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★★★★★

“We honeymooned in my favourite country (I'm a veteran...”

Written on: 01/08/2003 by Dan.Tee. (1 review written)

Good Points
Hotel was awesome. Food out of this world, staff so friendly. Game drives were amazing. Saw all of the Big Five

Bad Points
No air-con in car; our fault for choosing cheaper option!

General Comments
We honeymooned in my favourite country (I'm a veteran of five trips to South Africa) in February of 2003. Remember that Southern Hemisphere countries have reverse seasons to us in the North; our winter is their summer. After a gruelling 6 hour drive from Johannesburg International, we arrived at the Protea Kruger Gate hotel. Immediately we were told to relax in the reception armchairs while cool drinks and face towels were provided for us. A heavenly reception after driving so long without air-con! As we were honeymooners, the staff had decorated our room with flowers and fruts and laid on champagne, all at no extra cost.



The Restaurant was literally my idea of heaven! Every breakfast and dinner was buffet, eat-as-much-as-you-like style (and I like to eat!) and in the evenings the dining was al-fresco, with exotic barbecued meats (warthog, buffalo, antelope etc) as well as sumptious pasta dishes and salads. Huge puddings followed, so beware of your waistline! South Africans eat big, and you may find yourself regretting eating too much if you're used to lighter fayre!



We spent a little time exploring the hotel. It is built on stilts to escape the risk of flooding, so all the areas are in the midsts of the trees and bushes. Mokeys scamper around in the gardens, and all manner of insects scurry around (fine if you're a wildlife nut like me, not if you're a bit squeamish liek my wife!). You can book game drives in the Kruger Park (150 yards down the road!) from right within the reception. Although seemingly pricey at first, the sheer exhilaration of seeing dangerous wild animals up close and personal soon makes you realise that every penny was worth it.



It must be said that the drivers are obsessed with ensuring you see the Big Five (Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino) and give you little time to see anything else. We found this a little frustrating, as even Giraffe, Hippo and Crocodile are not really considered worth looking at. It's definitely worth driving round the park one early morning on your own, and at your own speed and leisure. In so doing, we saw Lion, Rhino, Giraffe all in one morning session, without a guide!



All in all, this was the best holiday I've had yet. Make sure you take plenty of film, and invest in a long lens (300mm+) and fast film (800ASA+) to get teh best animal shots you can. This holiday will not disappoint you.

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