We arrived back home safely on Tuesday evening, just in time to prepare for Hurricane Florence! Although we were in the direct path of the hurricance, it took a westerly turn in the last few hours and it now looks like we will only get a lot of rain and high winds. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t lose power. On the plus side, the University has closed for two days and that has given me time to sort through the 3000 photos that I took during our vacation. I have organized them on Google photos and will send you a link.
Marta and I had a wonderful time in the Western Cape. The itinerary that you organized and the hotels that you selected could not have been better. Our whole vacation was blissful, exciting, and engaging all at the same time. We absolutely loved Leeu House. I think we could have happily stayed a whole week there. The location is spectacular, the food in their restaurant was out of this world, and the sculptures and gardens were enchanting. Leeu House was truly the highlight of many highlights.
Ellerman house was equally enjoyable. They surprised us with Champaign, candles, and scattered rose petals around the bathtub. The artwork was amazing. We could have spent days just admiring it. Gavin did a great job of ferrying us between the sights. We saw them all – penguins, Cape Point, Company’s Garden, Botanical Graden, Table Mountain. Gavin was very flexible and attentive to us.
The Grootbos staff has a special surprise for us. Someone (!) alerted them about our 30 the wedding anniversary and one evening while we were eating dinner (in their wine cellar!) they filled our room with candles and set up a bubble bath and champaign to surprise us when we returned to the room. Our guide Tiaan made the visit extra special. He was so knowledgeable about the area and the plants.
As I said. So many highlights and not a single hiccup in the itinerary. My only regret is that we had only one week in the Western Cape. We could have easily stretched the same itinerary to two weeks and doubled our experience.
Thanks again for your wonderful services and the delightful gifts. Marta was thrilled with the necklace. And please pass our best regards to Gavin.
-Tim & Martha Wilson, USA, Aug 2018
-Jackie Steeves, Canada, Jul 2018
It was great to meet you yesterday! Richard gave us an excellent tour and perspective into Langa Township and his native culture. It was an experience I will always remember and cherish. Next time you see him, if you think of it, please thank him again for teaching us so much!
-Jackie Steeves, Canada, Jul 2018
Well , what can I say but a huge THANK YOU to you all at PG Tours for our first Superb Holiday in South Africa and hopefully won’t be our last !
Imogen was so lovely and compiled a wonderful itinerary staying at small boutique lodges which were perfect . Imogen was such a good communicator and happy to assist with any queries promptly ….
Because we were quite nervous due to negative media hype on safety, we were keen to have a guide rather than do a self drive and were lucky enough to be assigned to Gavin who was absolutely great, he was always punctual,enthusiastic and up beat .
We eventually reached the luxurious Shamwari safari lodge Logengula for our 3 night stay. Shamwari is pretty incredible ! The whole place was an adventure and delight . The food and wines were delicious plus I managed to fit in a few treatments between going out on safari what a experience and privalige .
AMAZING and will be implanted as very happy memories ! X
-Rachel and Andrew, UK, Jan 2018
I initially contacted PG Tops to ask a question on their day trip to Cape Point and ended up booking pretty much all of our time away from Cape Town central with them. All in all, PG Tops arranged transportation to & from Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, onwards trip to Gansbaii for shark diving, our trip back to Cape Town and a day trip to Cape peninsula the next day. Everything about all aspects of the trip, the communication (Imogen was truly wonderful — she is a star), value for money, our driver guide (Jurie), the quality of the vehicles, all proposed pitstops on long travels, the small touches (again many thanks for the wonderful coffee table book on Cape Town), simply everything was great.
Book with confidence. Exceptional tailor-made service with truly great staff.
-Murat Ozvardar, Turkey, Jan 2018
Where to begin…
In August 2013, I reviewed PG Tops and gave them 5 stars because the Cape Town day tours I booked through them were superb. That trip included only my husband and me. Based on that incredible experience, in mid-2016, I contacted them again for a much bigger job: a family vacation to South Africa, including safari, Cape Town and Johannesburg, for our family of 4, including 2 very active pre-teen boys. Not only was PG Tops up the job, they surpassed our highest expectations. They worked with us to create the experience we wanted for our family.
Every transition and transfer point was smooth. Every reservation was booked and confirmed. Every experience was incredible. They handled everything from our airport transfers to booking our safari lodge and hotels to day tours and even lunch and dinner reservations.
I worked with Pieter and Bianca for the bookings. Johan was our guide in Cape Town for most activities, including Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Winelands and Cape Point & Penguins. He was excellent and treated our boys like they were his own grandkids. Pieter led our Lion’s Head hike. And PG Tops even arranged for another tour company to take us on a Jo’burg/Soweto tour at the end of our trip.
Everything was flawless, and we are sad to be home. It feels like someone should come to the house tomorrow morning to take us on another great adventure! Thanks to the whole staff at PG Tops for making our trip so special.
-Elissa & Marc Taub, US, Dec 2017
Hi Bianca – we just landed in NYC. Thornybush was awesome, exceeded expectations for sure. Thanks for all of your help. Hope you had a great New Years celebration!
-George Oka, US, Dec 2017
Words cannot fully express the way we feel about our trip to South Africa. We visited for about 12 days for our honeymoon, and we spent a couple days on a safari, a couple days in Hermanus, a day trip to the Winelands and the rest of the time in Cape Town. We had the greatest time of our lives, to say the least! None of which would be possible without a few key people. A special thank you to PG Tops. Our tour guide Mark is absolutely the best guide and person. He was very knowledgeable about the rich history of South Africa, and made our visit as comfortable as possible. He made sure we were taking in the history as well as enjoying our honeymoon, and really took the time to get to know us personally, and went out of his way to enhance our trip in every way he could. We are thankful to have had him not only as our guide, but now as a friend. We also would like to thank Luxury Safaris (Imogen quickly responded to emails and tailored our honeymoon with short trips, tours and food reservations by knowing exactly what we wanted)! Through their planning and efforts, we were able to have a truly unforgettable experience. Every day was spectacular and exceeded our expectations. Between game drives on the safari, shark diving in Gansbaai, biking through the township of Masiphumelele, where we had the pleasure of meeting Nonny and enjoying one of the best meals during our trip, to our drive down Boulders Beach to Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope, to our visit to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and exploring all that Cape Town has to offer…We are convinced to move to Cape Town or at least send everyone we know to visit and experience such a beautiful place. Everything including the scenery, the people, the food and the atmosphere was enough to refresh our souls and feel truly happy. Cape Town stole our hearts and we are looking forward to visiting again sooner rather than later. Thank you to everyone involved in making our trip the most memorable!
-Dela and Jay Darji, USA, Dec 2017
Where do I begin?? We worked with Imogen on this tour for over a year. We were arranging a group trip to Cape Town for 18 people – 15 of which had never stepped foot on the African continent. Imogen arranged everything, airport transfers, lodging, the safari, day tours, shark diving, wine tastings, even retrieving lost objects. Every person we encountered – Imogen, Gavin, Bert and Terrence – were helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, and come highly recommended by me and my partners at The WonderList Tour Company. I cannot thank them enough and look forward to working with PG Tops Travel & Tours again in the near future.
-Melina Johnson, US, Nov 2017
Thanks for your email, we really enjoyed our trip, the Hippo is in a great location, we had breakfast at Knead around the corner every day, loved the food there. Just for FYI, we went to the The Greenhouse for dinner one night, it was fantastic.
We loved the lodge in Namibia, our guide was great, and the dunes were spectacular.
-Karin Barndollar, US, Oct 2017
Bianca and Pieter, our Texas crew had an amazing visit to your wonderful country!! Non stop adventure every day!! Thank you so much for organizing such an amazing trip!
Our next adventure will take us to Namibia (north to south) and a revisit to South Africa to do Garden Route, shark cage at Grootbos (maybe stay the recommended 4-5 days) for whale boat and sharks! Oh and the hiking in Stellenbosch, possible 2-3 nights.
We had a great time and are so thankful for Gavin as our guide! He is the best!
Our group plans on building a Texas care package for him. I’ll shop it to the PGTops office if that is ok with you guys.
Thanks again and I look forward to working with you in future.
-Frida Dillenbeck, Texas, Sep 2017
Feedback on the trip so far…..
Alan, who picked us up at Joberg airport, gave us Pretoria tour and took us back to the airport the next day, was outstanding!!!!!!
He took me to an ATM so I could get rand and also took us to a pharmacy in the airport so we could get pain medication for Margo. And throughout our time with him he had us laughing (even after our long hours of travel from LA and Boston). He was so funny!!!
Dulini….well, has been SUPERB!!! and more!!!
The staff is the best I have ever encountered! Our room was incredible and the food was top notch! The game drives were absolutely phenomenal!!!!!!
Our ranger, Justin and tracker, Martin, were outstanding! EVERYTHING at Dulini was
WONDERFUL ! And yes thank you for the welcome bottle of champagne!
We look forward to the rest of our trip!
-Laurie and Margo, USA, Sep 2017
The team at PG Tops / Luxury Safaris (same company) planned our entire honeymoon in South Africa and Zambia. The process was seamless starting with all the planning with Imogen and continued on the ground with our private guide Leslie. The team not only planned the trip but also acted as our advocates while on the ground to make sure we had the most relaxing time possible.
Our 12-day itinerary was as follows: Whale watching and shark diving (stay at Grootbos Reserve), Table Mountain hike (stay at Cape Grace), winelands (stay at Le Quartier Francais), private safari reserve at Lion Sands and Victoria Falls in Zambia (stay at Tongabezi).
CAPE TOWN: We were greeted at the airport by our private guide Leslie who was with us for the rest of our Cape Town and Winelands portions. He not only knew when/how to push the individual activity operators to give us maximum stress-free time, but he was extremely knowledgeable about each activity, the area and its history.
Our planner Imogen had set us up at Grootbos Reserve which was an eco paradise 2 hrs outside Cape Town. It was the perfect place to rest after our 20+ hrs trip with a beautiful setting, intimate feel (only a dozen villas) and individual attention. It was also closer to whale watching and shark diving than staying in Cape Town proper. The whale watching and shark diving operators were top notch and had the best/most comfortable boats. They also operated with integrity and supported many research initiatives.
We spent one day/two nights at the Cape Grace Hotel which was convenient for activies in town. Imogen booked us dinner at Test Kitchen, one of the finest restaurants in Cape Town. We also hiked Table Mountain with Frank who knew just about everything about anything that grows on the mountain. Note that if you’re not using to hiking, Table Mountain is quite challenging so be ready to sweat buckets! We decided to pack the day so we continued on with Leslie to Simon’s Town to see the penguins and to Cape Point to see Cape of Good Hope.
WINELANDS: Leslie drove us to the Winelands (Stellenbosch and Franschoek) and took us to great vineyards based on our personal wine preferences. We stayed at Le Quartier Francais which was very recently renovated to give it a contemporary feel. The following day we did a bike tour and visited four vineyards. The biking was a bit more difficult than we expected because of the hills but otherwise was a great experience.
To get from the Winelands to the safari near Kruger, our planner Imogen actually picked us up from the hotel and took us back to Cape Town for our flight to Skukuza Airport.
SAFARI: The entire safari experience was unreal. Imogen had booked us at Lions Sands which was a full service private reserve. Our ranger and tracker picked us up from the airport and the lodge had hot towels, food and beverages ready as soon as our car pulled up. Our ranger/tracker team was excellent and extremely knowledgeable about everything that grew and lived in the reserve. Note that the safari game drives start at 6am and 4pm so you have a lot of time in the middle of the day. If you’re not the napping type, you shouldd bring plenty of books or book a spa treatment. Also, if you are into photography, I rented my SLR and lens from a local provider that dropped off and picked up directly from the lodge. Imogen was able to locate that provider for me.
VICTORIA FALLS: We used this portion of the trip to relax before returning home. Victoria Falls was never high on my list but I’m glad Imogen talked me into it. She booked us at the Tongabezi River Lodge on the Zambia side which is a beautiful intimate lodge with only a dozen cottages. The lodge ran its own excursions so you only had to decide the day before what you wanted to do the next day. We did their evening river cruise twice (which ends with sunset drinks on a sandbar) and they took the liberty of booking us an amazing tour of Victoria Falls and a romantic private dinner on the Zambezi river. The tour started with a normal hike but then took us to Livingstone Island which is on top of the falls for lunch. But before we got to eat, they took us swimming to Devil’s Pool which is a spot at the top edge of the waterfall where you can actually jump in the water and not get swept over the edge. It was one of the highlights of our honeymoon! We then concluded our trip with a flight to Johannesburg from Livingstone.
Overall the trip was amazing and the staff at PG Tops / Luxury Safaris is top notch. They’ll be there for you at every step and they even anticipate your needs!
-Frederick leCao, New York. Aug 2017
We used PG Tops to organise a ten day trip to Cape Town and Vic Falls for our family of six and they were fantastic in tailoring an itinerary that suited what we wanted exactly.
From our initial contact to the final day of our trip, they helped arrange our accommodation, internal travel and even restaurant bookings. The land transport provided were comfortable and the drivers / guides were knowledgeable and helpful.
Since it was a tailor made itinerary, they were also able to help with last minute changes due to weather. All the recommendations for meals and activities were fantastic and the whole family had a great time.
Yes, you could probably put the same package together by shopping around the net but it is well worth engaging their services since Africa has its quirks and is not as easy to navigate as the US or Europe.
Highly recommended and it certainly took away a lot of headaches from having to do it myself.
-Shahril Ridzuan, Malaysia, Aug 2017
We spent an amazing time in South Africa!
Special thanks to you for arranging such an interesting and diverse itinerary and to Samson who is a very nice guide and person plus excellent driver!
-Sedrak Kochayaran, Armenia, Apr 2017
Recently (Christmas 2016 – January 2017) got back from a dream 2 week South African vacation. Travel arrangements for our visits in Cape Town and Kruger National Park were handled by PG TOPS. The service was just outstanding with our friendly tour organizer, Imogen M-M, being extremely helpful during the whole process. She ensured that we had all the details needed to plan an efficient trip. Ours was a large group – 6 adults and 6 kids (ages 5 – 13) but the whole trip was planned and executed practically flawlessly. In addition, our friendly multi lingual guide, Thiam (originally from Senegal but a sharp South African now!) was extremely helpful throughout the trips and most importantly, very knowledgeable, amiable and resourceful.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND going with PG TOPS for your vacation planning in South Africa!
-Mahesh Ganesan, Michigan USA, Dec 2016
Me and my daughter spent 8 days in South Africa during last Christmas, 4 days in Cape Town, 2 days in Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and 2 days in Camps Bay. Sofie Otto did an awesome job planning our whole trip. She is very professional, spends time to understand your expectations in order to provide the best choices, prompt in responding to questions and very patient. I needed to make several changes after the initial plan and she accommodated our needs in time and our journey went from A to Z smooth as planned. When we arrived to Cape Town, she in person welcomed us at the airport, this was an unexpected surprise, we liked it very much. I strongly recommend Sofie to whoever will visit to SA to arrange their itinerary.
Gavin, who was our tour guide during our whole stay was amazing. He is punctual, always has a great smile, professional, very knowledgeable thus filters the information to his client’s needs and flexible. We were never rushed. We especially thank him for driving us to the reception in Gondwana Sanbona Wildlife Reserve after 3.5 hours of long travelling instead of leaving us at the welcome lounge where we would have waited another 1.5 to move to our rooms and a BIG thank you from my daughter to find her a place where we could buy the good quality professional drum, which was such a difficult task. I strongly recommend Gavin as a tour guide to PG tops.
Once again thank you PG tops for making our vacation amazing and unforgettable.
-Shebnem Daysal, Luxembourg, Dec 2016
I’m still here in Cape Town and heading out tomorrow for the safari portion of my tour. I’m so excited with Luxury Safaris, (sister company of PG Tops), that I didn’t want to wait until I got back. First of all, Sofie Otto put together a private tour for me that was exactly what I wanted. It covered all the important sites and a lot of fun sites. She was aware of my mobility issues and took that.into consideration. She assigned a guide named Jamie, who is truly amazing. We are getting along like long lost family. She is so patient with me because of my walking problems and my use of a walker. She is extremely knowledgable and personable. One day they asked if I would mind them sending a trainee with us to the vineyards. It was fine with me ( the more the merrier ). Imogen came along. She was previously a ranger and decided to become a tour guide. She was also extremely knowledgable and personable. She will be an awesome tour guide when her training is finished. I would highly recommend PG Tops because they do care about their clients.
-Betty Doria, USA, Dec 2016
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our trip to South Africa and picking such a great guide. We had an amazing trip and have fallen in love with your country, our once in lifetime trip will have to be repeated. Andrew was the ideal match for us as a group was really knowledgeable, flexible when we wanted to change things and above all great fun
The accommodation was all great and we will definitely want to return
-Jill Lanham, UK, Nov 2016
We finally booked our South Africa experience with Sofie at PG Tops. What a fantastic experience. The brief was very simple – we wanted to experience the sights and scenes of South Africa for 2 weeks, the first period around the Cape Town and coastal area and then move on to a few days safari in Kruger.
Sofie was very professional and attentive and asked us what we liked, what level of comfort we were looking for, what food we enjoyed eating, where we liked to stay, what in particular we would like to see and so on.
Nothing seemed to be an issue and Sofie e mailed us on numerous occasions and even spoke to us on the phone to try to understand our requirements more specifically.
The result was a fantastic vacation staying in sumptuous accommodation, eating some lovely S African food, seeing great sights and having one of the best holidays we have ever had.
Credit should also be heaped upon our guide – Johan. Throughout the Cape leg of the holiday Johan drove us over 2000km. We struck a chord with many common views and hobbies and the places we stopped at were often revised following these conversations.
Vacation consisted of the following:
Day 1 Arrival at CapeTown, tour of table mountain and part of city accommodation More seasons.
Day 2 Penguins at Stormy point. Accommodation More Seasons
Day 3 Robben Island and Peninsula. Accommodation More Seasons
Day 4 Wine tasting in Franshoek, Motor Museum. Accommodation Le Quartier Francais
Day 5 Alloe Fera factory, Ostrich Farm Accommodation De Denne
Day 6 Knysna Featherbed visit. Accommodation Atlantic house
Day 7 Transport museum George, bird sanctuary Tsitsikama. Accommodation The Fernery
Day 8 Addo National Park, Port Elizabeth Accommodation Radisson Blu
Day 9-12 Fly to Kruger for Safari at Lion Sands Private Game reserve
Overall this offered a personalised private tour that was tailored to our requirements for a similar price to a good tour organised in the UK but with around 30 people. That personal touch and ability to modify at a moments notice was priceless and I have no hesitation to recommend the company.
thanks again to Sofie, Johan and Peter at PG Tops.
-John Reed, London UK, Feb 2016