An amazing journey I didn't want to end. I loved every minute of the trip & Africa was totally awe inspiring. Saw some beautiful scenery, amazing animals & birds and met some wonderful people. This was my first Exodus trip but it certainly won't be my last :-)
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
* The Masai Mara - seeing a young lioness coming to lie right by the side of our vehicle & a young male lying directly in front! Seeing Leopards and Cheetah's so close up was amazing too
* Hot air Balloon at dawn - Worth every penny. Beautiful scenery & good to see the animals from another perspective. Makes you really appreciate how big the area is and how lucky you are to spot the big cats etc.
* Seeing the Gorilla's so close & watching one of the trackers being grabbed by a black back just as we were leaving!
* White water rafting on the River Nile if you're brave enough
* The elephant orphanage near Nairobi (featured in this months National Geographic magazine if you want to know more) so lovely to see the babies playing together and being taken care of so well by their keepers
- What did you think of your group leader?
Often was an absolute star, he was patient, funny & kind. He answered all our questions without batting an eyelid, fixed the truck when it broke down & really went out of his way to make sure everyone was happy at all times. He has superb animal spotting abilities, spotting a leopard tortoise & birds we would have completely miseed otherwise.
Bernard our cook was brilliant always "jumping into action" making some great meals as well as making us laugh. a special thanks to him for keeping peppers out of my food!!
Was hard to believe that it was only Patson's 2nd trip, he was a great addition to the trip and I'm sure he will go from strenght to strength
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take US $ but take larger denominations i.e. 50's or 100's. In most places you get a very poor exchange rate for the smaller notes and some places point blank refuse to change them. Also make sure your notes are all dated after the year 2000 or nowhere will accept them.
If you are taking an ATM/credit card take VISA not Mastercard. You are unable to use Mastercard to pay for the rafting or anything else at Jinja and it is extremely difficult to find an ATM that accepts anything apart from VISA anywhere in any of the countries.
For the Gorilla Trek wear waterproof trousers or at the very least gaiters, it is VERY muddy and you can be climbing for a couple of hours!
Hire a porter for the Gorilla Tracking. They do so much more than simply carry your bag - our trek was tough & with torn ligaments in my ankle it was even harder!! Fortunately I had hired a porter and he was worth his weight in gold, helping me all the way up & down the steep bits (which in fairness was most of it!)
Take a good quality headtorch - essential
Make sure you have a spare rucksack/bag for the 2 days in the Masai Mara as you need to take just enough for the 2 days & nights
Take zip off trousers rather than separate shorts & trousers as a lot of the time is spent in the truck so save the space in your luggage for extra memory cards, batteries & chargers. You will take hundreds & hundreds of photo's, many more than you think...
Be prepared for rain - take an umbrella/waterproof jacket
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Do the reverse itinerary Kigali - Nairobi, that way you finish the trip on a high - coming back from the Masia Mara seeing the fantastic wildlife, then on your last day seeing the elephant orpahnage & giraffe centre was a fabulous ending as opposed to a downer at the Kigali genocide museum.
If you are worried about going alone, don't. I was a solo traveller and so were a couple of others but everyone on the trip was lovely & I didn't feel lonely for one minute, there is so mjch going on & so many wonderful experiences to share.
Above all, just do it. This was my best holiday ever and I plan to travel solo again & again with Exodus