A screen-grab of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife booking portal, which is a simple way to book and check up on bookings at any of the organisation's resorts.

I don’t like call centres. My idea of hell is making me sit on my cellphone while on hold at some call centre.

Call centres bother me so much that I don’t phone them anymore. I Tweet them my query (provided they have a Twitter account) and wait for them to get back to me.

Imagine my horror at the thought of having to phone to confirm my booking for a weekend away at the Hluhluwe/ iMfolozi Game Reserve later this month.

I had visions of hours on hold waiting for a simple “yes, sir, your booking has been made and paid for”.

While on hold, a voice prompt said I could check on the status of my message by logging on to the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife booking portal, https://bookings.kznwildlife.com. And what a fantastic suggestion that was.

The site is easy to navigate and allows you to check availability of accommodation at Ezemvelo resorts, make a booking and pay for it simply and easily. There’s no waiting for an invoice to be faxed or e-mailed, then making the transfer before faxing or e-mailing back proof. On the booking portal it’s all done in one place almost instantly.

That’s the way booking for a holiday should be: quick, painless, simple.

All you need to do is create a profile. To do that, click on the “login” tab, then “register here”. You’ll need to provide some details, after which an e-mail will be sent to you with your one-off password. When you log on, you’ll have to change your password. Then you can start navigating the site.

In my case, I had already made the booking, so after logging in, I clicked on the “my booking history” tab and there was a list of all the bookings I’d made using the site. Okay, it was just the one booking, but you get the idea.

From there I could view the invoice, which showed the balance due, gave banking details, confirmed the accommodation and dates, and gave a reference number should I need to use the call centre. There was also a button that sent that invoice to me via e-mail instantly – and because I’d logged in via e-mail, I didn’t even have to type anything.

Often the most stressful thing about a holiday is making sure that everything is sorted ahead of it. With this portal, a lot of that stress is dealt with. Nicely done, Ezemvelo. Thanks for allowing me to avoid a call centre. - Sunday Tribune