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

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126 Reviews

  • 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!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Georgina Mackintosh

    Fantastic experience

    This trip exceeded my expectations. It was exceptional in pretty much every aspect. The variety and quantity of animals we saw were exceptional - thanks to our brilliant guide, the locations we camped in and the high quality of local guides and trackers. The back up team made wild camping an amazingly comfortable experience - putting up and dismantling our tents, transporting all our luggage and producing the most delicious and satisfying meals from an open fire and the ' magic' kitchen in the back up vehicle. The long distance travel in the open sided safari truck was a bit of a trial at times but all part of the the Botswana experience and outweighed by the arrival at a beautiful location to camp.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, but the Okavango Delta and Moremi stand out in terms of places and animals but the simplicity of the whole wild camping experience, with no wi-fi, no 'modern' amenities and rising at sunrise and going to bed after sunset was the most wonderful antidote to the mania of our lives. Truly magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngande's experience, knowledge and organisation were exceptional - and he is a really nice guy too! He was good humoured, sensitive to individuals needs and made us feel very safe - especially when up close to the animals!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want an adventure that removes you totally from the stresses of modern life this is an ideal trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only criticism I have is that I really didn't like the hard sales talk we had on activities available on arrival at Victoria Falls. After a very long day's travelling it was the last thing we wanted! !
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Ann Stobbs

    Wildlife & wilderness of Botswana

    It was such a memorable adventure - seeing cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs, not forgetting elephants who seemed to like wandering around our camp at night ! The wild camping made it possible to be part of their world which was a real privilege. The camp staff were excellent and I just loved Botswana. All together one of the best holidays I have been on .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing cheetahs ,leopards, wild dogs, and all the other animals- Having elephants wandering around our camp... The okovango- Beating a hasty retreat from a rather cross elephant - Discovering I like birds - Space light & warmth of Botswana

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a scarf - the long drives got a bit windy - def take binoculars- It says there are ATM s at Victoria Falls which is correct but not one had any money in them so take small dollar notes (Not a big deal but don't rely on them) Otherwise the trip notes are comprehensive ..

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a minor thing about being met on the group flight. We were not clear whether we were being met at JBURG as well as Maun- just needs making it a bit clearer that you won't be met at the transit but at Maun.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Maggie Murfitt

    Fully Supported Camping

    The trip itself is absolutely wonderful I will definitely go back to South Africa. However, our crew didn’t give us a Fully Supported Camping service. We were expected to ‘help’ which meant that couples were expected to do their own. I was on my own after paying for a single supplement which meant they left me until other holiday makers helped (or did) my tent for me. That really upset me and made me feel guilty. I am not lazy, I am 60 years old and I had NO intention or expectation of having to do my own tent, that’s why I booked the Fully Serviced trip. Other than that the food was good and pleantyful. The tents and ‘off the ground’ beds were really comfortable and it was a truly remarkable, fantastic trip. The optional activities pricing on the trip notes needs updating so bring some extra dosh.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the animals in their natural habitat. Etosha was fantastic and Chobe was brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Extra dosh for the optional. Zimbabwe has a bit of a cash problem so get your dollars before you get there. When we crossed the bridge to Zambia to see the falls from tha5 side the people were asking us for pens, pencils and paper for the children so if you have any room in your bag please bring some for them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Drink gallons of water! None of us had any tummy problems from the food but heat exhaustion will make you really sick if you don’t drink enough and take in extre salt. Other than what I have said, I’m sure you will have a brilliant experience in Africa.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Maggie for her feedback, although we are sorry she was expected to pitch and break down her own tent, as her trip was booked on as a fully serviced camping tour.  We would like to offer our sincere apologies for any upset or embarrassment this caused.  We have discussed this with our local team.  We would also like to assure anyone considering joining this trip in the future that from 2019 all departures will be run on a ‘participatory’ basis.  It is our hope that this will ensure that other customers do not encounter similar uncertainty or disappointment, and this will also have the benefit of allowing the trip to be run more efficiently and with less time spent at camp in the mornings and evenings.

     

    We will be reviewing the information provided regarding the prices for optional activities and expect these to be reflective of the local costs by the time the 2019 season starts.  Regrettably, while we endeavour to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information, these can change with little notice.  We are, however, genuinely sorry that Maggie’s experience was not so positive.  John Penge- Product Manager

  • Reviewed November 2018
    wendy pomfrett

    what an adventure

    I am absolutely not a camping person so this holiday was a challenge for me but the lack of luxury was well worth the up close and personal experience with the wild life. Our leader, Anton, and his amazingly efficient and friendly crew worked miracles under difficult conditions to make our lives as comfortable as possible. The food was varied and plentiful - quite remarkable given that most of it was cooked on an open fire. If you want to really see Africa, forego the comfort of the lodges and do it this way!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The moment when a pride of lions appeared from the bush and marched single file past our vehicle. The whole delta experience in the first few days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional and knowledgeable. He had excellent leadership skills which meant that the whole team worked efficiently and were at all times upbeat and happy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is wild Africa - do not expect comfort so every little thing - a bush shower, a cold drink - will be a bonus. There is necessarily quite a lot of free time in the baking middle of the day so take a pack of cards or a travel game......and LOTS of wet wipes The vehicle is perfect for watching wild life but, if you are in any way incapacitated, it is not easy to get into it. Also be prepared for a long and very windy drive one day for which the vehicle is not best suited so take a scarf or buff to cover your mouth.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday is a real adventure. It is not easy to sleep at night as the bush is noisy and very hot but all this is worth it for the amazing wild life on your doorstep -and sometimes in your camp!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    beverley wynne

    Cape Town to Vic Falls

    We thoroughly enjoyed this adventure! Our driver guides Jonathan and Ante worked long hours driving us and cooking our food, they were humorous and informative keeping 16 of us in line. Our group was a great bunch which made the driving times (which are VERY LONG) quite fun. There is a lot of "Bushy Bushy" stops along the way. All the accommodations were great. The only complaint I would have is that the ":Stevie" bus was not Air Conditioned, it was a very HOT drive in the Namibian Desert with no AC. Also no one was told there would be an extra cost for the safari drives in Etosha Park which was $100.00 US each. I also feel the amounts of money in the Trip Notes is way off base, you will need a lot more than what is recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chobe and Etosha Park

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Jonathan and Ante were Fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above notes
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Adrian Fingleton

    Wonderful trip but not for the faint-hearted

    My wife and I did the trip in the latter part of September 2018, and Anthony was our guide. We had a great group of 12 - we all gelled well and sort of 'looked out' for one another. Which is important when you are spending all day every day with each other. Our crew (Anthony + 3 companions) were very engaging, kind, helpful (re 'what was that bird' and more) and generally kept the show on the road. We saw amazing wildlife pretty much everywhere we went. The food was really excellent - and surprisingly varied. Having said that - the 'warning' - you spend 13 days on the road. Many of them are true wild camping. No running water, hole-in-the-ground toilets. It's hot and dusty. Sometimes at night animals wander thru the camp. You think twice before going to the loo (but you do, eventually and inevitably, go)... And it's enormous fun - great experiences, great company, great photo opportunities, and nature in the raw. But you will come back tired. It's part of the deal...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several highlights - the mokoro trip into the Okavango delta, swimming in the river, the game walks on foot there, the flight (optional) we took over the delta. And then, beyond that, the opportunities to see Leopard, Wild Dogs (several times) and the Chobe wetlands by (optional) boat tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He (Anthony) was great. Patient, effective, great at spotting animals, looked after everyone, kept the crew moving and generally nothing he could not fix. Excellent group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just bring the stuff you are told to - like a head torch (essential), power banks, spare camera batteries, old clothes, shampoo, etc - you will be roughing it, so anything that makes your life a bit easier is worth having. Flip flops are good too. There are just a few days with very long drives, so you just grit your teeth and bear it. Other days are not too challenging. Bring some added salts like Dioralyte - you will sweat a lot so you need to keep replenishing fluid levels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One thing that we found a bit difficult was getting in and out of the 12 man open sided truck that was our home for 13 days. There are footholds for getting in and out, but it can be tricky. And if you have long legs, the front row is a bit problematic because you cant slide your legs under the seat in front. But it is a great platform for viewing game and everyone manages to get a photo in the end :-)
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Ann Sambrook

    An amazing journey

    This is an amazing journey through different climates as you head due north into the sun. A stunning landscape which is continuously changing plus amazing encounters with animals and birds in the parks. Even in our tents at night we were entertained by the sounds of elephants, hippos and night jars and in Victoria Falls the distant thundering of the falls. Towards the end of the trip you can also engage with locals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moments. Standing on top of the Big Daddy Dune, rhinos illuminated by a waterhole at night, elephants playing in water, the best apple crumble in the middle of the desert. A loo with an amazing view over the Fish River Canyon, Hippos in the night, Vic Falls in the first light of the morning, Quad biking in the dunes at Swakopmund, birds, birds and more birds, Helicopter over the Falls,.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guides, led by Justin, worked incredibly hard to ensure we could enjoy the journey.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were never hungry (Justin was a great cook), we slept well (stretcher beds with mattresses) and there were frequent comfort breaks even if there were no facilities only a “bushi bushi “ and the desert does not always have those! We were with a great bunch of people who were all prepared for the conditions and developed a good camaraderie. We took South African Rand with us which was also accepted throughout Namibia, one for one. In Zimbabwe any currency is accepted as they don’t have their own. US dollars is easiest . You need USD cash for the border visa and for anything the guide takes you to as a group, although credit cards are widely accepted. But we could not obtain cash anywhere, even directly from the banks. Optional extras at Victoria Falls not to be missed – afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, really good value with stunning views of the distant “smoke” from the falls and the sinking sun changing colours, the Outlook café for snacks and meals with stunning views and the screams of zip liners! At Vic Falls in late August the Devil’s pool and boiling pot hike were not available as the water was still too high at 35% of full capacity. There is so much to do and see here, and you won’t want this trip to end – we stayed on a couple days at the Vic Falls rest camp.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our only disappointment was that one of the highlights, as per the trip notes, had not been booked – the 3 nights inside the national park to see animals at the waterhole at night time. However, our guide told us about this en route and a contact direct to Exodus did ensure we had one night at a waterhole. Something worth confirming in advance as this highlight is not to be missed. Not only does it mean you can see animals at night but also you are already well inside the park in the morning to catch early sightings.