Holiday review by Paul

Name: Paul

Date of trip: 05/09/2015

Number of people: 2

We wanted a mix of experiences when we arranged our trip. Starting in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve we saw numerous animals but the highlights were the pack of wild-dogs seen at sunrise on or morning game drive, The other was being surrounded by 4 white rhino as we were returning from a drive around the park. That heart in the mouth moment when a Rhino looks straight at you whilst deciding whether to run ...or charge! Priceless, We visited Fugitives Drift in the Battlefields area to hear about the Zulu wars. History can be a very 'dry' subject and wondered what we were in for. We should not have worried as the guides for Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift were excellent. They clearly knew their facts however they were also excellent in delivering the stories in an interesting and knowledgeable fashion. At Rorkes Drift, as well as explaining what happen during the battle, they also told the stories of what happened to the VC holders after they returned to Britain. Our second round of culture was to see the San Bushmen Rock Art in Kamburg. This involved a 7km hike through the Drakensburg mountains to the cave. Rowan, our guide was very knowledgeable and very patient with those of us who were not so quick on the hike. Rowan explained the meaning of the paintings which were over 3000 years old as well as how the San people were pushed out of the Drakensberg by Zulus and European Settlers. Finally we headed for Madikwe where we stayed at the Eco-lodge. We saw numerous animals, Leopard, Cheetahs, Lions, Hyenas and also enjoyed good food and good company around the camp fire. Another highlight was seeing Brown Hyena and a Civit in the camp.

  • Hilltop Camp

     

  • The main building at Hilltop Camp

     

  • Hilltop Camp

     

  • Waterhole near Hilltop Camp

     

  • The pool at Fugitives Drift Lodge

     

  • Outdoor seating at Fugitives Drift Guest House

     

  • The view at Fugitives Drift

     

  • Tour the Battlefields while at Fugitives Drift

     

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Tribes Overall:

When planning our trip to South Africa we required a mix of wildlife, culture and scenery. We worked out our itinerary with Tracy Edwards before booking. In reality this met with our expectations.

Tribes Service:

This is the second trip we have booked through Tribes - both with Tracy. Whilst we had an idea of the areas we wanted to travel and the places we wanted to see, Tracy helped fill in the details. Even when we wanted to change one of the recommended lodges, there were no issues.

Guides:

We were met at Johannesburg airport and were whisked through passport control and escorted to the domestic terminal and the check-in desk for our internal flight to Richards Bay.
At Fugitives Drift the guides for Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift were excellent in the way they explained the battles and the events leading up to them. Despite having told the stories many times their delivery was perfect and I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in history. When transferring to and from Mosetlha Bush Camp the drivers were courteous and on time.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

When staying at Mosetlha Bush Camp in the Madikwe Game Reserve we were pleased to hear that this was set up in cooperation with the local villages. Both our our Guides for the Game Drives were from the local village, local services were provided by local people - e.g. laundry, firewood. Therefore they are seeing the benefits of the tourist industry first hand.


The places you stayed

Hilltop Camp

Hilltop Camp

South Africa

Whilst this was the largest of the lodges we stayed in the food was excellent and the staff very helpful and friendly. This was well place for exploring the Northern end of the park. We went on one morning game drive and were lucky to see a pack of Wild Dogs with their puppies.


The pool at Fugitives Drift Lodge

Fugitives Drift

South Africa

The property was set in its own game park with a selection of antelopes which could be seen from our villa. This was set up by David Rattray who has collected memorabilia of the Zulu War and trained guides to tell the stories of the people involved in the key battles. The lodge is beautifully situated in its own grounds, the staff were very friendly and the food was excellent.