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South Africa Tour

Just returned from fantastic South Africa Tour. It was we’ll organised from start to finish, our tour manager Janie and guide Ian were superb nothing was too much trouble. There we 41 of us on the tour and everyone bonded really well which made it even more fun. Excellent value for money .

Review by Val & Pete Cornish on 23 October 2016

Just back from a wonderful holiday in South Africa with Riviera.  Everything ran very smoothly thanks particularly to the professionalism and good humour of Matt, our excellent Riviera Tour Manager, with the help of Alan, our South Africa guide and several really good local drivers, guides and game rangers.  Saw all manner of animals in the Kruger - including a lioness at close quarters! (Not too close!!).  A great country and really interesting throughout.  Thanks!

Review by Hugh and Irene on 17 October 2016

Outstanding tour. Highly recommended. Tour manager Ian and guide Peter were both knowledgeable and personable. The whole itinerary was immaculately organised.

Review by David Barton on 14 September 2016

An excellent, value for money tour giving a fantastic flavour of what this beautiful country has to offer. Our Tour Manager, Karen, was superb, as was our local guide Cannan. The standard of accommodation and food, included as part of our package, was 1st class. We particularly enjoyed the newly refurbished rooms at Devon Valley and the spectacular views over the surrounding wine estates.  We had a fantastic group of fellow travellers, some 40+ in total, many of whom were ‘seasoned’ Riviera patrons. This was our second tour with this company and definitely not our last.  Thank you Riviera and fellow travellers for some wonderful memories….....

Review by Debbie Christie on 28 August 2016

Just to confirm many of the comments you have received from our fellow travellers to South Africa. We had a fabulous holiday, thanks in no small way to Stuart and Ian. So many highlights as witnessed by the 900 photographs! The only down was the wine tasting as others have said. The early starts were worthwhile as we were the first tour group to get to the viewpoints on most occasions.
We have enjoyed several previous holidays with Riviera and hope to enjoy more. Thanks to all who made the trip so good - planners back at home, Stuart, Ian and, of course, our fellow travellers.

Review by The Two Jackies on 25 August 2016

I have just finished my South African tour. What an amazing country. Very good food, lovely people and the tour guides Coleen and Peter were marvellous. Very compact tour but well worth the early mornings and long days. Very lucky with the weather and managed to rearrange some tours with this in mind. Dalton especially informative on the Battlefield tour. The wildlife at Kruger and elsewhere amazing and the penguin colony a must. The trip to Robben Island could have been longer as the guide was very interesting as served a sentence as a political prisoner. I have not been on a conducted tour for 21 years and recommend this tour .

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Review by Julie silver on 29 June 2016

Tim and I have just arrived home after a wonderful 16 days visiting the wonders of South Africa. Our tour guides Karen and Stewart were extremely professional, well organised and full of stories and information about the beautiful country of South Africa. We packed a lot in on our trip with early mornings and long days travelling through this beautiful vast country. The highlights for me were Kruger park, watching the sun rise and set, breathing in the smell of the bush and watching the beautiful creatures that roam freely. I recommend the sunset safari followed by a fabulous meal under the stars. Make sure you leave room in your case for all the wonderful souvenirs! Luckily I didn’t take any hand luggage over with me so a quick purchase of a case at the Victoria waterfront meant I could bring everything back safely. I must also mention the wonderful accommodation, food and service, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. Our fellow travellers were really friendly and everyone really got along well which made our adventure a real pleasure.
Top tip: at the beginning of the tour there are very few ATM machines, so I would recommend you have cash available. On the last evening please do the Richards Place evening…it was well worth R450…we even bought the CD! A big thank you to Karen, Stewart, our wonderful drivers and our fellow travelers…it will be a holiday we will never forget. X

Review by Mandy and Tim on 9 June 2016

A fabulous holiday which exceeded our expectations. Some early mornings and long days but these ensured we got to our destinations before other coach parties. This was a beautiful country which we hope to return to. All the tours were very good. Kruger was brilliant and we saw the big 5 on the first morning. Museums were all good as was the visit to the Zulu battlefields. Cape Town was also a great city where we had 3 days to explore. Some of the best food and wine and with the current exchange rate a real bargain. We would certainly recommend this tour. The tour guide Ian and manager Stuart went out of their way to ensure our comfort and educate us with their vast knowledge of the country. They were both entertaining characters and helped make the holiday.


Review by Martin and Joy Sykes on 3 June 2016

Just returned from a fantastic visit to South Africa. This was our third Riviera tour (after India & Nepal and China) so we had very high expectations and were not disappointed. Our Tour Manager Stuart had to take over at only 6 hours notice after our manager was taken ill (in the UK).
Together with our local guide Ian the self-styled “odd couple” were brilliant. Stuart with great humor keeping us all to time despite some early morning starts and expertly slotting in everyone’s optional tours. He also successfully managed to get us all up Table Mountain (which is not part of the official itinerary) on a perfect day. Ian with an encyclopedic knowledge of South African history, politics, flora, fauna and even sports stadiums really brought the country and its people to life. This is an utterly amazing country, we were lucky enough to see all of the Big Five in Kruger but also had the humbling experience of visiting Langa township in Cape Town and Robben Island. Stand out moments included, having to give way to a herd of elephants crossing the road and discovering that the last survivor of Rourke’s Drift (who died in 1945) is buried in our local cemetery. The food and drink were excellent throughout our trip and fantastic value. To cap it all, we had two weeks of fabulous sunny weather (26c to 28c in the Cape) despite the fact that SA is just heading into Winter.  Finally our thanks to our fellow group members, a great bunch of people who it was great to get to know.

Review by Kevin Fisher on 3 June 2016

My wife and I have just returned from an excellent and well-organised tour of South Africa. The whole process from queries, bookings etc through to our personal welcome at Johannesburg Airport and subsequent tour were all very well handled. In particular our Tour Guide, Canaan, and Tour Manager, Ian, were constantly helpful and friendly. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for South Africa were inspiring and helped make this a memorable holiday. Ian’s managerial skills made our trip comfortable. All the hotels were very clean and comfortable and situated in scenic spots. Laundry was available at low local rates. The food was excellent throughout and it was great fun trying local game and fish.
The included tours and visits were educational and all the local guides were great. All the extra tours we did were uniformly well-selected and tested to ensure we were always safe and getting value for money.
Our trip to the Kruger NP was exceptional and we saw most (4) of the Big Five (only the leopard being elusive) and some rarities, the Cheetah and the Sable Antelope.
The South African people we met were friendly and communicative.
The holiday of a life time.
Many thanks to Ian, Canaan and the Riviera staff.

Review by Phil & Sarah Collier on 3 June 2016

Just returned from fantastic tour of South Africa. Lovely hotels,very well organised. Excellent tour guide and tour manager. Will definitely go with Riviera again. Staff involved with booking were also very helpful and friendly

Review by Brenda Baldry on 13 May 2016

We have just returned from our second Riviera tour-the first one to Vietnam and Cambodia and this latest one to South Africa. Both were exceptional, partly due to the first-class tour guides, in this case Matt, and to the varied, comprehensive itinerary and excellent hotels. We are very interested in travelling to Argentina. Is there any possibility of a future tour being set up there? We don’t want to travel with another company if Riviera can provide what we are looking for instead.

Review by Patricia McGurk on 9 May 2016

My wife and I have recently returned from a South Africa tour and we wanted to say how brilliant the tour was.
The itinerary itself was fantastic but the ultimate success of this tour was down to the tour manager Matt Locmellis.
From the moment he met us at the airport in Johannesburg his organisational skills and attention to detail were first class.
He was constantly endeavouring to make sure that we had a terrific experience and to ensure that we were able to take in all the sights and sounds of the tour even ensuring, despite the changeable weather, that we eventually got to the top of Table Mountain!
We also had a tour guide, Laurence Marks whose knowledge about all aspects of South Africa was extremely informative.
Matt and Laurence were a great team and helped to make this tour unforgettable. Thanks Riviera.

Review by Warren Rosen on 14 April 2016

What a wonderful tour this was. Great to experience so many areas of a fascinating country. Matt the tour manager worked so hard to make everything run so smooth. Lawrence and the local guides made everything come to life and put it all in context. This was a wonderful way to spend our ruby wedding.

Review by Christine and Geoff Lacon on 7 April 2016

We just wanted to say what a great time we had on our South African Tour. Matt our tour guide and Ian our local guide were brilliant - couldn’t have asked for better. Matt’s organisation was in a class of it’s own & Ian’s local knowledge was incredible.
This tour covers many of the major sites you would want to see in South Africa, there is a lot of travelling and early starts but the hotels were welcoming and relaxing at the end of a busy day. We also had the benefit of travelling with a great bunch of like-minded people.
We would recommend this tour and would certainly consider booking with Riviera again.

Review by Deborah & Malcolm Rozier, Hastings East Sussex on 7 April 2016

We have just returned from a South Africa tour and wanted you to know how impressed we were by everything!  The tour manager, Matt Locmelis was organised, professional, informative, friendly and very amusing.  He set the tone for the group and helped everyone to relax, mix and enjoy themselves.  The guide, Lawrence was very knowledgeable but didn’t overload us with facts.  He was also friendly and approachable.  The two of them worked together to make our trip the best it could be.  Add to that the excellent hotels and great itinerary and it was all we hoped it would be.
We didn’t think our Riviera holiday in the Holy Land two years ago could be equalled, but we were wrong.  Thank you all.

Review by Lynda Hill on 6 April 2016

We have just returned from the South African Tour and we want to say what a fantastic tour it was. The success of the tour was in large part due to our tour manager Matt Lochmelis ably assisted by Lawrence our South African specialist guide. Matt’s utter professionalism and attention to detail was extremely impressive. He constantly looked for ways to ensure that we got the best experience even where this required him to rejig an itinerary due to the vagaries of the weather. His jokes and irreverent humour had the coach in fits of laughter and made the inevitably long drives pass quickly. We have been on a number of coach tours before but we have never met a tour manager that comes close to Matt Lochmelis. He is brilliant!
Lawrence (can’t remember his surname!) was extremely informative about all aspects of South African history, wildlife, and politics. His knowledge is truly encyclopaedic- and without referring to notes!
Matt and Lawrence are a great team and made the tour all that we had hoped for and more. Well done Riviera!

Review by e.g. John Smith, Manchester on 6 April 2016

I have just returned from the tour of Africa and just wanted to say that I had the most amazing holiday and everything went so well. Karen, the Rep, was extremely professional and we enjoyed having her with us throughout the whole experience.

Review by Lynn Dowrick on 31 March 2016

Thank you for a splendid holiday in South Africa. This was our first tour with Riviera Travel and won’t be our last!
We particularly wish to thank your rep Matt for his excellent organisational skills, thoughtful, knowledgeable and friendly service which contributed massively to our enjoyment of the tour.

Review by ANNE MCKOWN on 31 March 2016

I am just writing to let you know that we had a fabulous holiday in South Africa with a brilliant itinerary. Our tour manager Karen Holliday was so efficient and well organised and a delight to be with and so helpful. Lawrence our tour guide was very informative as well as our local guides too.
The hotels and accommodation were very good with polite and very helpful staff. We really could not fault the holiday and we had brilliant weather too.

We just wanted to send this email to thank you, as it was a special celebration for us, and we really appreciated the champagne.

Review by John and Angela Raad on 21 March 2016

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