Most Inspirational Moment
The breadth of experience on this trip is what sets it apart. The variety of activities is excellent, from safari drives in Addo and Schotia, to coastal walks and zip lining in Tsitsikamma, to whale watching and wine tasting near Hermanus, and finally to penguins and history in Cape Town. It is impossible to pick just one moment, as we had such an amazing time throughout the trip.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Tallis was an absolutely amazing guide, very knowledgeable and always in good humour. He went out of his way to organise any and all optional trips for the group, including taking half our group to a bonus wine tasting venue just outside of Hermanus which was a fabulous way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon after whale watching. He dealt amazingly with the issues we encountered following the storms, either by re-routing our drives where the roads had been washed away or organising alternative restaurants, activities etc without us ever feeling like we were missing out. I missed the first night of the trip in Port Elizabeth due to a combination of British Airways cancelling my international flight and then the huge storm in PE preventing my plane from landing. Tallis managed to contact me when I had landed back at Joburg (after 8 hours and 4 failed attempts to land in PE) and organised to pick me up at at PE airport first thing to following morning on the group's way out of town, so I amazingly did not miss any of the actual trip, for which I am incredibly grateful. He also dealt with two lost baggage issues, arranging for them to be reunited with their owners at two points during the tour. Overall, I could not have asked for a better trip leader.
Advice for Potential Travellers
As others have mentioned, you must pick up any checked baggage in Joburg and re-check it in for the onwards flight to Port Elizabeth. Even better, travel with hand luggage only if possible - there are places on the trip that do laundry for a very reasonable fee. Do the optional extra Schotia safari drive. This small reserve is excellently run and we saw 4 of the Big 5 there (no leopard). Our experience was that Schotia was significantly better in terms of safari drive when compared to Addo. Go prepared for the unexpected and try to embrace it. We had the fall-out from the huge storms in a few places (no power in Tsitsikamma, no water in Hermanus, certain roads detoured) but none of these things had any real impact on the overall enjoyment of the tour and both Tallis and the local hotels did their best to help wherever they could. Accept that these things can happen and are out of any person's control and you will have a fabulous trip with a few bonus stories to tell.
Personally, I loved the 'forest huts' in Tsitsikamma but I know a few people preferred the less 'basic' accommodation. For me, the scenery - you are right on the sea front with crashing waves and endless viewpoints - more than made up for the more rustic accommodation.