Review by: Ms Sally Jackson & Mr James Bolton

Overall Impressions

The trip was really good. Everything worked well, all arrangements were clear and we had no issues. The only real problem was there was something wrong with the gearbox on the car we hired which was worrying and did affect our trip a bit. This wasn't your fault however as the car was easy to hire and literally brand new, so it was just one of those things. We did bring it to the attention of the car hire company who were reasonably helpful.

Countries Visited

South Africa

Didn't enjoy Cape Town as much as I thought but this could have been due to the fact that the weather wasn't great for the majority of our time here. The rest of South Africa was lovely, beautiful coastline, lovely country, and we met some really nice people along the way who made our stay even more special. We'd have liked to have stayed longer.

Mauritius

Mauritius was absolutely beautiful. The hotel was lovely as were the staff. Drinks and extras were very expensive but we were expecting that. The hotel is going to close early this year for a total makeover but we couldn't really understand why as it was lovely and very well maintained. Our only complaint was the transfer driver to the hotel as it was dark and raining heavily but still he drove like a maniac. We travel alot and appreciate that driving styles are very different across the world but I was literally scared for my life and even Jim who is very laid back and confident didn't think it was safe, we arrived in approx 25 minutes in very poor conditions and I've never been so grateful to get out of a car especially when the driver told us he had already been driving/working for 14 hours and he still had one last pickup. This slightly spoilt our arrival in Mauritius. The transfer on the way back was lovely. The young driver was charming, polite, informative and drove very carefully. (I must admit the first driver was polite too)

Accommodation Visited

The Clarendon Fresnaye

The staff were lovely especially Emmy who was extremely helpful. The hotel was beautiful although we were a little upset that our room seemed to be the only one with no outdoor space. The one next door seemed to at least have a tiny balcony. Other than that room and breakfasts were lovely. It was conveniently placed to walk down to the hop on hop off busstop which was great and it was nice and quite. Parking was a bit tight with definitely not enough spaces but worked OK for us. As it was a little out of town I don't think you really got the Cape Town vibe, especially in the evenings.

Rickety Bridge Manor House

The room here was absolutely amazing and the setting was beautiful. The first morning the whole estate had a power cut and we were on a tight schedule to get into town for the first wine tram but the staff coped amazingly and the owner/manager even came over from a neighbouring property and personally cooked us breakfast so that we weren't late. I think it is a little inconvenient it not having a restaurant for evening meals as it really means you have to drive into town which is a shame in the middle of the wine region :-). I also think it ought to be made clear that there is literally noone on site overnight (except a security guard) apart from the guests. We quite liked this as it almost felt like your own property but some of the other guests didn't seem to like it and I think felt nervous about their safety. Also if you had an issue from 5pm onwards you were kind off on your own.

Beachy Head Villa

Again a nice property with great views from some of the communal rooms. The honesty bars were a nice idea although we didn't use them as were the upstairs terraces. The breakfast room was far to small for the number of rooms/properties using this space in a limited time (we got up early so didn't affect us but 10 minutes could make all the difference) and the staff were a bit hit and miss with some days being brilliant and other days not really seeming to care. Our room was very poorly located being right underneath the kitchen and on the first morning (Monday) I was woken at 3-30 - 4am by very loud noises from above. These were sorting and shuffling of cutlery, followed by crockery, then furniture rearrangement etc and these continued relentlessly until it was time to get up which wasn't the best start to our stay. It wasn't the same the other nights so I'm not sure if the staff have Sundays off and then have to catch up early Monday morning but it was quite unbearable. We think the room number was B2 but we could be wrong. There are also no real restuarants in easy walking distance and no option to eat in the hotel which could have been a last resort.

Amakhala Hillsnek Safaris

This was our favourite part of the whole South Africa trip. The camp was lovely, the tents were amazing and the staff could not be faulted from Monique, Matt and Jaison to the lady with the wet towels and reindeer hat, everything was great. The free bars were incredible (although the other guests did make me feel a bit uncomfortable about using them to the full, but that's because I worry too much). The game drives were well organised and certainly packed in the sights. It would be an amazing place to go for your first safari as you were almost guaranteed sightings, although this might spoil you for an future safaris. Our only suggestion to improve things was if the second jeep hadn't been prebooked privately we thought it would be nice if the group could be split into two rather than all cramming into one vehicle, but this was a tiny comment. A note to your company though, this camp is the ONLY camp without a sign from the main road and so is quite difficult to find. On your instructions could you please add that you need to turn into the gate with a big WOODBURY sign on it (please check that's the right name) and head towards a mesh gate where you can bleep through and from there you will see signs for several different camps, ours included. These were not visible from the road and there was no reference to Hillsnek here at all.

Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort

Excellent. Well maintained, nice choice of resturants, great staff, lovely beach. Not sure why they are closing it really. Made us feel really welcome especially on and after Jims birthday. Great choice of restort if a bit expensive for drinks etc.

Staff Review

Nikki was excellent from start to finish. She listened to what I wanted, made tweaks to our original itinerary and provided us with an unforgettable holiday within the budget I had given her. Thank you very much indeed. We would definitely use your company again (if we can afford it :-) ) I just want to say that reading the above you might think that we didn't enjoy ourselves or that we moan a lot. This isn't true! We loved the holiday and rated it 5/5 its just if you ask for comment I think constructive feedback is more useful as these are things that could be changed for the better. All of the points are tiny and didn't affect our holiday negatively at all.