The following is what we wrote to the travel agency directly:
I am writing this in lieu of the survey and hope that we cover the questions. First of all, THANK YOU!!! Our agent was wonderful and accomodating in reference to the scheduling and the itinerary. She was charming and friendly and was quick to respond to my questions and requests.
Upon arrival, the woman from our tour company was nice, accomodating.
The Faircity Hotel was just what we ordered, easy and near to a couple of things. Our guide from the tour company was nice and informative. I highly recommend the Cradle of Humankind and wish we had spent a little longer there but we arrived too late. We went to the Sterkfontein Caves and would not recommend it for people of our age although it was interesting. (We're not really cave people anyway) The Apartheid Museum was good but not outstanding. We had done a lot of reading before the trip.
Next, we got our car and drove to Hazyview. Oh, we added a GPS in the rental. We had brought our own but you should recommwend to people that they make sure that their GPS has South Africa in it. I had checked it at home trying to find Johannesburg and our GPS found it so I assumed they had S Africa, but somebody later told me that there is a Jburg in the US that GPS pick up! The driving wasn't bad at all, in fact, very good and easy even for us Americans. The Tanamera Lodge was out of this world--beautiful and well managed. We drove up to Bourne's Pothole, etc, etc, which shouldn't be missed.We stopped for lunch in Graskop on the way, a cute little touristy town.
Our next leg was a long trip from there to Swaziland. Uneventful and easy to get thru the borders. Since we stopped at other craft places on the way, we didn't make it in time to see the candles or glass. The Mountain Inn accomodation was OK. We had dinner there amongst throngs of tourists but the food was good.
Then on to St Lucia Amazulu Lodge. We had been given a note at the Mountain Inn that the front office closes at 6 and we could call when we got there. Problem is--no phone!! Luckily, some other tourists were there and let us in and told us where to park the car--and therre was a night watchman who found the key for us (non-English speaking) We walked around St Lucia which is a nice town and walked out to the estuary.
We next drove to Hluhluwe the Zulu Nyala Safari Game Lodge--very good experience. The rental car was picked up the next day.
Our transfer to Durban went smoothly as did the transfer from the CT airport. We stayed at the Underberg Guesthouse, which we would recommend highly. Fortunately, our in country contact had discovered that I had booked one day short there and scrambled for us and found another guesthouse for the last night--Wergelen--terrific!!!!!!!!
CT: Robben Island (good), Greenmarket Sq--fun market and lots of cafes around; District 6 Museum, a little disappointing but we're glad we went, the V and A Waterfront for a nice lunch. Oh, and the Red and Blue buses which are hop on hop off buses touring CT and environs. Oh, our trip to Cape Point which had been arranged by the Underberg was wonderful and beautiful, stopping by several small towns. The penguins were delightful! (There was a major fire on the Cape for a couple of days, which was really sad but interesting watching the helicopters trying to put it out with seawater)
Our car was delivered to Wergelen. And we decided that we had too much stuff for the remainder of the trip so Fiona, the owner of Welgelen helped us find a shipper for our suitcases which should arrive in the PHL airport soon.(!?)
The drive to Stellenbosch and Franshoek was wonderful. The River Manor Boutique Hotel was a great find, easy walk into town, good breakfast, nice staff. We went to Oppie Dorp, good food and not expensive and to Ernie Eels restaurnat, the Big Easy--again good food. We drove thru Franshoek on the way to Hermanus since it had been recommended and the trip is FANTASTIC. (I am glad we had gotten used to driving on the left side by then thru the mountains!) We went to several wineries, including the one owned by Ernie Eels (beautiful views!!) and some others.
\Hermanus was a cute town, touristy, good for one night. Beautiful seaside.
\Oudtshoorn was very interesting as a one time deal. Not a must but good for once. The Mooiplaas GH was a good accomodation. Not much to do in the town.
Driving to Plettenberg Bay was nice. Enrico's Restaurant is about 15 mins out of town and a really nice place, highly recommended for beauty and food. By the water. Also stopped for oysters in Knysna, asking at the tourist office where good oysters were. (Quay Four), an informal place on the water with great oysters. Driving to Port Elizabeth was uneventful. We arrived late at the No 5 Boutique Art Hotel and left very early for our flight, but the hotel was magnificent and we wished we had spent a couple of nights there.
Flight to Joburg and onto Maun were fine. At that point Desert and Deltas Safaris took over and WOW--we were treated royally and it was so interesting and lots of fun and LOADS of pix. I'm glad you chose the combination of venues thru DDS, water, Okinavango Delta, Moremi, Xugana. We saw lots of animals and birds. The weather was great (a little too dry for them) but good (and hot) for us.
Victoria Falls: Transits went well and timely. We booked the sunset cruise thru the tour company that picked us up in Kusane to V Falls. We went to Zambia and Zimbabwe sides of the falls.(walking and taxi) There's a competition between the countries as to which side is better. We loved both. Zimbabwe gave a better overview but Zambia felt intimate and more into the falls. My camera shorted out in the falls in Zimbabwe, our last day :((( but it had put in 6 weeks of great pix.
All in all, a TERRIFIC trip which we would recommend to anyone (who can afford it :( ) We want our adult children to go someday. Our travel agency did a wonderful job of making sure we were well taken care of and getting us to absolutely great places.
Barbara and Loren C
Our time in Botswana thru Desert and Delta Safaris
Nothing--except a GPS)
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