Black Opal Travel Group Don't follow the crowd.


We have just returned from our second cricket tour and holiday with Black Opal, this time to India. We saw both the Hyderabad and the Vizag test matches, were escorted around the Golden Triangle then we had a week on our own, visiting Mumbai, Amritsar and Varanasi. While the last two destinations were not on the offered itineraries, Alex at Black Opal designed the trip to include them, providing fabulous guides who ensured we saw as much as possible.
The hotels were of the highest possible standard available, virtually all 5 star. The organisation of all aspects of the trip was outstanding. Black Opal were able to secure the best seats for the cricket, ensured we knew what we could and couldn’t take into the grounds, and provided comfortable transport to and from the grounds with VIP parking. They provided packed lunches in Vizag, brought in from a nearby hotel, however, this wasn’t permitted at Hyderabad. Here, on the first day, the stadium was late providing lunch, so our guide, Manjeet sourced the best samosas, keeping us all happy.
Alongside each test match, Black Opal hosted a welcome event, Stumps and a farewell dinner. These were all great fun and plentiful in terms of food and drink. A special mention for the Stumps event at Bot 9, across the road front the cricket ground. Analysis of the match at close of play on day 3 was informative and entertaining with Steve Harmison and Owais Shah offering their insights.
Our trip was hosted by Martin and Gladdy, who, together made the best team, taking care of all aspects of our trip. It was a privilege to watch the cricket with Gladdy who offered expert insight. Martin is constantly checking the group, having a special knack of ensuring everyone was fully included, and, of course his tremendous photography skills!
Black Opal partners on the ground, Banyan Tours, were faultless. On arrival at each airport, they provided Meet and Greet, escorting us through the airport, or changing terminal if required. Of special note was Manjeet who was with our party for the whole tour. His organisation was impeccable, and was a brilliant and knowledgeable guide during our excursions. I would also like to mention Sanjeev and Viren, who were particularly helpful at other points of the trip.
The Banyan staff who accompanied us during transfers between hotel and airports were attentive, including when we had a problem demonstrating that we had a valid ticket at Varanasi. (It is impossible to enter the airport without a ticket). Our difficulty had been anticipated, overcome and our onward travel was not disrupted. We later discovered alternative solutions had been considered, but fortunately, weren’t required.
Black Opal’s ability to offer such a luxury trip with the best hosts and high-quality partners ensured this was an outstanding trip, where nothing was too much trouble and every detail considered and taken care of. Thank you to all involved and we will definitely be travelling with Black Opal in the future.

Mandy & Paul - India Cricket Tour 2024

The expertise that we received from Keri was exceptional. Black Opal and, in particular, Keri, provides a very personalised and relaxed service without any pressure whatsoever. All the arrangements were brilliant. When we encountered an issue checking into a flight, Keri responded promptly and dealt with it.
We had a fabulous time because we knew we had a back-up team to fall back on. We would definitely use the company again. Thank you.

Tricia - Australia 2024

Fantastic service from start to finish. Alex from Black Opal was recommended by a friend and organised such a perfect holiday to the Maldives for myself and my husband that surpassed our expectations. Nothing was too much trouble, she dealt with all queries before and after booking quickly and efficiently and made us feel like her top priority. Thank you Alex, it really was a holiday of a lifetime, and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to others.

Mel Stevens, Maldives

My family and I have used Black Opal now for a couple of years and have always found them to be friendly, informative and amazingly helpful. We decided to go away over new year and within a few hours of emailing Keri at Black Opal we had a holiday booked. Keri responded with a variety of destinations, flight times, costs etc - all of which matched our brief perfectly. She made it all so easy from our point of view. Thanks to Black Opal we had a wonderful holiday and have already booked our next trip at Easter through them.

Alex Harrop, Tenerife

Black Opal were highly attentive and well organised. Keri was very helpful in coordinating all aspects of our trip and we will be happy to use their services again.

Suhail Nawaz, Iceland

We have just returned from a great holiday to Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites (so good we stayed an extra week!) Amazing service from Keri and the Black Opal - they assisted throughout the trip with Covid travel advice and updates. I will definitely be using Black Opal for my future travel plans! 

Martin Power, Madeira

We have recently returned from our honeymoon organised by Keri, where we initially went to the Maldives and then onto Italy (including a trip to the F1 Grand Prix and the Amalfi Coast – Ravello and Sorrento). It was without doubt the best holiday we’ve ever been on, complete luxury and a trip that will stay with us for a lifetime. Would really recommend- completely takes the stress out of booking a holiday (don’t know why we haven’t done this sooner…!) and we’ll definitely be booking with Black Opal in the future :)

Gemma McCabe, Italian Grand Prix & Maldives

We have the best memories of a wonderful trip both to Antigua and Nevis. Black Opal are outstanding - all the arrangements made prior to travel and the care taken of us throughout our trip was superb. Please thank all of your team who we came to regard as friends who made this an experience to remember. Special thanks to Alex and Martin for all their amazing help.

Sharon Blackgrove, Antigua & Nevis

We thoroughly enjoyed the Cape Town Test Match with Black Opal. All the arrangements and flights were handled efficiently, we joined a really friendly group of fellow supporters and the travel arrangements to and from the ground each day were impeccable. We watched the enthralling game from a hospitality box next door to the ECB box and all the facilities were first class. Gladstone Small and Jamie Smith as always were excellent hosts. Looking forward to travelling to the Caribbean with Black Opal in March for the Test Series.

Ian Morgan, South Africa

Superb trip to F1 in Abu Dhabi. Alex was our excellent host for our 4 day trip. Great communication, choice of accommodation and concierge services made this a memorable trip and would highly recommend Black Opal

Suzanne Hardy-Smith, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Great customer service. Louise was very professional, patient, efficient and paid great attention to detail in ensuring that our requirements for our holiday were fulfilled. She used her expertise, knowledge and experience to ensure that our travel to Dubai and back went smoothly. Our expectations were fully met and we had a great holiday. We would definitely recommend and will be using Black Opal again.

Ming Wilson, Dubai

Great organisation from start to finish. Keri gave us lots of different suggestions for our week away and the resort and apartment we chose were fantastic. The private transfer from airport to resort and back was so worth the money and all went exactly to plan. It is great booking with this company as you can rest assured that things will run smoothly. A great holiday and we will definitely book with Black Opal again.

Helen Eaton, Greece

My wife and I joined a hosted Black Opal trip of a lifetime to Cape Town to watch England play South Africa in the New Year’s test match. Black Opal organised everything for us to an exceptionally high standard from flights, local transportation and accommodation. They also arranged our onward trip along the Garden route to Fancourt and Plettenberg Bay. Their staff were very helpful and had very good local knowledge and could advise us where to go, sites to see and restaurants to dine in! We would certainly recommend them for future sporting events that they promote around the world along with any other regular holiday destinations.

David Lansdowne, South Africa

Keri, and the Black Opal team, were very helpful in booking flights to help with a charity trip to Ethiopia and Malawi earlier this year. Four surgeons travelled to east Africa for 3 weeks to help mentor local surgeons perform some complex surgery to help young men return to supporting their families, in some of the poorest countries in the world. Black Opal kept us abreast with the constantly changing flight plans in a complex series of journeys, and did this at the least cost to Urolink, our host charity. Although there was a lot of work, there was also some down time, and we hope you enjoy a few images we gathered during our visit to this beautiful part of the world.

Steve Payne, Ethiopia & Malawi

We have recently been to a few sporting occasions (rugby and horse racing) with Black Opal and each trip has been outstanding. Kath Morris is a gem: her attention to detail and overall customer service is second to none. I cannot commend their service too highly.

Fiona Knight, Cheltenham Races

Black Opal is an excellently run travel group. Our interest is in cricket tours and we had a wonderful trip to South Africa and I am looking forward to the West Indies in March. I would recommend the group unreservedly. 

John Adams, South Africa

Jody organised an amazing experience at the Imola F1 Grand Prix with only a weeks notice! From flights, hotel, connections all weekend and to the brilliant hospitality in a Paddock Club suite. It was such a fantastic 3 days, we had so much fun and not an ounce of stress thanks to Jody, Kath and the Black Opal team. More memories to cherish. Thank you!!

John Burgess, Italian Grand Prix

My wife and I recently went to Santorini. We booked through Keri at Black Opal Travel in Hale who made the experience of "jumping through the Covid hoops" easy and stress free. We would certainly recommend Keri, we had a wonderful holiday and we're so pleased we made the decision to go when so many are reluctant to book a foreign holiday because of all the requirements around Covid.

Michael Jefferies, Santorini

Thank you to Louise at Black Opal Travel Group for helping to create a wonderful break to Valletta, with stylish hotel, excellent location and seamless transfers. It made for a stress free experience and we would definitely use the services of this company again.

Sarat Broughton, Malta

Just back from a wonderful break at the Victoria Gran Melia in Palma, organised for us by Black Opal. This was a perfect location overlooking the Harbour with views of the Cathedral, and ideally placed to explore this fascinating city. Everything went smoothly thanks to the care and attention of the Black Opal team.

Nick Turner, Palma

Top quality in all respects. Personnel and in particular Keri are very helpful, knowledgeable and willing to offer guidance and solutions when tailor making a luxury holiday. We have used this company over many years and have never encountered a problem at any juncture during the booking process or indeed when we are abroad. Excellent service providers.

Philip Wharton, Oman

I enjoyed a fabulous trip to South Africa with Black Opal - great organisation throughout the trip with Gladstone and Alex as excellent hosts. Would highly recommend.

Sally Edwards, South Africa

Just enjoyed a wonderful city break in Berlin organised through Black Opal. Louise was professional, helpful and responsive. Highly recommended.

Gillian Moore, Germany

Yet again excellent service from the Team at Opal - they arranged the most wonderful trip to Lapland and I can't recommend them enough - not just for their knowledge, but also because they make life easy.

Belinda Lewis, Lapland

Excellent, expert advice from attentive staff who frequently have first hand experience of holiday locations .... Always available to provide advice as and when required

Stephen Lymn, Dubai

My Dad, Paul, travelled to South Africa on Black Opal’s cricket tour and had a fantastic time. Brilliant itinerary, so not just a trip for cricket lovers. Spectacular scenery and wildlife on the organised safaris. All travel arrangements were taken care of, both internationally and domestically. Would highly recommend Black Opal.

David Smith, South Africa

A previously hidden gem of the sports travel industry Black Opal will, I confidently predict, become the new gold standard of the industry. The Team’s years of experience and knowledge shine through constantly resulting in a slick, fun and very informal experience for everyone. I’ve watched cricket in South Africa many times before but never in such welcoming and friendly company. I can’t wait to get out to the West Indies with the Black Opal Family!!!

Toby Thomson, South Africa

From the first phone call, and the inception of our chosen destination, Alex showed niche knowledge of local conditions, potential pitfalls, and scenarios to give us maximum benefit from our time away.  

Nice variety in options quoted, competitive pricing against peers, and lots of useful guidance issued before travel. Local representatives upon arrival were exceptional and made the process fast and seamless. Nice to be contacted after arrival, by both Black Opal and local rep. High service levels.

We decided to extend our stay, and even during uncertain times the service remained very fast, and multiple options were offered, and Alex understood our needs and how to stretch even more from the trip.

The service feels truly personal, and we felt very well looked after throughout. Also, very rare to receive a call, once back home, to thank us for booking and to see what could have been improved on. The value of using a specialist travel agent, for such a trip, was demonstrated throughout the entire process and we shall continue to use Black Opal in the future.

Barbados Holiday - December 2020

Thank you so much for organising our perfect holiday in Barbados.

Given we asked at short notice for a very particular holiday to suit each of our family you executed our demands perfectly and were able to get the relaxing break we wanted while still enjoying the wide choice of high-quality restaurants and bars.
The Colony Club was a great choice matching its relaxed style with delivering excellent service. The little touches that you added like the personal greeting by your representative who on our arrival whisked us through immigration speedily to our personal ground transport are the differences that set travel companies apart.

Barbados Holiday - The Colony Club
Amazing, superb, phenomenal and that still doesn’t cover it! Thanks to Gladstone for being a great host at Madikwe Safari Lodge. It couldn’t get any better!
Madikwe Safari Lodge and tour guest

Black Opal! Wow! You really have created and made a superb holiday.

All the arrangements have been top class......all the transfers, hospitality at the ground have been excellent. Christmas Day was absolutely amazing.
I really do congratulate you for getting it so right!

South Africa V England tour - December 2019

We spent our time in the company of Gladstone and a small team of cricket fans just before and during the first Test.

He hosted us fabulously and the organised Safari at Madikwe was a great warm-up. Nothing was too much trouble.

South Africa V England tour - - January 2020

Gladstone, Alex and Jamie were all very generous, kind, helpful and welcoming throughout our tour, every detail thought of and all carried out professionally. Would certainly recommend to anyone wanting to travel with Black Opal and hope to use again!

South Africa V England tour - Dec- Jan 2019/20