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

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61 Reviews

  • Reviewed August 2014
    George Cichocki

    Wildlife and wilderness in botswana

    We recently went on the above trip and had a fantastic anD interesting trip, which exceeded our expectations. The holiday was well-structured, with a two day break in Victoria falls right in the middle of the two weeks. Bear in mind, though, that you are visiting a country the size of France and doing a considerable amount of traveling, staying in six different locations, to appreciate the diversity of the landscape and the animal,plant and bird life.Wynand, our South African guide, had a staggering amount of knowledge and enthusiasm and added greatly to the holiday. We would nominate him as the best tour guide we have had on these type of holidays and whatever you are paying him, it is not enough ! all the staff were excellent and developed a rapport with the guests. we had twelve in our group, with a varied age mix, which worked very well and it did not feel like a coach tour. we had a strong tip to try the 16 day Costa Rica trip, so are looking at that at present.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hearing the family group in the delta sing us a traditional welcome song around. The camp fire it was unforgettable

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was amazing completely unflappable always chirpy and was very amusing and he was very happy to spend time with us as individuals

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a warmer sleeping bag than I did- I did not take the advice seriously and was very grateful of the blanket provided by exodus

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keep a diary and always be respectful and ask permission to photograph people and their homes
  • Reviewed April 2014
    Jennifer Baird

    September 2013 Botswana

    A terrific trip to explore the wonders of Botswana. Fantastic wildlife sightings with wild dogs, 6 leopards and honey badgers topping the list but also saw: elephant, lion, giraffe, zebra, impala, buffalo, kudu, sable, warthog, hippo, wildebeast, monkey, baboon, steenbok, lechwe, crocodile, water monitor, puku, hyena and so many birds I lost count. We had an elephant pass just behind our tents and hyena coming to check out the steak scraps in our fire. I would highly recommend for the diversity of animals and environments alone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights for me included: the mokoro ride (total zen experience); the surreal moonscape of the pan; Chobe river cruise (highest concentration of game I've ever seen); wild dogs in Moremi (including several pups); sitting on the edge of Victoria Falls in the Devil's Pool (an extra only available at the end of dry season but if you like thrills it was incredible).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam is a terrific leader - very organized and calm with a great sense of humour. Mello is a tireless camp assistant and between them the food was great!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In September is it very hot and very dry and sand is EVERYWHERE. Big package of wet wipes saved my sanity as I could at least clean my feet before bed. I tossed the cot and used two mattresses and was very comfortable sleeping the entire trip. An open mind is the best accessory you can have on any group adventure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lowlight for me was: the campsite in Savuti at the end of dry season was too far from anything alive
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    The trip was wonderful - I did not stop smiling from start to finish! It lived up to it's title as it was a real wilderness experience and the wildlife was incredible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding in the mokoros through the Okavango Delta, watching a lion cub playing with the pride oblivious to us watching him, wild camping - lying in my tent hearing lions and elephants near by and racing through the park in our 4x4 trying to find out what the lions were up to to name but a few.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was a wonderful tour leader, he was well organised at all times and made the trip a truly memorable experience. He was kind and friendly and very knowledgeable. He was happy to answer my numerous questions at any time.Joseph our Botswana guide knew the country and it's wildlife inside out, he and Sam had eagle eyes for spotting the wildlife and Joseph was also an excellent driver on challenging roads. He was patient and kind and happy to share his stories and knowledge.Meelo was the camp assistant - he was a wonderful cook and worked hard setting up and taking down camp.Waco also deserves a mention - he was the lead guide of the "polers" when we went into the Delta. He was a brilliant ambassador for the tribe and the project to give them ownership of their conservancy. He was passionate about the wildlife and local environment and shared his knowledge with us. His team were very welcoming and made the Delta visit a real highlight.As a team they all worked together well and made the trip a great success.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go - this is a fantastic trip to get off the beaten track and camp in the wilderness.Be prepared for long drives on dusty, rutted roads but keep your eyes open as you never know when you might spot an elephant or a leopard!November can be the start of the rainy season so an umbrella is useful for the heavy downpours. If you want to avoid the rain go a bit earlier in the year. We had a few big storms but were lucky with the timings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was an unforgettable holiday and I will definitely go back to Botswana one day.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    Excellent wildlife.  The best we have seen without the crowds of vehicles.  A trip worth making.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a pride of lions with the cub playing, seeing a herd of elephants bathing in the Khwai River, watching the hippos grunting in the pools, coming across leopards at close quarters, seeing the legant giraffes wandering across the bush. Victoria Falls was fantastic. Lots of inspirational moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was an excellent group leader who co-ordinated the trip very well.  The Botwana guide, Joseph, was also an exexcellent guide and amazing driver.  Melou was a fantastic cook.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be fit without any medical problems as you are mainly a long way from help. If you don't like heat then it is not for you and if you also have heart problems or any other serious conditions it would be unadvisable.  Don;t go in the rainy season, it was just starting in November and we were lucky.  Just a few thunderstorms but it can get very wet and you may not be able to see Victoria Falls because of the spray. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Camping was good but an occasional night at a lodge would help one to sort out baggage, have a good shower and dry out clothes.
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    An excellent trip. I have done safaris in South Africa, Namibia and the classic Kenya Mara trip, but I have never seen so much wildlife. Elephant, Lion, Leopard (first time ever) and all the usual beasts of the plains. One day we had just set up camp and someone called "elephant coming". I looked to see it less than 20m away looking straight at me. Luckily there was a vehicle between him and me. That is how wild the camping is, especially in Moremi and Savouti.I am incredibly unfit, yet I enjoyed the walks in the Delta and managed to stay comfortable whilst camping, something I haven't done in 30 years. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a pride of nine lionesses stalk a group of zebra. They failed to catch one but seeing the skill and organisation was impressive.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam and his team were brilliant. They gave lots of very relevent advice that always worked out, they were very knowledgable and could drive along the roughest of roads and still spot the smallest animals before anyone else. The food they cooked was better than anything most people could cook on a campfire. Proper food like stews, caseroles but also fish & chips or steak. All three were hard working, very friendly and very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do:the Okavango Delta flight. Great value for money compared to the  helicopter flight in Vic Falls the dinner cruise at Vic Falls. They'll run it even if only 2 people are on boar. Good food, unlimited drink and seeing hippos and crocs as they settle in for the night.If you do the helicopter flight over the falls, take the short Flight of Angels. The longer flight is not worth the extra $125. The DVD is a waste of money.Don'tHave an afternoon sleep, no matter how hot it gets. You won't sleep that night. Read a book and keep hydrated. take too many gadgets that need recharging. There will only be one facility to recharge and that is in the vehicle and can only be used one item at a time. Invest in extra batteries and charge them before you go. Worry about being taken to local "craft shops" or workshops were you could be pressured into buying local souvenirs. One group member actually had to ask to be pointed towards a souvenir shop.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are going to do one safari, save your pennies and do this trip. It may be marked as moderate only because of the wild camping. If you can handle a bush shower and a long drop for just a few days, take a chance. This is a great country, a wonderful trip and an amazing experience. Go for it.
  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    This was an amazing experience from start to finish. I was a single traveller and felt at home within my group and with the staff. It could not have gone better. I will be returning to Botswana very soon 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment for me was being able to sit with the Painted Dogs, i have been coming to Africa for just over 20yrs and only ever seen them on my very first year on a trip to Kruger but this experience has made me realise just how endagered these specialist hunters are. I would also say the wild camping that is an experience you will never be able to explain to anyone who hasn't done it. Victoria Falls was amazing and if i could give a tip to anyone ever going there it would be to go back to Devils Cataract after lunch only then will you be able to see the beautiful rainbows ;)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group Leader Sam was fabulous, he was very knowledgable and nothing was too much trouble. He made us laugh but also ensured our safety was his priority.Joseph was just amazing(our guide) i couldn't have asked for a better guide he was very determined and his tracking skills were unbelievable. Loved this guy to pieces  he had such a lovely manner and would try to accomodate people taking pictures from both sides of the truck by turning the vehicle around.Melo his cooking was awesome, he even managed to bake fresh bread on an open fire......it was beautiful. Melo helped us with everything from tents to taking me to bushy bushy when it was dark.Vin, although was learning the trip also couldn't do enough for us he was very chatty and happy. A joy to travel with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't think about it just do it, you will not be disappointed. Take a good camera. Lip balm is a must with the open land cruiser without it i think my lips may have dropped off my face. 
  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    An outstanding trip - highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip exceeded expectations but there were a few highlights: game walks in the Okavango Deltathe hospitality and good humour of our guidesseeing leopards (and a cub!), lions, painted dogs, elephants, giraffes, the list goes on!  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was outstandingly organised while appearing extremely laid back. He made us feel completely at ease and entirely safe. Nothing was too much trouble and he went out of his way to make it a truly special trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

     Take a headtorch that will not get switched on in your luggage.Take extra batteries for your headtorch in case it gets switched on in your luggage! The longer drives in the open truck can be quite breezy and dusty so take something to wrap around your head and neck to keep out the dust and stop your hair blowing in your face.Take extra camera batteries and take every opportunity at camp sites to charge them up - you will need them!Relax and go with the flow - this trip is amazing! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We absolutely loved this trip from beginning to end. All our guides were friendly and knowledgeable and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and relaxed. The campsites all had good facilities (flush toilets, showers, a swimming pool and a bar). Wild camping allowed us to see much more of the landscape and the animals than we felt we would have seen had we flown in, stayed at a luxury lodge and flown out again! Part of the experience was definitely being in the middle of nowhere around a camp fire with amazing stars overhead chatting to our guides and finding out about their lives, how they knew where to find the animals and how they managed to negotiate some of the terrain in the truck without getting stuck! Not only did we get to see an amazing landscape but the number of animals we saw was incredible. This was a good time of year to go as it was the end of the dry season and the animals were therefore congregating at the water sources. None of the places we went were crowded with other trucks. Often we were the only people who had happened on a particular leopard, or pride of lions. I would definitely recommend this trip. We have already booked our next trip with Exodus.
  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    BOTSWANA WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS, OCT 2013

    A magical experience that showcases a fantastic country, its people and its animals

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people in the group and sitting around the campfire chatting every nightSeeing a leopard and its cub from a few metres away and the evening dinner Zambezi cruise.Camping wild

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was great and everything you want in a leader - relaxed and unflappable which created a great atmosphere and yet kept everything running smoothlyOur local guide Joseph was amazing at finding and getting us close to the animals

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I went in late Sep / early Oct and it was really hot.  The best thing I took with me was a silk sleeping bag liner as often this was all you needed.You may find it strange on the first few days that there is a lot of relaxation time in the afternoons (due to the heat) - such as midday to 5pm which we found a struggle on the first few days but it soon makes you relax and switch off and becomes part of your normal day

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To be quite honest I think it is one of the best holidays I have had.  You completely switch off from life back home
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    This tour is a great way to discover the wildlife of Botswana.  There is loads to see and the setting is stunning, only enhanced by the opportunity to visit Victoria falls.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a number of highlights:- the amazing Victoria falls;- the huge array of wildlife in picturesque settings.  In particular the Chobe river cruise should not be missed.- the view of the milky way at night- sounds of the jungle at night, when camping in remote areas

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group Leader Sam, together with support from Mellow and our game park guide Press, did a great job in making sure we made the most of our holiday.  They organised us effectively when required; provided every opportunity to see the available wildlife; prepared great food in difficult conditions and were good company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    August is a good time to visit as the land is starting to dry out but it is not yet too hot.  It definitely helped to have a decent sleeping bag and a fleece for the early morning drives.Make sure Exodus have booked the campsite at Savuti.  For our tour the booking was too late and we ended up 1.5 hours away at Zwee Zwee, which is useless in the dry season when there is no wildlife there.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone with an interest in wildlife.  The camping was comfortable and it did not feel as though you were roughing it, as long as you were happy to go a few days without a shower.
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF BOTSWANA

    A wonderful two weeks exploring the best of Botswana's wildlife and wilderness. Anything but bland, we had some truly memorable experiences with lovely sunsets, but the holiday was best summed up when our group leader asked our group of nine for their favourite moment and received 9 different responses before we came full circle and gave some more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many for a number 1 choice but the following were equally brilliant: Wild Camping - sleeping in the wild with elephants, hyena, honey badgers and others visiting the camp during day and night. We were well looked after by the crew and there were some very close encounters.Wildlife galore - the sheer scale of what we saw and some brilliant encounters. Highlights included seeing 3 leopards and spending 25 minutes with 2 of them barely 10 metres away - great tracking from Kenny to get us there and to know the leopards would move towards an extra special photo opportunity location. Seeing a very fearsome pride of 7 lions on several occasions and quite miracously seeing three different packs of wild dogs on 3 separate game drives. A huge number of antelope (some rare) and herbivores too (including a stampede of 60 plus buffalo just 2 minute walk from our Livingstone campsite - just as well we didn't walk).The River Cruise at Chobe which is the best 200 pula you can spend - a great guide gave us a very different perspective of the wildlife from the water with some close up encounters. This is the best chance to see crocodile and rarer forms of antelope. Walking safaris - a brilliant time walking amongst the wildlife and opportunities to observe the animals from safe but very close distances. led by a very keen, enthusiastic and knowledgable group of young locals, they kept us safe from an elephant charge when the wind changed direction suddenly. Also provided local entertainment with genuine relish and fun.Victoria Falls - spectacular viewings from the Zimbabwe side and a great variety of fun activities. The microflight is not for the faint hearted but provides a wondeful bird's eye view of the Falls. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was excellent, very well organised who kindly took time off his free day to make sure we got through Zimbabwean immigration without any trouble. The trip ran very smoothly, he was an excellent cook (certainly nothing bland with his cooking) and got us through every immigration point easily. Also gave very good advice on seeing the Falls from Zimbabwe. Kenny our tracker was a brilliant wildlife guide who manoeuvered us into position for some truly brillinat sightings and photo opportunity. Joseph and Brude were very friendly and extremely efficient with all of the camp chores.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go! This trip has a terrific itiniery with excellent staff and is the best value trip for Botswana I have seen.October is extremely hot but you just have to rememeber that it is one of the best months for spotting wildlife, particularly big cats.Take Sam's advice and see the Falls from the Zimbabwean side if going in British autumn. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A wonderful trip with wildlife encounters that will be extremely difficult to better - a really terrific holiday helped by a lovely group of fellow travellers. We were unlucky that the cloudy day we had meant we missed the sunset at the Pans. A bit of a shame but the Pans are still a fascinating part of Botswana.