Phil and Karen Hadley
The five properties were absolutely top notch and the scenery and wildlife incredible. Everything ran like clockwork, there were no issues, the traveling from Johannesburg airport to the various properties and back to Jo’burg was easy and hassle free. I was very impressed with the selection of properties and the ‘balance’ of Game Lodge/Guest House/Game Lodge/Guest House/Game Lodge was spot on, giving us enough relaxation time in between the full on action of the Game Lodges, so thank you for that. We could not fault the standard of the accommodation in any of the five properties, each having 5 star levels of service.
Makweti Game Lodge was a perfect way to start our holiday - Intimate, personal and sophisticated. Kevin & Melanie (Lodge Managers) made us very welcome and even phoned us en-route between Jo’burg and Makweti to ascertain our progress and arrival time. Our accommodation was simply stunning - very private and very luxurious. Makweti, as you know, has only 5 suites (so only a maximum of 10 guests at any one time), 4 of which have private plunge pool’s and because the Lodge was not fully booked during our visit, Kevin & Melanie up-graded us to a suite with a plunge pool which was a lovely surprise. The game drives were sublime – cheetahs on a very fresh (minutes) impala kill, very close up and personal with a Lion pride, Rhino and an amazing meeting with an elephant herd in a river - to name but a few!! If we went back to this region of SA, we would definitely visit Makweti again.
King’s Walden was a wonderful country escape, beautifully located in stunning garden’s with spectacular views. KW was a great base to explore the area - 3 days/nights there was just enough to explore and also chill out and relax by the pool in the gardens. The food was to die for!!! – a la carte breakfasts to 4 course fine dining in the evening – stunning!!
Garonga Safari Camp, our third accommodation was absolutely fabulous. A real African Bush adventure. Some reviews (on trip advisor) liken it to camping?!!! – I can assure you this is nothing like any camping I’ve ever done!!! The ‘tents’ are large, luxurious, beautifully appointed, and located overlooking a dry river bed with waterhole – you can view Giraffe, warthog’s, varieties of antelope, even a pair of Spotted Hyena one morning – without leaving your hammock on your decking outside your tent!! Bernie (Bernardo Smith – WH Smith and Sons!!) and all his staff were extremely attentive and we didn’t want for anything. The Game Drives were again fantastic – Lion’s on a Nyala kill (just happened!!), close up’s with cheetah and Hippo’s in the river being just a few of the many highlight’s – we loved every minute of Garonga.
Cybele Forrest Lodge - what a place!!! – one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever stayed!! – simply stunning. We were again upgraded on arrival to a Paddock Suite with its own private garden with pool!! When I say suite, that does not do it justice – it was a Detached, thatched, luxurious cottage in its own beautifully kept private gardens – incredible!! This was a great base to unwind, relax and explore the area, highlights included the must see: many waterfalls of the area, Bourke’s Potholes, The Pinnacle, God’s Window and general stunning scenery. Levels of service were again 5 star and the food was again of the highest quality.
Nkomazi Game Reserve – the grand finale!! And what a way to end our holiday!! – we absolutely loved this place – true Africa. Big open grassland plains, mountains, bush, and the Komati River running its way through the reserve made this a truly special place. Again 5 star Accommodation and standards of service to match. The staff were extremely attentive, a lovely friendly atmosphere. Our guide/ranger was extremely knowledgeable and skilled at his job and we saw some incredible sights.
Sorry if this is a bit long-winded, but this is just a brief summary of our thoughts!! We could go on and on, and none of it would be negative!!
Just going through 2500 photos taken during our trip, we have some wonderful shots of a truly memorable holiday. So thank you Mike for putting this together for us.
P.S We’ll send you a few photo’s when we’ve finished editing them!!