We stayed in several accommodations on this trip. They were all quite different, yet, each one enjoyable relative to the experience.

Cape Town, South Africa
15 On Orange Hotel
Corner Grey's Pass and Orange Street
PO Box 12215, Mill Street, Cape Town
South Africa, 8000
Tel: +27 21 469 8000
15 On Orange Hotel

This hotel was just fine. It is a Marriott Hotel and is being updated. The food was good as was the service. However, it is in a sketchy area. When Bill and I were walking on the main drag there were many drug addicts that kept accosting us. The area has an unpleasant feel. To get to the waterfront I would not advise walking. We took cabs which in itself is sketchy. Expect to be scammed. Our taxi driver did not even turn on the meter and overcharged us double. We knew it but just were glad to be back safely. Nasty business. On this subject, we got out of two cabs doing this same caper. Be warned.

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
On the Sabi River, at the Paul
Kruger Gate Portia
Shabangu Road Kruger National Park Skukuze, 1350, South Africa
Tel: +27 13 73556671
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate

This accommodation was also a Marriott. It was just fine in all respects. "Experience the wonder of the African Bushveld here in Mpumalanga with a visit to the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate. Located along the Sabie River, our rustic and elegant lodge provides all the comforts of home, yet is just 100 meters from the Paul Kruger Gate of Kruger National Park - offering unparalleled access to the area's legendary natural beauty. Step under the indigenous portico and be transported to a different world - one reminiscent of a tree house, with elevated walkways nestled among native bird habitats. Relax in your air-conditioned room which features marble bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and modern technology. Our two hotel restaurants, Lapa and Kudyela, offer delectable dining in an convivial atmosphere. Be sure to spend time at our year-round outdoor pool or squeeze in a workout at the fitness center. And with the incredible wildlife of Kruger National Park at your doorstep, you have plenty to explore during your stay. We look forward to welcoming you here to Mpumalanga at the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate!" (Taken from their website)

Shiduli Safari Lodge
Karongwe Private Game Reserve
South Africa
Tel: +27 15 383 0570-72
Mobile: +27 82 321 3582
Fax: +27 11 817 5560
Shiduli Safari Lodge

This was generally a lovely place to stay; however, we had a bad experience. The management put us in an adjunct room to another suite with sliding doors between. This was the kind of space you stash your kids in when you do not want to be bothered. The space was the size of a small room on a ship (tiny, tiny), there was no shower, only a bathtub that was really quite difficult to crawl in and out with a hand held tool to wash yourself. Water flew all over the place as there was no curtain. There was no running hot water, at all! Towels were sparse and not changed. We could hear every word being said from the people on the other side of the doors. They had the actual room. Happily they were two lovely individuals on the trip with us, a grown son and his mom travelling together. They were delightful and interesting, a philosophy professor and his mom. She had been a librarian at a college. Bill and I decided not to complain and ask for a proper room as we did not want to make trouble. We did, however, talk to the individual who was the manager of the establishment upon leaving and suggested he should not do this to people. He was not a polite human being to say the least. We had heard grumblings from the staff about his dismissive attitude toward them--they were right on target. I suspect that when enough people complain he will be gone. The food and staff were terrific. This was a lovely place other than what I have mentioned.

The Michelangelo Hotel
135 West St. Nelson Mandela Square
Sandton, 2146, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 11 282 7000
The Michelangelo Hotel/Johannesburg, South Africa

"Johannesburg's up scale Sandton neighborhood is the city's business center where many major international companies house their headquarters. Its heart is Nelson Mandela Square with its large, six-meter sculpture of the country's first democratically elected president. The Michelangelo, a retreat in the square's bustle, overlooks this leafy enclave. The Renaissance-style hotel is venerated for its easy access to the neighborhood's shopping, dining and entertainment, many located in the adjacent square. Guests can take advantage of a fitness center with personal trainers, a sauna and heated indoor pool. The spa is acclaimed, especially for its grass-covered sun deck. Expert but unobtrusive service has long made the hotel a leading choice for travelers." (Taken from The Michelangelo Hotel website)

This hotel was absolutely lovely and so were the suites, the staff, the food and everything inbetween. There is only one problem. Johannesburg is a pit--dangerous! Do not go out unaccompanied by a guide during the day. Do not go out at night at all. We were told to stay in the enclosed mall. Other than not DO NOT go out. Even with that knowledge, Bill and I were approached by two individuals that wanted to do us harm. I yelled at them and they took off. We were in the enclosed mall and they were, too--looking for victims. Be warned! The guides do not like to go out into Johannesburg either, at least our guide did not. We travelled by van and saw the appropriate tourist sites in Johannesburg. Apparently there are some of the shanty areas where even the police will not venture--drug infested and violent.

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 13 43211-20 or + 263 13 4320
Fax: +263 13 43205
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

"Situated on a plateau just 4km from the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, surrounded by the wilds of Africa, offers an unforgettable experience. The sunset-facing 72-room Safari Lodge overlooks offers endless views of African bush stretching to the horizon, which includes a water hole frequented by elephant, buffalo, kudu and other wildlife, as well as a rich variety of birds. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, which is the flagship property of hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), has been voted the Best Safari Lodge/Resort Hotel in Zimbabwe for 20 consecutive years by the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents." 9 Taken from the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge website)

Image: CopyrightHorseHints.org/Warthog/Zimbabwe This accommodation is outside the town of Victoria Falls so you need to have access to a conveyence of some kind to go back and forth. I was happy that we were outside of the town as there was really not much in the town except sketchy looking eateries, open air markets where trinkets were being sold to the tourists and the like. It was great fun to see some of the wart hogs roaming around the streets. I would like to say that if you are planning on purchasing any of the carved stones in Zimbabwe do not do it from the street venders. Go to one of the real stores in a tiny shopping area right off the main street where the street venders are. We asked our guide where to buy one that was real and signed. He suggested a reputable store. Although you are really not suppose to bargain with at real shops the owner started the bargaining process much to our surprise. It made a sizeable difference. We also paid cash and asked for change in smaller US bills. The owner of the shop accommodated. He was really personable and delight. We purchased a traditional Zimbabwe stone carving bust of an African female. The carving was carved from butter jade stone. "Victoria Falls is a town in the province of Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. It lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the western end of the Victoria Falls themselves. It is connected by road and railway to Hwange (109 km away) and Bulawayo (440 km away), both to the south-east. According to the 2012 Population Census, the town had a population of 33,060. Victoria Falls Airport is located 18 km south of the town and has international services to Johannesburg and Namibia. The settlement began in 1901 when the possibility of using the waterfall for hydro-electric power was explored, and expanded when the railway from Bulawayo reached the town shortly before the Victoria Falls Bridge was opened in April 1905, connecting Zimbabwe to what is now Zambia. It became the principal tourism centre for the Falls, experiencing economic booms from the 1930s to the 1960s and in the 1980s and early 1990..." Victoria Falls Town

Image: CopyrightHorseHints.org/ButterJadeZimbabweSculpture

For More Information on the Zimbabwe Stone Carvings:

Africa, Zimbabwe, Stones
Zimbabwe, Africa
First posted: Aug 23, 201
Last update: Aug 23, 2017