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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.
  • A great adventure

    This trip is great for adventure, photography and wildlife. Be prepared for long bumpy journeys on the truck but driving through the towns and villages is interesting to.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting so close to mountain gorillas was an unforgettable experience. We were very lucky with all the wildlife we say. The hot air balloon safari was amazing to, watching the sunrise and seeing so much wildlife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide (Gilbert) was very passionate knowledgeable and about the history and wildlife. He was also very helpful with any problems that came up like sorting out get peoples luggage back to them after the airlines lost them. He was always smiling and laughing with us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On the truck there are two uk plug sockets by each set of seats so don't worry about charging things. I'd highly recommend doing the hot air balloon safari, you will not regret it. Also there optional upgrades at some of the campsites. At Lake Bunyonyi campsite I upgraded to a tent with a bed and a balcony with views overlooking the river at a very reasonable price. I definitely recommend this.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The other people in are crew were great to. Our chef (Albert) made us delicious meals and made us laugh so much. Our driver (stone cold) was a really good driver and kept us safe on the roads, it must be an exhausting job but he was always happy. Charlie was helping out with everything, always smiling and great company.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Anthony Wells

    Namibia 4WD Desert Safari

    We have travelled from Mongolia to Patagonia, seen Bukhara, the Taj Mahal, Tigers in India and The Andes but this was by far our most exciting trip. Wild Camping in the Palmwag Concession, away from virtually all other tourists, was a real adventure. To see five of the six Desert Lions in this area was beyond our highest expectations. These in addition to seeing five different Rhinos and a two month old Elephant. The "Icing on the Cake" when we arrived in Etosha was to witness a Cheetah hunt and kill by three Cheetahs, a mother and two almost full grown young. Our Guide, who had 25 years experience, had only seen one other in all that time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Cheetah hunt

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hans Leichi our Guide and John his able assistant were exceptional. Their spotting abilities were second to none and having seen the Cheetahs at a great distance Hans was able to anticipate exactly where we should drive to in order to see the hunt. He was also a great cook so we ate very well the whole trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your place NOW!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Why do you have to use B.A.? They are a cheap-skate unit!!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Jim Best

    Oh My Freaking God I Want to Move to Africa.

    I have been fortunate to travel a lot. These countries were my 51st, 52nd and 53rd but this was the best time of my life. This was my 7th small group trip. I have never felt more grateful in my life—and it is all owed to this wonderful staff, Gilbert (our guide), Stoney (our driver), Albert (our cook) and Charles (his helper). I moderately injured my low back while rafting in Jinja and was very worried that if it worsened (from camping or the bumpy dirt roads) I would not be able to do the Chimp or Gorilla treks. The staff did everything in their power to help me through this and I’m very thankful for that; the injury never worsened and I was able to do everything that the agenda entailed. The safari portion of our trip was extraordinary, particularly in the Mara and Lake Nakuru. The boat safari in Murchison was also amazing as we saw everything in such a different ecosystem. The highlights: five lionesses in a tree, two leopards, a monster of a crocodile, a wildebeest stampede, a hippo and a family of warthogs at our campsite in Murchison, hordes of playful baby baboons, a pack of zebras hilariously chasing an territory-invading jackal and virtually every other large African mammal except the cheetah. A few other animal experiences to mention: —There are 1,388 species of birds in East Africa. I’m not a birder or anything but I was constantly in awe of the gorgeous, highly varied plumage patterns of these majestic creatures. —The chimps in the Budongo Forest were outrageous. We hoped to just see a few eating in the treetops. We saw that and about twenty minutes into our viewing session a highly-orchestrated colobus monkey hunt began with screeching, screaming and yelling. Chimps rapidly descended all around us, ran across the forest floor and ascended other trees nearby. The rangers claimed they killed three colobus. While we collectively only had one picture of a chimp eating his prey, it was an exhilarating, albeit terrifying and somewhat sad, experience. —I figured the chimps had stolen the show. But the gorillas responded. Extraordinary experience...we had no clue how close they were going to get. They say it’s a seven meter distance that we need to maintain, but not if the gorillas decide they want to play with you... One of the gorillas (an impish three year old boy) sprinted to me, stuck his head between my knees and patted the sides of my thighs in rapid succession. He then just lied there. No one got any of it on film because the silverback, Bweza, was waking right towards me as his son was pulling this stunt and everyone had to shuffle away quickly... Bweza was no more than two meters away from me before we could all pull back. It was terrifying but that early lesson taught us that these gorillas are extremely habituated and thus, totally harmless; I suspect Bweza was simply wanting to keep his playful toddler in check. Later on during the viewing hour, the same three yr old pirouetted three or four times right at our feet. It was adorable. That was followed by several minutes of wrestling with his same-aged cousin. One of the great memories of my life. Most importantly, our crew made the trip. Gilbert, our leader, was outstanding. Solid knowledge of the animals. He has degrees in tourism and social anthropology and it really shows. He not only has a good understanding of the countries we visited but the continent and the world as a whole. His education led to a bunch of really interesting conversations that I enjoyed. Very well organized, kind and funny as well. A great trip leader. Albert was our chef and did a damn good job prepping tasty meals for us. Most importantly though, he was ALWAYS in a good mood and lifted the spirits of our group constantly. I’ll never forget the guy. Stoney, our driver, was a great great guy. Sincere, kind and very hard working. He navigated some tough roads and kept us on time. I had several great conversations with him about all kinds of topics ... mostly his family, his childhood and Kenya’s hopes for the future. Another guy with a big heart I’ll never forget. Lastly, Charles, the helper, was just a damn hard worker. For a first timer, he really seemed to contribute a lot. Always dived in when he was needed. Again, what a great trip. I’m elated that I was able to do this with such a wonderful group of people. Thanks Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I should also mention that the people in Kenya and Uganda were wonderful. I’ve never seen so much road-side waving in my travels. It’s nice to feel wanted as a tourist and everyone we met along the way was very welcoming.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best I've ever had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a small lock for the lockers. A large lock won't fit in the hole provided.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Phill Dixon

    If I could do it again I wouldn't hesitate

    If you could gurantee the same team, group and even half the wildlife encounters I'd book it up tomorrow. We were very lucky with both the wildlife and to have such an enthusiastic and fun group of guides and guests - which made the trip all the better. The locations are stunning - in two days in the Masai Mara we saw the big 5 and had an epic balloon ride at sunrise. Then we were off to Lake Nakuru and the rhinos and flamingos took centre stage, with the smiles getting wider as the wildlife encounters got better. Sleeping within 300m of a waterfall in Nakuru was a highlight and despite being the most basic, was my favourite campsite - hearing lions and hyeenas calling in the night while sat around a campfire checking out all the stars. At Jinja even novice rafters got to experience the thrill of white water and again the provided photos and videos had us all laughing and reliving the day. The Adrift campsite was also brand new and had great facilities. So the experiences built, Murchison has impressive waterfalls and the boat trip was a good way to get out of the heat of the day. Gorilla tracking in Budongo again had us being lucky, being in the middle of chimps hunting, a once in a lifetime opportunity and not something to be expected, but if you get to experience time with the enigmatic chimps you cannot be disappointed. Queen Elizabeth has less diversity of wildlife but still provided lots of Elephants and on the river you see birds and elephants everywhere. Lastly the gorillas - I did two treks and they were both different but magical experiences. The first involved a long trek but we were surrounded by a group and followed them, experiencing interactions with several different family members. This would be a tough trek if you are not physically fit and used to walking up hills. The second trek involved spending an unforgettable hour with Xmas, the largest silverback in Bwindi and his 1 and 2 year old babies. We could not see other members of the family and the trek was shorter and easier, but a very close and magical encounter - when a baby gorilla looks at you from less than 7m you get a sense of how special and priveledged your time with them is. You are also given certificates to help remember your time with these beautiful animals The trip to the genocide museum was a very poignant reminder of what Rwanda has been through as well. Some facts - the trip involves a lot of early starts and quite a bit of travelling. Your reward is the trip of a lifetime. The truck is large and spacious but keep things in the lockers or that room fills up quickly. You will need to be able to walk up steep hills for the gorillas, but the team takes things slowly and chooses the best path for the group. Campsites often had showers, toilets and a bar so have some dollars for these. A lot of Ugandan service stations and almost all of Rwanda wanted local currency. Some things to note - the Rwandan border was the most difficult to cross, with a problem getting our taxi across taking 2hrs but providing a great side adventure - a sense of humour about delays and acknowledging that you may be asked seeminglystupid questions is par for the course. Get some snacks and drinks before crossing as there is nothing on the Rwandan security zone. The Exodus team were fantastic throughout, working hard to fix any problems ( airline lost bags), keep our trip moving smoothly and provide fun and share jokes over Albert's fantastic cooking ( his cooking may expand your waistline). Gilbert was the charismatic tour leader with lots of local stories and knowledge, Stoney the unflappable driver who always made time to help, Albert the fantastic chef with all the catchphrases and a personality larger than life, and Charles the youngest and ever smiling and helpful team member eager to greet and hear of our days adventures. A good team feels like family not a crew, these guys felt like family and helped knit the group together. I feel exceptionally lucky to have been on this trip, I've travelled a lot and this will remain a trip to remember. If I could do the same or similar trip with the group and crew I would book it tomorrow, if you promised me half the wildlife too I'd still jump at the chance. Thanks Exodus for another epic adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending time with the gorillas and seeing the look on everyone's faces as they encounter these incredible animals up close.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was really good at bringing people together and engaging the group. He was also active in securing us better times for chimp trekking and minimising time on the truck / getting good plots on campsites. A lot of what he was doing behind the scenes in planning / logistics was while people slept on the truck so he could chat and sing songs when we were all awake. He also had excellent wildlife and historical knowledge and was happy to share The only problem we encountered was on the day the team weren't there at the Rwandan border - and over the phone he was working on a solution to get us moving

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a folder for certificates they give for gorilla trekking Have a sheet or blanket to sit on in the truck as the vinyl seats can get hot in the sun ( thanks Vio) Have some small Ugandan and Rwandan currency so you can buy things at service stations if they don't accept cards or dollars ( Rwanda the bars all wanted local currency). Pack some extra clothes in your daysack when flying - airlines lose bags so have at least a change of clothes to last you a day or two. Go to Carnivores in Nairobi it is a great meal and intro for the group. Don't expect glamping but this is comfortable camping and you get to hear lions calling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If the team running this trip do any other Africa trips I'd gladly go on them
  • Reviewed July 2019
    violeta maftei

    Mind-blowing experience

    WYU190630 Just returned from my first African wild adventure and i m still day dreaming of it! Couldn't have asked for a better crew team members and better group. Absolutely awed day in day out. This being my first experience camping and group travelling i must say it has been a blast! Do not let the camping put you off! It is a great experience and i loved every minute of it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From day one, every day was memorable! And just when i thought that nothing could top seeing the big five, here comes chimpanzee trekking, mountain gorilla trekking, the scenery all around were absolute breathtaking. Totally totally would recommend this trip to anyone who's ready for adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide Gilbert together with chef Albert, driver Stony and all around helper Charlie made our experience a memorable one. I could not have asked for a better crew! They were awesome and their hard work must be acknowledged. Absolutely stunned with Gilbert's knowledge in terms of culture, nature, wildlife; and throughout the trip he always kept us informed, always smiling laughing and ready to listen to everything we had to say. Driver Stony, hat down! His many years of experience definitely had a say and he kept us safe throughout the journey. 100% confidence is his skills. Chef Albert looked after our stomach affairs! The whole group were astonished how he always managed to come up with the most delicious dishes even when camping. Healthy and freshly cooked food, always a bonus. Charlie the man does it all!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a sense of adventure and a big smile and you'll have the holiday of a lifetime! I was nervous when i booked this trip as was travelling alone, and never done this sort of trip before, but words cannot express how amazing the trip was and how well the group and crew members integrated from day one! Be prepared for long drives on bumpy roads sometimes. Its part of the adventure package!:)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When we had to say goodbyes we cried....No one wanted the trip to end... I've created what am hopping to be lifelong friendships and its amazing!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Nancy West

    Wonderful wildlife

    This was a fantastic trip! From the whales and dolphins to the elephants and leopards (yes, we saw one!) every day had an unforgettable highlight. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country of lovely welcoming people and was very well represented by our two wonderful guides. The hotels were very varied in character but of a high standard as was the food. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for a relaxing trip in the beautiful nature of Sri Lanka.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of the wildlife encounters we had: I couldn’t pick just one. We saw whales and dolphins on our boat trip; leopards in Yala and I would never tire of just sitting and watching the elephants!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! Our group leader Dilshan was unfailingly friendly, cheerful and helpful. He was a great source of information about his country and managed to strike the perfect balance between talking to us about a range of subjects related to Sri Lanka and giving the group quiet time to relax on the journey. He also managed to identify and address potential issues before they became an issue. Our wildlife guide Dineth was a fountain of knowledge when it came to the wildlife and I am still in awe of his ability to spot even the tiniest bird in the undergrowth from a moving vehicle! He also had a very impressive repertoire of bird calls! They made a great team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! A small umbrella can be useful for when it’s hot but also raining!
  • 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.
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