Our family of 11 including 4 grandchildren, 10 years old and younger, had a fabulous time in South Africa. We were in South Africa for 8 nights after our arrival. During our time we spent three days exploring Cape Town and adjacent areas with an excellent tour guide. He was able to engage the grandchildren, be patient with them but also ensured that the adults were exposed and engaged in Cape Town and area related opportunities. We stayed in an apartment which worked well because of its proximity to entertainment, food and fun things to do. The casual nature of the apartments fit our needs with the younger grandchildren and the rest of the family very well. Before we even got to Cape Town, we were very satisfied with the arranged meeting of our flight in Johannesburg since their assistance to get us through customs, help rebook us, since our incoming flight was delayed and get on our belated way after over 24 hours of travel. The pickup in Cape Town was well done and our guide within Cape Town was outstanding, as previously mentioned.
We then spent three days at Shamwari Game Reserve of safari which was also very well done. Great food, great service and comfortable surroundings. We saw lots of animals, everyone felt pampered and we had control of our schedule.
Finally, after returning to Cape Town we were driven tour accommodation which was a fantastic home and venue along the ocean in another reserve, this one a botanical reserve. What a way to spend the last two days of our vacation as the only people staying at the beautifully outfitted home with a full staff that took pampering to a new level. From the first fifteen minutes after arriving we knew we had made a good decision despite the long traveling day from Shamwari to Elizabethtown, flying to Capetown and the 4 hour drive to the Beach House. We had a "Sundowner" on the beach which included drinks of choice, appetizers, boarding down sand dunes by kids and grandkids and a sunset that will be long remembered.
Our extended family has taken vacations to Ireland, Italy, Canada, Mexico, various locations in the US and this was agreed by all to be the most enjoyable, best planned and with the capable abilities of our safari tour operator the best executed of all of our vacations.
The safari by being so close to animals that would otherwise only be seen in zoos.
The lack of tension or frustration since the planning and execution was so flawless.
Learning about South Africa through contact with our tour guide and other South African natives. Much more real than reading about the country. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the cities were and how little racial tension existed.
The people, including those in resteraunts, hotels and shops, were very nice and largely professional in delivering their services.
The beach house was a wonderful place to get away from it all to enjoy nice hikes, beautiful sunsets, great wine, outstanding food and great hospitality that some of our group will return to.
We originally had intended to have had one more day, we shortened due to work schedules, but one more day at the beach house would have been worthwhile and worth doing.
We had considered flipping things around, so would have gone on Safari first, then beach house and then Cape Town, which would have been a mistake given the jet lag upon arrival. The order we did things allowed us to relax and recharge before flying home.
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