Brilliant service! Everyone I dealt with was helpful, friendly and pleasant. Amy was so amazing I’ve already recommended her. Thank you for making travelling in uncertain times so pleasant.
Thank you so much to Max and team on looking after me during my travels and bringing me home safely with out a single hiccup. You are the best
I have found everyone at DialAFlight very professional particularly Harvey, who always goes the extra mile to help me and ensures that I get a good deal.
I really appreciate that you kept me updated about changes or cancellations on flights. You did your best, however the situation was beyond your control. You also kept your promise about partial refund. A very big thank you to the DialAFlight team.
The team at DialAFlight helped us with a tricky trip to South Africa with cancellations by various airlines.. We got stuck in South Africa and if it were not for the persistence and professional attitude by DialAFlight we would still be stuck there.
Whenever I emailed for information you always responded which was a great help and gave me peace of mind while I was trying to get back home to my family.
Lucas kept me up to date. Always receive an excellent service from him
I always recommend you to my friends
You were so helpful in the current crisis. I was anxious about getting home from South Africa but I felt I could rely on you to help me.
Philip was fantastic - he kept us informed and we got home safely. I wouldn’t fly without using him again.
My son's cancelled flight had no influence on your service - you did what you could for me, and I am very grateful
Brian was fab. Managed to get my 17-year-old home from S. Africa
Many thanks would use you again
Always have great service
A very professional and helpful consultant. Useful emails and a very nice phone call wishing me bon voyage.
Tara always goes the extra mile to help which is very much appreciated.
Thank you, everything was 100%
Great customer service from Brody
Yet again no issues and great flight times
Happy to know there is such a professional and efficient service available, thank you!
From first contact with Billy, he was so helpful and friendly while putting our trip together. He responded and acted on emails very quickly. I like the way with DialAFlight you can add elements to your booking as you decide upon them, rather than deciding on a complete package.
Ted and Gavin did a splendid job as usual
I liked how Angus rang me a couple of days before my departure to check if I had any questions. He promptly confirmed that my luggage would be checked through to my final destination. This was good as I was flying with 2 different airlines. Everything worked perfectly.
Gary excellent as always.
Always excellent service from Ryan
All changes to the original flight were efficiently done and worked perfectly.
Excellent service in the face of challenging circumstances. 24 hour emergency system works brilliantly
Super service as always. Thank you Saf for continuing to look after us so well
Jonathan is number one in the travel business
Very professional as always
A hand-written card has been left on the table in our room. It urges us to 'pause, listen, smell, taste, feel and see' while staying at Singita Ebony Lodge in South Africa.
Whoever wrote the note could easily have added: learn.
Because for all the game drives, sumptuous late breakfasts, sundowners in the bush, brandies by the pool, massages in the spa, a safari is a crash-course in animal welfare, a tutorial into the workings of nature. At least it is in the Sabi Sands Reserve near the Mozambique border, where Singita covers 18,000 acres.
Even the daftest of questions from the back of the Jeep are taken seriously. My ignorance knows no bounds, but our guide, Andries, and his spotter companion, Martin, never make you feel a dunce.
And I pick up a few nuggets along the way: impalas are born with 90 per cent of their brains fully formed, giving them a sporting chance of surviving into adulthood; lions see in black and white (which must be infuriating for zebras); two-thirds of a termite mound is underground; giraffes have hearts the size of footballs; elephants flap their ears for ventilation.
BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL
But the most important thing I learn is that it's brutal out there. It may be a bewitching landscape as the sun rises and falls on the greatest show on earth – but it's also one big battle for survival.
You feel the tension everywhere, as the tails of the buffalo twirl furiously when danger lurks and a female elephant hurriedly scrunches through scrub. You see it as vultures perch on a branch ready to cash in on a kill.
The fear of death is omni-present. Survival of the fittest is not an evolutionary theory but a day-to-day reality, where one lapse in concentration, one misguided stop at a watering hole and you're finished.
I can see why honeymooners are drawn to safaris. A few days in the bush sets you up nicely for a partnership in marriage. The habits of males and females are often at odds, but they need to get on. You have to be patient, too - and it's so primal that passion is never far away.
Singita's story began in 1925 when James Baines bought land in what would later become the Sabi Sands Reserve. It started as a hunting opportunity, but today it's all about protecting the bush. His grandson, Luke Baines, now runs lodges and camps across five African countries and is regarded as one of the great protectors of the wild.
He's also practical. Realising that the reason poachers kill animals is to make money, he encouraged them to become gamekeepers instead, and it seems to have worked. Most of his 120 or so scouts are former poachers.
'If they started protecting the animals rather than killing them, then tourism would flourish and they could have jobs for the long term,' says Luke. 'The success has been remarkable.'
Certainly, his lodges are remarkable. Singita Ebony Lodge and nearby Singita Boulders have just been refurbished and must be two of the most stylish and yet authentic safari lodges in the world.
With their soaring thatched roofs held aloft by a combination of trees and wooden posts, the main lobby, bar and restaurant areas look out over a river and mile upon mile of bush beyond, as do almost all 12 suites in each lodge.
OUT OF AFRICA
You get your own little pool, four-poster bed, outside shower, freestanding bath, a watercolour paint palette, fabulous food and drink (it's all inclusive so you don't have to sign for anything) and a licence to imagine you're Robert Redford and Meryl Streep on the set of Out Of Africa.
On our first 6am game drive we come across a pride of 12 lions lounging by a watering hole occupied by a hippo.
Andries assures us that the lions are not hungry – which is comforting because by the time he turns off the engine we are a mere 10 yards from them. Occasionally one of the lions stands up and looks at us intently before flopping back down on the baked ground much in the same way as a dog might spread itself out by the fire at home.
We get up close and personal with rhinos, elephants, giraffes, hyenas, water hogs, antelope, eagles – and closer than I could ever have imagined to a leopard.
But not just any leopard. Andries remembers Nhlhbankunzi - as she has been named - as a cub and now she's a mother herself, out looking for food for her charge. She's regal and ravishing in equal measure, treating the rough terrain like a catwalk, moving elegantly, seductively.
They say nothing prepares you for the moment you see your first lion or leopard in the wild – and they're right.
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