Tailor-made Holidays

Tailor-made Holidays

Travel Butlers will ensure you have a fantastic holiday that is tailored to your individual interests and budget.

Safari and Beach

Safari and Beach

Combine Africa's amazing wildlife with the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean for the perfect holiday

Holidays in South Africa

Holidays in South Africa

Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Migrating wildebeest, idyllic palm-fringed beaches, and snow-capped mountains ... these could be YOUR Tanzania holiday memories!

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Special Offers

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African Safari And Beach Holiday News.

The Travel Butlers Blog

Luggage Allowance

TraceyCampbell - February 3, 2015

If you are like me, I never really give any major thought to my hand luggage when packing for a trip. I throw my Kindle, my purse, some mints and a lipstick in a bag, hoist it onto my shoulder, and walk onto the aircraft.

It always makes me smile as I am sitting in my seat, waiting for take off, when someone enters the plane carrying what can only be described as a small but bulging suitcase. And I love watching them desperately trying to squeeze it into the small overhead luggage compartment, especially if they are late and the overheads are already bulging at the seams.
All this will change soon, however, on flights in South Africa – so be warned!

The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has announced some new new hand luggage allowances, which came into force only yesterday. This may cause some potential delays at check in, or even at the gates – as if you manage to hide your oversized back at the check in counter, at the gate it will be scrutinized carefully, and if it does not adher to the new rules, then back you have to trot to the main check-in counter and check the offending luggage in as hold baggage.

So get your tape measure and scales out, and please make sure your hand luggage complies as follows:

• Economy-class passengers are allowed one bag plus one slimline laptop bag. Business/ first-class passengers are allowed 2 bags plus one slimline laptop bag. Thankfully, handbags are considered part of a female’s wardrobe and not as hand luggage.

• Slimline laptop bags must be of a size and thickness specifically designed to carry a laptop and charger. Bags capable of carrying other items such as documents and clothes are not permitted.

• No bag should exceed 56cm x 36cm x 23cm (total dimensions of 115cm) or weigh more than 7 kg per bag. Bag weight may vary according to airline specifications.
Happy travelling!

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Laguna Beach – The Perfect Spot

TraceyCampbell -

Laguna Hotel is the backdrop for a brilliant stopover in Mauritius. Perched on the East Coast of the island just over half an hour from the airport, it’s very easy to reach but far harder to tear yourself away. If you’ve got just a few days to spare post-safari, it really is the perfect spot.

One huge charm of Laguna Beach is the totally tucked-away location. To reach the hotel, you’ll pass through the tiny fishing village of Camp des Pêcheurs, a heart-warming place packed with smiling, waving local people. It’s a glimpse of the real Mauritius, beyond the confines of the classy resorts and tourist-heavy towns. From the hotel beach area, you’ll see fisherman at work and local life unfolding throughout the day. This helps to break down the barriers between visitors and residents, bringing you a taste of behind-the-scenes Mauritius.

The hotel itself offers everything you could possibly need in Mauritius and a good deal more. There are 2 excellent swimming pools surrounded by rustling coconut palms, thatched parasols and comfy loungers. There’s a private beach with clear blue waters and a volleyball net to get you on your feet. The circular outdoor bar sits in the middle of this, providing an endless stream of refreshing cocktails, fresh fruit juices and ice cold beers.

At one edge of the beach, you’ll find a small jetty, which has more treats in store. Everyday at 1 pm, a free shuttle-boat takes hotel guests over to the Île aux Cerfs, a tiny castaway island with a seriously lovely lagoon. Mauritians will tell you that you haven’t seen Mauritius unless you’ve visited the Île aux Cerfs, making it a real must-do. Tourists staying all over the island travel up to 3 hours to reach the Île aux Cerfs, but from Laguna Beach the journey takes just 15 minutes. The return shuttle leaves between 4 pm and 5 pm, giving you a whole afternoon to stretch out on the bright white sand. It’s like having tropical heaven on your doorstep.

Île aux Cerfs aside, Laguna Beach also offers a wealth of ocean-based activities from its private jetty. You can hop into a pedalo, kayak or glass bottom boat and explore the lagoon totally free of charge. Snorkelling and windsurfing are also complimentary perks that are definitely worth a go. Back on solid land, there’s a pool and table tennis to keep you occupied, as well as free wifi with a reliable signal throughout.

If you fancy taking things one step further, there’s a huge menu of activities to keep you on your toes. Try parasailing, water-skiing or banana boating, take a multi-island boat trip via forested waterfalls, sail into the sunset on a pirate ship or even a fishing trip aboard a traditional Mauritian pirogue with locals from the village. If you’re a deep sea devotee, you can opt for scuba diving, deep sea fishing or the famous undersea walk, which gives you the chance to take a stroll on the seabed wearing a giant helmet. It’s simply impossible to get bored.

Inside the hotel, the restaurant lays on a brilliant evening buffet, with Mauritian specialities, griddled fish and an ‘Indian corner’ bubbling with pungent curries, dahls and stews. Breakfast is no less impressive, with favourites from all over the world to kickstart your day, as well as delicious local coffee. Tea and coffee is available free of charge at all hours, along with a variety snacks and sandwiches at the bar to keep you going. Outdoors, the seafood and meat grill is fired up for dinner on the beach twice weekly. Where dining is concerned, let’s just say that Laguna Beach Hotel has it covered.

Evenings tend to be fairly low-key, but the atmosphere is welcoming, the bar is popular and there’s nightly entertainment ranging from DJs to traditional Sega dancing up for grabs. It’s the kind of place to slowly sip on a signature cocktail, shoot the breeze and listen to waves lapping the shore. Quite often, a small local craft market sets up near reception, giving you a chance to pick up gifts for loved ones back home. Alternatively, round off an already relaxed day with a stint in the spa, which offers a long list of pampering options at surprisingly reasonably prices. If you’re looking for complete abandonment, drift away during a hammam or a honey bath. You’ll feel like a different person. Trust me.

The rooms themselves are spacious, calm and exceptionally clean with large beds and tea making facilities. The decor is chic but cosy, with clean lines, soft pillows and local touches. Each one has a private terrace with a pool or sea view for an intimate afternoon with a good book and a sneaky cocktail. The bathrooms are state-of-the-art, with powerful showers and double sink units, so they’re certain not to disappoint.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the Laguna is its wide appeal. It’s the kind of place that every kind of traveller can enjoy – honeymooners, families, couples young and old, businessmen, friends and bloggers… like me. The price is by no means prohibitive and it really is worth every Mauritian rupee. It’s a great base for a sunny sojourn on the island. More than great, in fact. I would go back in the blink of an eye.

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Travel Butlers Is Recognised As Gold Trusted Merchant

Paul Campbell - January 30, 2015

We are delighted to report that Travel Butlers has received the highest possible award of Gold Trusted Merchant by Feefo, the independent customer review site.

GOLD_Trusted_Merchant_2015_black_landscapeThe Trusted Merchant scheme is designed to recognise companies that give excellent service to their customers and is based on independent customer reviews compiled by Feefo.   The Gold Trusted Merchant is the highest level of this award, and represents an average service rating of 95% to 100% positive.

You can read more about the Trusted Merchant scheme on the Feefo blog, or read the independent reviews of Travel Butlers from Feefo here.

 

Aanari – A Calm Hideaway

TraceyCampbell - December 17, 2014

Aanari Hotel sits in the heart of Flic en Flac, a holidaymaker hotspot in Mauritius. Hugging the West Coast of the island, the beach is bright, white and wide, with plenty of space to stretch out in the tropical sunshine and watch the local kids playing football on the sand. The whole town breathes a lighthearted holiday feeling, with small live music bars, coffee shops, rum shacks and restaurants lining the street opposite the beach. It’s an ideal base on the island for anyone after a more lively experience in Mauritius.

Flic en Flac isn’t for everyone, and if you’re in the market for a quiet castaway break in Mauritius, this isn’t the beach for you. However, it has a charm all of its own with plenty of local flair. The crowd here is slightly younger than you’ll find in most Mauritian resorts, so there’s a unique energy to the place that isn’t so easy to find elsewhere on the island. You’ll find a vast range of restaurants, a casino, a supermarket and a shopping complex right on your doorstep. For fun as well as sun, it’s a real winner.

The hotel itself is a calm little oasis amidst the hub of Flic en Flac activity. It has a laid back and welcoming aura, with design influenced heavily by Mauritian tradition and its Hindu heritage. There’s almost something Balinese about the place. Natural materials have been used wherever possible, giving the hotel an earthy, organic atmosphere. The outdoor bar and dining area are filled with tropical plants, coconut trees and tiny ponds, making it brilliant for long, lazy breakfasts and indulgent afternoon cocktails.

The swimming pool is small and surrounded with a smattering of comfy loungers. It can get a little crowded as the day goes on, so it’s best to get there early. However, while the pool may be on the small side, it’s perfect for a refreshing plunge. And if you can’t nab a spot by the pool, do not despair. There are plenty of other chilled out pockets across the hotel, with a couple of sun beds scattered here and there amongst the shady rooftop gardens. The beach is merely footsteps away, so you can spend your days happily hopping between the two.

Flic en Flac is awash with local companies offering island-hopping trips and sightseeing tours, making the Aanari Hotel an excellent strategic base for exploring Mauritius. The tours are affordable as well as exciting, giving you the chance to visit rum distilleries and sugar factories, see the stunning Seven Coloured Earths, take a walk around the Sacred Lake and drop in on some unbelievable islands, such as the Île aux Cerfs and Îlot Gabriel. Sundowner cruises leave every evening while dolphin-spotting trips leave each morning. Suffice to say, you won’t be short on options.

The rooms themselves range from basic to brilliant, and it’s definitely worth paying for the upgrade. While the Superior and Deluxe are kitted out with everything you’ll need to make your stay comfortable, the 15 Clubrooms come complete with balconies and a more generous sense of space. If you’re planning on spending some real time in your room, opt for a Club and you won’t be sorry. They’re far more inviting places to while away some sun-drenched time. Clubrooms also include free entrance to the spa area of the hotel. This is a major perk.

The spa area is a dreamy patch of the Aanari Hotel. Up on the rooftop, far from the bustle of the street below with views across to the mist-swirled hills, there’s no better place to relax. As well as a full-range of massages and body treatments, the spa areas boasts 2 jacuzzi baths with panoramic backdrops. Grab something bubbly to sip on, head for the spa and spend a few hours in jacuzzi-soaked bliss. While Clubroom guests can use the jacuzzis free of charge, other room types will need to book a treatment or pay an entrance fee to the area. It’s worth it either way. Trust me.

Evenings are an upbeat affair at Aanari, with live music playing almost every night and a really varied buffet to boot. The theme of the buffet changes on a weekly basis, so if you stay for seven nights you’re guaranteed a surprise every day. Breakfast is beautifully laid-back, with a wide range of choices and local coffee that will certainly set you up for the day. The quality of cuisine across both dinner and breakfast is unwaveringly tasty, so you’re sure to eat well. Don’t forget to try the local favourites – the coconut tapioca is to die for.

So, while you might not get postcard-perfect peace here, the beach is inviting, the water is warm and the hotel is brilliantly affordable. If you’re after serenity, you’ll need a different stretch of sand, but fun-loving couples, groups of friends and good-time travellers will have a blast staying here. While Flic and Flac might be a love or hate destination, Aanari is a great choice for all. It’s a calm hideaway in a otherwise hedonistic setting, and a lovely place to rest your head.

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Going To South Africa in 2015? Book Before Christmas If You Can!

Paul Campbell - December 12, 2014

Here’s a top tip for anyone planning on going to South Africa on holiday next year – think about booking before Christmas if you can!

Mid-December is always something of a slow period for holiday bookings as people (understandably) focus on the upcoming Christmas festivities…however as soon as the turkey has gone cold and the extended family have dispersed, thoughts turn to next year’s holidays and it gets very busy from 26th or 27th December right the way through January and February.

This means that anyone booking before the rush starts will get a better choice of flights and hotels: and with the South African Rand currently sitting at around ZAR 18 to the British Pound you will also be getting the best possible price.

For example, we have 14 nights in South Africa including Cape Town, The Winelands, The Garden Route and a 3 nights at a private safari lodge from only £767 per person (excluding flights).  At the moment, availability is very good and the exchange rate means that this amazing trip is a real bargain.

So why not think about getting next year’s holiday sorted out now? You will have a better choice of holidays and will be getting excellent value for money…and you can then settle down to enjoy the whole of the Christmas period knowing you’ve got an amazing holiday to look forward to in 2015!

Ho Ho Ho!

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