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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 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.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Greg Monahan

    A wonderful/difficult, stunning/arduous, inspirational/uncomfortable Adventure!

    This was my seventh Exodus tour. It was a trip with stunning sights--the Cape of Good Hope and Table Mountain, the dunes of the Namib desert, the incredible animals of Etosha and Chobe Parks, hippos and crocs along the Chubango River, the magnificent Victoria Falls. But this trip is not for those looking for an easy tour. The drives are long and sometimes exhausting. Tent camping is not for everyone, and there is a lot of it, and the bus for this particular trip was not appropriate--too small for a group of 16 plus 3 guides and associated equipment with no heat and no ac. Our guides (Andrew, Skoo, and Innocent) were wonderful--hard working, knowledgeable, and deeply devoted to our well-being. We also had an amenable group, and that's important, because we were in fairly close quarters to each other on this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing four lions come out of the bush toward a waterhole in Etosha Park teeming with other animals, only to see those animals part like the Red Sea to make room for their feared predators. Blasting through a stage five rapid on the lower Zambezi River. Catching magnificent African sunsets.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew was always working very, very hard. He was friendly, tolerant, incredibly knowledgeable, and devoted to making sure we had the best trip possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A good headlamp is essential as are wet wipes (packed in a ziplock bag to make sure they don't dry out). In early September, South Africa isn't just cool, it's COLD, so if you travel at that time, bring a good coat, stocking hat, and gloves (which are also important for handling the small tent hooks). Beyond Swakopmund, it gets very hot, so you have to pack for both extremes. Bring a swim suit--you'll want to use it. Also, be sure to pay extra to take the open-air 4-wheel-drive game drive in Etosha. It was worth every penny. Make sure whatever you use for a camera has a LOT of memory--you will take more photos on this trip than any other. Your sleeping bag must be comfortable, as you'll spend a lot of time in it. I also brought along an inflatable pad which helped a great deal, and don't forget a pillow! The dust/dirt roads in Namibia are often very rough, and you will get bumped around a lot, but if you want to see some of that country's great sites, and you will, then you have to put up with its roads!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If the bus has a license plate reading DF-00-CY-GP, and you have more than ten people in your group, insist on another one, or get ready for a rough trip.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Russell Conway

    Beautiful Africa.

    Safari means journey. This really was an intense journey through Botswana & Zimbabwe. But a journey with the added bonus of sightings along the way, magical birds at the side of the road and on one occasion slowing down the bus to see a bull elephant only to be gobsmacked by a pack of 10 wild-dog just a couple of trees away! Journeys don`t have to be boring; long bus rides are often part of the adventure. On this holiday we had the added bonus of River safari`s and, in the Okavango Delta, Mokoro rides with only the gentle sound of water lapping by your side, damsel flies and giant hawker dragon-flies buzzing around your ears and in the evening a gigantic frog chorus like something from a Fairy-Tale. Of course Safari is all about the animals but on this holiday I became more aware of the rich variety of people that helped us along the way. Kaiser the leader of the Polers in the Delta, Rowan our Tour Guide, his trusty driver Siwasu and the dozens of others who did their bloody best to give us the holiday of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a great many. But the moment that will live with me was on a walking safari in the Delta. Somebody yelled "Kudu", I looked through my binoculars and shimmering in the early morning sunlight I could just see a pair of twisted horns emerging from the long grass. The horns morphed into a beautifully marked male Kudu who, having emerged from the grass like a Gladiator in a Ridley Scott movie just stood there staring at us. He was joined by a couple of others. His long piercing stare said it all. He was a king in his own realm. We were just there to watch.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan is quite a character. Good with people. Excellent at animals and he had the ability to keep everyone happy at the same time - no mean feat. I particularly appreciated his pointing out a small scopes owl one night; he knew I was interested in birds and on another occasion he showed me a fearsome video from his phone of hundreds of may-flies perishing on the lawns at Victoria Falls oddly enough something I found curiously fascinating. I think his inspired use of the Millionaire Game on the longer journeys is something other tour guides should think about doing. The number of long journeys I have been on where the leader simply goes to sleep is legion. I did not meet anyone on the trip who had a bad word to say about Rowan. I think he is a real star and somebody who actively contributed towards the success of this brilliant trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Take warm clothes as it gets cold in the mornings; 2. Take a spare torch; 3. Don`t just take photo`s - feel and hear the animals and birds. Don`t just get caught up in the technicalities of photography - appreciate your experience. 4. Take something for the locals. I took some pens and was so very touched by the warmth of the thanks of the locals. These are people who really appreciate your kindness. 5. Don`t drink too much late at night - wandering to the "bushy-Bushy" in the middle of the night is an adventure but best avoided!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had such a good time. I would like to go back. The group were a blast. One or two in particular will stay with me for some time. I now know what a shee-wee and a Travel Jane are. I feel very privileged to have travelled with such a great bunch of people. The dynamics of small groups means that it can be quite difficult but right up to our really rather wonderful last night meal on the Zambezi we all stuck together and, I hope, will remain friends. Safari, as I said at the beginning is a Journey. This was a Journey where I learnt quite a bit about myself but I also learnt a great deal about the others in the group. It was a Journey I will never forget.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Andrew Allman

    Beautiful Botswana

    I have just come back from trip and must say it was one of most enjoyable experiences of my life. On the way back home, I reflected that there were 9 absolutely awe inspiring moments on the trip: - watching two cheetahs hunt and kill an impala - our guide Kenny finding leopards on 3 different occasions and watching these beautiful creatures wandering about - elephants everywhere - watching a pride of lions on several occasions which included cubs - the fantastic night sky especially on the salt plains - rafting the Victoria falls - being punted along on the oakavango delta - the boat trip in the chobe National Park - the guides and people who supported us in the delta Our guide Kenny was absolutely first rate and guided us both to animals but also around the towns and villages of Botswana. He showed great patience with a group of novice safari holiday makers and displayed incredible knowledge on the flora and fauna of the area. Melo our cook was equally as good. How he managed to cook lasagne, fish and chips and bread on an open fire is beyond me. We had a great group and the camaraderie around the open fire and in the truck will remain with me for a long time. Derek and Deniro supported our group brilliantly and made sure our campsite was set up before our arrival every day. If you are thinking of going on this trip, I would advise: - read itinerary in detail as it will help outline your expectations re food, distance to travel and accommodation - prepare for some tough travel and properly wild camping. When wild camping, we had animals around and through the camp every night after we had gone to bed. We had 4 nights in a row with no running water, wi fi or electricity. Toilets when wild camping are long drop bush toilets. You will need to take power packs and battery back ups. - the roads in the national parks and remote areas are not surfaced and progress is slow and can be uncomfortable - only two nights are spent in lodges and this was a lower quality lodge in Zimbabwe. This is a camping trip. Having said that if you love animals and the outdoor life, this is a holiday I would recommend highly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending 2 hours watching 2 cheetahs stalk and successfully hunt an impala. Watching them both take off at full speed was breath taking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenny is an excellent tour leader. He looked after our daily holiday needs (food, accommodation etc) with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss. His guiding was first rate and he found the animals we wanted to see and others we had not heard of.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like going to remote beautiful places to see wildlife and can put up or enjoy wild camping, this is a holiday for you. Please remember that you will not be near a shop for most of trip and conditions in bush are harsh. Therefore make sure you have right kit for trip ( robust head torch, spare batteries, first aid kit, decent walking shoes etc)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is an excellent trip however please book on lodge trip if you require luxury or pampering. Only hostel we stayed in was very very basic. It would have been nice to stay in a 3/4 star lodge one or two nights in trip. Also, you will be in close quarters with group for 15 days, so dynamic of group could impact enjoyment of trip