The 2012 “Travel & Things” Awards

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely 
in an attractive and well preserved body.
But rather to skid in sideways, Scotch in one hand,
chocolate in the other.
Body thoroughly used up. totally worn out 
and screaming   
” Yee Ha’ WHAT A RIDE!”

Here are the “TRAVEL & THINGS”Awards for 2012.
They are, in no particular order…

Best Guest House
Situated in Somerset West, this owner run boutique guest house ticked all our boxes
Favourite game reserve.
Madikwe, North West
Great lodges, the Big 5, as well as Wild Dog and Cheetah.
Only four hours from Johannesburg/Pretoria, this reserve has it all.

Best game lodge
Jamala Madikwe
Singularly the most spectacular game lodge we have ever visited.
From service to rangers, food and accommodation it scored 100%!
Cleanest game drive vehicle.
Jamala Madikwe
The vehicle looked like it had recently left the showroom floor!

Best honeymoon suite.

 Madikwe Hills.
This view is of the bathroom and excludes the outside shower and bath!
It also has its own plunge pool, huge bedroom, dressing area and lounge.

Most authentic “bush lodge” experience
Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve
There are two lodges that are linked by a walkway…but each has its own personality.
The one thing that both share is the fact that owner Jaci likes(no LOVES) colour!
Best commercial airline
This ‘quirky’ airline flies to most major cities in South Africa.
We have always had good experiences with our flights
Best charter airline
 Federal Air
Want to feel like a celebrity? The try a Federal Air charter flight.
I have used them to fly to Madikwe Game Reserve as well as Mozambique
Best African destination
Indigo Bay Island resort
Situated off the Mozambique coast, this island getaway is well worth a visit.
Best Spa.
Indigo Bay Island resort
Their Spa has the best view of any that I have visited

Best local pillow award
This year the award is shared!
Sparkling Waters Hotel and Spa.
I travel with my own pillow.
This means that the “best pillow” award is very prestigious.
( The award is subjective as I like a hard pillow)
 Best close-to-home destination
And co-winner of the Best Pillow Award
  Heia Safari Ranch,Muldersdrift
This establishment has been a favourite of mine since 1976.
Wildlife, good food and the magnificent Lake Heritage
all add up to a great place for either a family weekend
or a conference
Best “special celebration” destination
Budmarsh Country Lodge
Set in the Magaliesberg, this wonderful Lodge offers great accommodation and walks 
My previous visit to this game lodge was in 2002 when it first opened.
On this return visit, I found, like a fine wine, it has got better with age.
It has been beautifully maintained and it looks as if it was built yesterday.
Congratulations to all the staff for their hard work.

Best corporate game lodge
Tau Game Lodge
This is the biggest and oldest lodge in Madikwe game Reserve.
It also has the biggest waterhole.
Good food and great accommodation.
Best fine dining award
Budmarsh County Lodge.
Our best fine dining meal of 2012.
Well trained staff and a fine dining setting gets the award.
Best “Small town South Africa” award
Shared between:
for the new Nelson Mandela Capture site museum


For the Nan Hau Temple

Best value for money zoo
Lory Park Zoo, Midrand
This facility specializes in bird and cats
and you can interact with some of both.

Best conference venue
This purpose built conference venue near Benoni offers on site accommodation and food
It also has a Birds of Prey sanctuary that is open to the public from 2-5pm,Tuesday to Sunday. or

Place I would like to revisit in 2013
Mosethla Bush Camp,Madikwe
Not even a recent fire could destroy the spirit of either the camp or its owner
VIP toilets and hot water from a “Donkey-boiler” make this camp one of my special places

*The awards are not based on any recognized rating system*
Only on my experiences at these particular venues.

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission

Many thanks to my sponsors, 
without whom none of the above would have been possible