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Okavango Delta in Botswana?
Seeing the Vic Falls from the sky?
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African Sky of Diamonds is owner managed by a certified South African Tour Guide whose love for travel has provided many foreign tourists with life-changing journeys in some of the most perfect and remote parts of the African continent as well as the Indian Ocean Islands.
What do our customers say??
I got back to UK after an amazing month away in SA, and Debbie and the little girls were already here, so I've had more treats with my precious ones staying for 3 more wonderful weeks. Debbie left to fly back to Ab Dhabi on Thursday and we left early yesterday (Friday) to drive to Devon to visit friends. The journey took 6.5 hours as there were traffic delays all day!
I thought I'd get up at 6am today (Saturday) to catch up with overdue emails...so here I am watching the dawn in beautiful Salcombe as I send this to you...
It's hard to put into words all that Entabeni meant to us as a family. It was a highlight of my life, a once in a lifetime experience where our entire family got together for the first time ever, apart from the Scottish members who we met up with two weeks prior to our trip as they just couldn't get away sadly.
The bush reunion at Entabeni really worked, as we could all chat with each other and the children could play and have fun throughout the days and nights, in a most stunning spot, with great service, meals, game rides, and glorious weather. It was a perfect choice in every way.
Firstly a big 'Thank You' to you for finding this gem of a place for us. It suited us all exactly. Everyone loved it!
The setting was truly superb - magnificent lakeside with that beautiful, distinctive 'cupcake' mountain. A deck where we all gathered in the early afternoons for games, reading and chats. The lodge was really comfortable, with clever decor African style yet mod cons such as tea/coffee stations with kettles in our rooms and fridges etc with well appointed bathrooms, and special touches like the rooms tidied up with electric blankets switched on in the evenings. The staff were absolutely wonderful, always friendly and helpful, and especially the Game Rangers who were exceptional with all of us particularly the little children. The meals were of an incredibly high standard. All our family have raved about the tasty food, the attractive presentation, and the variety of choices we enjoyed! Excellent 10/10. Everything we asked for was done with a big smile. The boma's at night were a great hit.
The game rides were always prompt and on time, with fun snacks and drinks. (The littlies missed having hot chocolate which unfortunately they didn't have, and some of the adults wished for good quality coffee instead of the small sachets...but hey ho that's such a tiny detail!!) The game rangers were amazing with their knowledge of game and birds and a basic knowledge of plants and trees. We all really enjoyed hearing about the medicinal properties of plants from our ranger.
We really enjoyed the variety of scenery and appreciated the spots we stopped at for refreshments which were carefully chosen and absolutely beautiful.
We saw some fabulous game highlights - elephant on a charge, lion chomping a wildebeest, young cheetah's in a chase, ostrich's doing an impressive mating dance, baby giraffe's, and several rhino's up close and awesome, and a crocodile sunning itself right in the middle of our road so we had to reverse and go another route...sightings we'll never forget.
On the last night, the staff came in singing 'happy Birthday' to me with a small candle lit cake, and singing and dancing by the staff. Our whole party erupted with joy! Soon we were all dancing, jiving to the African rhythms, and singing along to their beautiful melodies. It was a phenomenal experience we'll never forget.
The family were all thrilled with the choice of venue for our reunion.On the 'down' side, they just wished there was a more plentiful amount of game as on some game drives we saw very few of anything. On our last morning there was not even one impala or buck. The game ranger was wonderful in trying to show interesting plants and to give us a positive game drive...but it was a pity that absolutely nothing of the animal kingdom showed up. We all realise that this is how it is sometimes, as it's not a zoo!
So, dear Nona, a huge heartfelt 'Thank you' for all you did to make this such an unforgettable holiday for us all, especially me!
It was a dream come true, in a far far better, happier, more glorious way that I could ever have hoped for.
What a fantastic holiday!
Suggesting we never drove ourselves was a brilliant call by you, the chance to enjoy the scenery (not to mention the wine tasting) and relax made such a difference. Pre-booking restaurants also worked very well for us although we would eat in the Kloof St area as well as the Waterfront next time we’re in Cape Town.
Best to review the holiday in chronological order as there were so many highlights.
Cape Town - More Quarters was just perfect. A small boutique place away from the tourist dominated Waterfront gave us an opportunity to see “proper Cape Town”, nice local bars and restaurants and just a short walk from Company’s Garden, the Arch’s Arch and Slave Museum. The hotel staff were really helpful in locating my mislaid iPad and luggage, breakfast was great and our apartment spot on.We’d definitely stay there again. Our Ilios guide, Bonita, was amazingly friendly, adaptable and informative. We really couldn’t have wished for better and enjoyed our time with her enormously.
Franschhoek - a really lovely town and again a smashing apartment Aurberge Daniella.
Although the rugby didn’t give us the result we wanted it was an amazing occasion and fantastic to witness it in the winners country.
The result was soon forgotten by the amazing dinner in Delaire Graaf, without doubt the best meal we had on holiday and in such a wonderful location. Highly recommended.
Hermanus was nice and despite whale watching being very poor this year we were fortunate to see a whale from our lunch viewpoint in the “cave” restaurant. Very impressed with the Babylonstoren gardens and well worth arriving early to spend time enjoying them. We have to thank our enterprising young taxi driver Joshua (he and his partner Davin have just started their new business Hakuna Matata) for the tip. We’d definitely recommend them if you’re looking for a taxi in Franschhoek (Cell 072 300 5165). The Babel restaurant was nice but we felt the food veered too much to the theme of keeping it simple, for example the vegetables were served plain when they could have been lifted by using the many herbs growing in the gardens.
Stellenbosch was a bit too busy for us and we much preferred Franschhoek but the wine tasting was great. We only did 2 as 3 would have been too much in one day. A short walk to the Hussar Grill was just what we needed that evening.
Mosaic Private Lagoon Lodge - Wow! This place was amazing. Small, luxurious, great food and service and really interesting activities focusing on the fynbos. The trip to the archaeological caves was particularly interesting. We also highly recommend the spa where we had our pre-booked spa treatments.
Our guide for the next few days, Marius, proved to be throughly engaging and entertaining and couldn’t have done more for us.
We were a little disappointed with the accommodation offered to us on arrival at De Denne Country Guest House. Instead of the deluxe suite we had booked in the main house we were offered a choice of 2 garden suites, one of which was tired and musty and the other tired and small. They did relocate us to a much bigger suite after we expressed our disappointment. The on-site restaurant was pretty good though. After discussing with Marius we decided not to take the long drive over to Prinz Albert but instead focussed on our “Walking with Giraffes” experience. This was fantastic and we very highly recommend it. Although one can get close to giraffes on a safari drive, it doesn’t come near to approaching them by foot.
If we were to visit Oudtshoorn again we would recommend staying on or nearer the giraffe reserve if possible and giving the Ostrich farm visit a miss as it was too touristy for us.
The trip to Knysna was really scenic and the stops en-route for both breathtaking views and the “map of Africa” awesome. In common with most of our trip the wind was very strong so instead of a gentle sunset cruise we were treated to a proper sailing experience in the lagoon - it was great. 34 degree South restaurant was really good as well.
The Belvidere Manor was a lovely location and although the cottage was very comfortable we thought it was quite dated. The on-site Bell pub was great though and perfect for a quiet Sunday night pub meal. Our trip to Plettenberg was agin peppered with some great viewpoint stops from Marius and the visit to the Elephant Sanctuary was truly memorable. Being so close to and interacting with the elephants was magical.
We were sad to say goodbye to Marius but so looking forward to Bayethe and Shamwari. We were not disappointed! This is an absolute gem of a place and the perfect end to our fantastic trip. The staff, food and wine were first class and we had a great Safari guide in “JB”. We’d highly recommend it to anyone considering Shamwari.
We’ve already had friends asking us who put our itinerary together so fingers crossed you may get some more Brits looking for a bespoke package as you are also highly recommended. Thanks once again Jayne.
Thanks and best regards,
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