If you've just returned from a tour we'd love to hear from you.
Victoria Falls, Botswana Safari & Cape Town Tour
We returned from the above trip on Easter Monday. We had a truly marvellous time. This was largely due to our guide, Karen Holladay, who simply could not have been better. Professional, amiable and with infectious enthusiasm, Karen made our holiday. We also wish to highly commend John Mason and Bert the driver. All three contributed to the positive spirit and camaraderie that cheered us all.
Looking forward to our next holiday with Riviera
Review by Alan and Valerie White on 31 March 2016
OUR TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA AND ZAMBIA WAS TRULY FANTASTIC. OUR TOUR MANAGER COLLEEN WEBSTER WAS AMAZING. AS A GROUP, WE PRESENTED HER WITH ALL SORTS OF PROBLEMS AND SHE COPED WONDERFULLY. SHE IS EXTREMELY RESOURCEFUL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BE IN COLLEEN’S COMPANY, SHE IS AN EXCELLENT AMBASSADOR FOR RIVIERA.
Review by SHIRLEY SEAGER on 6 March 2016
This was a fabulous holiday, with such a variety of experiences, every day a new adventure to explore! We can absolutely recommend it to anyone but, to be sure to get the very best from this holiday, we recommend you to have Colleen as your tour guide. She ensured that everyone had the best time and her devotion to looking after us was amazing, even the weather did her bidding!! Thank you Colleen, for making our visit to your beloved country so memorable.
Review by Carol & Andy Lincoln on 5 March 2016
Thank you so much for an incredible holiday; everything we did was organised superbly and our tour guide was fantastic; so helpful and professional. All the hotels were super, the food when included plentiful and varied. Will not hesitate to travel with Riviera again in the future. Travelled on 06/08/2012
Review by Debra Bunting, Morecambe on 30 August 2012
We have just returned today from this holiday, our 1st with Riveria and we have had a fantastic trip. Hotels very good standard especially the one in Bostwana, the food was excellent with a wide choice for breakfasts and the dinners where they were included, everything about the trip was well organised and ran smoothly. Our tour guide was brilliant and worked very hard to ensure we all had a good holiday experience. It was excellent value for money and we will definitely go again with Riveria and recommend this holiday to our friends. Travelled on 23/07/2012
Review by Mr and Mrs Dunham on 2 August 2012
Thank you Riviera for a fantastic trip to Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town, we had a wonderful time and made new friends, this is our second trip with you and we have already booked another one, I think that tells everybody what we think about Rivieria Travel Escourted worldwide trips, fantastic. Your Tour Manager, was brilliant, as was his jokes each day!! and we certainly came home with big smiles on our faces and wonderful memories of truly wonderful holiday, worth every penny. Travelled on 25/10/2010
Review by Roland & Ann Walker, Long Eaton on 11 November 2010
I have just returned from your tour of Victoria Falls, Botswana Safari and Cape Town.It has been a most memorable holiday in all respects and well exceeded my wildest expectations. All the holiday hotels were excellent with spacious accommodation, friendly staff and an abundance of good food.The tour guide, was great fun to be with and very knowledgeable and the additional helpers, particularly the safari guides were super. Highlights of the holiday for me were the evening cruise on the African Queen with my first sightings of hippos and crocs, the safaris with sightings of so many animals in their natural settings and of course the really close up visit to the Falls. I met some lovely fellow travellers and the whole experience will stay with me forever. My thanks to all Travelled on 11/10/2010
Review by Russell Langham, Durham on 1 November 2010
We arrived home this morning after an action packed tour. Your company is to be recommended. Our tour guide, was very well organised and diplomatic in his approach to our group. The hotels were of a good standard and all meals were excellent. Our highlights were: seeing the wild life in their natural environment (we would recommend doing as many game drives as possible) and seeing a leopard in particular; the helicopter ride over the Falls (it may have been better to see the falls in the wet season); walking up Platteklip Gorge early morning and having Table Mountain to ourselves then taking the Cable Car down and Robben Island. We recommend booking these on the Internet in advance. We will be booking with Riviera again. Travelled on 23/10/2012
Review by Kath &Bill; South Yorkshire 2 Nov 2012 on 5 November 2012
We arrived home from Victoria Falls, Botswana, and Cape Town last Friday, 2nd November tired but with smiles on our faces This was a memorable trip and exceeded our expectations - the tour was well organised and varied. The accommodation and meals provided were very good. The game drives and river trips were excellent - we were all open mouthed with astonishment at the animals we saw during the late afternoon. The driver was knowledgeable and entertaining. The biggest thank you goes to our guide, he was helpful, kind and supportive. Travelled on 23/11/2012
Review by Sue & Vic Camp on 9 November 2012
We both would just like to say a big thank you for the fantastic experience we had - the whole holiday went off without a hitch, we were blessed with a fantastic guide in Karen Holladay who looked after us so well throughout. In fact we could not praise her efforts too highly, she was a star and ensured everything went smoothly. The hotels used were fantastic and the staff too were very attentive and helpful. Food amazing, trips amazing and we look forward to travelling with you again in November. Thank you!!
Review by John & Pam Stych on 8 June 2013
I have just returned from a tour to Victoria Falls, Botswana Safari and Cape Town. We left on 22 July 2013. It was amazing. Our tour manager was Matt Locmelis. He was excellent. His organisation and communication couldn’t be faulted. We always knew where we could find him, he made sure we had the required information about the trips. He also had an excellent sense of humour. He was a large part of the tour being so successful. Many thanks.
Review by Cathy Hills on 5 August 2013
We have just returned from the above tour, and would like to express our delight at the arrangements. It was extremely well organised, the destinations, accommodation and the other members of the party were a pleasure to be with. This was in no small way due to the tour manager Matt Locmelis and your local representatives. This is the second time that we have travelled with Riviera, and we can assure you that we are hoping to travel again.
Review by Carlisle and Eurwen Scott on 7 August 2013
Last weekend we returned from your superb tour to Zambia, Botswana and Capetown. We could not have wished for a better well organised holiday. Everything went off to perfection. Our tour guide Mary was great, as too were all the tours guides throughout the trip. All the animals we wanted to see, we saw, including elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, hippos, a wonderful collection of birds and a fantastic sighting of a stalking leopard. All are friends are green with envy. We would thoroughly recommend this holiday to anyone who has long pondered over a holiday in Africa.
Review by A & C Brough on 10 September 2013
I returned from the above holiday yesterday and felt that I needed to email you to say what a fantastic hoiday my wife and I had. The itinery was superb and the food and accomodation came up to expectations but most of all, our representative Karen, was excellent. She met us at Heathrow and immediately made a point of getting to know the group travellers. Throughout the holiday she paid attention to detail, ensuring that luggage was always transferred correctly, trips were organised well and she was always available to answer any questions. We found her very warm, friendly and extremely efficient and are sure she is an asset to your company. Needless to say we will certainly travel with your Company again. Regards Mr and Mrs Vic Slater
Review by Mr and Mrs Vic Slater on 2 October 2013
My wife and I have just returned from Riviera’s trip to Botswana, Zambia and Cape Town and feel we have to let you know how much we both enjoyed the experience. The whole trip was memorable and well organised. The highlights were the jeep and river safaris where the sight of many wild animals will live long in the memory. The three hotels were excellent and the guides in both Zambia (Shepherd and Angel) and Botswana were helpful, informative and did everything they could do make our time there as pleasant as possible. The travel arrangements, including crossing the Chobe River, went smoothly and, although tiring at times, were another part of the experience. The role of Karen Hollady in all of this cannot be commended enough. She was helpful, patient,attentive and very knowledgeable and made every effort possible to ensure that everyone in the group felt supported throughout what was a very busy trip. Going on the information sent to us beforehand, we had booked tickets for the cable car at Table Top Mountain on line at home for the free day on Tuesday. However, Karen had an alternative linked in to the drive down the Cape Peninsula on the Sunday which she arranged for us to join, as well as helping to cancel our original booking. It might be helpful all possible options were included in the original information sent out to clients. Also worth a mention is Daniel, our guide in Cape Town was very informative with a very good, dry sense of humour which made the coach journeys enjoyable while travelled to our next destination. We would both like to express our thanks to all those, both in Africa and at Riviera Travel, who helped make our trip so unforgettable.
Review by Douglas & Isabel Stewart on 8 October 2013
We have recently returned from your Zambia/Botswana/Cape Town trip departing 16/07/13 and would like to tell you how much we enjoyed it. Our courier Karen was brilliant and there were no problems during the whole holiday.
Review by P Duddridge on 31 October 2013
We would just like to say what a fantastic time we had on our tour to Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town. Matt the tour Manager ensured everything ran perfectly, he also had a wonderful personality that made the whole tour a entertaining adventure. A big thank you to Matt. The accommodation we stayed in was perfect and everything went along smoothly. The local guides, especially John in Cape Town were all very informative and helpful.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Riviera to anyone else who asks about them.
Review by Elaine Sandel on 7 November 2013
We have just returned from a tour of Victoria Falls, Botswana Safari and Cape Town which departed on 14th October accompanied by tour guide Matt (L) who did a great job. We wish to express what a super trip we had, it was our first trip with Riviera and exceeded expectations. We are certainly considering other destinations and would be pleased to receive your latest brochures.
Review by Nigel & Maggie Linford on 7 November 2013
This was a superb holiday, largely due to the efficiency of Riviera in ensuring that everything went smoothly but also due to hard work put in by our tour manager, Matt who stopped at nothing to make sure everyone was happy. He was most efficient and kind throughout the tour.
This was our second holiday with Riviera and we can confidently recommend them to provide memorable tours and we shall certainly use them again.
Review by Jeremy & Jenny Greene on 29 April 2014
Thank you Riviera for a wonderful ten days! We have just returned from what must be one of our best trips ever! Travel arrangements were all organised smoothly and without a hitch. The Zambezi Sun, Chobe Safari Lodge and Southern Sun Waterfront hotels were all excellent – we couldn’t have wished for better. The itinerary and associated activities provided almost non-stop memorable – and sometimes quite exciting! - experiences. Attention to detail throughout was both noticeable and impressive. Huge thanks to Mary – our Tour Manager – who accompanied us every step of the way. The information, hints, tips and advice she provided ensured that we were able to make the most of each stage of the trip. She had an excellent working relationship with the local drivers, guides, and hotel staff who looked after us, and we often felt that they’d been happy to go out of their way to make our experience that little bit extra special. Holidays often don’t quite live up to brochure expectations. This one genuinely exceeded them – and by quite a margin! We have already picked up the brochure again to plan our next trip with Riviera!
Review by Bill & Pat Fraser on 7 May 2014
I have just returned from a great holiday that covered Zambia, Botswana and Cape Town South Africa. The holiday started well when we were greeted by the local guides at Livingstone Airport. The guides welcomed the group and introduced themselves. It was a wonderfully warm friendly greeting at the end of our long journey and set the scene for our further trips with local guides during the holiday.
I can thoroughly recommend this holiday. I would especially mention the thrill of the Falls (wear waterproofs), the game drives and river cruises, Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Townships visit and the drive along the coast from Cape Town.
The Riviera guide Mary Lambert ensured that processes ran smoothly and was always available when needed to offer guidance.
All three hotels were of a high standard and very comfortable which added to the enjoyment of the holiday.
I’m now planning my next holiday with Riviera.
Review by D Harry on 9 May 2014
The best thing about this holiday was the Riviera rep, Karen Holladay, (no pun or misspelling). She handled everything so well, that it was the most stress-free holiday that we have ever been on. She is a consummate professional and her local knowledge proved to be a positive boon.
Yes, we didn’t get to see all of members of the big five club, but they’re not a performing troupe, these are the real deal, wild animals in the wild, they keep to their own time frames, so you just accept it; and being fair, there’s plenty other examples of geography, geology, flora and fauna to admire, photograph and be awed by. Plus the guides do their very best and are crammed with salient facts and figures.
My only suggestion would be to flip the river cruise and the safari in Chobe, as the photo opportunities seem to align themselves contrary wise to the current scheduling.
We were lucky with the weather as well, but as with the animals, that’s beyond the control of mortal man, so you take it on the chin.
Review by Chris Ward on 26 May 2014
We returned from our tour today. It was well-organised and kept us busy, as we wanted. Hotels and other accommodation were good, and travel arrangements worked well. Our guide (Karen Holladay) was friendly and efficient, and local guides knowledgeable. Most local trips were included in the price, which was appreciated, but extras were reasonable and planned so that we the holidaymakers had the minimum of fuss, e.g. tickets were obtained for us in advance. The atmosphere was relaxed and we comprised a happy and friendly group.
Review by David and Barbara Hague on 26 May 2014
We have just returned from your tour to Zambia, Botswana and Cape Town and would like to say how much we enjoyed every aspect of the trip. Victoria Falls in full spate was amazing; the wildlife in Chobe exceeded expectations (we even saw a leopard) and Cape Town and the peninsular was just brilliant. We will be recommending this tour to our friends.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and cannot speak highly enough of Karen Holladay who met us all at Heathrow and ensured everything went smoothly. She is a credit to your company.
Review by Alan & Pat Green on 28 May 2014
We had the best holiday ever. Everyday was an adventure and such good fun. It was well worth the money and we would like to give a special thanks to the tour guide Karen she was very knowledgeable and went over and above her duties in a very professional manner leading to a carefree holiday. Everyone involved in the tours were excellent and we will definitely travel with you again . Thanks to everyone.
Review by Alan garner on 28 May 2014
Have just returned from this most enjoyable tour . It was an outstanding holiday especially the visit to Victoria Falls & the Game drives /boat rides. The helicopter ride over the Falls was a wonderful experience & strongly recommended . All the local guides were friendly, knowledgeable & enthusiastic The somewhat complicated travel arrangements all worked well with the ever present assistance of Karen Holladay who made a huge contribution to the success of this tour . My only criticism . an option to extend the stay in Capetown for a further 1 or 2 nights would have been welcome !
Review by ann & andrew crook on 3 June 2014
This was one of the best trips we have done and every day we would return to the hotel and think that nothing could surpass that day and then guess what - the next day was just as good if not better! The trip was so well organised and our tour leader karen was exceptional! The African people were so humble and so friendly and they really helped to make the trip - most had nothing but there was no begging just a real warm welcome to their country! If you are not sure whether to book this trip, go for it as you will not be disappointed no matter how extensively you have travelled - it will blow you away!
Review by Catherine and Steve morrow on 4 June 2014
We have just returned from the Botswana,Vic falls and cape town trip and had such a wonderful time I have already recommended it to others . Our tour guide Karen was a lovely lady personable and professional and nothing was too much trouble for her. I felt one or two details were omitted from your details which could have helped when planning the holiday. Zambia. Everything could be charged to the room even the extra trips so very little cash was needed apart from tips. An exit fee was not needed so dollars were not necessary. Botswana was similar. Kettles and hairdryers are provided in all hotels. Finally I was pleasantly surprised at how cheap meals and drinks were in S.A.. Perhaps an indication in rand could be provided. Just a thought anyway. We will definitely be looking at Riviera for our next trip abroad.
Review by Eve Kill on 12 June 2014
Just wanted to say that this holiday was one of the best we have ever done. Karen Holladay was a superb tour leader, friendly, informative and helpful. Highlights of the trip were the sunset cruise on the first evening , Victoria Falls and all the jeep and river safaris. Time was tight, but perhaps a city tour of Cape Town could be offered and would it be possible to cut down on travel by flying home direct from Cape Town? We would happily travel with Riviera again.
Review by Jenny and Ian Tasker on 14 June 2014
We have just had a fabulous holiday in South Africa doing Zambia, Botswana and the Cape. As Kenya is no longer available what are the chances of creating a safari in Tanzania, maybe staying at the Serena Lodges with a few days tagged on in Zanzibar or Mauritius. Tanzania does have Amboseli, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. Karen Holloday went far and above what we would have expected from a tour guide. Yours in anticipation
Review by John and Sue Horn on 17 June 2014
A fantastic holiday and adventure. Matt, the Guide was excellent and smoothed aware the logistical difficulties as a consequence of the many border crossings and flights. The hotels were all excellent. We recommend that you highlight the helicopter flight over the falls as an option. Overall a very memorable and enjoyable holiday.
Deana and Vince
Review by Deana Tarrant on 5 August 2014
I don’t usually do this type of thing but felt compelled to do so. My wife , granddaughter and myself had a fantastic time on this tour. There were a few early morning calls on this holiday -but if you snooze you loose! A special thank you goes to Matt our tour guide. He made everything run smoothly. We knew exactly what to do, where to go and what we would need in advance. We will definitely use Riviera Travel again.
Review by Mr Burrows on 10 August 2014
We much enjoyed our recent holiday in Southern Africa. It was well-organised so that we could do a lot in the time available. We were impressed by the courier, Matt Locmelis, who did his best to make sure everyone had the best possible time. We also appreciated that all entry fees, boat fares etc were taken from our original payment, which saved a lot of time and personal expenditure. We arrived home tired but with lots of photos and memories and the feeling that the time had been really well used, though we would have liked to stay longer in Botswana and Zambia. We would certainly consider travelling with Riviera again Thanks
Review by M. L. Green, J. A Hatchard on 15 August 2014
This was our second trip with Riviera and our second with Matt as tour guide. We had an absolutely amazing time. The wildlife in Botswana was astounding. We saw a herd of elephants cross the Chobe river, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, a young lion learning to hunt and so much more. The hotels were excellent and as on our previous Riviera holiday the complex logistics which enabled us to see so much ran like clockwork. Matt was excellent, hard working, efficient and great company. It was a delight to meet up with him again. We are already looking forwards to our next trip with Riviera!
Review by John and Lynn Harries on 17 August 2014
This was our first trip with Riviera, booked because we wanted a special family holiday now the boys are grown up and felt this particular tour would suit us all, with the added advantage of all the logistics being sorted for us. It certainly lived up to expectation. Matt, our Riviera rep, made contact with us in the check in queue at Heathrow and from there on everything ran smoothly. It is certainly not a tour for those wanting a rest as so much was crammed into the time but was everything we expected from it and more. We definitely hope to travel with Riviera again.
Review by Janet, Graham, Michael and David Chalmers on 19 August 2014
What an experience! As if Victoria falls was not enough (breathtaking - with an excellent guide on our walk around the Falls).......we had never been on a safari before and during our three ‘game drives’ (two by jeep and one by boat), we saw more than we ever imagined - including hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, elephants, a leopard(!) water buffalo, warthogs, impala and most impressive of all - a family of lions with several cubs. An unforgettable experience. The hotels were good and the staff welcoming. Our guide, Mary, kept us well informed and handled the ‘logistics’ effectively. We would have liked an extra day in Zambia; it felt just a little rushed. CapeTown was very enjoyable (and the trips out to the Cape of Good Hope and the Winelands especially good - though, again, we would have welcomed a little more time. We opted for a tour of a township which I would really reccommend in order to see a more comprehensive picture of South African life than the view from Table Mountain! Thank you for a wonderful tour. Graham and Anthea Bretherick on 3 September 2014
Review by Graham Bretherick on 3 September 2014
Fabulous is the only word to describe. Colleen, our tour manager, made superhuman efforts to ensure we all got far more than the advertised itinerary. Even the enforced stopover in Johannesburg was turned to our advantage with additional trips to Soweto and Pretoria arranged at short notice. Our local Cape Town guide John was a wonderful larger than life character. This my third trip with Riviera, and they just keep getting better and better, highly recommended.
Review by hunter on 22 October 2014
A truly wonderful holiday. Every day was an adventure. We were surprised how close to the animals we got on safari. We saw herds of elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, lions, and even a leopard and many more too numerous to mention. We were not expecting such stunningly beautiful scenery especially along the coast from Cape Town to Cape of Good Hope. Unfortunately our bus broke down on way to airport, we missed our connecting flight and were stranded at Jo’ berg airport for a day.However, Colleen, our brilliant tour rep even managed to turn this negative into a positive by arranging a tour of Soweto and Pretoria. We would not have chosen to do this but it was a great eye-opener and we greatly enjoyed it. We could not praise Colleen enough. She really put herself out to get things done and arrangements made. The only slight disappointment was we only had 1/2 hour at Boulders Beach with the penguins. However it was so that we could fit in a trip up to Table Mountain so was understandable. Altogether the trip was fantastic and up there with our very best holidays! We highly recommend the trip and Riviera Travel.
Review by John and Barbara Husband on 23 October 2014
Just retuned today from this fantastic trip. It was my first taste of Africa and I loved every moment. All the airlines ran to scheudule, the hotels were clean, friendly and well located. There were swimming pools at all hotels but only got to use the ones at Zambezi Sun and Chobe. The breakfast and dinners included were buffet style so plenty of choice and the two lunches were also excellent.
Victoria Falls was amazing could possibly have done with a little more time for exploring. The safari trip and cruise were both good and we saw lots of animals, birds and a few crocodiles. I took an extra afternoon safari and got to see the lions and having seen a leopard the day before felt very lucky. I also went on an additional small boat trip which enabled us to get much closer in to the wildlife and our guide was very knowledgeable.
Cape Town was delightful and having been on the two included tours, both good, chose to go on the township and Robben Island tour. To me the latter was a bit disappointing but nothing to do with Riviera. The wind had meant the morning boat trips had been cancelled so the island tours were crowded and made it impossible to hear the island guide but I can say I have been there! Matt our excellent rep organised a final evening out at Richards which comprised a dinner and show a great way to finish of the tour with newly made friends.
The final highlight was a group of us made it up Table Mountain on the Sunday morning before we left. Another early morning start but well worth it. Matt had kindly orgnised tickets for us and we waited patiently for three days for the Mountain to clear and the wind to drop. An early arrival and tickets meant we went straight to the top. The free tour is interesting and the views are fantastic.
Thank you very much to Riviera, my companions and especially Matt for his great organisational skills and making this a great holiday. Really glad I wasn’t asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the trip!
Review by Amanda Chapman on 27 October 2014
My husband and I have Just returned from this truly amazing holiday, it was our first visit to Africa also our first time with Riviera Travel (it wont be our last). From start to finish the organisation skills of Matt our Travel Guide were just perfect, he is not only a great Rep for Riviera but also a very entertaining Guy with great knowledge of the areas we visited. The hotels used by Riviera were of a good standard and location with great added bonus of most meals included, which were all good quality and always plenty of variety to choose from whether it were breakfast or dinner. The early morning safari in Botswana was the highlight of our trip with so many amazing animals seen including a leopard, plus the cruise down the Chobe - great close up views of so many animals, plus our lodge on Botswana with the resident warthogs, monkeys and mongoose to entertain you. Cape Town and surrounding areas were beautiful, the hotel used by Riviera the Southern Sun Waterfront offered an amazing breakfast and very comfortable rooms. The added extra of John a local guide who joined our tour in Cape Town was passionate and very informative of his town, a very chatty, pleasant man who went out of his way to help you. If I had one complaint about the tour, it would be Zambia, not enough time and a little rushed, an extra day is definitely needed.
We met some amazing friends and thanks to Matt enjoyed a truly amazing organised holiday Thanks Riviera
Marcelle and James Mcgeady
Review by Marcelle Mcgeady on 29 October 2014
My husband and I have just returned from this fantastic trip. We travelled with my sisters and brother -in-law and we all felt the same. The hotels were all of a really good standard including the food of which there was always plenty of choice. Our guides were all without exception, helpful and knowledgeable We saw an unbelievable amount of wildlife from hundreds of beautiful birds to four of the Big 5! If I have a criticism it would be that my preference would be to have more time in Zambia and less in Cape Town but I am sure that is not true for everyone. But, the real reason I am writing this review (my first ever) is to sing the praises of our tour manager Matt Locmelis. Inevitably, there was a lot of travel involved and Matt worked incredibly hard (mainly behind the scenes) to ensure that we travelled with ease and fluidity and without stress. He was helpful, kind, friendly knowledgeable and always available but also unobtrusive. He did the job perfectly and is a real asset to Riviera Travel. So Thank you Matt, for helping us all have such a wonderful time.
Review by Jan Wilkinson on 1 November 2014
We have recently returned from this truly amazing holiday which definitely ranks as one of the best we have ever had. It was our first trip together to Africa and we just loved it. The combination of countries and experiences put together by Riviera is astonishing. We saw the wonderful Victoria Falls in Zambia, went on a game drive and a river cruise in Botswana where we saw the most unbelievable number of different animals including 2 leopards which apparently is quite unusual, managed to fit in a morning in Namibia where we visited a local village then off to the land of contrasts in Cape Town. There we visited the townships, travelled to the Cape of Good Hope & Cape Point, went to a winery in the Stellenbosch region and took a boat to Robben island where we were shown around by an ex political prisoner and saw Nelson Mandela’s cell amongst other things. The whole holiday was absolutely fascinating and a real eye-opener in all sorts of different ways.
The accommodation in all 3 places was of a very high standard indeed and catered well to all tastes, including vegetarian.
A very special mention and huge thanks to our Tour Manager, Matt Locmelis, who was outstanding. He was super-organised, very knowledgeable and exceptionally good at organising the logistics of getting a large group (38 people) from A to B. He was also very good company and has a great sense of humour.
All in all, a fantastic holiday which we would thoroughly recommend.
Review by Jan Newbigin on 2 November 2014
It has been a week since we returned from our holiday with you and we cant stop talking about it. We have for many years used a well known tour operator and have been very happy but this year we found your company while doing an internet search for the countries we wished to visit and are so glad we did as we have had a fantastic time with you. The three hotels in the different locations were of a very good standard with excellent food comfort and location. The itinerary was very good with some free time if required or options for additional trips if wanted, we chose to do the helicopter trip over Victoria falls, the Namibian village tour and the Walk to freedom tour in Cape town. We also decided to go to the last night party at Richards Place which was something we were wary of going to having been to rather below par efforts on previous holidays but we were very pleased we did as it was an excellent night with good food and very talented people to entertain us, a good way to finish the holiday. Use was made of local guides who were very knowledgable and of course we had Matt our tour guide who met us at Heathrow and was with us for the whole duration of the holiday, a first for us. The fact that everything worked smoothly without a hitch was not by chance or good luck it was because of the effort put in by Matt who was always busy keeping on top of things and if anything had gone wrong we had total confidence Matt would sort it out, a great personality to have on the tour and a real asset to your company who made the holiday that extra bit special If there was any critisicm at all it would be the time in Zambia was a bit short and should have an extra day there to enjoy and appreciate the excellent hotel and unwind from the long journey before launching into the tour. We are looking forward now to booking another holiday with you and would have no hesitation at all in recomending you to friends and family. Many thanks Colin and Ann Roberts
Review by Colin and Ann Roberts on 2 November 2014
I have just returned from a wonderful 10 or 11 days in Zambia, Botswana and Cape Town. An extremely well organised and efficient trip as well as a variety of wonderful excursions. The knowledge, hospitality and sense of humour of our guides and our trip leader Sam made it a great holiday. Accommodation generally was excellent, particularly the Chobe Safari Lodge which had a great location. The wonderful Botswanan people made us all very welcome. Chobe National Park is a super place to visit - lovely views and I would be tempted to return when Victoria are in full flow! Also well done to Sam and Riviera for the way they handled a couple of difficult problems (including cancelled flight) towards the end of the tour. It was also a smashing group of people I traveled with which helped made the trip what it was.
This was my second trip with Riviera and was as enjoyable and as well run as the first one I did (South Africa Tour).
Review by William Mead on 2 December 2014
In agreement with William Meads testimonial we also thoroughly enjoyed the well organised tour of Victoria Falls (Zambia), Chobi Safari drives in Botswana, and Capetown and the Cape. We had excellent hotels, good food and memorial excursions, and an abundance of wildlife and scenery to photograph. The free shuttle bus from the Capetown Southern Sun Hotel to the Victorian and Alfred waterfront was well used. Sam our tour manager, together with our local guides were very helpful and knowledgeably and the African people were very friendly. Even the cancelled flight home from Johannesburg was managed well by Sam, after we had made a few frantic telephone calls home to make alternate arrangements. We also thoroughly enjoyed the South African tour in 2011 and would highly recommend it.
Review by Michael Webster on 8 December 2014
I was a first timer with Riviera, I would like to say what a fantastic holiday this was Victoria Falls wow, Botswana Safaris it was a privilege to get so close to the animals and the guides fantastic and Cape Town which make you understand what South Africa was and is becoming. Our tour was hosted by Sam who is a credit to your company he was able to sort any problems that cropped up (retrieving lost items, and the cancelled flight back to Heathrow etc.), how he did it I do not know, but I take my hat off to him. Only two things that would have made it better a warning that November is the end of the dry session so the falls are not at their best but still great, and an extra day in Botswana would have meant that all of the extras could have been done not have to pick what could be fitted in. But this aside had a great time all the guides were so passionate about the countries and had a vast knowledge that was delivered with a smile that came from the heart.
Review by David Marks on 28 December 2014
This trip has been very well put together and packs an incredible amount in. Food, accommodation and transport all extremely good and our tour guide Coleen was excellent (probably the best of any holiday we’ve had). With so many included trips and meals it really does give good value for money. We were also blessed with a lovely group of fellow travellers. If given the choice we would have preferred to have done Cape Town first and to have had an extra night at the Zambezi Sun. This would have given more time at the wonderful Victoria Falls, or maybe the chance to do an excursion or just time to relax at this lovely hotel. We would certainly recommend this trip and Riviera Travel. We have travelled with you before and would hope to do so again in the future. Thank you for a fantastic holiday, we know only too well that not all holiday companies deliver the holiday that they sell you in the glossy brochure.
Review by Michelle Taylor on 11 March 2015
We had the most amazing holiday, Tour Guide Colleen was absolutely brilliant, she kept us informed all times, early calls when needed, she was always professional but friendly at the same time, nothing was too much trouble for her. We felt safe at all times, we knew we had her there if we were worried or concerned about anything. She knew loads, any questions she could answer. The only criticism we would have liked three nights at the Zambezi Sun, we loved it, after all out travelling it would have been nice to unwind before our next sightseeing. Otherwise it was the most amazing fantastic holiday we have been on. We have done several holidays at amazing places but this is our first organised holiday with a Tour Guide and we really recommend it. Our next tour hols will be with Riviera, the quality of the Hotels and Staff like Colleen how could you want anymore. Thank you Colleen for making our holiday perrrrrrrrrrfect xxxx
Review by Mary & Barry SHelton on 29 April 2015
Thank you for a wonderful holiday. In particular a big thank you to Stuart, our Tour Manager, for making it very special. The sun rises and sunsets over the Zambezi and Chobe were magical: the hotels were well chosen and although the tour necessitated a lot of travelling, it was all well worth while. Thank you
Review by Mr and Mrs Read on 6 June 2015
We had an amazing holiday. The Falls were spectacular and there were zebras in the grounds of the hotel at the Zambezi Sun. We went on a helicopter ride over the Falls which was superb, a great way to see the Falls. Colleen our tour manager was so friendly but professional at the same time and she would give us a wake up call every morning which was great especially on the days that there was an early start. Chobe safari park was wonderful, we saw a lot of animals and the lodge was stunning. We loved Cape Town, such a beautiful city and again the hotel was excellent and the breakfast was amazing (so much choice). On one of the free days in Cape Town, we went on the Walk to Freedom tour which i highly recommend, such an eye opener. On our last day, we went up Table Mountain and Darren proposed which was very romantic, it just added to the excellent holiday.
Review by Nikki and Darren on 19 June 2015
We had an amazing time on this tour, so many highlights. Victoria Falls was incredible, not the time of the year for peak flow, but still amazing to see. The hotel was close by, so you could walk down to the falls from there. In Botswana both the jeep and boat safaris were excellent, the highlights were seeing lions and elephants. We also took the option to do the Namibia village trip; we would definitely recommend doing this, a little different from the rest of the time in Botswana, but good to have this choice. The hotel in Botswana was also very good with breakfast and evening meals included, the choice was good, with an opportunity to try out the local cuisine. The full day tours in Cape Town were also very good, spectacular scenery. We also made good use of the free hotel shuttle bus to visit the Waterfront area for evening meals. Again we did an optional trip of a township walk and visit to Robben Island, very educational and an experience that should be done as part of a trip to South Africa. Throughout out tour guide, Karen, was excellent. She was so well organised that the many border crossings we did happened smoothly and efficiently. She also made sure that everyone knew where they needed to be at what time every day. Karen was also very friendly, always happy to stop for a chat. Also the other tour group members were also very friendly. The only slight changes I would have liked would have been for the tour to be a little longer with perhaps an extra day in Zambia and an extra day in Cape Town. Having said that, others we spoke to said that the shorter tour was a good thing for those with limited time. This was not a big issue, as we certainly packed in so many things in the days we were out there. Overall an absolutely fantastic trip and we would definitely use Riviera again in the future for similar trips.
Review by Andy and Gemma on 4 August 2015
Just picture the scene ~ sitting back on the upper deck on a river boat with tasty snacks, a couple of long G and Ts watching the sun setting over the mighty Zambezi River relaxing after the journey from Heathrow. What a way to start a trip of a lifetime which only got better. And Riviera Travel’s ace card, Karen, who travelled with us from start to finish smoothing our way through all the border crossings, arranged all the extra trips and always with a smile on her face. A true professional who clearly enjoyed her job and took plenty of time to get to know everybody in the party.
We also have to thank all of the drivers and tour guides who got us safely around making us very welcome and sharing their love for their country whether it was the game drives in Chobe National Park to walking us around the Langa Township in Cape Town. To the captain of the boat who waited so that we too could watch the elephants swimming across the Chobe River. And when we were not out and about all the accommodation was of a high standard and the food was excellent. All in all Riviera provided us with a wonderful experience for which the photos can only tell a small part of the story. We have brought back lots and lots of great memories and many new friendships with others in the group. Would we travel with Riviera again – YES and we would certainly recommend this tour to anybody.
Ken and Judy
Review by Ken and Judy on 6 August 2015
This was a fabulous tour and one that would be difficult to do independently. We left the UK in torrential rain and after a long and tiring journey arrived in the glorious sunshine of Livingstone, and after a quick change of clothes, off for a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambesi. The next day was a gentle guided walk to the Falls and then we booked a helicopter ride.
Then off to Botswana via Kazungula, where 4 countries (Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe) meet. Chobe was something else - river cruises, dawn and sunset game drives, fabulous guides (who tried really hard to find us a leopard!), good food and the hotel complete with its own wildlife.
Finally Cape Town - which sparkled in the winter sunshine. Two great tours - to Cape Point and the beautiful winelands - and a free day. And a local guide - John - who was so informative.
Our guide, Karen, was superb. Nothing was too much trouble and she ensured the whole trip ran like clockwork, making sure we had all the information we needed and arranging trips for free days.
It was a packed tour with no time to be bored - and the guides taught us so much about birds, animals and how to tell what sex a crocodile is for instance! Even the children were spellbound.
What would make it better? An extra day in Chobe and an extra day in Cape Town , but otherwise perfect.
We would definitely book with Riviera again .
Review by Laura & Jason on 8 August 2015
Our third trip with Riviera and once again a fantastic experience. Many thanks to our excellent tour guide Karen Holladay who ensured we were all at the right place at the right time and arranged unscheduled trips for us (whale watching in Hermanus - incredible). Wonderful hotels (all with free wi fi and accepting UK plugs). Lucky too with a very nice bunch of fellow travellers - but this is usually the case with Riviera. Victoria Falls, a 10 minute walk from the hotel, was unforgettable - the weather in July is perfect. Be sure to splash out on the optional helicopter trip and if you’re up to it don’t hesitate to opt for the microloght flight. I was the only person on our group to do this. The camera on the wing takes about 100 amazing photos (for an extra $20). The Chobe safaris were excellent, be sure to make use of the reasonably priced optional trips. This was our second time in Cape Town (having enjoyed Riviera’s South Africa tour 6 years ago). One of our favourite cities. Luckily we’d previously taken the cable car on Table Mountain as it was closed for maintenance this time. We enjoyed the optional dinner/theatre on our last night but if there’s a show on at the Artscape Theatre be sure to go. We saw a magical production of West Side Story. We’re already planning our next Riviera trip.
Review by David and Julie on 8 August 2015
I’ve just returned from a superb trip to southern Africa. It’s hard to recall which was the highlight - there were so many: helicopter ride over Victoria Falls, three safaris in Botswana, the Cape Town coastline, Table Mountain, a walk in Namibia, a Township tour. The hotels were all excellent. The arrangements worked perfectly. The local guides were good. Above all, our tour guide, Colleen Webster was first-rate: friendly, professional, organised, understanding, and always willing to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure all of us were happy. She arranged that my included meals on the tour were suitable - I am gluten free. I can’t think of a better guide in all my many years of travelling. We were a good group, and all got on. Travelling solo, it was great to mix with so many diffrerent people. This trip is great value, and includes some very memorable moments. Highly recommended.
Review by Richard Dallyn on 22 September 2015
We have just enjoyed our very best holiday ever visiting Victoria Falls, Chobe game reserve in Botswana, Namibia and Capetown. The hotels were excellent and the organisation truly superb. In particular our guides Colleen and Richard went the extra mile every time for all of us. Their kindness and true dedication meant so much. The wonderful sights of game and beautiful places could rarely be matched and the friends made will always be cherished. We will use Riviera again sooner rather than later-this was a truly wonderful tour!
Review by David and Danuta Lloyd on 24 September 2015
We haven’t been on a touring holiday for a long time, but saw this holiday and it fitted perfectly with what we wanted to do and our available dates. We were greeted by our tour rep Karen at Heathrow with a warm and friendly greeting. In fact Karen was one of the highlights of the tour, she was superb. Everything about this trip exceeded expectations, the falls (although dry) were stunning, the safari unbelievable and Cape Town made us want to move there tomorrow! We have recommended Riviera Travel to many friends now as this tour was excellently organised, you never felt herded around, but knew Karen would sort thorough the border bureaucracy or resolve any problems that occurred, and always with a smile. If you are not afraid of heights then I would recommend the micro lite flight over the falls. At Chobe take up the optional trips as they are great value for money and you seen the animals etc. In a different light at different times. We also went to Hermanus as an option which was great. Friends did the township tour and they thought that was really enlightening. The only option I wouldn’t go on is the show in Cape Town, all our table thought it was dire, although the food was very good. The whole trip was excellent value for money, all the local staff were so welcoming and we have made great friends.
Review by Steve Gibbs on 7 November 2015
This trip delivered everything it stated and more! For us it left us wanting to go back and see more. Going in the dry season meant the Falls were at a low level but allowed us to see so much on the game drives and on the river trip. The optional activities were all equally good. We chose the visit to the village in Namibia and the helicopter flight over the falls (a must). Again in Cape Town, too many choices, all equally good. What other trip would allow sightings of Lion, Elephant, Pengiuns and Whales. Our tour leader, Karen, was the best we have ever been with, thanks. We chose this trip because of its length and so we hope it does not change .
Review by Trevor Lockwood on 10 November 2015
We have just returned from our very first guided holiday - your 11 day trip to Victoria Falls, Botswana and Capetown. We were a bit apprehensive as we have been used to independent travel in the past. Every aspect of the tour exceeded our expectations. We were concerned that it might seem too short as 3 of the 11 days are travel, but there was so much variety and so many wonderful experiences that it felt about right. We thought the organisation was excellent - despite the complexity of moving between countries across tiny border crossings it all worked like clockwork. We have to thank our superb tour guide, Karen, for this and for her extreme patience with us as we presented her with a few challenges along the way. Karen and all the local guides were so knowledgable and passionate about the countries and the environment that we felt privileged in the amount we were able to learn from them. Accommodation and food were superb - we were all sorry to leave the Chobe Bush Lodge, where we were so well looked after. Looking back over the holiday as a whole there was only one thing which was slightly disappointing- the optional event on the Saturday night at Richard’s Place. We would have liked it to have focused a little more on the history of District 6 and its people and explained more about the context for the cabaret acts. It was, however, a fantastic holiday and we will certainly be looking for more Riviera tours in future.
Review by Gill and John Needham on 23 November 2015