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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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123 Reviews

  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alison Kett

    Unforgettable Trip

    First time to Africa, didn’t know what to expect, but loved every minute, honestly cannot recommend enough. These are two very beautiful countries with such contrasting scenery. It was great to explore whilst still having the comfort of staying in beautiful lodges. Each one bought its own quirks, character and wildlife and I really liked being able to relax by the pool or at the bar in-between activities and in the evenings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were just too many incredible moments to single out one. Two stand-out moments for me include being within a few metres of five white Rhino and coming across a male and female lion by the side of the road. The absolute highlight of the trip though was our time in the Delta. I was apprehensive before going (camping/toilets/showers) but was blown away by the whole experience and wish we had stayed longer. Being able to hear lions roaring in the distance, having around 15 elephants wading through the water within metres of our camp both during the day and at night, coming across painted dogs running around and playing on one of our walks, learning to pole a mokoro and meeting the lovely people from a local village who looked after us so well. I especially loved visiting their village afterwards and they were so grateful for the stationary and toys that we took for the children.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The whole trip was flawlessly executed and that was down to Rowan (our leader) and Sifiso (our driver). Rowan was very well organised and always helped us to get the most out of our experience . He kept us well entertained on the long drives with quiz games and spotting wildlife, had excellent knowledge of all the birds and animals we came across and if there was anything he didn’t know he had many reference books to look up information. He also cooked up some delicious food when we camped in the Delta (my favorites being the “Delta” cake). Sifiso drove superbly the entire trip over what were sometimes very rough roads. We all really enjoyed Rowan and Sifisos company and can’t thank them enough for making such an unforgettable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more money for tipping. There are so many lovely people who can’t do enough for you and we got slightly caught out by not having enough cash and it wasn’t easy to get hold of more. If you decide to do the night safari in Hwange, invest in a really good torch.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was an unforgettable experience. Writing this review three weeks on, and I’m still suffering from “holiday blues”.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Shelley Napper

    Amazing Adventure

    It’s hard to put into words how amazing the Exodus’ Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari experience is. I knew this would be a trip with a difference, but this African adventure went beyond my wildest dreams.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two nights wild camping was, for me, the most daunting part of the trip and ended up being my absolute highlight – elephants water-crossing near camp, wild dogs playing and of course the smooth relaxing, mokoro trips. However, wild camping in the Okavango Delta is only one of a multitude of highlights that this trip has to offer -every day offers something amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    While I’m sure any trip in Africa could be amazing, it was the Exodus team members that made our extraordinary trip what it was – unforgettable! Rowan (our leader) and Sifiso (our driver) went above and beyond to ensure that this once in a lifetime experience was beyond all expectations. Their wealth of experience was demonstrated through their expansive local knowledge, smooth organisation and the ease with which everything was accomplished. Rowan’s energy, generosity and wide array of interests meant that many experiences had a personal touch – just one of many examples being the drone footage he generously took and gave to our group, recorded memories of something so special I cannot thank him enough. Sifiso’s calm, friendly nature and superior driving skills made comfortable and safe driving days and provided the relaxed atmosphere a trip like this deserves. Rowan and Sifiso, I cannot thank either of you enough!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I look forward to future Exodus adventures.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Kathleen Ramsey

    An exciting three-week trip

    This was a wonderful introduction to Southern Africa. Although there were some long days travelling, the constantly changing scenery in Namibia was a delight, and we gained an appreciation of the vastness and emptiness of the country. The bus was noisy but not uncomfortable, and with eleven members of the party, there was plenty of room for us to move around. We had a brief introduction to the Cape Town area, then travelled north firstly through farmland in South Africa, and then through the wonderful Namibian desert scenery before spending a few days observing the wild animals in Etosha (Namibia) and then in Chobe (Botswana). Victoria Falls made a spectacular end to our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My main reason for choosing this trip was to see the desert landscape in Namibia and visit Victoria Falls, both of which exceeded my expectations. The scenery in Sossusvlei and Deadvlei was spectacular. However, I was bowled over by the variety of wildlife we saw on game drives in Etosha, and very much enjoyed observing the interactions between animals at the waterholes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonathan (our leader) and Molifi (our driver) made a good team. They were well-organised and despite being on duty virtually all the time, they were both unfailingly cheerful and helpful. They prepared some excellent lunches and suppers for us, and did their best to make sure that we got the most out of our African experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unemployment is very high in Zimbabwe and most people are very poor; we left all our partly-used toiletries, dressings, basic medicines and even some clothing to be distributed by a local charity. Had we realised how short most people are of basic necessities, we would have made sure we had more with us to leave there. Zimbabwe is expensive and cash is not available from ATMs. The border crossing into Zimbabwe was frustrating, and we had to queue for well over two hours in the hot sun. Make sure you are adequately prepared for the wait (sunscreen, hats, drinks).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The optional visit to a village settlement in northern Namibia was sobering but worth experiencing. On our free day in Swakopmund, we booked on the morning Living Desert tour, which was worth doing, despite the early start. We chose to go over into Zambia on our free day in Victoria Falls, to see the cascades from the other side. It was well worth the effort, as you can get closer to the falls and can climb down to the river side at Boiling Pot, as well as visit the top of the falls. Taking or hiring a waterproof can limit the extent of the inevitable soaking.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Stephen Newey

    An amazing adventure in Botswana

    Our adventure in Botswana was the most incredible experience we have ever encountered. The guides were amazing. Their knowledge of all things growing or living in this beautiful country was boundless. They were all extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble, always going the extra mile to ensure that we got the most out of our trip. Our cook produced the most delicious recipes and all on an open fire with a few pots and pans. Wild camping definitely gave us a flavour of actually being amongst the wildlife. We saw all the species of animals and birdlife that anyone could wish for. A trip across the border to Zimbabwe took us to the breath-taking Victoria Falls. So majestic yet so powerful. It would be remiss of me not to mention our two main guides, Ngande and Mello. They were incredibly caring and thoughtful towards our needs, always ensuring that our safari experience was the best that it could possibly be. Finally, we are so grateful to Exodus for arranging what proved to be the adventure of a lifetime and one which we will never forget.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The entire experience was inspirational but the most emotional moment for me happened on a morning game drive, when we came across a beautiful male leopard sitting majestically on top of a grassy mound. Needless to say that my camera was red hot that day. The previous morning drive was a lovely misty morning when we encountered a small pride of lions. One of the shots I took was perfect. I called it "Lions in the Mist"

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was an amazing man called Ngande Mosepele. His knowledge of wildlife and birdlife was boundless. He was so caring and kind to everyone, always making sure that each of our group, regardless of our individual interests, got the most out of our trip. He also had a great sense of humour. We all agreed that we couldn't have had a better leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If anyone is undecided over whether or not this type trip is for you. Don't think twice. Just do it. I promise you won't be disappointed. If like us, you have never been on safari before, choose "Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana" It will be an adventure you will never forget!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I don't think there is anything I can add that I haven't already said. This fulfilled our every wish and much much more. I have purposely not used the word holiday in any part of this review. This was not a holiday, it was an incredible adventure, and one which my wife and I will never forget.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Entwistle

    Great Holiday

    A most interesting and enjoyable trip with good company and plenty of wildlife to see. The safaris enabled us to see lions on 3 separate occasions, a leopard up a tree and a 'crash' of 5 white rhinoceros asleep under a tree as well as elephants on land and swimming. We stayed under canvas but with en-suite facilities except at the Okavango Delta. The visit to Victoria Falls at the end of the trip was impressive the scale of them is huge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two nights camping at the Okavango Delta which we reached by mokoro (dug out canoes) being poled by local villagers. This was experiencing real Africa.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was knowledgeable and helpful as well as an excellent cook during the camping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your camera protected by waterproof bags to Victoria Falls you will get some amazing pictures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Entwistle

    Great Holiday

    A most interesting and enjoyable trip with good company and plenty of wildlife to see. The safaris enabled us to see lions on 3 separate occasions, a leopard up a tree and a 'crash' of 5 white rhinoceros asleep under a tree as well as elephants on land and swimming. We stayed under canvas but with en-suite facilities except at the Okavango Delta. The visit to Victoria Falls at the end of the trip was impressive the scale of them is huge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two nights camping at the Okavango Delta which we reached by mokoro (dug out canoes) being poled by local villagers. This was experiencing real Africa.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was knowledgeable and helpful as well as an excellent cook during the camping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your camera protected by waterproof bags to Victoria Falls you will get some amazing pictures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Michael Freestone

    Swimming in the cool pools of the Okavango Delta

    It was hot and sticky. But swimming in the Okavango Delta, cruising on the Chobe River, seeing a multitude of birds and hearing hippos in the distance made up for the mild discomfort. We travel to get under a country's skin, experience the culture and local hospitality. Our trip to Matabeleland and visiting Cecil Rhodes' memorial was captivating; there in the wild, silent, rocky countryside, with lizards scurrying around and baboons barking in the distance was inspiring.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were two wonderful experiences. Firstly getting soaked to the skin walking through the mist and spray by the Victoria Falls. And secondly, seeing at least five rhinos snoozing under the shade of a mopane tree with gentle puffs of dust arising as they snorted and slept in the heat of the afternoon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan Moon was just what I expected. A very sociable young chap with an Afrikaan accent who looked after our small group very well. He makes exceptional cakes by a camp fire and an excellent vegetarian stew which he seemed to conjure up from nowhere. He even flew his drone and shared some fascinating aerial shots of us canoeing in mokoros in the Delta.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for long road trips and try to go to Vic Falls twice. Once to get thoroughly soaked and second to take your cameras avoiding the wettest spots to record the atmosphere and thunder!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have preferred to travel from Kasane to Maun on roads which went through African villages as opposed to going in a direct line from A to B. Having travelled to various African countries the experience of stopping in villages enhances memories ie the wood smoke, the people and buying local snacks from produce stalls along the way. Lastly, when visiting Hwange NP the tour was split in two which was enjoyable but the pm tour took us on the same route as in the am.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Alison Brown

    Incredible adventure

    Absolutely fantastic trip, amazing chances to see wildlife close up and lie awake at night trying to identify the animal noises and how close by they could be!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all incredible. The Mokoro rides were so serene and otherworldly. Watching hippo from them was something I will never forget. The safari walks were expertly guided by a man with just a stick and it was an absolute privilege to be able to walk and see zebra, buffalo, giraffes, elephants and so much more in their natural environment. In the 4x4s we were able to get up close to animals and spent 2 hours watching 2 cheetah brothers chilling out under a tree. We were also blessed to see a young leopard and spend time watching her eat and sleep. Parking close to lions eating a wildebeest was incredible, though those of us on the nearer side of the truck had years scared off our lives when another closer male lion went a bit vocal with his lioness which none of us were expecting! Seeing baby elephants, elephants playing in the water and spraying dust everywhere was just incredible. Giraffes fighting, hippos "smiling" and laughing, ostriches running, jackals stretching, zebras dazzling and eagles soaring were just some highlights. But, really, every day was a highlight bringing new fabulous sights and experiences and the whole trip was truly inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenny - chilled and laid back. A good sense of humour and fantastic knowledge of birds and animals. He has a real passion for his job and the wildlife he sees

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring sandals for mokoro (in case you have to get out) and 4x4 (cooler) wear neutral coloured long sleeves and trousers for walks to protect from thorns Up before the sun and in bed by sunset. Only the very bravest will want to visit the bushy bushy at night (women bring she-wee and bottle if you need to) Once you are in your tent at night you are advised not to use your head torch so be tidy and prepare things when it's light to avoid scrambling in the dark Bring cards and gamble freely with seed pods and sticks! Dobble also good fun Bring imperial mints, werthers originals and foxes mints to share in truck. Jelly babies will not survive the heat, neither will minstrels sadly!! Write down what you see every day as the days are so packed that it's hard to remember everything by the end of the trip Buy a good camera with a good zoom (it's so worth it!!). Then make friends with person on trip who can show you how to use it! There are no doors on the truck, you will have to be able to climb up the sides and swing your legs over to get in and out - be prepared to scramble This is a camping trip - it is basic and you have to make the best of what there is on site. Do not expect to be able to walk outside the camp when wild camping. Opportunities to stretch your legs are limited to getting on and off the truck. Listen to your guides. This is a wildlife trip and there will be wild animals poking about the camp site at night (honey badgers, hyena, elephants) and possibly during the day (elephants!!). Be sensible and try to appreciate the experience once the abject terror of having been woken by a noise settles down!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keep an open mind. Be prepared for anything and enjoy!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Janeen Olsen

    Perfect relaxing holiday. Sit back and take in the views!

    I had initially signed up for the trip because it fit my travel schedule and I wanted to see the African scenery and animals, but I got so much more from the experience. I was amazed at how striking the landscapes were as we traveled through different geological features, deserts, rock formations, bush, jungles, and waterfalls. It seemed every 100 miles the views were changing. Even though the drives between camping sites were sometimes long, I was never bored. The animal drives did not disappoint, and to see a pride of lions in the natural environment is a moment that will stay with me forever. But beyond what I was looking at, I also felt I was able to relax, have fun, let my guard down, and just be in the moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Viewing the animals up close, a hippo gracefully gliding into the water, a male lion gently playing with his 3 cubs, several giraffes awkwardly bending to reach the water, black rhinos at night at the waterhole. And zebras, and baboons, and so many birds I can't remember them all. Just a few of the memories I will cherish forever. So many sunrises and sunsets that took my breath away. The most surprising for me was Namibia because I really didn't have a good impression of the country before the trip and I didn't know what to expect. I was amazed at the variety of the desert landscapes. The enormous gorge of the Fish Canyon, the blinding white sands of the Etosho pan, the magical red sand dunes we slid down, it was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our 3 leaders were Jonathan, Andy and Sylvia. Each one was terrific in their own way. As one of the older, single travelers in the group, they really made an extra effort to look out for me and make sure I was comfortable. I had mentioned that I loved to start the morning with coffee just as soon as I woke up. Every morning afterwards Andy was up early and had the hot water going so I could have my morning coffee as soon as I emerged from my tent. I mentioned that I was having trouble with the zipper on my tent, the next thing I know Jonathan gave me his tent to use instead. When we put up and took down our tents, one of the guides always miraculously appeared to help me. Sylvia has a wealth of knowledge on the plants and animals and as she rode back with us, could answer our questions as we travelled. Perhaps the only advice I have for the guides is that sometimes they would give us a lot of instructions for the next day, times to be ready, things to bring, etc. that it was easy to forget some of the details and to be sure to remind travelers often.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring the best camera you can afford and know how to use. The opportunities for photographs are unbelievable. I left wishing I could have captured the animals better than I was able with my iPhone but fortunately some of my fellow travelers shared their photos after the trip. Bring a pillow and light blanket or sleep sack. Many nights my sleeping bag felt a little too warm and I was glad I had a light sleep sack with me. I used the laundry at the campsite but not all my clothes made it back to me. It is better to bring slightly older, worn clothes and shoes and gift them at the end of the trip instead of bringing expensive clothes. Bring US dollars for Zimbabwe. Coming from the US I had plenty with me but some of the other travelers were scrambling to get them in Namibia because the ATMs in Zimbabwe had run out of dollars. I had purchased an electrical plug for South Africa, but a UK type was needed for Zimbabwe and I could not charge while camping there. The vehicle as USB outlets so it wasn't a huge problem while we were on the road, but for charging devices I also found my external batteries invaluable. Wifi was available but slow, and even though I had a data plan, cell coverage was spotty and slow. I wish I had downloaded more audio books as reading on the vehicle made me carsick. Budget for activities in Victoria Falls as there is not much to do if you don't book tour activities. I did the white water rafting and helicopter ride, as well as evening dinner cruise and others in our group did everything from village tours, lion adventure and bunging jumping. All were fantastic. Finally, as for dietary restrictions, be very specific about what you do and don't eat. As an (almost) vegan I found they were able to cook for me without any difficulty and I ate very well on the trip, but the guides can't be expected to know what everyone will or will not eat unless you tell them in advance. So if you don't like fish, bones in food, mushy food, spicy food, processed foods, or mayonnaise, etc. just let them know in advance.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am really glad I did this trip and would recommend it as a leisurely way of seeing a lot of southern Africa. I was spoiled with a relatively small group of friendly travelers and our vehicle (named George), was roomy and we each had a window seat. Larger groups may not find the vehicle quite as comfortable. Expect long, relaxing drives looking out the window and admiring the views, and don't expect a lot of physical activity on the trip. If you want to see African animals is the wild, this trip is for you.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Tracey Lawrence

    It's not a holiday , it's an adventure!

    5421in across 5 countries (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia). Cites, deserts, seaside destinations, vineyards and grasslands, national parks, rivers, waterfalls, boats, animals, birds, tents up, tents down, canyons, massive insects, being dirty, early rises for stunning sunrises and view points for reflecting the day as sunsets, incredible storms, an amazing group......it was one hell on an adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I just embraced the whole experience. Seeing lions again close up was just as exciting as the first time 6 years ago. The size and powerful spectacular Victoria Falls was breath taking and I recommend the helicopter flight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 3 leaders to 7 of us doing cooking and driving. All the leaders were friendly but Andy stood out doing the majority of cooking and driving. He was also great at animal spotting . My only comment would be that the guides did not talk much about the countries history and the people. Sylvia did open up when asked a question and was very knowledgeable, Jonathan came alive at Victoria Falls which was his home...just wish he had been that talkative and passionate throughout the trip. All meals in camp were varied and very tasty. They catered for all appetites and I couldn't fault the food prepared in camp and lunch on the road..... Just don't mention the mayonnaise 😂.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Comfy clothes for long drives. Our truck had plenty of USB charge points for devices. High strength deet. Expect to be dirty 😊 although facilities at all camp sites were sufficient. Whilst you are expected to put your tent up and down, we had a great group and all helped each other, as well as Jonathan and Andy our guides lending a hand. Take US dollars for Zimbabwe before you leave. No safety deposit on truck to use so we had to carry passport and valuable s at all times despite previous trips having had a safe box for use.our Expect early starts. the trip lacked engagement with people and culture.....but plenty of dramatic landscapes and wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Embrace and enjoy this adventure.....it was awesome!