Me too. I've been planning to book this for a while, and now it's done. :-)
Who's been with Exodus before? My first Exodus trip was also camping, but that was over ten years ago and I haven't camped since! Done a few other trips in between though, and they've all been great. This is a solo trip for me - anyone else? Again, something I've done a few times before, and the groups have been great fun. Bought a new lens for my camera, got my trusty old walking boots... raring to go! Looking forward to meeting you all (or is it "both"?) - we're going to have a great time!
Tsk! Please excuse over-use of the word "great" in my last post. ;-)
Yes, good point - when the focus of a holiday is wildlife-watching you could probably do the same trip twice and have a completely different experience. :-) Nice to hear about your previous Exodus camping experience... the fact you're coming back for more suggests it's pretty good!
As well as the animal-watching, I'm looking forward to meeting the local people, which lots of people have commented on in their reviews. I'll probably be asking the Exodus staff a bunch of questions before we go - such as can we/should we take things for the orphanage we visit?
A question: did you choose this trip for the reverse itinerary, or did it just happen to fall that way on the dates you wanted (as was the case for me)? I've noticed several reviewers have commented that they're glad they did the trip in whichever order it was for them - it looks like a case of swings and roundabouts. I'm quite happy to do the gorilla visit early, I think everything after that is likely to seem like a bonus. :-)
I've found the reviews interesting and useful - a lot of mentions of the importance of a good head torch, for example. And those gardening gloves for the gorilla trek. And all the reviewers sing the praises of their various tour leaders. :-)
Yes, I had the health thing in mind for the gorilla visit too as one of the advantages of the reverse itinerary. It would be terrible not to be able to go due to transmittable illness. I travel to work on public transport, so for a couple of weeks before the holiday I'll probably be travelling in a face mask and spraying myself and others just in case. ;-)
I used to have a travel clothes line which I now can't find - if it doesn't turn up I may buy another one. It's two strands twisted together so you don't need pegs (though I still think pegs are easier), and has hooks either end for attaching it. I got it from one of those outdoor stores. I also have a lightweight travel towel which I've never needed to use yet, so I hope it does the job. All my travel clothes are made of quick-drying fabrics - how I wish they'd invented those years ago when I camped more. A head torch (good one) is something I've seen mentioned in lots of the reviews as being important - that's going on my list.
Any other camping hints welcome - it's a long time since I've done any. :-)
Sorry, I've just seen I'd already talked about head torches.
I hope I'm not coming across as someone who never stops talking! I don't think I am like that - I'm just getting excited about the trip!
Glad to hear I'm not the only one feeling rushed and harrassed - yes, also working up until the day before we leave - not the day itself though, which I guess is possible as it's an evening departure. I am away next weekend for a surprise birthday party, so this weekend was my last chance to get everything organised, and I've now tried putting most of it into my bag. Oh dear... so much for packing light. It's just that there are things needed I haven't had to pack for a while, such as a sleeping bag and own towels (those nice mini trek ones though). Then there are the gardening gloves (has anyone ever packed those for a holiday before!) and I've gone for waterproof overtrousers and gaiters as well, thanks to reviewers' advice. Along with the walking boots, these are all things we're only likely to need for one day! As usual the toiletries are a bit mega too - but you have to have the insect repellent and just-in-case medications, don't you? What I haven't bothered putting into the bag yet are my clothes... but I have to say they are pretty minimal compared with "stuff". I'm not worried about the weight so much as whether things will fit into these lockers. I wonder what happens if they don't! I have a lttle combination padlock which I hope will fit - I've noticed several reviewers say theirs were too small. I'm assuming they must have been those litttle suitcase padlocks... but it's hard to tell.
Visas... everything I've read seems to say we get the visas as we go along, so I haven't done anything about that. Thanks for the hint about dry bags. I bought a set in diffferent sizes - I think we may need to protect our cameras etc. from dust as well as water. Good advice about avoiding leaking toiletries as well - I use those polythene press & seal bags from supermarkets.
Was your Botswana camping trip also with Exodus? My first ever Exodus trip was camping in Botswana and Zimbabwe - that dates it! It was over 10 years ago and looking at some of the photos for AYU, the safari trucks are the same as on that trip (although we didn't have lockers). And I haven't camped since, so I'm a little nervous about it. One thing I do remember was that if you sat at the back of the truck it was freezing! We used to take it in turns, and it became the tradition to sit in your sleeping bag and wear the "group woolly hat" to keep warm. That was a maximum size group though, and so far it looks as though we still have 6 or 7 spaces on ours, so we may have the luxury of a bit more space.
Are we all (those who've joined in the chat so far!) on the group flight from Heathrow? If so, see you there - and very soon! :-)
Forgot to mention this before - do you mean we are likely to be in time for the migration? :-)
If so, that would be a huge bonus - I sort of thought it was a bit earlier than when we're going. My dates were fixed due to work commitments (and surprise birthday parties).
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