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THANK YOU!!!! Our weekend away was absolutely amazing. I cannot stop talking about the wonderful service we had from Budmarsh, Bill Harrops and The Elephant Sanctuary. And thank you also to Jenna Clifford for the beautiful gift!

Budmarsh really is a gem. We were greeted with some sherry and our luggage dissappeared to our room. Our room was beautiful with a fireplace and a spa bath. And on the table… my Jenna Clifford goodie bag. I received 2 beautiful wine bottle decoraters. What a treat! After some coffee and cake in the lounge – the lounge area is lovely with tea and coffee available next to the huge fireplace – we had an afternoon nap – a rare treat for anyone with small children – and went to dinner. Dinner is a fantastic 5 course affair – and everything is tasty and beautifully presented. The service is wonderfully personal and intimate. I can honestly recommend Budmarsh to anyone.

Our hot air balloon trip was another wonderful experience. We have always wanted to do it, but have never managed to get round to it. We had almost perfect flying conditions – almost not enough wind – and the rain waited until we were having our breakfast. It was wonderful to see the planning and setting up of the balloons and the breakfast afterwards is a perfect ending to an amazing experience.

We organised to check into the Elephant Sanctuary early and joined the afternoon program on Saturday. They do amazing work with these magnificent animals – I am petrified of wild elephants, but to see these elephants interact with the people and allowing us to touch and interact with them was an eye opener. I even got a ‘kiss’ from the little one! They are extremely intelligent and when you learn about their characters and about the way an elephant herd is organised where each one has a role – you can see a lot of human characteristics in them. The ‘baby boy’ elephant – I think he is almost 3 years old – needs to be mothered and the 2 older ‘girls’ have taken up that role. Elephants are social animals and cannot function properly on their own. They also need constant touching and interaction with other elephants to grow and to thrive.

The accomodation at the Elephant Sanctuary was a huge surprise. I thought it would be quite basic and boy, were we surprised! It is absolutely lovely. We were in the Jabu suite which is enormous and awesome, but even the normal double rooms are beautifully decorated and have en-suite bathrooms. We had dinner in the lapa next to an enormous fire, and every dish was delicious. Luckily we didn’t have far to walk to get back to our suite and we had a perfect sleep after a perfect day. After grooming the elephants the next morning, breakfast was served on the deck overlooking the elephant camp and we could see how they are excersized and trained by their handlers. I can yet again recommend this to anyone – the overnight experience is the ultimate, but just to learn about these amazing elephants on the halfday program is a thrill.

Thanks to everyone at joburg.co.za for a fantastic prize! We thoroughly enjoyed it and realised again how much there is to do right on our doorstep!

Kind regards


Lee and Elsabe Albertyn

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