could not be faulted.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Given the location, simply excellent is every aspect. The only comment we would make is to ensure that elderly or disabled clients are aware of the access - which is on foot up many steps (100+ steps)

OR Tambo City Lodge

Good overnight stop if transiting through Johannesburg. Walking distance to the airport. Clean, comfortable with an excellent breakfast service. Only negative was no bottled water available in the room - disappointing when arriving late after a long flight.

Kaya Mawa

This is marketed as a dream destination and does not disappoint in terms of location, service and hospitality. The food was by far the best we experienced on our whole trip and deserves high recognition. The resort deserves 5/5 but we have scored it down simply because the accommodation (rooms) are basic and traditionally African with a fair share of ants and spiders in the rooms. This was not a big issue for us but other resorts we have stayed in Africa in similar price bands have been able to minimise this. In relative terms Kaya Mawa does not merit a rating as highly hence 4/5.

The Michelangelo Hotel

First class city Hotel in an excellent location.

Olive Grove Guesthouse

See above - although we had a slightly beter room on our return visit.

Hansa Hotel

Excellent old school Hotel with fantastic service and food. Clean, comfortable, and quiet with a charm all of its own. Good location for exploring Swakupmund and surrounding area. There are many new hotels in the area that will prove strong competition for Hansa Hotel, but it has history!!

Doro Nawas Camp

Stunning location in such a remote area. Accommodation was excellent and the service from staff friendly and helpful. Does not merit 5/5 due to limited menu choices especially during the day.

The Clarendon Bantry Bay

Excellent accommodation with stunning views over Bantry Bay. Helpful, friendly staff. WE would highly recommend the Claredon for clients that do not want the big Hotel experience.

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel & Guest House

This accommodation provided us with the best experience of our whole trip. It is not directly comparable in many way with other hotels as we had our own small villa/cottage spread over two floors The staff went out of their way to make our experience fantastic - there was work being done at the hotel but this did not interfere with our experience.

Mosaic Private Sanctuary

Remote and difficult to find as it is signed posted under a different name - Lagoon Lodges. The location is excellent on the side of the Lagoon, and the accommodation and services were very good. A few minor service hiccups during our staff mean we give it 4/5 rather than 5/5.

Rosenhof Country House

Very nice small Hotel on the outskirts on Oudtshourn. All as expected but nothing outstanding.

The Plettenberg

Beautiful location - the reason we choose it. However the upgrade work (which we knew about beforehand) was too intrusive - e.g. toilets in main building out of service for the duration of our stay so had to return to room each time. Staff also advised us that the breakfast service was limited as Hotel was quiet. The bar service was poor - e.g. had to search for someone to serve us and later to provide the bill.

No5 Boutique Art Hotel

Good location and smart modern Hotel. Excellent facilities. Our experience was spoilt by poor room service on our first night, waiting over 75 mins for delivery (and only one couple in the restaurant when we went to investigate). At first the Hotel ignored our complaint but that was later addressed by the Management after we left.

Staff Review

Nikki provided excellent service during the planning of our trip which was done over a period of a year, and dealt with any questions we had quickly and efficiently. She made excellent recommendations regarding accommodation and was flexible and helpful when we wanted to use different hotels or change the flight routing and dates. During the trip we had a minor issue with the car hire company (BidVest). This was sorted very quickly (Bidvest, like most car hire companies in the world, wanted to charge for many extras when picking up the car and were reluctant to accept the required services had been prepaid) Overall, we would have no hesitation in recommending Nlkki and Mahlatini to other travellers.