First of all, thank you to our agents and all the other people that make things happen at this travel company. when I set out to do this trip I knew what I wanted I just didn't know how to make it happen. I am the one in the house that organizes all of our trips and I have arranged some very complicated multi country trips but this one was way out of my league. The details really matter to have an experience like I wanted for both Annmarie and I. the choices of properties and excursions really matter to have the quality of experience. and finally the people really matter. Our travel company nailed it on everything -- in fact exceeded my expectations by a LONG shot. Its hard to believe that is possible to be honest with you as I am a very seasoned international traveler -- more than 100 international trips to all over the world. And yet you did it. We loved Cape town and the surrounding areas. The Cape Town hotel's property is fabulous and the service better -- Our guide was AWESOME. We saw so much of the peninsula over the days we were there and were blown away by the beauty and variety from the Atlantic side all the way through to the Indian side. Annmarie got a thrill of a lifetime when she took a private lesson from a world champion Surk Ski paddler (she is a good one herself) in Fish Hoek. And we had the best calamari of our lives in a little village in horse country (and I know because I order calamari at every restaurant that sells it :-) ). The hotel was spectacular and the food/wine even better (perhaps best meal of our lives at Overture and Foliage was great too). Then on to Safari country. Makanyi Lodge and the reserve are simply put the best possible experience anyone could hope for in a safari experience. We had so much fun and didn't notice that by the end of the time there we had already spent 25 hours in a car at awkward times :-). We saw it all and more. I will get to the people in a moment but the details of the stay there were just perfect. Then on to Lion Sands. While not quite to the level of excellence and polish of Makanyi, it is still a world class place. The area is beautiful and it was fun to contrast the experience of Makanyi with Lion Sands. Lion sands even delivered on my ask which was to see a crocodile, a poisonous snake and a leopard -- something our guide says was ridiculous to even expect and yet it happened! One thing to note -- while the itinerary said all house alcohol etc included, I think I had to pay a fee to get the "inclusive". not a big deal but something for you to note. Then to Joburg. this is the only area I have constructive feedback for you. Since I made this a late add I don't really blame you guys for this but while nice The hotel we stayed at is not the 5 star experience we had on the rest of the trip. its just not up to the standard you had set for us in the other properties. given it was for only a night again not that big a deal but for your own future references its nothing really special (esp for what we paid for it)
Second, the people. I have been in business for 20+ years and I know the difference between good and great or even special is the people. I was blown away. First my experience with the two of you was effortless and incredibly proactive. I could reach you at any time, you took my questions and answered them graciously even when the answers were all in the docs you sent (sorry :-() and you worked hard from a long ways away to make it feel to me as though I were dealing with my neighborhood travel agent. Hard to do but so well done. Then our guide. He was a real treat. A constant source of knowledge and insight as well as humor and flexibility. Then there was our guide and tracker at Makanyi. Its hard to believe that two people could make waking at 5am something to look forward to but they did it. The banter between them was awesome and many times left all of us laughing. Their knowledge of animal behavior and how they move through the property was a highlight and we both learned so much. The fact that they do this every day for 6 weeks and can make each couple feel as they are the 100% focus is a testament to them. Similarly with our guide and tracker at Lion Sands. Our driver and tracker at Makanyi clearly had so much more experience than the ones at Lion Sands but it is clear that they are of the same quality and your clients really benefited from their dedication.
Honestly this was so much better than I had hoped for and I hoped for a LOT!. thank you to all those at this company who made this trip a once in a lifetime experience.
all my comments are in the above
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
Thank you very much for your review. We are glad that we could make this a trip of a lifetime!
With regard to alcohol, Lion Sands River Lodge includes a selection of local beers, spirits and house wines with imported liquor at an additional charge. This is re-iterated in our itineraries.
Thank you for your honest feedback on the Johannesburg hotel. We consider it a night stop hotel. Comfortable and affordable and within easy reach from the highway to the airport.
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