Guests share their travel 2020 & 2021 African travel experiences

We have had wonderful feedback from from recent guests travelling in South Africa – our team booked some amazing safaris for them, as well as a great family road trip. Everyone agrees that the bush is the perfect place to re-charge and they were very impressed with the excellent health and safety protocols in place at lodges and hotels.

AMAZING FAMILY SAFARI

Steve & family ~ June 2021

“The highlight of our trip was the great family time on the drives.”

We booked a family trip to Gondwana via Timeless Africa Safaris and we were assisted by Belinda.

Belinda was terrific and organised everything superbly. Booking via Timeless was a treat – Belinda delivered all the goodie bags, including one each for our grandkids, and the contents were wonderful and useful.

Not sure who to thank for the amazing upgrade to Ulubisi House? Casey, Belinda or the owners of Gondwana who are evidently big fans of Julia (our daughter-in-law).



The stay at Ulubisi was way beyond expectation – we were treated like royalty, Mike, Ashley (the chef) and his two assistants – Thandiwe and Yonella were friendly, helpful and great to have around.

Our game driver Hennie Jacobs, a young and very passionate game ranger we would recommend to anyone we know visiting the reserve. He went out of his way to help us spot the game, and was very patient with the two young kids in the vehicle. He is very proud of Gondwana, what they have achieved and what their future plans are.

As I am sure you have gathered, we had a wonderful time – from the first call to book the trip, right up to breakfast on the day we had to leave.

The highlight of our trip (besides the upgrade) was the great family time on the drives. We were treated excellently by the staff. The last nights accommodation in Sunset Ridge was also excellent.

You made the arrangements and organization painless – you were responsive and helpful. The goody back were a wonderful added treat.


WONDERFUL ADVENTURE TO AFRICA

Andy & Penny ~ June 2021

We loved the experiences you set up for us

Hi Holly,

Sorry for the delay in responding, but it took a while to settle in as well as contemplate a return to Africa – which we want to do next year! We loved the adventure, luxury and experiences that you set up for us during our first trip. It took me a week just to review and catalog our pictures and videos.



We’d like to return next May, 2022 and repeat three nights at “&Beyond” as well as at”Londolozi” (same accommodations and room numbers for both if possible). Andy & Penny


EXCELLENT GETAWAY

Alan ~ June 2021

“the service and the staff were all excellent”

Hi Louise,

Thanks for arranging the reservation at Delaire Graaf as well as dinner at Le Petit Colombe etc.
Delaire Graaf is exceptional in all respects, from the time we arrived, the greeting, the service and the staff were all excellent.

The lodge was terrific, the gardens beautiful and they seem to have thought of everything, winter gown, summer gown, coffee tea etc.

We had breakfast in the room both mornings and the service and food were excellent.

We had a massage, really good. Facilities are excellent.

We used the gym, well laid out and equipped except for the bicycles which are dated.

Dinner service was very good, wines excellent and food very good.

The meal, experience and the restaurant at Le Petit Colombe was outstanding and we would love to return and stay there.


INCREDIBLE ROAD TRIP

Ronnie & Cedric ~ June 2021

“We returned back home refreshed after an outstanding road trip.”

Everything went off perfectly & all the venues we stayed at were excellent & exceeded our expectations……..

Thanks so much for your meticulous planning & assistance ………. Could not have been better.

  • Your communication was outstanding at all stages.
  • We remarked as we went along the trip that the service everywhere was exceptional, a big bonus for tourism in SA.
  •  The experience was outstanding for us and TAS chose really upmarket accommodation establishments for us, which we would never have been able to do on our own.

Mirtehof in Prince Albert

We stayed in the two suites (The Orchard & The Prince Albert) which were separate from the main house. The quality of the rooms was exceptionally good, a good 5 star experience. Breakfasts outside on the patio were also of a high standard. We can highly recommend this Guest Farm & would definitely stay there again. Exceeded our expectations.

Drostdy Hotel in Graaf Reinet

We enjoyed our stay in the suites, which are spacious & well equipped. The meals we had there were of a good standard & we would recommend this hotel & would stay there again.

Samara Game Reserve

Whilst we were originally booked into the lodge rooms, which we went to look at & which are very nice, it was such a good decision to move to the Manor House on an exclusive basis. The Manor house is ‘out of this world’ and this was the highlight of the trip. The staff at the Manor were so good, as were the ranger & tracker. We should have stayed another night & we can highly recommend the Manor House for up to four couples. Overall, the experience was exceptional.

Rosenhof Country House

What a great property with excellent accommodation & a superb restaurant. We would highly recommend this place!


WONDERFUL FAMILY TRIP

Henry ~ June 2021

“wow what a great service!”



Gondwana

“Hi Belinda, Oh so special! Our trip to Gondwana Game Reserve was beautiful thank you! I also really appreciate that you managed to get me the corner room, wow what a great service! I appreciate it very much.”


CHILDHOOD DREAM COME TRUE

Since we were kids, my big brother and I shared a ‘when we were big’ dream of experiencing the mountain gorillas of Uganda.”

Tabatha & Robert ~ April 2021



“Kim, Casey and the astonishing team at Timeless Africa Safaris made this dream come true. We are in awe and so grateful for this unforgettable experience. We’re still pinching ourselves (not each other like when we were little).

Oh, and did I mention they made this happen during COVID19 – Safely and responsibly. That was non-negotiable. Your Uganda team have been world-class. The country and people are as beautiful, brave and resilient as those gentle giants. And as if that was not enough, we saw two Shoebills. The bird lovers will know how rare this sighting is.”


PERFECT FAMILY MEET UP POST-COVID

“We were a group with very young kids we felt free to just be without the pressure of other guest’s expectations and considerations.”

Rotem and family ~ April 2021

Marataba Founders Camp- Bedroom & outdoor deck

“My family and I decided to choose Marataba after not seeing each other for 15 months because of covid. We were looking for something intimate, private and familial with the same standard of a luxury safari. A difficult brief. Kay’s suggestion of Marataba Founders Camp was the most perfect fit.

The lodge, which is a family affair, run by a husband and wife team echos the familial feel we were after. Since we were a group with very young kids we felt free to just be without the pressure of other guest’s expectations and considerations. 

The exquisitely located lodge is beautifully decorated and again feels like a personal home space rather than an impersonal hotel. 

The food felt effortless and homemade. Everyone’s personal wishes were fulfilled and catered for in a very unpretentious and delicious way. The staff always willing to experiment with vegan and gluten-free options. The gluten-free folk vouch for its deliciousness too. 

Our tracker treated the kids in such a fatherly way, always keeping them engaged and top of mind. And the added offer of conservation activities really makes the safari experience more relevant and memorable. My ten-year-old daughter got to track a cheetah with the telemeter and the thrill of finding them was an absolute treat for us all. 

Any family or group of friends who is looking for a place where they want to call home for a few days while experiencing the luxury and magic of the bush, can’t find a better place to settle on than Marataba Founders Camp.” 


LIFE CHANGING GORILLAS

“It most definitely exceeded our expectations. Such a clean & beautiful country.”

 

Nauta & De Villiers Families ~ January 2021



“Hi Kim,
It most definitely exceeded our expectations. Such a clean & beautiful country. The gorillas was obviously just the cherry on top.

On our arrival at the briefing point we were thoroughly surprised & spoiled with an incredible coffee stand

We found the Gorillas after about one hour. Bundu Bashing was real authentic & rough and so glad we were fully covered in long sleeve bush clothes.

Charles was a Darling. He drove the Cruiser at a full 42km/hr on the highway and had quite a few backseat drivers to increase his speed😅.

Overall the hotel was incredible with the little things like massaging your feet when taking off the protective sheen shields and cleaning of shoes after each trek.

Incredible food and have never seen any streets in the world more clean than in Rwanda. They sweep all roads & sidewalks everyday. By law every citizen has to help clean up every last Saturday of the month.”


FAMILY SAFARI IN SOUTH AFRICA

Lara and her family ventured on a family holiday to Phinda Game Reserve, which is located in a low-risk malaria area on a big game reserve that offers seven distinct habitats allowing for a great diversity of landscapes, providing one the opportunity to combine two lodges on the same reserve, creating a different experience.

“We had such a fabulous time, I just wish we could have stayed longer”

Lara & Family ~ January 2021




Dear Kay,

Thank you so much once again for all your help in assisting with our trip to Phinda – we had such a fabulous time, I just wish we could have stayed longer 🙂 definitely think we will be back!  

Thank you so much once again for everything! Here’s hoping I’ll be in touch soon for our next booking too!
Lara 


3-NIGHT SAFARI

Philip & Mark enjoyed a wonderful 3-night safari at Lions Sands Ivory Lodge, here are a few of their photos taken.

“The game viewing was excellent and the staff couldn’t do enough”

Philip & Mark, ~ January 2021

Hi Kim,

We had a great time – and our own private game lodge on the last night!  All others had left and they were closing the next day!

We had wonderful accommodation, the game viewing was excellent and the staff couldn’t do enough.  The suite was the best we have ever stayed in!

Thank you for your assistance throughout!


FAMILY SAFARI TO SOUTH AFRICA

Wolfram and family of 6 recently travelled to Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge for 6 nights.

“Everything worked out very smoothly and we have wonderful memories from South Africa.”

Wolfram and family ~ December – January 2021



Hi Belinda, We arrived well this morning back in Vienna. Everything worked out very smoothly and we have wonderful memories from South Africa.  Thanks for your ongoing support, looking forward to hopefully seeing you in October, Wolfram.


COUPLE’S LUXURY SAFARI

Raymond & Linda from USA recently enjoyed a 3-night luxury safari at Lions Sands River Lodge before heading to Cape Town for a couple of days.

“Everything throughout our entire trip was fantastic!!”

Raymond & Linda ~ January 2021



Hi Belinda,

Thank you! Our accommodations here at Lion Sands River Lodge and everything throughout our entire trip was fantastic!! Ranger Luke and Tracker Abraham were superb and made this an outstanding experience. Our butler Jeffrey was wonderful… every meal and every aspect was first rate!

Thank you so much for putting together a trip we will be talking about for the rest of our lives!!


GIRLS’ TRIP TO KENYA

Melani & Marti recently spent 5 blissful nights at Angama Mara, Kenya

“It was an unforgettable experience.”

Melani & Marti ~ January 2021



Thank you so very much for all your efforts with our travel to Kenya.  It was an unforgettable experience.  All the trouble you went to within the new world of travelling and the knowledge that we could contact you helped a lot.

Belinda, I am going to give your mail to a friend – someone she knows also wants to go. Melani

***
Hi Belinda,  Thank you, thank you.  It was such an incredible experience.  I could stay here for 3 months.  I am at peace now. Marti


SOLO JOURNEY TO THE MAASAI MARA

Remo, South African photographer Remo is currently experiencing the magnificence of  Angama Mara in Kenya

“‘Out of Africa’, at last I am in Maasai Mara… the ‘Land of Spots”

Remo Engelbrecht ~ December 2020




” ‘Out of Africa’, at last I am in Maasai Mara… the ‘Land of Spots’.

Day 1 was so special already! Finally I’m where I always wanted to go: Maasai Mara… Kenya! 4 of the Big 5 already seen today… even 3 black rhinos… The wildlife in Masai Mara and also the scenery is ′′Out of this World… Once Africa, always Africa!”

📸: Remo Engelbrecht photography


COUPLE’S TRIP TO KWAZULU NATAL

Philip and Anita from “Cape Town” recently travelled to KwaZulu Natal, where they flew to Durban and hired a car and explored. Their first stop was at Fugitives Drift Lodge where they stayed for 2 nights and learnt about the battles that took place during the Anglo- Zulu war in 1879 at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. From here they drove to the beautiful Drakensburg area, where they stayed 3 nights at Cleopatra Mountain farmhouse for some relaxing time, before returning to Durban Airport to fly home.  Take a look at what they had to say about their trip.

“The guides were all excellent, well trained, passionate and well equipped to deal with questions. We had a really lovely stay.”

Philip & Anita ~ November 2020

Fugitive Drift: We were warmly welcomed. Lovely bedroom suite with the most enormous bed I have ever slept in!  Loved the outdoor shower. The staff were very flexible and accommodating in terms of rescheduling our tours as I was very tired on the day we arrived.

All the meals, in terms of menu, quality, service and setting were excellent.

But the highlight was the tours:  I totally fell in love with history again!  I specially found that the CDs played in the vehicle while we drove around with our guides gave us context which enhanced the guides re-telling of the battles once we got to the locations. The guides were all excellent, well trained, passionate and well equipped to deal with questions. And they made us as comfortable as possible too in terms of cold water on hand and camp chairs to sit on and other refreshments.

I highly recommend the Battlefield tours to anyone.  In fact, I think it is essential!

Cleopatra Mountain Lodge: Cleopatra is in a beautiful setting and conveniently situated to explore the Drakensberg.

We had a beautiful view from our room and it was equipped with everything we needed for a comfortable stay. The décor however is very quirky and cluttered and outdated. The reception areas were similarity cluttered with objects and collections and memorabilia, I didn’t mind it there as it added interest, but I think the bedrooms should have a cleaner look. (I had to resist the urge to re-arrange and tidy up.)  The garden and grounds are beautiful and very well maintained.

The staff were friendly and I had an excellent massage. 

They have a series of clearly market hikes from Cleopatra into the mountains which we enjoyed on our one rain free day.  They have fireplaces everywhere which were great on the rainy days which we spent relaxing and playing backgammon.

They see themselves as a foodie destination and we were really indulged and spoilt in this regard, although one or two dishes were a small miss. They have an extensive wine cellar which you are taken to prior to each meal to select your wine. The menu of the day is on a blackboard and one of the staff members comes to chat to tell you about all the locally sourced produce and has a general chat with you about the farm and the area and the excursions.

We had a really lovely stay.

Kay, Thank you again for your patient assistance all along and for the special picnic treat! Due to the rain we had it on our stoep.  And it was so plentiful, we had it as our lunches.

Warm wishes

Anita & Philip




FAMILY SAFARI

Raoul and family took their first post-lockdown trip to Dulini Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

“Thanks Belinda! We had a fabulous time. Flying into Nelspruit including time at lodge on the way in and out allowed for two additional game drives Thanks to TAS for logistics and smooth management of this end to end. We will be back!”

Raoul ~ September 2020




FAMILY SAFARI

“We had a great time at Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, amazing family game lodge.”

Steven & Family ~ September 2020

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve
Botlierskop Private Game Reserve
Botlierskop Private Game Reserve

MULTI-FAMILY SAFARI

“Loving our stay at Gondwana. Thanks to you and your team for all the help.”

Bianca, family & friends ~ September 2020

gondwana _game_reserve_2
gondwana _game_reserve_1


MALDIVES HONEYMOON

“A very big thank you from both of us for making our trip so seamless, we had the most wonderful time ever! Was beyond every expectation we had, definitely sad to be going home 😂! Thank you again xx”

Hannah & Garett ~ October 2020


SOLO SHE JOURNEY SAFARI

Marti took 3 night solo she-journey to Clifftop Hideaway at Welgevonden Game Reserve.

“The drive there was easy and not far. Cliffton is stunning.  Such a treat.  Intimate, delicious food, private and everyone was friendly. I put my laptop in the safe on arrival and only took it out when I left – totally relaxed.  Thank you so much!”

Marti ~ September 2020



COUPLES SAFARI GETAWAY

2 couples travelled from Cape Town to Bushmans Kloof for 3 nights of relaxation and exploration.

“We had a wonderful time at Bushman’s Kloof. It’s a great property and well run!”

Alan & friends ~ September 2020

Bushman’s Kloof
Bushmans Kloof - cave
Bushman’s Kloof Cave

TRIP TO THE LITTLE KAROO AND CAPE WINELANDS

Ronnie, his wife and another couple made their way to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve where they stayed for 3 nights at Gondwana Family lodge, then La Residence in Franschhoek where they stayed for 2 nights before returning home.

“It was an unbelievable experience! Also, very safe from a Covid point of view.”
“The whole trip was absolutely amazing, very well organized & professional, so thank you very much for arranging everything. Your goodie bag came in very handy, especially the glasses, what a great idea! 

Ronnie ~ September 2020

SANBONA:

  • Gondwana Family Lodge was new to us & was excellent. Lovely spacious rooms, with a good swimming pool for during the day.
  • Game drives excellent with a super game ranger, who knew her stuff.
  • Covid protocols were good, with all the staff wearing masks the whole time, temperatures taken before each meal, no staff allowed in the room other than the cleaning person
  • We were the only guests for 2 of the days, and another couple for one of the days. So we were looked after extremely well & able to arrange the game drives at times that suited us. Also, very safe from a Covid point of view.
  • All the meals were extremely good
  • We would most definably go back & recommend this lodge
  • All in all, a 5-star experience

LA RESIDENCE:

  • We have stayed in really top hotels around the world, and this boutique hotel is amongst the best.
  • Again, we were the only guests there, so you can imagine the service & pampering that we received.
  • It was an unbelievable experience! Thanks so much once again.


MOSAIC FARM VISIT:

I spent a weekend at the stunning Mosaic Farm, near the seaside villages of Stanford and Hermanus. I was super impressed with the protocols in place and it is truly the perfect spot to rest, re-charge and re-connect with nature. Take a look at the short video I’ve put together:

Robin ~ July 2020


MARATABA CONSERVATION CAMP VISIT

I was recently very fortunate to be invited to the launch of a brand-new safari-concept property, so I was able to test the transfers, airports, airlines and lodges for their COVID Protocols.

On arrival at Cape Town International, Lanseria, and OR Tambo International Airports, I was very impressed by the speed and efficiency with which the Airports Companies have adapted. It was a seamless and totally safe experience. The main difference is that only travellers can enter the arrivals and departure halls, so no visitors or porters. The airports have arranged for special locales where you meet with your driver/guide for your onward transfers. Obviously, masks are mandatory throughout and there is no meal service on the aircraft.

The property I visited is the new Marataba Conservation Camp, located in the Marataba Reserve, Limpopo, only a 3-hours drive from OR Tambo or Lanseria Airports. The Marataba Reserve is malaria-free and privately-owned.

The whole concept of the lodge is to turn the safari experience on its head and afford visitors the opportunity to experience conservation at work on a first-hand basis. The best way I can describe this is if one imagines the traditional safari experience as a balloon, with the guest experience on the outside and the day-to-day workings and conservation efforts on the inside. The two entities very seldom combine.

Robin, August 2020

Read more about his experience


PLEASE NOTE: While most of Africa’s top safari destinations are ready to welcome back visitors, we urge you to check in regularly, as the situation is fluid and information may change.

Q & A with Guests share their travel 2020 & 2021 African travel experiences