Background: We had booked a 14-day fly/cruise package directly through Fred Olsen leaving from Cape Town, visiting Port Elizabeth, Richard’s Bay, Mayotte, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
Flights: Instead of the direct flight we were supposed to have, we had to go through Johannesburg, collect our luggage, go through customs, re-check our luggage, change terminals and take another flight to Cape Town. It was a nightmare and took 22 hours. For the return flight we had a 5-hour flight to Dohar, a 3 hour wait at midnight followed by a 7-hour flight to UK. What upset me most about the whole experience was that other passengers had direct flights both ways.
Ports of Call: In Port Elizabeth, the debunking service failed to show. The ship was 12 hours late leaving the port. In Richard's Bay, our berth was next to a Coal Factory and everything on the ship including us was covered in a thin layer of black soot. The shore excursion arranged by the cruise was terrible. We completely missed the next port of call, Mayotte in the Comoro Islands. This is a rarely visited island and we were looking forward to visiting it.
Cabin was good. On board service was good. Administration left a lot to be desired.
Good excursion to Addo Elephant Park. Guide was excellent. We saw lots of elephants, zebras, and even a male lion.
This was the most expensive excursion and it was terrible. Hluhuwe Game Reserve had a really good reputation. However our guide was horrible and more interested in dung beetles and termites nests than viewing animals. I have been on about 8 safaris in South Africa and this one was the worst.
We did our own thing. Hop on Hop off bus and went up Cable Mountain - only a 20 minute wait with on line tickets.