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

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26 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Lance Berryman

    Wild Namibia

    Dear Exodus: I have had the most wonderful expedition. I’d like to say a few words about the people that made it happen. Firstly I want to thank the support crew. Simson, Umbarra, Fritz, Matthias and Asa. These gentlemen turned camping into an art form. I’ve stayed at the best hotels and resorts around the world; this crew is second to none. Their attention to detail and service oriented guest first attitude is superb. They brought such an infectious positivity to the camp that it was impossible not to enjoy yourself. Did I mention the food? Asa catered to our every want and surpassed expectations every single night. This man is a genius on a camp fire. Absolutely remarkable. Hands down the best crew an expedition could want. I could go on and on about these guys. I don’t know how much you pay them but they are worth their weight in gold. Thank you to the crew, their efforts ensured this trip was a raucous success. Next I’d like to thank Tracks and Trails. I wouldn’t dare go into the wildly remote areas we ventured into without a solid plan B. Tracks and Trails seemed to have not only a plan B but a plan C and D for every possible scenario. The vehicles were the best and when the inevitable setbacks that will happen in this rugged environment occurred, they had our back every time. I was very impressed with how quickly they reacted and problem solved. I felt confident knowing I had a team working in the background that could solve any issue at the snap of a finger regardless of the distance, environment and terrain. I felt like nothing could stop us. Very well done Tracks and Trails. PJ. What can I say? The man is as legendary as Tarzan. His positive attitude combined with his no nonsense polite but stern business approach had all of us paying attention to the details that kept us safe. He was the pack leader. I have a great deal of respect for this man. PJ’s tracking skills were a marvel to behold; When he was tracking the desert lions I felt as if I was in a movie. He found us every animal we dreamed of seeing, then got us a better angle. Pj’s knowledge base is ridiculously extensive, I’d gamble he knows more about Africa than the Encyclopedia Británica; history, botany, geology, astronomy, flora and fauna, tribal ancestry.. the only thing he didn’t talk about was religion and politics. The only question he couldn’t answer was, “PJ, is their anything you don’t know?”. PJ catered to the group and the individual, birds for the birders, terra formations and geological history for the rock hounds, biology for the plant lovers, history for the scholars and everything you could want to know about mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. He even ran around overturning rocks to find us a scorpion when an interest was expressed. PJ is a gem, his leadership and people skills are enviable. When I come back to Africa I will find out what tour he is guiding and do that. I cannot say enough about his skills. Lastly, I’d like to thank Exodus. You’ve done an amazing job of pairing us with the very best local guides, support staff and logistics professionals. I’ve never travelled with Exodus before, I’ll never tour with anyone but Exodus from now on. Very well done. Superb. Thank you once again to everyone involved, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Sincerely, Lance Berryman.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Black Rhinos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best... see my other comments

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dear Exodus: I have had the most wonderful expedition. I’d like to say a few words about the people that made it happen. Firstly I want to thank the support crew. Simson, Umbarra, Fritz, Matthias and Asa. These gentlemen turned camping into an art form. I’ve stayed at the best hotels and resorts around the world; this crew is second to none. Their attention to detail and service oriented guest first attitude is superb. They brought such an infectious positivity to the camp that it was impossible not to enjoy yourself. Did I mention the food? Asa catered to our every want and surpassed expectations every single night. This man is a genius on a camp fire. Absolutely remarkable. Hands down the best crew an expedition could want. I could go on and on about these guys. I don’t know how much you pay them but they are worth their weight in gold. Thank you to the crew, their efforts ensured this trip was a raucous success. Next I’d like to thank Tracks and Trails. I wouldn’t dare go into the wildly remote areas we ventured into without a solid plan B. Tracks and Trails seemed to have not only a plan B but a plan C and D for every possible scenario. The vehicles were the best and when the inevitable setbacks that will happen in this rugged environment occurred, they had our back every time. I was very impressed with how quickly they reacted and problem solved. I felt confident knowing I had a team working in the background that could solve any issue at the snap of a finger regardless of the distance, environment and terrain. I felt like nothing could stop us. Very well done Tracks and Trails. PJ. What can I say? The man is as legendary as Tarzan. His positive attitude combined with his no nonsense polite but stern business approach had all of us paying attention to the details that kept us safe. He was the pack leader. I have a great deal of respect for this man. PJ’s tracking skills were a marvel to behold; When he was tracking the desert lions I felt as if I was in a movie. He found us every animal we dreamed of seeing, then got us a better angle. Pj’s knowledge base is ridiculously extensive, I’d gamble he knows more about Africa than the Encyclopedia Británica; history, botany, geology, astronomy, flora and fauna, tribal ancestry.. the only thing he didn’t talk about was religion and politics. The only question he couldn’t answer was, “PJ, is their anything you don’t know?”. PJ catered to the group and the individual, birds for the birders, terra formations and geological history for the rock hounds, biology for the plant lovers, history for the scholars and everything you could want to know about mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. He even ran around overturning rocks to find us a scorpion when an interest was expressed. PJ is a gem, his leadership and people skills are enviable. When I come back to Africa I will find out what tour he is guiding and do that. I cannot say enough about his skills. Lastly, I’d like to thank Exodus. You’ve done an amazing job of pairing us with the very best local guides, support staff and logistics professionals. I’ve never travelled with Exodus before, I’ll never tour with anyone but Exodus from now on. Very well done. Superb. Thank you once again to everyone involved, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Sincerely, Lance Berryman.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    David Scott

    Rhinos and Deserts

    A trip into the deserts of NW Namibia to experience the desert landscapes and wildlife. The emphasis was on desert adapted animals, before moving to the rich wildlife of Etosha later in the holiday. There is a lot of mileage covered, and some long days, but Namibia is a big country. The ability to go off road in a 4WD onto the gravel tracks and dunes when wild camping provided an atmosphere of adventure which you don’t get when staying on tarmac roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found the whole trip inspirational, by its very nature what you see on any particular day isn’t guaranteed, but watching 3 desert lions having an argument over the springbok they have just killed, and watching a cheetah gorging itself on its kill was riveting. I had hoped to see a black rhino and we saw one on the first evening, got out of the vehicle and sat and watched it, after that we saw black rhino every day we were in rhino areas. Watching desert elephants meet up in a canyon and just sitting around the campfire of an evening reflecting on the day, with the stars above and the desert around were also highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    PJ was an excellent group leader. He worked extremely hard to try and ensure we got as much out of the trip as possible. He had a good knowledge of plants, insects, birds and geology as well as the larger animals and tied in our wild life watching to the environment in which they lived. He worked hard, with the camp staff, (who were also excellent), to put a good meal on the table in camp every day, and let us know what was happening, what to look out for and review what we had seen and learnt about.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Swakopmund extension, which we did was on the whole worthwhile, but we hadn’t worked out before hand that it is around a five hour drive there and back, so in fact it is only one day in the town itself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a trip with a real sense of adventure as going off road into the Palmwag concession gives a sense of isolation. The Namibian people are very friendly and I look forward to going back someday.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Maureen Spinks

    “When I’m 64 .....”

    What a way to celebrate a birthday! Lunch at Palmwag Lodge then an evening round the campfire and a delicious meal at our remote campsite in the Palmwag Concession. We had looked at this trip in the Exodus brochure for some time and at last got round to booking it - it was brilliant! We have travelled extensively in Africa, but we now feel that we have been thoroughly spoilt by having the opportunity to travel and camp in this remote part of Namibia. Our enthusiastic leader, PJ, and the brilliant camp crew comprising Simson, Fritz and Asser, made this a memorable safari. Namibia, for its combination of desert scenery and wildlife, is unparalleled. It is a barren, beautiful country where, compared with other parts of Africa, wildlife can appear thin on the ground, but PJ, did an excellent job in imparting his knowledge on the flora and geology and increasing our knowledge of what makes this fragile environment so special and what makes it work. This is not a standard “big five” game-watching safari, but if you want a real safari in awesome scenery with quality sightings, this could be the trip for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tracking a desert lion for a couple of hours. A male lion has at last returned to the Hoanib River system. PJ spotted his tracks, but the lion kept disappearing into the scrub, and it was a case of trying to pick up the spoor again. At last we found him and had an excellent view of this majestic creature. A record number of black rhino sightings - the most exciting one being the one we tracked on foot. Lots of desert elephants with their huge feet. You can see large herds of elephants in other parts of Africa, but seeing these magnificent animals in the desert environment is a sight to behold. My husband, who went on an additional early afternoon ride with PJ and a few others, enjoyed a memorable hour or so tracking three giraffe across the plain. Seeing honey badgers in daylight in Etosha. The chance to experience wild camping in the Palmwag Concession - but with little luxuries like a bedside lantern, wash-basin outside the tent, a hot shower - oh, and wine goblets!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    PJ was an excellent leader - his sheer exuberance and delight when he was on the scent of a creature was very infectious. He was keen for us to have the opportunity to track animals on foot. No, I definitely wasn’t going to track a rhino when PJ suggested it, but somehow I found myself joining the eight others in our group to get closer to a black rhino on the crest of the hill. I would have missed out if I hadn’t gone. And, thanks to PJ who helped me on the rougher sections, I was able to make it to the top of the Waterberg Plateau.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A tip whilst on safari - If there are two of you sharing a tent, try not to take too much luggage. If you have booked to go on the Swakopmund extension, this is the format. You will be dropped off at the Hilton Hotel in Windhoek and collected by the Weliwitschia Shuttle, a minibus used by many of the locals, arriving at the guesthouse 6-6.30. The Walvis Bay boat trip, which was originally advertised in the Trip Notes, was replaced a couple of weeks before we left for Namibia by a Living Desert Safari. Whilst it would have been nice to have had more notice of this change, the Living Desert Safari was brilliant, going out into the sand dunes behind Swakopmund and concentrating on “the little five”. We then carried on with a further self-organised trip to Sossusvlei.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book this safari - you won’t be disappointed. If you have the time, we thoroughly recommend adding extra days.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Debbie Moors

    An incredible fortnight

    Quite simply this wasn’t just the best safari I have been on, it was the best holiday I have ever had - I just wish I had done it sooner! I knew Namibia was special when I realised that even on the long drives I was just gazing out the window enjoying the incredible scenery which is unlike anything else I have experienced during my travels in Africa. The wild camping in the Palmwag Concession and Haonib River Systems was fantastic with us barely seeing another vehicle during the whole time. In Palmwag we were fortunate enough to see numerous black rhino one of which we were able to approach on foot under the careful supervision of our guide, PJ. In Haonib we spent time with the desert elephants and again made an approach on foot. The highlight though was our guides skill and determination in tracking a desert lion for two hours which paid off with a memorable sighting. Etosha was fabulous with plenty of wildlife ranging from the big (elephants and rhino) to the small (honey badgers and a leopard tortoise). Every day we were expertly looked after back at camp by Simpson, Fritz and Asser and kept well fed with fabulous meals. Whether you’re thinking of doing your first safari or are an old hand, I cannot recommend this trip enough. I’m already planning a return visit to this spectacular country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were two special moments. The first was the rhino approach on foot in Palmwag. Initially we simply got out of the vehicle and watched the rhino from a distance. PJ then assessed the situation and took us on foot to a closer vantage point. It was fantastic to watch such a majestic creature without disturbing it. The second was tracking the desert lion in Haonib. For the best part of two hours PJ followed the lions tracks before eventually we found the young male. Watching him walk along the river system was a sight to behold.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    PJ was the best group leader I have had to date. His enthusiasm and passion for Namibia and his job were evident from day one. His knowledge spanned not just the animals and birds of the area but also the geology and history. On those days where we had downtime in the afternoon between lunch and the scheduled afternoon game drive he would go the extra mile and take out members of the group who wanted to go on an additional drive. For the photographers in the group PJ did all he could to make sure the vehicle was positioned so that everyone got the best shot possible. He was also able to read where the animals were moving to so that we could be in the right place at the right time. In the evenings PJ was on hand to make sure we were all having a good time and made sure we knew the plans for the following day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t let the camping put you off. This is a full service trip so everything is done for you. The tents are comfortable (beds, duvet, pillows, blankets, lamp all provided) and the camp assistants are amazing making sure everything is ready when you get back from the game drives. Some of the drives between camps are long (and bumpy) but the views make up for it. Coffee lovers - pack a thermos mug with you for the morning game drives as it will keep you going on those early mornings. Ladies - pack a sports bra or two for the bumpy roads! If you do the Swakopmund extension (which is worth it) be prepared for a long drive from Windhoek (about 5 hours). I would also suggest adding on an extra night to give you more time to explore.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go ahead and book!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Anthony Wells

    Namibia 4WD Desert Safari

    We have travelled from Mongolia to Patagonia, seen Bukhara, the Taj Mahal, Tigers in India and The Andes but this was by far our most exciting trip. Wild Camping in the Palmwag Concession, away from virtually all other tourists, was a real adventure. To see five of the six Desert Lions in this area was beyond our highest expectations. These in addition to seeing five different Rhinos and a two month old Elephant. The "Icing on the Cake" when we arrived in Etosha was to witness a Cheetah hunt and kill by three Cheetahs, a mother and two almost full grown young. Our Guide, who had 25 years experience, had only seen one other in all that time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Cheetah hunt

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hans Leichi our Guide and John his able assistant were exceptional. Their spotting abilities were second to none and having seen the Cheetahs at a great distance Hans was able to anticipate exactly where we should drive to in order to see the hunt. He was also a great cook so we ate very well the whole trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your place NOW!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Why do you have to use B.A.? They are a cheap-skate unit!!!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Bill Cuthbert

    If you want wild .....

    ….then this is the trip for you. Our second trip to Namibia (previously "Discover Namibia" in 2008) this one has the emphasis on wild. Etosha, Okakuejo, Namutoni, some of the best-known destinations are all visited, whilst the jewel in the crown must be the Palmwag Concession: a huge area where, apart from the occasional wildlife ranger, we didn't see another person for two days. We saw no less than six rhino, including one of the dominant males - managing to get (safely) within 100 yds. As well as rhinos, we had a leopard up a tree, which we watched for 1.5 hours before she finally came down to walk past the truck! Giraffes "necking" - in a violent exchange, before trotting off together, several sightings of lions - including a magnificent male in his prime, herds of elephant, and the wealth of wildlife that makes Namibia such a special destination. First class guide in Hans, and an exceptional support crew in driver Simpson, Fritz, and the culinary expertise of Tyrone that never disappointed. (And not to mention a first-class Toyota Land-Cruiser - panoramic windows with no obstructing pillars.)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After spotting the leopard relaxing up the tree mid-morning, returning later that afternoon and waiting patiently for her to come down and slowly walk past the truck... all with the sun in the right place to give that special photo opportunity.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hans delivered everything and more: Primarily, his skills in finding the rhinos' tracks, anticipating its movements, consideration for the wind direction etc. and getting us into the right position. Also, a broad range of knowledge covering not only the animals and birds, but the plant-life, the trees, the landscape and the history of the country. Additionally, he always went the extra mile for the photographers in making sure that the sun was behind us wherever possible, and advising on tips to get that extra-special shot. Long days driving in difficult conditions, then back to help the support crew in delivering the evening meal. And every morning - meticulously cleaning and polishing the viewing windows. Quite simply, a first class guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Palmwag is very rough going in places. Its terrain will rattle and shake every bone in your body - be prepared! The Land Cruiser will take you into (and out) of some of seemingly impossible locations.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The one thing that marred this trip? The unbelievable chaos of Windhoek Airport. A 1.5 hour queue into immigration, and virtually the same on departure. It's an airport that has expanded hugely over the years in terms of passenger traffic, but is hopelessly under-resourced. Our departure flight to Johannesburg was delayed to the extent that our Heathrow flight was already boarding as we arrived.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    David Woodhams

    The wildlife of Namibia, amazing!

    This trip with 'full service' camping was amazing. Comfortable tent with camp bed, mattress, duvet even a bedside table and lamp, luxury, coupled with the amazing places that we camped and the wonderful encounters with the incredible wildlife was superb. The food prepared and cooked by our chef Tyrone was imaginative and varied and plenty of it. The other members of the crew Simpson, truck driver and general hand, together with Fritz, also general hand worked tirelessly to provide us with a superb service erecting and taking our tents down whenever we needed to move. When wild camping in the Hoanib River area even provided hot water for the camp showers which were great after a days game viewing. There are some long journeys and days on this trip but the rewards are worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spotting two Black Rhinos about 1 kilometre away, then walking downwind of them with our guide to get closer in order to get some good photographs and ending up about 70 metres away, fantastic. The best part was the fact that the Rhinos were never aware of our presence. We came, we saw and we left - great!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hans Liechti was a superb guide and group leader with excellent organisational skills and very intimate knowledge of many of the animals that we saw throughout this trip. He knew where we were most likely to find what ever we were looking for and would persist until we found. The Black Rhinos were somewhat elusive but we did find them, some of which are even named. He knew the numbers of elephants in particular groups in the Hoanib River as well as the Lions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are unsure whether camping trips are for you then this trip being 'full service' camping would be a good way to try it out. Do not expect wall to wall animals on this trip as the habitat is nothing like Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa. Having said that, what encounters you do have will be very memorable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip turned out to be as described in the trip notes and lived up to and on some days even exceeded our expectations with some very memorable animal sightings, made even better by the expert knowledge of our guide, Hans If you are thinking about taking this trip do not hesitate for too long or you will miss out as places are very limited.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    David Willatts

    A magical combination of landscapes and wildlife

    Thinking that a camping safari in the desert is not for you? Think again! This holiday combines stunning landscapes and encounters with a huge variety of wildlife, from elephants, black rhino. big cats, zebra, giraffes to an amazing number of bird species. All these can be seen from the comfort of your safari vehicle, with all members of the group in their own window seat. Your guide, who has an an encyclopaedic knowledge of the wildlife, also knows where to have the best chance of seeing the more elusive animals. In many areas, you will not see another safari vehicle all day! As for the camping, what could be more luxurious than arriving at the campsite to find your tent already erected (complete with comfortable camp bed and warm duvet), dining table in place, complete with table cloth and candles, a cup of tea and a hot shower awaiting you and a delicious dinner being cooked on an open fire? Bliss!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a mother and calf black rhino followed soon after by the sight of a heavily pregnant female. Watch a female cheetah and her two cubs playing in a tree.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Hans, could not have been better. His knowledge of the wildlife, his navigational skills in the more featureless areas, together with his faultless driving, sometimes for long distances, to say nothing of his cooking abilities, made him the ideal guide!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothing for the evenings and a good camera to bring back memories of what will be an unforgettable holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't hesitate, just go for it!
  • Reviewed November 2017

    Knockout trip!

    A really wonderful trip, I could not find fault with it, even if I wanted to. Namibia is a fascinating place to visit, the scenery, wildlife and people make it a delightful destination. The itinerary is good and the trip is the right length.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting eating 'al fresco' in the evening (after a day tracking a rhino and watching a breeding herd of elephants) when we spotted a lioness and her cub passing by about 40-50 metres away! Surprised even our experienced + seasoned guides. Brilliant. The next day our guides (and us) tracked and found them again. Also the visit to a Namibian primary school was unmissable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two guides (Koos + Mathias) and they were absolutely first class. They were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and good fun. I cannot recommend them enough.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that the trip involves a lot of driving on Namibian gravel roads + off-road tracks, and can be a bit rough and tiring. However, if you want to go to some of the less visited spots and see wildlife that is still genuinely running wild, then for me, it is well worth it. Also it is hot in Namibia in November, typically into the mid to low 30's during the day on our trip. On the plus side the nights were cool and made sleeping comfortable. For the primary school visit you can take exercise books, pens etc to donate. but our guides also gave us an opportunity to buy some before visiting (very useful as books/paper can be heavy).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The support team (Magnes + Simson) were also first class, they were so efficient, every day we would return to camp and they would have everything set up. They made the camping a very enjoyable experience.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Nick Ward

    Beyond the usual

    The first thing you need to know about this trip is that you will be spending a long time in the back of a Land Cruiser getting an 'African Massage'. So what do you get in return? First, some wonderful, mind boggling and ever changing scenery. And second, the opportunity to see some of Africa's most iconic (and rarest ) animals in their isolated and extreme home. On our trip these included Desert Elephants, Rhino, and Desert Lions (walking past our camp and interrupting dinner, would you believe). Even if we hadn't seen these rarities there would still have been more than enough to make for an excellent trip - the best of half a dozen or so we've made to southern Africa. Fancy going beyond the usual? Then give it a go! Excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Desert Elephant!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chris - one of the best

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Absorb every moment - it'll stay with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't go if you're just interested in seeing Africa's over-hyped 'big five'. This trip takes you much deeper than that. If you just want to go and see what's out there', then this is for you.