Outposts Travel Africa recently arranged a multi-generational holiday for a lovely family of 7 who longed to visit South Africa together. We organised a 3 week adventure-packed itinerary that took them on a journey through KwaZulu-Natal. They had a fantastic trip and we wanted to share some of their feedback and photos with you.
Firstly thank you so much for arranging such a superbly planned holiday which was enhanced by one or two unexpected bonuses (eg the discovery of Nunu at Rhino Ridge and our flight to Phinda) - I think it exceeded the family’s expectations, each day producing yet another exciting adventure! Their appetites have certainly been whetted. I can’t quite believe it is over after the two long years of planning.
We loved the Oyster Box as I knew we would and another day or two would have been fantastic to enjoy the facilities at the hotel/beach - a lovely hotel in a great location. But I think it will be somewhere the grandchildren will remember not only because of their wonderful room but more so because of Sonny’s pancake being stolen at lightning speed by a big bull monkey at breakfast on the verandah!
The zipwire experience at Karkloof was amazing. Mila (9) was terrified to begin with but was determined to conquer her fear and with the encouragement of the guys who took us on them she managed the last 2 on her own. A big hit!
Three Tree Hill was delightful. Again as we were there for only 2 nights we had just 1 full day and were out on a tour for most of it. On the whole where we had 3 nights at a location, it gave us time to settle in and to properly enjoy it before moving on again, particularly as the car journeys in between were several hours long.
Zingela was fantastic. Extremely friendly staff and great food in such a stunning location. We loved the game walks especially and we felt very adventurous sleeping in their open cabins, once we had (mentally) adapted to the chilly evenings and mornings! We also had a private performance of some local Zulu teenagers singing one evening by a camp fire - truly wonderful. Estian, the young game ranger, was marvellous with the children, organising paint balling - shooting from the game viewer into the bush - and taking them out after dinner to feed the wild boar. The abseiling too went down a treat!
Fugitives Drift was another winner. Gorgeous lodge and lovely rooms - we gathered they'd had a massive makeover a year ago. Amazing views, delicious food. We found the history tours incredibly interesting and very moving too. Quite exceptional. Here 2 nights were enough, since we did both tours on the same day (mirroring the actual events they were telling us about) which whilst quite full on was a great way to experience it all.
Not feeling like enduring a 5 hour drive from Fugitives’ Drift to Phinda, we decided on the extravagant option to fly from Dundee to Phinda! You can imagine the children’s reaction on getting to the airfield expecting to see a bus they were told we were taking. They were besides themselves with excitement!
Doug Rattray drove us to Dundee and half an hour later we arrived at Phinda Mountain Lodge. The ranger and tracker assigned to us there were wonderful and surprises were the order of the day. Dinner set up in the bush at the end of the first day’s evening game drive, a bush breakfast with champagne at the end of the second morning’s game drive with an unexpected lion kill within spitting distance adding to the excitement for us and nervousness of the staff cooking our breakfast, painting of the game viewer with water based paints for the children, etc etc. The food too was excellent and our butler attentive so all in all an amazing experience. My brother presented our tracker with a Xhosa fighting stick and the game ranger with another which went down a storm!
Thonga Beach - oh wow! What an amazing spot! Unfortunately the weather let us down on our full day so the ocean experience was cancelled due to high winds, though we did get out the following morning to see the whales. On the way back Louis the skipper executed a very exciting and impressive beach landing at high speed leaving us all full of admiration! With the sun out, no wind, air temperature of 29C and a sea temperature of 23C we were really sorry to have to leave - again we would have loved another day here. The children loved having time to run and play on the beach after a many hours in the car both travelling and on safari drives.
The lodge at Rhino Ridge with its great viewing deck and spacious bar area with roaring fire was lovely, and the rooms with great bathrooms very comfortable, but the Rangers (other than Nunu) didn’t compare with Phinda and game viewing with umpteen other cars in the government owned Hluhluwe Reserve detracted from the whole experience. However, I think the hightlight of that location for George was several barefoot bush walks with Nunu, a Zulu game ranger at Rhino Ridge recommended by Tessa, the Relief Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge. Nunu has a unique gift with animals and is a true man of the bush. As well as learning about the medicinal qualities of numerous plants and finding a trapdoor spider, they saw lion, buffalo and rhino at close quarters all put at ease by Nunu talking to them!
We were rather dismayed on arrival at Makakatana Bay Lodge. Evening meals too were uninspiring but Henry our ranger saved the day with his enthusiasm and friendliness and changed our attitude towards the place. Our beach picnic trip with him was washed out by heavy rain but we surprised him by insisting we went ahead with a walk on the beach followed by picnicking in the gameviewer!
This was a really amazing trip which thrilled the whole family at every turn. There really was something for everyone! Thank you so much for all your input and enthusiasm and for the very personal interest in getting it right for us. Very much appreciated!
At Outposts Travel Africa, we offer a tailor-made service to ensure your holiday is designed to suit you. If you are considering a family holiday to Africa, we prefer not to sell 'package holidays' and instead tailor an itinerary to suit your requirements. Please contact us to find out more.