The planning process enabled by Mahlatini staff and by Claire Picknell in particular bore fruit every day ....allowing us to relax into the journeys and various locations .
Our choice of 2 different routes for the journey to / from Shamwari suited perfectly our tolerance for quite long stretches on the road and in experiencing the wonderfully varied landscapes of the inland route versus the more coastal "Garden route ".
My experience of S. A as a nation which is as troubled as it is beautiful was confirmed .This was my 5th trip to S.A but my first to explore anything of the "interior " while staying in top class accommodation.
We had a wonderful holiday while being deeply concerned for the urban and rural communities so very impacted by the shortage of water/ lack of rainfall ....empty reservoirs are quite a dreadful sight .The social inequality underlying the Township living conditions, of which I had personal experience on previous visits, is a challenge to all out humanity .
The setting on the bay is stunning and the rooms quite beautiful but , for us , the atmosphere and encounter with staff was rather stiff and overly formal .We did not rate their dining room experience as highly as other places .The pool is lovely for a quiet swim before dinner .
It was perfectly located in breaking the drive from Capetown to Shamwari as we also called into PE to visit friends on leaving Plettenberg.
Every thing about the Sarili lodge suited us !
The front of house staff were wonderful ....Michael in particular is such an asset to the location ....I do hope his work there it is recognised and rewarded suitably .
The decor , facilities , dining , safari leaders , experience of big game , lodge location /aspect from the deck ...all were a joy....we recommend without any reservations it to all who have asked about our trip
Eagles lodge did not suit us really ....but we can see how visitors who crave complete privacy would value the separateness which it facilitates .
The decor and facilities of the accommodation huts are really quite dated now and the pool facility poor . While the proximity to the crag , which defines its location and name ,precludes the wonderful vistas to be enjoyed from Sarili and which are so beautifully revealing of the changing light through the day as well as the movement of animals .
Still we were interested to have experienced Eagle's Crag while being very glad we had not chosen it as our main base at Shamwari ...otherwise we would have wondered what had we missed !!
We had formed the impression ,from my discussions with you and from the literature supplied in the planning process ,that evening meal would not be available at the Montana.....our hosts were concerned at this.
They proceeded to include us in their plan for dinner with friends of theirs who were with them for the evening ....this turned out to be a fascinating experience !
Again the choice of location in breaking the journey was perfect and the standard of accommodation was good very lovely breakfast buffet on their veranda .
We enjoyed Lanzerac very much.
Staff seemed to know very little about the terrain through which we had driven and about which we would have liked to converse.
Probably has the best bed linen we have ever had the joy of sleeping in !
All areas of the hotel beautifully appointed .
Location is stunning .Amazing breakfast buffet . Really helpful staff.
However their much referred to concessionary car for short transfers is a myth !!
Claire stayed on our case throughout the planning process which had quite a few iterations as we made decisions and then changed our minds. She has been the soul of patience and thorough in her research on our behalf.
I could not speak too highly of her and i hope she is appreciated and suitably rewarded.