Feedback from the Field: South Africa and Zimbabwe

by Sandy Salle on July 11, 2017

We love to share the testimonials from people who have taken Hills of Africa trips. The latest comes from Marsha Munn of North Carolina, who recently went on an African safari vacation with her husband Duncan in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Marsha and Duncan are VIP clients of Sharon Andrade, a very experienced travel agent with Travel Experts in Raleigh, NC.

The feedback helps others plan their Africa trips with us and also helps us fine tune the products we offer in the field — hotels and lodges, greeters and guides, food and beverage — every aspect of the trip.

Here’s what Marsha had to say about her Hills of Africa adventure:

Linkwasha: Us with our guide, Tindai

First I’d like to say this was a fabulous trip. We had to pinch ourselves when we saw the first animals in Hwange — couldn’t believe we were actually there. Secondly, everything went like clockwork. People were there to meet us when they were supposed to and expedited our movement through various lines and processes.

City Lodge in Johannesburg could use some improvements. We had a huge window between the bath and the bedroom that appeared to have had an electronic shade but it was totally missing. Service in the restaurant was slow. Fine for one night but maybe the Intercontinental would be better?

Linkwasha: 360 degree sunset view for sundowner

Linkwasha Camp in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe was our favorite stop. Something about the people and the place was very warm and welcoming. Tindai, our guide, was the best — reserved at first but very kind and really opened up over the four days we spent there. Couldn’t say anything negative about any of the staff, just lovely. They were so interested in our country and so willing to talk about theirs. We were paired on safari with a lovely newlywed couple from London whom we grew fond of over the time. There were never any more than the four of us in a jeep, which was great. Our last drive was in the afternoon and we asked to come back and enjoy sunset from the deck. An appetizer tray with the kinds of wine we had been drinking was put out for us on the upper deck and decorated with local foliage. They were just so thoughtful! I actually burst into tears when I saw it and cried when we left.

Special afternoon cocktail setup for us

Secretary bird at Linkwasha Camp, Hwange

Love-sick giraffe and girlfriend at Linkwasha

Close encounter with a female juvenile elephant

So lucky

Linkwasha airport lounge!

Victoria Falls Hotel. We decided afterwards that we could have skipped it and had a great trip anyway. The hotel common areas look good, even though it’s like stepping back in time (not a bad thing!). They “upgraded” our room but that turned out to be a negative rather than a positive. It was a huge suite in the back of the  hotel, over-the-top big. Food was good in the Livingstone Room — although only about three tables occupied. Nicest experiences were high tea and drinks on the patio. However, the view is amazing. Would be a great place for people who are interested in history (Duncan loved looking at all the photos, paintings, artifacts displayed in the hallways).

Victoria Falls Hotel Sunrise

Londolozi in Kruger National Park was a world apart from Linkwasha. Completely different feel there. Not bad, just different. Our cottage was gorgeous and there were enough snacks, wine and liquor to last us weeks or months!

I was inside our cabin looking out at this baboon

The staff was fine but more reserved than Linkwasha. The food was outstanding.

Beautiful spot for lunch

Game drives different, too, with larger vehicles and no top (so were glad it didn’t rain!). On the last night they served dinner in our room. The table was set, flower petals everywhere, candles all over the room and leading to the bath, where they had run us a hot bubble bath with a bottle of champagne. Again, they remembered our wine preferences and had one bottle of each. Wish we had stayed one more night.

We didn’t get to see enough of these beautiful beings

Special moment at Londolozi

Feeling lucky

Franschhoek was a lovely, albeit touristy, town. La Petite Dauphine guest farm was so peaceful and our cottage the best one in terms of views. Once again, excellent food. Wish we’d had more time just to hang out.

Our cottage in Franschhoek

Franschhoek

Our day with Pamela at the Cape of Good Hope was great. She had so much energy and information to share. Our dinner reservations that night were at Babel. The food there was terrific and we liked the artwork. The other really good restaurant was Marigold— best Indian food we’ve had and beautifully presented.

Day with Pam in beautiful Cape Town and Cape Point

Hermanus was a great way to end the trip. Birkenhead House was top notch. Duncan said that Sandy had “outdone” herself on this one. We had a corner room with small patio overlooking the ocean and all the amenities we could want — and also the best lighting of all places we stayed. We never wanted to leave. The staff was helpful, friendly, professional. The food was topnotch. We could have easily spent a week there.

Birkenhead front patio

Hermanus walking path into town

Some general comments:

  • We liked that we didn’t have to waste time finding transportation and trying to figure out how to get places. As much time as we spent in airports (or on landing strips!), having all these supports along the way helped make the most of our time.
  • The people everywhere were so amazing — friendly, resilient, optimistic, articulate. We especially enjoyed and admired the Zimbabweans.
  • I would not take malaria pills again. I had bouts with nausea starting at Victoria Falls, some severe. Finally, at Londolozi, after not having seen one mosquito, we both quit taking them.

 

We are so grateful to our clients for giving us feedback – it is the only way for us to improve our services and provide an even better experience for our future travelers.  Thank you so much Sharon for working with us to create an amazing trip for Martha and Duncan.  We’re so excited to be continuing our relationship with the Peetes!

If you’re looking to plan your dream trip to Africa, please give us a call and let us show you how we can look after you and make that dream a reality.

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