The trip was as good as expected from the description except for some long, rough days travelling, arriving at some destinations too late to explore. The scenery and people of East Africa were fantastic. The final few days of R&R on Zanzibar were welcome.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The game drives in all parks were exceptional, particularly a personal game drive in the Serengeti (whilst the remainder of the party were ballooning) spotting a hyena and jackal tug-of-war with an unfortunate young buffalo, just killed by the hyena, just 20m from the truck.
The bird life was amazing, a personal bird guide is required to identify them all, although Often, the driver, made a good attempt.
I made good use of the local motorbike gatherings, hopping on the back for a lightening photographic tour of some of the towns in exchange for the cost of a gallon of fuel.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Emius was friendly, helpful, very informative and a good conversationalist, offering the right advice at the appropriate time. He was ably joined by Often who had a good knowledge of the bird life and Leo, a master cook, both of whom were resourceful, friendly and informative.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Unlike Namibia, where I have also travelled with Exodus, the non-metalled roads can be extremely rough. There are a few long days travelling (10-12 hours) on these very rough roads where the priority was to get to the destination rather than sample the route. I would have liked more scenery to explore on foot during the long travelling days.
The Zanzibar dolphin excursion is one to be avoided. What is not explained on arrival at the hotel is that the sea is invarably rough (a 4 or 5 ft swell on the day) the dolphins elusive and swimming with them impossible in those conditions, had we seen any. More importantly, there were no lifejackets in the small wooden boat which went at least a mile offshore. This was a waste of a 6 hour trip.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
- I was very impressed by the friendly people and scenic diversity of East Africa. One of my main interests was the bird life but I was not expecting such diversity. I took a copy of Helm Field Guides - Birds of East Africa by Stevenson & Fanshaw. The description, location maps and illustrations are superb but the variety of birds seen, particularly those small ones, were too numerous to identify!