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Holiday review by Bridget Batchelor

Name: Bridget Batchelor
Date of trip: 18/10/2012
Number of people: 2
Country: South Africa

Overall level of Satisfaction

 
Tribes Overall: "We've had a wonderful holiday in a stunningly beautiful part of SA. KZN has a different feel to other parts of SA which appeals to us immensely. We're planning the next itinerary already . . ."
 
Tribes Service: "Tracy once again put together a fabulous holiday for us. We are constantly amazed how well she knows us and what we will like. Thank you, Tracy!"
 
Guides: "See below under Thanda. Christien and Bheki were the best guide/tracker combination I've ever met."
 
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "Good"

Accommodation

 
AmaZulu Lodge
The best bit about Amazulu is the friendliness of all the staff, the white members of which are members of the family who own it. All our questions (about activities, where to eat, the weather) were answered cheerfully and extremely helpfully. The rooms are fairly standard by SA standards, ours smelt a little musty which might have been because after 12 years the rains had finally come! Breakfast was the usual buffet, eggs were cooked to order but everything else was help yourself. One of the Zulu waitresses chatted happily about her culture and background, and gave me my first lesson in Zulu, which was great.
 
The Foresters Arms
This is a very comfortable place to stay and the food is good and plentiful. I mark it down from excellent because of the insensitive way our late arrival after a horrendous journey along a dirt road in fog was handled. The receptionist seemed more interested in telling us that dinner had already started (implication we were disrupting the system) and she refused to take me to our room, having told my husband to park the car round the back, merely pointing me in the general direction. Ruth (the owner) was however exptremely helpful in suggesting places to go and best routes to get there, which was great, and after the first unfortunate experience we enjoyed our stay here a lot.
 
Fugitives Drift
The food is wonderful, the welcome second to none and the accommodation of a very high standard (radiators and electric blankets very welcome in the unseasonable spring weather we experienced!). The gardens are extensive with chairs and loungers dotted about. We did the tours of course and the Isandlwana guide, whose grandfather and great-grandfather fought in the battles is a natural Zulu story-teller. There is a huge difference between a story-teller and a guide (however good) and we were treated to a story-teller of great skill (taught by his father, who was taught by his father . . .) The Lodge is surrounded by an award-winning game reserve in which it is safe to walk. This was a treat in itself, getting as close to herds of zebra and blesbok as we would to a herd of cows in this country. if you go to the Battlefields, do not hesitate, stay here.
 
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
We got exactly what we had asked for - a place to chill out at the end of the holiday. We spent the time lazing on the lounge verandah with binoculars and cameras wathcing the weaver birds build their nests and being plied with coffee, tea etc. We had booked half-board, but since this includes a 4-course breakfast (different hot dish every day) and 5-course dinner we weren't really worried about lunch. Cheese, crackers, scones, fruit and chocolate cake are laid out between 1.00 and 5.00pm, so in practice half-board is full-board. It was great fun going into the wine cellar to choose our bottles, although the house wines are perfectly drinkable. The dinner menu is explained at 7.30 (where the ingredients come from, how they're cooked etc) which is again great fun. A word of advice - take advantage of the 'licence to leave' policy, otherwise you will eat a Very Great Deal. Each night Phillipa emphasised that the chefs were basically interested in texture and flavour, and invited us to 'nibble round the edges' if we wanted to.

customer rating

5/5 from 54 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time: There are daily flights from Europe to Johannesburg (about 10 ½ hours direct) and Cape Town (about 11 hours). There is also a good network of domestic flights connecting all main towns.

Language: English is South Africa's main administrative language and is widely spoken. There are also 11 official tribal languages.

Visas: Visas are not required for British passport holders.

Health: No vaccinations are compulsory. Malaria is found in certain areas (mainly Kruger and the east coast towards Mozambique), but not throughout the country.

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Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499

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