The service provided by our travel advisor was first rate. Our agent’s attention to detail, wonderful suggestions and cheerful attitude guaranteed a great trip, which it was. We thoroughly enjoyed the accommodations and restaurant selections and found the tour guides pleasant and informative. All air and ground services were well organized. We especially enjoyed the guided tours of Victoria Falls and Cape Town and of the wineries in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. We had one minor problem with an airport transfer service and texted our agent who promptly contacted the provider and fixed the issue.
Memorable aspects of our trip included dinner at restaurant in Cape Town, seeing the contemporary art and crafts in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Cape Town, our arrival at our Zambia hotel in a speed boat, our visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and meeting the resident tortoise in the lovely gardens of our Cape Town hotel. We visited the Rosebank shopping mall in Johannesburg and were especially surprised at seeing the “W” store, the Woolworth’s of South Africa, which is more like an English Marks and Spencer than the 5 and 10 store of my childhood. We enjoyed the Cape Town food tour and the private guided tour of three vineyards in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. During our food tour we ate at a food stall located on top of the train station and sampled bunny chow, Malay food, local bacon, chocolate and coffee. The private wine tastings were special because we sampled a range of high quality white and red wines that were selected based on our specific interests. Just as the guide books warned that Table Mountain weather could change rapidly, it did for us. We weren’t able to make our climb or cable car descent but our guide substituted another walk, which gave us a taste of the mountain.
We particularly enjoyed our stay at the intimate hotel in the village of Franschhoek. The venue and service were exceptional and its location in the center of town with its interesting shops was convenient.
We wouldn’t change what we did but would add another day, unstructured, to wander around Cape Town to revisit the areas we’d hit with our guide. Instead of the group wine tour we’d do that day with the private wine guide to explore more vineyards and learn more about the grape varieties, where they are grown and how the wine is made. With a guide you taste much higher quality wines than on larger tours.
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