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Walter and Connie Yacht from Atlanta USA.

We were expecting 2 guests from America to arrive some time around 17h00 pm, as time was passing we were getting worried as we haven’t heard from them and it was getting dark. At around 19h30 they arrived, as we rushed to meet them, we were greeted with high spirits and a flood of words; they got lost on their way to Hartbeespoortdam from the airport as the GPS they got from the car rental company wasn’t working.

“What an adventure we had, we lost our way and we had to stop several times along the road to ask for directions.” So the story unfolded of  how they were helped along the road and how they met some friendly local south africans who helped them on their way to us. 

It was such a relief to just know they were safe!  We as south africans always expect the worst (can anyone blame us?) – but they arrived unscathed!

Interestingly enough,  our guests shared with us how they’d done their research on South Africa and that they could not find one positive thing about South Africa. Everyone the spoke to, every article they read was just negative; they expected to be raped as they exit the airport and to be highjacked before they arrive in Hartbeespoortdam!

After a few days in South Africa they were so suprised to experience the warm hospitality and friendlyness of our country and the local people.

Here are some of the positive things they had experienced:

1.  They got lost in the dark from the airport and all along the road were people assisting them to find their way.  Sometimes they stopped along the road and local people gave them directions, and yes they arrived safely at the Guest House.

2.  They found our MacDonalds of a high standard, much better quality than in America.  Our guest went every morning early to MacDonalds to buy his favourite coffee and even helped the staff to unlock their front door as the ladies struggle to get it opened one morning.  He became one of the first faces to meet them in the morning.  He was so impressed with the service and friendly staff that helped him in the morning. 

3.  We booked them for a dinner at Silver Orange Bistro one evening and ask the owner of the restuarant to look after our guests.  What a suprised they had when the owner Leon went out of his way to serve some of South Africa’s favourite dishes and meats for them, as Leon is also a wine collector, they had some special wines to taste.  They were so impressed with the excellent service they received.

4.  Our American guests were so grateful for the service of a car guard, they could not believe what a positive service this is to motorist.  They were telling us while shopping at the supermarket in Atlanta, someone broke into their car and stole the radio from their car.  I was quite suprised to hear this and they were going on about how useful these car guards would be in America.

5.  We booked them a game drive at Sun City for 11h00 am in the morning and told the tour operator that they are from America and will be driving on their own and that we have assisted them with a GPS to find their way.  Our guests was to be at the departure point at 10h45 and so be it, late.  To their suprise when they have arrived at 11h15 at the departure point the tour guide was still waiting for them, friendly and patiently.  Our guests were greatfull and was looking forward to their experience in the park.  To their suprise the tour operator has decided to give them an extra 1h30 drive , no charge.  When they arrived back the evening at the guest house they could not stop talking about their great experience, service and friendliness they experienced with the tour operator and the tour guides.

6.  They booked a tour at Canopy Tours and off they went for the day,  the staff and tour guides were so friendly and let them feel very important. They were looked after and felt at all times safe and cared for.  Once again the local people were friendly and could not do enough to make our guests feel at home.

7. We had long conversations about South Africa and America and to see the faces of our guests when arriving back from a day exploring, that was rewarding.  What they experience every day was completly different from what the media and internet was telling them.  As they said, they travel 200 days of the year and have visited many countries and in each and every country there is problems, crime and dangers.  But the experience they had was just the oppisite in South Africa.

8.  South African’s made them laugh, as they were driving one day, they passed a small ” motor bakkie” that have loaded a trailor on its cabb.  They just had to take some picture to show people back home, for they have never seen a sight like that.  We laught, as this is common to see overloaded motors on our roads and then you find a sheep or cow or chickens on the roofs aswell.  Just in South Africa!

9. All over there is so much to experience in South Africa, the friendly people, different cultures, good food, our wild life, nature and the wonderfull mountains and beaches is the most beautiful in the world.  Us as South Africans tend to focus on the negative and forget how much our country has to offer.  When experiencing international tourist that completely appreciate our country and see the beauty then you feel proud and honour to be a South African.

As talking to my guest about America and remembering the 9/11 terorist attack, I experience the sadness and true hart of my American guest.  He was overcome with sadness and his eyes filled with tears, as we were remembering that day and I just realise talking to him what the effect were on him as a person and America as a nation.  Up to today I still get tears in my eyes when remembering 9/11.

 I hope that these few positive things our guests from Atlanta experience will have a positive impact on your decision when you want to travel to South Africa. 

Stirling Manor Boutique Guest House

38 Scott Street, Schoemansville, Hartbeespoort, South Africa  | Telephone:  +27 12 253 2532   | Fax: +27 12 253 2060

Copyright © 2009 - 2013 Stirling Manor. All Rights Reserved. E&OE.

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