I was in South Africa and had to curtail my trip due to COVID and spoke to the 24 hour help desk. Particular thanks are due to Pauline who amended my travel plans promptly and to Leah my travel manager.
Gavin has been excellent! Plus Callum and Ted.
Good support in difficult times
A usual an excellent service and it's great to have a helpful agent at the end of the phone when flight changes are needed.
I want to thank Bruno for going the extra mile to get me back to the UK before the lockdown in South Africa. He answered all my questions and concerns. I have been using DAF for many years
Thank you so much Stafford for an amazing itinerary, hotels and locations. All jaw dropping good. Also thank you for coming up trumps when BA cancelled our return flight. Unlike some people travelling with other travel companies who were left stranded, you seamlessly re-arranged everything and kept us notified - a fantastic service in trying times!
Jerry was very helpful when we needed to come home early due to Coronavirus. When we need flights we can always rely on him.
The young man who sorted my flight was very helpful. He did a great job and luckily I got back safe during this very difficult time.
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.
DialAFlight are just the best. And Ryan pulls out all the stops for us. Very many thanks
With a very difficult situation all members and especially Niall were brilliant. Flights changed and constantly keeping us informed
Thanks for very efficiently arranging to change my flight back given my decision to cut short my trip
Thanks for the professional and helpful service rendered while out in South Africa at the height of Covid 19, bringing me back safely to my family and friends
Thank you Lincoln, Luke and colleagues for all your help in getting us speedily back to the UK
Jacob was wonderful as were the other members of staff I spoke to in trying to get early flights out of South Africa. They have forged our loyalty for future bookings.
Lucas kept me up to date. Always receive an excellent service from him
So impressed with friendly and efficient service especially during this virus outbreak. App easy to use. Will be my go to booking agent from now on
Stan was an absolute star! Even my wife noticed.
Went above and beyond when our flight was cancelled
You were accessible, helpful and efficient.
Fantastic service especially when flights had to be changed at the last minute. Thank you Chris and Sally
Roger was very helpful when I needed to bring my return flight forward from Cape Town.
Flights to and from George in South Africa went like clockwork with no delays or problems. Your team including Roray were brilliant in every respect especially given the pressure they are under due to CV. DAF are our new travel agent!
Fab support and advice from Mason while we were in South Africa awaiting lockdown due to Corona Virus.
I always recommend you to my friends
Devina and her colleagues were very professional. I appreciated Devina leaving me a voicemail a week before my flight wishing me a good trip. I will recommend your company to family and friends. I hope you and yours stay corona-free!
Shane was able to help me in changing my flight home. Very efficient
Under present situation I would like to express my gratitude to Rosie on your help line and Isaac on your day team. They have been exceptional. I tried to get help from insurance, British embassy, local agents to get info about when and how to get home from Cape Town. No-one would answer the phone or sent a message saying they would get back in 48 hours. Our flights were booked for the 25th March and Rosie changed our flights for no extra cost. She was helpful, unflappable, calming and friendly and answered the phone immediately.
All fine despite last minute re-arrangement.
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.
To ride the Blue Train between Pretoria and Cape Town is to travel along part of Britain's imperial history; a journey that is at once luxurious, breathtakingly beautiful and thought-provoking.
The railway heading north from the Cape was part of Cecil Rhodes's grand colonial vision: the 19th-century mining magnate, today the focus of intense political controversy, imagined a trans-port network from one end of Africa to the other to enable British trade and political dominion. It didn't happen but this remarkable train is part of his legacy.
After a night in Fairlawns in Johannesburg, a chic boutique hotel and spa set inside a former country estate, my companion and I head to Pretoria station and enter an older, genteel world, with a nostalgic colonial twist.
We board the bright blue train, with some 80 other passengers, and enter a world of wood-panelled comfort, with brass fittings, crisp linen and low golden lighting. The Blue Train is the Orient Express of Africa.
Once offering an overnight journey to the Cape, the Blue Train is now a deliberately slower experience, taking two nights for the 997-mile trip.
Our charming butler, Angela, has brought a bottle of South African spark-ling wine. The compartments are roomy, about 8m2, each with an Italian marble bathroom.
The train feels venerable and experi-enced, adding to the feeling one is riding a bit of history. I couldn't be happier.
A cocooned quiet pervades the cabin, just a faint rumble of the tracks audible through the wide picture window - double-glazed for tranquillity.
It's time to dress for dinner; dress code is 'elegant' for ladies and jacket and tie for gentlemen. I've opted for the linen suit with leather waistcoat, as worn by Robert Redford in Out of Africa.
The dining car is a vision in starched white tablecloths and heavy cutlery. Our waiter, Collen, has a deep sonorous delivery and virtually sings the menu. The food is delicious - seared scallops, cured salmon, duck breast, South African cheeses. The list of South African wines is positively tidal.
Collen is explaining that he once met the Queen. For a glorious moment I think he may be referring to Queen Victoria.
We totter back down the corridor, the sway only partly induced by the train's movement. You can sense the vastness outside; not a single light is visible, save a flutter of stars.
In the 1920s, steam locomotives plied the line between Cape Town and Johannesburg. After the war, the Blue Train service was launched, named after the blue steel trains introduced a few years earlier.
Rhodes died in 1902, but countless colonists still took this route north for the diamond and gold fields. Rhodes even had his own private carriage; his body was transported along this very line, stopping at every station for mourners to pay their respects.
In the morning, a blinding African sun slices through the blinds, which lift to reveal the plains stretching into the distance. We eat eggs benedict and fresh fruit and watch herds of tiny antelope flickering through the scrub.
Watching Africa glide past at a stately 30mph is mesmerising.
At mid-morning we pull into Kimberley, where diamonds were discovered on the farm belonging to the De Beer brothers in 1871, prompting the greatest diamond rush the world has seen. Here, until 1914, some 50,000 miners using picks and shovels extracted 6,000lb of diamonds.
We are driven to The Big Hole museum - exactly what the name indicates, a pit 460m wide and 240m deep, the largest hand-dug hole in the world, a testament to human ingenuity and man's hunger for gems. Now it's a ghostly place.
At Kimberley station, the station-master hands out South African sherry in tiny glasses engraved with the Blue Train logo.
The train sets off into the Great Karoo desert, the vast plateau the size of Germany whose name comes from a Khoi tribal word meaning 'land of great thirst'.
I sit in the observation car at the rear, watching the vast bushveld drift by, an undulating tableau of rock, semi-desert and sparse scrub. High tea is served in the lounge car, with cake and scones; another extravaganza is staged in the dining car in the evening, to the accompaniment of Collen's echoing baritone.
We awake descending towards the Cape, with vineyards stretching away under high granite outcrops, as our journey on this historical artefact rolls to a close. And our holiday is rounded off in wine country, with a few days in Majeka House, a delightful boutique hotel just outside Stellenbosch.
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