My recent visit to South Africa was with Grosvenor Tours, a well-established Southern African Destination Management Company. Most touring companies boast being ¡®the best¡¯ and ¡®most experienced¡¯ with the very latest in accommodation, venues, dining and activities, and let¡¯s face it, most are pretty good at what they do. Grosvenor Tours is no different, even offering expertise in incentives and events.
So here I was again in my favourite country, the rainbow nation, with just another tour operator, about to experience the same things over again. I have dived with the great white sharks, been on safari and game driven my way around many reserves and national parks, danced to the beat of drums in a local shabeen, played with the children in Soweto...you name it, I have done it. Or so I thought.
With most people on the tour first-timers to South Africa, they reminded me of my first visit, wide eyed and amazed by the country¡¯s beauty and exciting culture. Little did I realise that Grosvenor Tours had a few tricks up their sleeve to open my eyes wide and amaze me all over again.
As expected from a first class tour company, we wined and dined at some of the most unforgettable restaurants and venues, experienced local cultures and learnt the history of the country through experienced and knowledgeable tour guides. We stayed in luxurious hotels, rich with character and location to some of the best views and attractions South Africa has to offer. We experienced seamless transfers from destination to destination and professional organisation of a program that was more than comprehensive.
What astounded me however, and set Grosvenor Tours apart from any other company I have experienced, was the flexibility in program to suit the needs of the group, and their capacity to go above and beyond expectations. I expected just another tour of South Africa, what I got was literally above and beyond.
Above: Hearts racing and adrenalin pumping we glanced down on cars that appeared like ants along the road as we took off in a helicopter from Cape Point for a 30 minute ride up the coast to Cape Town. This surprise mode of transport allowed us a bird¡¯s eye view of the most stunning scenery of the mountain range, Table Mountain and the harbour before setting us down near Table Bay Hotel at the VNA Waterfront.
Beyond: Forget the standard transfer of venue to venue in one of the luxury air-conditioned vans and swap it for the exhilarating experience of real air-conditioning of hair flying in the wind, peering through a helmet visor, on the back of a Harley Davidson motorbike while purring and cruising the coast line of Cape Town.
These unique and surprising activities gave me a different view of South Africa, beyond my wildest expectations. Grosvenor Tours is not just another tour company but a group of dedicated specialists who can show you an experience that will provide memories that will last a life time.
Just as impressed were other tour group members, including Andrea Cameron from Alpha Travel, whose impression of our South African adventure is summed up by saying ¡°Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Harley motorbikes, vintage cars, safari jeeps and helicopters were laid on by Grosvenor Tours as they showcased their expertise in planning itineraries for Incentive Groups when touring South Africa.
Thanks to South Africa Tourism, South African Airways (love the flat bed), Grosvenor Tours, Savanna Private Game Reserve (love the drawn bath and sherry after a hard day on safari) and the vast array of exceptional properties who hosted us along the way, I now feel totally confident putting together an awesome itinerary to suit any client¡¯s needs.¡±
Also more than impressed with the experience was Carolyn O¡¯Neill from MTA Travel, who said ¡°The trip was an absolutely amazing, once in a lifetime experience, from Harleys, helicopters and cable cars to the incredible Big 5 experience at the Savanna Safari Lodge. The entire trip was more than I could have imagined... the charm of authentic Africa and a perfect blend of the formal and informal, but most of all it was the animals at the safari lodge that was the highlight of the trip.
It was mind blowing how close we were able to get to the lions, leopard, zebras and elephants. This particularly was very special for me and a life changing experience that I cannot stop thinking about.
But beware; once you¡¯ve experienced Africa for the first time, you will be yearning to go back again and again. Next trip... Rwanda to visit the Gorillas!¡±
All up Grosvenor Tours ignited my passion for South Africa in a different light, and for that I say ¡°baie dankie¡±, or as the fantastic and entertaining group of travellers (who I will always be reminded of when I see a donkey) would say, ¡°Buy a donkey¡±.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Above and beyond with Grosvenor Tours
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Kate Webster