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

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117 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2016
    Wendy Pountain

    Cape Town to Vic Falls camping Dec 2015

    Not the easiest trip for many reasons but nevertheless a well-paced opportunity to see some wonderful scenery and wildlife in a relatively short time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing all the wildlife we encountered, often at close quarters, including rare african wild dogs and black rhino. The dramatic thunderstorms and lightning display over the Okavango river. The game drive and cruise (including a great sunset) at Chobe were both wonderful - could happily have stayed another day there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tschepo certainly had his work cut out with all the incidents that happened - from driving while Siya our regular driver was ill, to attempting to patch up a broken window of the bus, to thinking on his feet when the rains came and flooded some of our tents, and coping with all our problems even when he too picked up the stomach bug many of us contracted in Etosha. It was clear that this was not an easy trip for him as many of these were situations new to him but he remained good humoured and personable and adapted our tour when necessary. We often needed a repeat of our next-day-instructions but soon realised that all the timings were for good reason and he simplified our movement across the borders very well which saved a lot of time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It sounds simple but do read the previous reviews and also the trip notes. Some of our group had not brought the currencies/medication advised. - Bring a cheap "twisted elastic" camping washing line with hooks (not suckers) on the ends - used mine every day, easily attached between the tents for airing and drying. - Bring a head torch as the campsites were not always lit at night. - Bring a diarrhoea kit with you, I'm glad I did! (I got one from the Nomad clinic which included antibiotics for extreme cases, as well as the usual Loperamide and rehydration sachets) Even though this is a fully-supported camping trip it's nice to help out with putting up/taking down tents or helping set out food/folding chairs etc. if you can. It's a long trip but is well-paced and manageable - just go the the flow! Don't worry about food we had one non-meat-eater (me) and one gluten-free on our trip and Enoch our cook coped admirably especially through the adverse weather conditions and sometimes remote locations of our campsites.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had only been camping occasionally in the UK and thought it would be uncomfortable on the mattresses provided but was pleasantly surprised. Note to Exodus - please amend trip notes to reflect that there is no flight exit fee for leaving South Africa (a nice bonus for those of us who had budgeted for it!) If you are thinking about booking just prepare as much as you can and then go for it!
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Stephen Cowling

    Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana

    A wonderful journey through Botswana and a chance to experience a safari in an area where tourism is much less developed than in many parts of Africa.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many: Mokoro rides and wild camping in the Okavango Delta; the awesome Victoria Falls; seeing a herd of well over 100 elephants wandering across the plain; at least 12 lions at close quarters sheltering under a tree; numerous other wildlife encounters; the eerie silence and remoteness of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Sam, the driver and wildlife expert Kenny and assistant Johnny were all exceptional and could not do enough for us. The same is true of the "polers" in the Okavango Delta. The overall organisation, the camping and catering were superb. We found the vehicle comfortable and adequately spacious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some long drives on bumpy roads. The wild camping means that wildlife can wander through the camp at any time, especially at night. We had a close encounter with an elephant one night, which some of the party found unnerving, but in fact it left us alone. At the Victoria Falls, unless you are planning activities such as white water rafting, we recommend visiting the falls on the free day rather than waiting until the final morning as the itinerary suggests, to allow time to do it justice. We particularly recommend the Sunset Cruise and Chobe River Cruise.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were so many positives I am reluctant to mention any disappointments, but I will do so anyway to give a complete picture. The areas we were travelling through are generally quite flat, which meant that the breathtaking scenery to be had in other areas was lacking (except for the Victoria Falls). Also, the population outside the main towns is quite sparse, and the towns themselves relatively Westernised, so there were limited opportunities to experience local African culture. Overall this was a wonderful, varied and well organised trip, with some truly magical moments.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Elzbieta Kulisz

    Cape Town to Victoria Falls

    Beautiful jurney through Southern Africa!! However, long daily drives were tiring but scenery was worth to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I always wanted to spend some time in the desert and visit sand dunes of Namibia.....very memorable experience for me :)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have travelled with Exodus few times and have never been disappointed with group leaders. Chris Pindani is one of them, he is fabulous leader. Together with Irvine, (our cook) and Shimony (driver) he created a team which looked exceptionally well after our needs during long drives and sites seeing. Chris's good sense of humour kept us smiling and his extensive knowlage made long drives interesting. He was available and open to all questions we had and tried to answer best he could or recommended best book from little library available on our travel truck. He always went extra mile to keep us happy and well informed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    this trip is definitely for outdoors and camping lovers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Any not included activities, specially in Victoria Falls, are very pricey.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    John MacLean

    wildlife and wilderness Botswana

    We were very lucky and wildlife sightings and close encounters exceeded expectations. Seven of thirteen nights are spent camping wild, a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Game drives in Chobe and Moremi.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On the whole very good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I went for the wildlife and wondered in advance if the detour to Victoria Falls was would be worth it : it was. However, I'd rather have camped there than slept in a stuffy chalet.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Louise Todd

    Azv Cape Town to vic falls

    An amazing trip with lots of travel so be prepared for lots of long drives, early mornings and desert. This is made up for by the amazing sites of the animals, table mountain and vic falls. It would definitely be worth booking table mountain prior to your visit and you can skip the queue.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the lion walk in vic falls. This is an optional trip no longer supported by exodus but was amazing and I did a lot of research on the ethics before travelling. The animals were the highlight for me but don't expect to see as many as the likes of the Masai Maria or Kruger. The transport is a truck which is used for the game drives and not a 4x4 which is good to know before you travel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It's amazing the effect a trip leader can have on your trip and some are definitely better than others. Our leader Innocent could have done a bit better with giving information.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely decide if this trip is for you with all the travelling. I upgraded to the single supplement for the camping and I'm so glad I did. It gives you room in the tent to sort your bag out as you are constantly packing and re-packing. I took rand and usd which was handy as rand were used for the trip all the way to Botswana which uses its own currency but is only 2 days. Vic falls uses dollars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would double check details in the trip notes with a member of the exodus staff before you travel as they are not always accurate.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Jane Legge

    Cape Town to Victoria Falls (camping)

    What a great time we had, a super group of fellow travellers and fantastic leader, cook and driver. WE SAW THE BIG FIVE which was in large part down to the crew and their game spotting. I had done this same trip years ago with Guerba, that trip was a participatory camping experience where we had to take turns cooking! This trip was complete luxury by comparison. Our cook Ivan was a trained pastry chef so our meals were a real treat especially the deserts. The campsites were in the main of a good standard and although our cheif aka Christopher apologised because there was no grass to pitch the tents on ( no suprise in the dessert) we soon got used to the sand. There was the flexibility to move on early to Swakomund when we were caught up in a bad sand storm which upended several of our tents. The Itinerary was well thought out. Our group of 12 was an ideal size as we could mainly have a window seat. There were lockers at the back of the truck in which we were able to lock up our valuables. Some journeys were long but the scenery was so varied it was never boring. The real highlights are no doubt the game drives. Go on this tour if you can.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a Leopard in Chobe

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Christopher is a kind, considerate and flexible leader who involved and looked after everyone on the tour according to their needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a prepaid USD$ to use in Zimbabwe

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On our arrival in Vic Falls we were taken to book some activities. One of which was an Elephant safari, I have since heard that this is activity is now considered unethical due to the training methods used. I now feel guilty for having taken part. I had also booked a walk with Lions which fortunately I was able to swap to horse riding. I did this after meeting a conservationist in Livingstone who said that none of the Lions had ever been released back into the wild. Apparently Imaginative Travel state on their itinerary they do not endorse the two above activities so maybe you could do a similar thing.
  • Reviewed September 2015

    Wonderful trip

    When the tour leader dropped us off at Livingstone airport I really could have stayed on the bus and done the whole thing again

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really hard to pick out highlights. The trip was nearly perfectly paced and so varied. I loved the camping in the delta. The stars were amazing. All the support team worked so hard and on the last evening they gave us a wonderful acapela concert.We so so much wildlife including a pack of wild dog by the side of the road!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew is one of the best tour leaders I've come across. He worked so hard. He was our driver, chief cook, guide and much more besides. He made everything look effortless & told us exactly what to expect, so the numerous police checks in Zimbabwe were no surprise and not even annoying. Can't thank him enough for the part he played in making this trip so wonderful. He also had a wonderful sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect the super luxury accommodation you often see in magazines. You would need to be paying an awful lot more for that! It is clean, comfortable and the staff are, without exception, friendly and helpful. The camping is exceptionally well organised and also very comfortable.Be prepared for very hot days but also chilly evenings and early mornings (particularly when travelling in open-sided safari vehicles on game drives)-and you will see early mornings if you want to see wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only criticism is the very tiring first day. Zambia -> Zimbabwe-> Botswana and our first lodge. We did not get anything to eat until about 3.00pm. Not sure why it is necessary for the group flight to land in Livingstone, Zambia requiring another border crossing and visa. The visa situation was very very confused from Exodus Head Office, but worked out fine on the ground with our tour leaders guidance, though I think we were lucky not to meet any excessive queues at any border crossings.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Peter Pattison

    Cape Town to Victoria Falls- Hotel/Lodge Reverse

    Great Tour leader, Driver and group, brilliant trip, wonderful wildlife, great geography and scenery, interesting politics. Great Truck/Bus, and accommodation generally reasonable to good............except. The Orange River Lodge in Namibia was absolutely dreadful and should never be considered again by Exodus. NO water, had to ask for towels since there was no water we understood why towels were not provided.No toilet paper, had to ask for this, but could not flush the toilet, and the swimming pool was not useable with the cover firmly in place. The Breakfast was like Fawlty Towers only worse, and so dark in the room you could not see. The toaster had blue electrical flashes coming out of it so was unplugged. The Lodge knew that they had no water but did not inform our tour leader, even though he had contacted them many hours in advance of our arrival. The owners were not interested, even though we were the only guests staying there, it appeared that nobody had stayed there for ages, it was really run down. Even the Shell petrol station attendant next door said it was the worst Lodge on the Orange River and nobody ever stays there. Please do not expose your clients to this truly awful Lodge ever again. The owners staff did say that they would not charge Exodus for the dreadful breakfast which would now be free of charge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was the Chobe National Park and particularly the Chobe River. Etosha was also fabulous. Climbing Big Daddy and Dune 45 in Namibia. Flying over the skeleton coast. Fish River Canyon-awesome. The drive and visit to the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town-really enjoyed the city and spent an extra two days there at the end of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tshepo was as good as a Tour Leader gets. He is very knowledgeable, totally professional, funny and amusing with an infectious laugh and a pleasure to travel with. Tshepo always, and I mean always, goes the extra mile. Nothing is ever too much trouble. Siyabonga known as Siya our driver was also excellent in every way, and complemented Tshepo, they made a absolutely great team, we could not have asked for better. Siya was always happy and cheerful and also always prepared to go the extra mile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take an Aqua Pure Traveller with you and you will stay tummy bug. free There is plenty of drinking water on the truck/bus which is fine, however to be safe I always take my Aqua Pure Traveller everywhere in the world except Japan. So far so good!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip, don't even think about it just go, it will be even better if you are particularly lucky enough to get Tshepo and Siya as your Tour leader and Driver.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are glad that Peter had a brilliant trip overall, but we are sorry that he was disappointed with one of the properties his group stayed in. Having investigated Peter’s concerns, we have taken the decision not to use this property for our groups going forward.

    Tom Harari - Trip Manager for Southern Africa

  • Reviewed August 2015
    Tony Birch

    Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana

    This is an excellent holiday for people who want to get really close to the wildlife of Botswana. Seven of the 13 nights are spent wild camping right in the heart of national parks and wilderness areas. You will not only see, but hear and smell the life around you. It is a very immersive experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's the sights and sounds of this trip that will stay in the memory. Africa has amazing sunsets and, on this trip, a night sky totally unpolluted by man made light. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans have to be experienced for their total absence of sound. The animal life was amazing and you saw them within their environment. The sounds of hippos, hyenas, elephants and lions just the other side of a piece of canvas are rather exciting! The people you meet are wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very, very good. His job was to give us a great holiday, pure and simple. His assistants, and the other guides, were first class. The majority of them were born, and has spent their entire lives, in the very areas we were visiting. They had an absorbed knowledge of the region that could not learned from books.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully. When it says there are "some long and bumpy roads" and "staying in some remote locations" that is exactly what you will get. The mornings can be cold, followed by slamming heat a few hours later, so take clothing that can come off in layers. The roads, particularly in the dry season, are very dusty. Glasses or goggles, and a snood to cover your mouth and nose, are essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although described as leisurely, this is not a holiday for those who enjoy their creature comforts. The bush toilet is a hole in the ground and the shower is under a tree so there is something to hang the bucket from. You will get many hours of "African Massage" in the landcruiser but the rewards are unbelievable. You will totally immersed in the environment. Be flexible, be willing to muck-in and participate, and you will have a wonderful time. I would recommend this holiday without hesitation.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Kenneth Auld

    Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana

    We went on the same trip as Jenny (see her review) and endorse all that she said. This trip delivered everything that we had hoped for. The animal sightings exceeded expectations; the camping was really wild; and the itinerary was well designed. Every day had a WOW in it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the Chobe river cruise, the entire boat watched as a baby elephant was cajoled by its herd to cross a stream that its parents could stride across, but was too wide for the baby's short legs; the sheer isolation of the wild camping in the salt pans; the big cat sightings that Jenny mentioned; the three families of elephants at the watering hole just yards from our camp in Zwei Zwei Pan; and I especially enjoyed visiting the Bushman paintings from 1500 BC that Stan took us to, to make up for the lost time when the truck broke down.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam attitude was excellent. Everything revolved around ensuring that we enjoyed our time on the trip and got as much out of it as possible. His cooking on a campfire was unbelievable - fish and chips, fresh bread, cabbage quiche - his recommendations on the extra trips were spot on, and his permanent good humour made for a relaxed and enjoyable journey. Even when the truck broke down - the immobilizer incapacitated the truck for a few hours - he kept his cool, updated us on progress, and managed to organize the alternative arrangements without getting flustered. Our guide, Stan's knowledge and enthusiasm were terrific. His book of pictures was excellent for explaining why the landscape is like it is, his tracking meant that there were more animal sightings than we could have hoped for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For a couple of over fifties who had not camped in decades, the prospect was daunting. However, the camp-beds are comfortable, the food was delicious and plentiful, and while the tents are small, the guarantee that there will be no rain (in July) and so no wet clothing or leakages if you touch the tent, meant that this was all surprisingly civilized. However, even if it won't rain, do take waterproofs to combat just how windy an open sided truck can be. Good washing facilities in Victoria Falls means that we could have reduced our clothing amounts even further - only the Sunset Cruise in Victoria Falls needed anything even remotely smart. As others have mentioned, head torches and lip balm are good to have. Also, take wet wipes for the four consecutive night wild camping away from "proper" showers, although the bush shower was very effective and surprisingly good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An excellent trip through a fantastic country.