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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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  • It is an awesome trip with lots of memories

    As mentioned in previous reviews it is a full on but very worthwhile trip. From start to finish there are so many experiences. It is a trip for you if you want to see wildlife but have a bit of comfort. The camping trip was fabulous - not roughing it too much - everything is done for you - you just have to sit back and enjoy - Rowan even bakes a cake. I was a bit apprehensive about the bush toilet - but its was no problem and the bush shower quite fun. We didn't manage to see any lions - but that is the luck of a safari - you are venturing into their habitat so nothing can be guaranteed. There is not much down time - except during the long travel between places but that is undertaken in a very comfortable mini bus. Plus there is always something to look at - or playing who wants to be a millionaire! We didn't win a lot! The group of people we were with were great company and thus also helped to make it a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to decide as it was a fabulous trip with lots of experiences - Seeing the leopard in Chobe NP, watching hundreds of elephants get together in the water hole in Hwange NP, coming up close to Rhinos in Matobo NP or the fabulous camping trip in Okavango Delta or seeing Victoria Falls for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan our guide and Sifiso our driver certainly lived up to the good reviews others have previously placed. Nothing was too much trouble, Both shared there experiences and information Sifiso was a great driver - so we felt safe all the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember your torches and head torch for the camping plus if there is powercuts - which occurred in Zimbabwe. Remember to take a travel plug adaptor for Botswana/South Africa you will need it to charge up anything. Also take an additional battery pack for charging your phones ( if used as a camera) whilst camping. It does get cold on the morning game drives - take layers - hats, gloves, windproofs etc you will need them! Also the evenings can get cold. We took lots of photos - but also you need to take time to experience the wildlife not through a lens. If you are thinking of doing this trip - just do it - you will not regret it. It is fabulous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We took items to give to schools - ideas from pack for purpose - which we left at the village school where the villagers came from who poled our Mokoro canoes and looked after us whilst camping. They need more colouring pencils, exercise books, counting cubes and other items for teaching maths, plus games fro small children to play. We also paid extra for the flight over the Okavango delta which was awesome - seeing the animals from above and gave us an appreciation of how little water there was at the time we had our trip. They were still waiting for the water to come down from Angola. We also all did a night safari where you are not guaranteed to see anything but we saw elephants, zebra, etc The helicopter ride over Victoria falls is also a must.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    David Byers

    Full on every fay

    A full on safari/trip through Botswana and Zimbabwe - not for you if you need 10 hours sleep every night. The highlight without doubt is the trip via Mokorro canoe and camping trip into the Otovango delta. Some long days travelling in the mini bus but all very worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Otovango delta

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely one of the best

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alison Kett

    Unforgettable Trip

    First time to Africa, didn’t know what to expect, but loved every minute, honestly cannot recommend enough. These are two very beautiful countries with such contrasting scenery. It was great to explore whilst still having the comfort of staying in beautiful lodges. Each one bought its own quirks, character and wildlife and I really liked being able to relax by the pool or at the bar in-between activities and in the evenings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were just too many incredible moments to single out one. Two stand-out moments for me include being within a few metres of five white Rhino and coming across a male and female lion by the side of the road. The absolute highlight of the trip though was our time in the Delta. I was apprehensive before going (camping/toilets/showers) but was blown away by the whole experience and wish we had stayed longer. Being able to hear lions roaring in the distance, having around 15 elephants wading through the water within metres of our camp both during the day and at night, coming across painted dogs running around and playing on one of our walks, learning to pole a mokoro and meeting the lovely people from a local village who looked after us so well. I especially loved visiting their village afterwards and they were so grateful for the stationary and toys that we took for the children.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The whole trip was flawlessly executed and that was down to Rowan (our leader) and Sifiso (our driver). Rowan was very well organised and always helped us to get the most out of our experience . He kept us well entertained on the long drives with quiz games and spotting wildlife, had excellent knowledge of all the birds and animals we came across and if there was anything he didn’t know he had many reference books to look up information. He also cooked up some delicious food when we camped in the Delta (my favorites being the “Delta” cake). Sifiso drove superbly the entire trip over what were sometimes very rough roads. We all really enjoyed Rowan and Sifisos company and can’t thank them enough for making such an unforgettable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more money for tipping. There are so many lovely people who can’t do enough for you and we got slightly caught out by not having enough cash and it wasn’t easy to get hold of more. If you decide to do the night safari in Hwange, invest in a really good torch.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was an unforgettable experience. Writing this review three weeks on, and I’m still suffering from “holiday blues”.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Shelley Napper

    Amazing Adventure

    It’s hard to put into words how amazing the Exodus’ Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari experience is. I knew this would be a trip with a difference, but this African adventure went beyond my wildest dreams.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two nights wild camping was, for me, the most daunting part of the trip and ended up being my absolute highlight – elephants water-crossing near camp, wild dogs playing and of course the smooth relaxing, mokoro trips. However, wild camping in the Okavango Delta is only one of a multitude of highlights that this trip has to offer -every day offers something amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    While I’m sure any trip in Africa could be amazing, it was the Exodus team members that made our extraordinary trip what it was – unforgettable! Rowan (our leader) and Sifiso (our driver) went above and beyond to ensure that this once in a lifetime experience was beyond all expectations. Their wealth of experience was demonstrated through their expansive local knowledge, smooth organisation and the ease with which everything was accomplished. Rowan’s energy, generosity and wide array of interests meant that many experiences had a personal touch – just one of many examples being the drone footage he generously took and gave to our group, recorded memories of something so special I cannot thank him enough. Sifiso’s calm, friendly nature and superior driving skills made comfortable and safe driving days and provided the relaxed atmosphere a trip like this deserves. Rowan and Sifiso, I cannot thank either of you enough!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I look forward to future Exodus adventures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Entwistle

    Great Holiday

    A most interesting and enjoyable trip with good company and plenty of wildlife to see. The safaris enabled us to see lions on 3 separate occasions, a leopard up a tree and a 'crash' of 5 white rhinoceros asleep under a tree as well as elephants on land and swimming. We stayed under canvas but with en-suite facilities except at the Okavango Delta. The visit to Victoria Falls at the end of the trip was impressive the scale of them is huge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two nights camping at the Okavango Delta which we reached by mokoro (dug out canoes) being poled by local villagers. This was experiencing real Africa.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was knowledgeable and helpful as well as an excellent cook during the camping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your camera protected by waterproof bags to Victoria Falls you will get some amazing pictures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Bob Entwistle

    Great Holiday

    A most interesting and enjoyable trip with good company and plenty of wildlife to see. The safaris enabled us to see lions on 3 separate occasions, a leopard up a tree and a 'crash' of 5 white rhinoceros asleep under a tree as well as elephants on land and swimming. We stayed under canvas but with en-suite facilities except at the Okavango Delta. The visit to Victoria Falls at the end of the trip was impressive the scale of them is huge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two nights camping at the Okavango Delta which we reached by mokoro (dug out canoes) being poled by local villagers. This was experiencing real Africa.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was knowledgeable and helpful as well as an excellent cook during the camping.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your camera protected by waterproof bags to Victoria Falls you will get some amazing pictures.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Michael Freestone

    Swimming in the cool pools of the Okavango Delta

    It was hot and sticky. But swimming in the Okavango Delta, cruising on the Chobe River, seeing a multitude of birds and hearing hippos in the distance made up for the mild discomfort. We travel to get under a country's skin, experience the culture and local hospitality. Our trip to Matabeleland and visiting Cecil Rhodes' memorial was captivating; there in the wild, silent, rocky countryside, with lizards scurrying around and baboons barking in the distance was inspiring.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were two wonderful experiences. Firstly getting soaked to the skin walking through the mist and spray by the Victoria Falls. And secondly, seeing at least five rhinos snoozing under the shade of a mopane tree with gentle puffs of dust arising as they snorted and slept in the heat of the afternoon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan Moon was just what I expected. A very sociable young chap with an Afrikaan accent who looked after our small group very well. He makes exceptional cakes by a camp fire and an excellent vegetarian stew which he seemed to conjure up from nowhere. He even flew his drone and shared some fascinating aerial shots of us canoeing in mokoros in the Delta.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for long road trips and try to go to Vic Falls twice. Once to get thoroughly soaked and second to take your cameras avoiding the wettest spots to record the atmosphere and thunder!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have preferred to travel from Kasane to Maun on roads which went through African villages as opposed to going in a direct line from A to B. Having travelled to various African countries the experience of stopping in villages enhances memories ie the wood smoke, the people and buying local snacks from produce stalls along the way. Lastly, when visiting Hwange NP the tour was split in two which was enjoyable but the pm tour took us on the same route as in the am.
  • 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
    Katherine Pagett

    Beautiful Botswana and Zimbabwe Lodges

    A truly awesome holiday! I can't stop telling people about it! We saw so many animals in the wild with memorable sights, noises and smells. We were the 'lucky lion group' witnessing lions feasting on a putrid smelling kill in Chobe in the morning and then seeing a prowling lioness on the banks of the river in the evening. Then while camping in the Okavango Delta, on our sunset walk return to camp, we came across 5 lions within 400 meters of our campsite! We also heard them roar later that night while we were sitting around the campfire and taking photos of the Milky Way...sweet dreams!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Hwange Park on the sunset safari, a herd of elephants of all ages crossed in front of us on their way to a waterhole. The closer they got to the water, the faster they ran and they put on a spectacular water show for us. They drank and splashed in the water and showered water in the air, they then rolled in the mud and the babies seemed to show such joy at rolling and splashing around. Next they threw dust over themselves which looked like they were finishing off their bathing session with powder. It really made me smile. Then at the next watering hole, the hippos finally showed themselves and opened their massive mouths - truly awesome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was good fun, a great cook with limited facilities and amazing at spotting birds and animals.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The camping in the Okavango Delta is basic. I'm not a natural camper but just embrace it because the proximity to animals, the noises, the visibility of the Milky Way is awesome. I never thought I would use the bush shower but I did and I enjoyed it, so be open minded! Take a sleeping bag liner with you, wet wipes, torches and as little else as possible because you will probably just end up wearing the same clothes for the 3 days/2 nights you are there as everything gets covered in dust. Take something to do (e.g. book, puzzle book, magazine) during the heat of the day during siesta time as it is too hot to go out then and you couldn't wander off by yourself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Animals we saw - lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras; only one rhino; one hyena, warthogs, wildebeest, impalas, kudus, steenbucks; mongooses, jeckle, lesser spotted genet, baboons, monkeys; elephant shrew, lizards, ostriches, bushbaby; flamingos, vultures, kingfishers, lilac breasted rollers and lots of other birds
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Catherine How

    Memorable

    Fantastic trip with great contrasts not just of scenery but also animals and experiences One of the top exodus trips taken over the last 12 years and highly recommended Wild camping on the delta was an unforgettable experience Great guides!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The delta: the organisation of the villagers, their knowledge and skills awesome

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great guy Rowan along with Susifso who had guided and driven us so well on an earlier trip to South Africa and the drakonsburgs 9 years ago We didn’t forget him and it was great to see him again Rowan was all that you could have wished for and humorous with it They made the dream team

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy