Please accept my apologies for the late feedback , but the first two weeks after our return I was sulking too much … and since then I’ve been trying to survive the year-end “to-do lists”!
Our time at Tsarabanjina was fantastic!!! Thank you so much for recommending it. We enjoyed every moment and would love to go back one day…
The Airlink flights were good – nothing to complain about – there were no steps to enter the plane at our departure (they used the cargo conveyor to get the passengers into the plane!) but that was not due to Airlink. Just a typical “Africa” experience.
Boat rides to and back were also fine – sea a bit rough on the return trip but the skipper was very good and handled the rough seas well.
Tsarabanjina was great: accommodation is clean, comfortable and very private; lunch and dinner were delicious and flavourful. However the breakfasts were lacking options (only omelettes) and is not even on a tree star level. The best part of Tsarabanjina is the service of the management and personnel. They are excellent – from the moment one set foot on the island they make you feel special and really tried to attend to our needs: we do not drink fizzy drinks and they immediately changed our bar fridge content to more wine, ice tea and juice. The assistant manager Elena was attending to all the guests with the same warmth and interest even though most were her native country Italy we never felt that they received more attention. She took us on snorkelling trips which were absolutely stunning – she is a marine biologist and it was so interesting.
Not so hot: Recommendations:
· new towels in the bathrooms and beach! At that price they can replace the towels every month. It was washed out and old.
· Breakfast! Yogurts, cold meats, fresh juices ( the ones they have are really not drinkable)
· Outdoor showers on the beaches.
Barefoot breaks service was excellent!!! As stated in a previous e-mail : you have definitely given us the best service of all the agents we have used in the past (we travel at least annually on one or two occasions). Your knowledge about the destination was great and your enthusiasm contagious. Even my husband who travels about 9 times annually for business overseas said that you made it exciting to go with your enthusiasm and great service! A real feather in your hat!
Thanks again for your excellent service!
I had the most marvellous holiday at Massinga Beach Lodge...was a piece of paradise and exactly what I needed to recharge the batteries. I loved the remoteness, peace & quiet. Everyone there from the owner Suzanne, to the rest of her staff were so kind and hospitable. The room really superceded my expectations in terms of spaciousness and the breathtaking views. And when I first saw that plunge pool I was in 7th heaven. I basically spent my time reading, sleeping, eating loads of divine seafood + swimming every day.
With regards to LAM, I think in future I would try to plan my flights so that I could fly directly from Joburg to Inhambane either going there or coming back. Suzanne the owner mentioned that there are more direct flights on a Monday + Friday (I think?). Obviously the travel takes up quite a chunk of the day one is travelling on - I felt this more keenly on my way back and not so much on my way there. On my return to Joburg, I unfortunately experienced a long delay due to the Mozambiquan president deciding to land his private plane in Maputo. It was just a particularly long day returning to Joburg as I left the lodge at 10.30am and got to my guesthouse at 21.30pm.
Road transfers were all fine - had competent driver and it's a way of sight-seeing.
I really rate Barefoot Breaks very highly and you were a star Erna - everything was uncomplicated and straightforward. This was the third trip I've booked through you and I will continue to do so going forward. I feel that the company is on the same wavelength as myself in terms of finding accommodation that is more "off-the-beaten-track" and less commercial. That's something I consider first and foremost when deciding on a holiday. I don't want to be surrounded by tourists!
I've attached a few pics.
Thank you & kind regards
Thanks for your email, we arrived home from Pretoria late on the 6th Jan so we had a full two weeks of travel and holiday time in total.
Our stay in Madagascar on the whole was wonderful. Airlink was a pleasure to fly with, flights were on time, had great staff and the Avrojet was clean and comfortable. As it turns out- on arrival in Nosy Be we were charged the 25 Euro per person for visas- and then as we were about to continue check- in the senior official stepped in and said Mauritian Citizens did not need visas so we were refunded 75 Euro as the kids and I all travelled on our Mauritian passports.
Transfers to and from the lodge were great- with the boats and taxis ready and waiting for us when we needed them- Philipe made sure of it :)
Regarding our stay at Antoremba we were blessed with sunshine all day everyday with the drizzle at night which cooled things down a fraction. It was HOT! The lodge is lovely- simplistic but with everything you need. Regarding the toiletries just for your info liquid hand soap was provided but the rest we had to bring ourselves (in case future prospective travelers ask you). The food was divine! Each dish was different from the last and prepared beautifully with AMPLE portions. We were continuously sending untouched plates back to the kitchen so as not to waste (after we had stuffed ourselves as much as possible). We had the pleasure of meeting owners Phillips and Christine who left two days later to go back to France. Host Phillipe is awesome as is his wife Ubi. He is indeed a character and was full of wise cracks not to mention getting up to mischief with our kids and entertaining them from time to time. He was great at offering us choice in when we wanted to take our excursions etc and also arranging a fishing trip for Jason with a local guide. The staff at the lodge are lovely- so happy and helpful and often would call us to show us Chameleons or snakes as they knew Jason has a keen interest in Chameleons.
We did the tour to Tanikely as well as one to Nosy Komba which were both well worth it as they highlight the main attractions of Madagascar. You can't say you've been to Madagascar if you haven't at least seen the national parks. The tours also provide a break in the week otherwise 7 days of just being on the beach could become monotonous especially with young kids.
Tips for future travelers- there is little to entertain children at the Lodge. We brought buckets and spades with us luckily as that helped keep the kids busy on the beach- and then a laptop with dvds for early evenings when waiting for dinner. The areas that sell curios etc don't have buckets and spades or beach toys so it's almost a must to bring with you. Meal times can be quite late for kids only starting at 7:30pm as the earliest eating time so we were fortunate that ours did long afternoon naps which helped pass the time and ensured they weren't too tired in the evening when we made our way for dinner. The beach area in front of our family unit had quite a few rocks so we often ended up on the other side so as not to stub toes too often. There is not much beach space in total, in fact, as it is partially cut off by rock faces so when the tide comes in you can no longer walk around and continue across. Snorkelling is not too bad close to the lodge and some species of fish can be seen but one would need to do the Nosy Komba trip to benefit from better snorkelling.
Lastly, a fair warning to expect absolutely appalling toilet facilities at all public areas including airport, national parks etc. All of these places were filthy- toilets blocked and overflowing with no water in the toilet cisterns to flush and no water running from the taps at all so travelers should carry water at all times where possible and pray that their bladders cope until they can get to their lodges!
Aside from that I can't think of anything else that is worth mentioning.
Thank you again for arranging our wonderful holiday and we will be in touch with you in future if we have any more fabulous destinations we want to explore :)
Kind regards Sophie
We had such a fantastic time. Thank you. Anantara was fabulous and they seriously thought of every little thing to make our stay relaxed and really very luxurious. The Spa was an amazing place and well worth the effort to get up the hill and see the views from there. We each had a treatment including my 10 year old son who had his first massage - it was heavenly.
We all received christmas presents and Father Christmas made an appearance with stockings for the kids. The Christmas Eve dinner was magnificent - including a larger than life gingerbread house covered in lights and smarties. All the while being serenaded by an amazing throaty singer. Fabulous!
Staff couldn't have been more helpful and the rooms were beautiful. Food was ridiculously good. Outstanding buffets at every meal - I've never seen so much food - I chatted to the Chef whose name is George - apparently he is a judge on Master Chef SA. It was obvious that he really enjoyed his position.
All in all - need to think of booking other Anantara Resorts or just going back to Baz every year!
Thanks for all your hard work.
PS The Charter flight was amazing too - so beautiful to fly over the Mozambique sea.
Donald and I would like to say a big thank you to you for finding a holiday spot that suit our needs perfectly.
The resort had loads of character and was a unique experience. Max is an excellent and very entertaining host. He guided me through four dives with great patience and afforded me the opportunity to experience the beautiful marine life up close and personal.
The meeting we had with you was very useful in preparing us for what to expect.
All in all an experience that exceeded our expectations.