I was planning to send you a thank you note after our trip, but you beat me to it. Our plan was to take the kids there after my wife and I had the opportunity to see Sun City in 2014. At the time, we stayed in the Cascades and while walking around the area, noticed that the Cabanas seemed a bit dated. But, fortunately for us, it was recently revamped. The units were fresh, new and lovely. Thank you for your advice to rather book two units and for the good rate you managed to get. The kids enjoyed their own facilities independent of mom and dad. We believe that the Cascades are also being revamped and unfortunately we just missed the opening of the new entertainment centre on 1 Nov. But maybe we can do another trip in a few years' time. The first part of our trip was in Blyde River Canyon and Kruger Park. We were last there 11 years ago. We were dissappointed at the lack of maintenance on all facilities at the Forever resort, the local road infrastructure, tourist attractions, etc. and the lack of positive change. We noticed that farm fences all dissappeared and roaming livestock was a constant threat on the road. The only real changes we noticed were 2 new malls in Hazyview, Graskop gained a few lovely coffee shops and Skukuza has a new restaurant. In Blydepoort area, we had to pay for everything - viewing of vistas, waterfalls and potholes (one's on the road came for free) - but nothing was maintained. And no further service was offered beyond collecting fees. When visiting Kruger - apart from the drought, which put a dampner on things a bit - the staff's lack of interest in their roles as ambassadors for SA and to welcome visitors and to be of assistance, was a real concern. To be honest, we were happy to leave Mpumalanga behind. I'm mentioning it as background to our arrival at Sun City. The road to Sun City is in a shocking condition! But then when you arrive at Sun City, it is a real oasis. We were immediately struck by the staff's friendliness, willingness and ability to assist. All staff greeted, from the welcome desk to the porters (Peter was our guy) and even the gardening staff. I like to converse with the staff as it gives one a feel for how things really are. In Skukuza's new restaurant, our waiter had to ask the manager what the cost of a cuppucino was. At Sun City, regardless of who I spoke to, all my questions were answered - from the bus drivers to the security guard at Sun City's back gate to Pilanesberg Park. So, to summarise a long story, our stay at Sun City was all we have hoped for. We thoroughly enjoyed it. It was the highlight of our holiday. Pilansberg National Park seriously needs assistance. The road infrastructure is in a terrible condition. The drive through was very rewarding and we saw many animals, but again - no maintenance on important matters. Apologies for the long mail - we now understand with clearer insight why Cape Town is doing so well. We are glad to be home. :)1866 438 8677
Johan Brundyn | Cabanas, 2016
- Tour duration
- 7 days
- Cascades Hotel, Madikwe Safari Lodge
- Best For
- Family, Malaria-Free Safari, Affordable Safari Packages
Days 1-4: A sun-kissed holidayArrive at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where a private transfer will take you to Sun City, Africa’s premier resort, and your room in the Cascades Hotel. Sun City's sprawling grounds house a wealth of entertainment: play a round on one of the two Gary Player-designed championship golf courses, spoil yourself with a spa treatment, relax at the lake’s edge, visit the exhilarating Valley of the Waves – which has its own tropical ‘beach’ and wave machine - or simply relax on a sun lounger. Game drives in search of the Big 5 are possible the neighbouring Pilanesberg National Park – you can self-drive on the tarred roads or join a guided tour with an experienced ranger who will point out the animals and birdlife to you. Sun City is a place where you can do as much or as little as you like: there are plenty of activities for children, including a farmyard, outdoor parks and an action-packed arcade. Adults can unwind with a cocktail at the Royal Baths, a massive swimming pool reserved for over-18s only. The resort also has plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from – there are a host of establishments from ranging from down-to-earth family favourites to sophisticated venues for special occasions.
Days 4-7: Track the Big 5After four days at Sun City, enjoy a final breakfast before you are transferred by road to Madikwe Safari Lodge in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, which is renowned for its superb Big 5 game viewing and reliable sightings of white rhino. Cheetah and wild dog are also regularly spotted here, making up the Magnificent 7, and are a major draw card for safari enthusiast. Situated between rolling hills, the luxurious lodge overlooks game-rich plains bisected by the majestic Marico River, which cuts a life-giving swathe through this marvellous landscape. Encounters on expertly guided 4x4 game drives are generally limited to a maximum of three vehicles per sighting to maintain exclusivity and ensure the well-being of the animals. You will check into the Lelapa section of the lodge, which is ideal for families travelling with children under 16. Your suite’s veranda is a private refuge, with magnificent views, where you have the luxury of a plunge pool for refreshing afternoon dips. On chilly nights, curl up in front of the fireplace in your elegant suite and, when the weather is warm, cool off in your alfresco shower immersed in the captivating wilderness. Barbeque dinners are enjoyed around a roaring campfire, accompanied by African song and dance, while the chef also regularly prepares personalised pizzas in the traditional wood-fired oven. For a truly intimate wilderness experience, expert guides escort you through the bush on foot, introducing the diverse array of flora and fauna found on the reserve. Identify the tracks of a cheetah and learn how they differ from those of the leopard. Rub the leaves of an acacia tree and listen to your guide as he imparts his knowledge about its health benefits for both humans and our 4-legged friends. Bird watching on the reserve is phenomenal and your guide is always available to assist with identification. Before retiring to your suite for the night, turn your eyes to the pitch-black skies and spot brilliant star constellations as you learn more about African astronomy. Children can enjoy a kids’ game drive in the late morning, lessons in bushcraft, spoor tracking and dung identification, and trips to the Ecology House, where they can learn more about South Africa’s plants, animals and birds.