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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed June 2019
    Martin Hodgkinson

    South Africa: Walking, Landscapes and Wildlife

    This trip is a great way to See South Africa across a variety of landscapes, mainly through National Parks and game reserves. There is a range of environments from the Drakensberg mountains to the Indian Ocean beaches at St Lucia with spectacular walks. There are long drives, over 3000km in total, in a reasonably comfortable 14 passenger minibus. Travelling in May, the weather was dry, sunny and warm, except at night and the highest walks. The accommodation varied between basic and very comfortable, but always clean.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most of the scenery was striking but the Drakenberg mountains was probably the most spectacular, especially at sunrise. The walk from the historic battlefield at Isandlwana to Rorke's Drift was very atmospheric and fording Buffalo River was an certainly an experience in waist deep water (take a dry bag for valuables just in case). Although I have experienced better safari drives elsewhere in Africa, the night safari in the Kruger was memorable after seeing a pride of 8 lions on the move.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sku and Morrison looked after us well with good knowledge of the areas and wildlife. They set a good pace on the walks for the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are practised and fit for hill walking with a backpack as some walks are steep and most of the terrain is rocky, not prepared, paths. Good knees and ankles are essential! Walking poles can be helpful on some walks. The chain ladders on the final walk are not demanding unless you suffer from vertigo. There were laundry facilities at St Lucia. In May there were no or few insects although covering in the evening is still advisable, also for the cooler temperatures. Periodic stops at good supermarkets allowed replenishment of snacks or anything else. Food and drink at restaurants is very good and excellent value.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our group was a good range of ages from 29 to retirees which made the mix more enjoyable. South Africa is a spectacular country and, for any who has not yet been to Africa, this trip is great way to start. Be prepared for the inevitable tips. ATMs are available in towns and most places are happy to take card payments.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    David Hill

    Disasterous week 1; OK 2&3

    Supplied with the wrong vehicle which was both unsafe and very uncomfortable and guides who didn't know where they were going. It took a week to replace both.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wonderful Africa

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First week useless, second and third weeks brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ask questions : 1) is the vehicle safe?; 2) is there 'working' air con?: 3) how old is it?; 4) has the guide/driver done the trip before?; 5)are the trip note 'driving' times reasonably accurate?; 6)if you are tall, how much leg room is there? 7)is there room to move on the bus?.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Potentially a brilliant trip ruined by Exodus' attitude to our complaints.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Chris Williams

    South Africa: landscapes, wildlife and battlefields

    The Exodus holiday in South Africa was a wonderful introduction to African landscapes and wildlife. I have travelled widely in my life but with little experience of Africa. This holiday exceeded my expectations in two ways: the remarkable opportunities to see wildlife at close quarters in Kruger; the amazing landscapes of the Blyde River canyon, Swaziland and the Drakensurg Mountains. My enjoyment of the holiday had a lot to do with the way it was organised and led by the group leader. I have been left with many great memories.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was inspirational to be in Kruger National Park for a few days and to see the great variety of wildlife. I'm thankful that there remain a few places on earth that have this rich ecosystem. A three hour walk just after dawn was especially exciting - being aware that large animals were around us and that we were walking through their natural habitat, their world

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Rowan Moon, was excellent and I rate him highly. His enthusiasm and energy was infectious. He is natural leader and developed a close relationship with us as a group and as individuals. Organisation and time-keeping was excellent. He has developed a very good working relationship with Sofiso, the driver, and I felt safe and well-cared for at all times. He has remarkable wildlife-spotting skills and was able to detect the presence of animals (including many species of birds) and identify them accurately and instantly. He also has very good hiking skills and was confident at route-finding and care of people who struggled on more challenging parts of the mountain trails. The driver, Sofiso, was superb: very safe driving at all times on some challenging road surfaces, very well organised for luggage and food preparation and hard working & reliable in all ways. He is also friendly and good company. Betz, a trainee guide, worked hard assisting with food prepapration. A few times she gave information when we were touring in the minibus but I found it really hard to understand her because she has a very strong South African accent. This would have been a big concern for me if she had been our group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice for travellers buying this holiday is to ensure that they are as fit as possible for the days of walking. And to be aware that while the trails are not over-long, nor are the altitude climbs significant (about 700m maximum), the routes are very rugged at times, there are parts when there are steep or near vertical sections on or near the route, there are a few quite tricky river crossings and there are very challenging metal ladders on the last two days (see my comments below). The guide Rowan, and the driver Sofiso, gave excellent support on these walks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely say that there is a walking activity grading problem for this holiday. The walking grade 'Moderate' says 'general underfoot conditions will be fair'. However, on all the days there were sections of the trail which were more demanding than 'fair' - the Blyde River canyon to some extent, but especially the Tugela Gorge hike, the Witsiehoek 'Crack' hike and the Sentinel Peak hike to the ladders. These three days, if fully completed, including ascent (and descent - you have to come back down the same way) of the frankly hair-raising 20 metre ladder up to the Tugela Falls viewpoint, would clearly fit into a Challenging category in my opinion. So, the length of the walks are Moderate (about 2 to 5 hours max) but the trails are rugged and challenging at times. Should the holiday be given a Moderate/Challenging rating? Or the last 2 days only could be given Challenging. Please note that Day 13 description should make clear that the Crack is demanding for those with vertigo and has a 7 metre ladder which is in quite poor condition. My wife was made aware of the ladder just the evening before and had to miss the day's walking for this reason. Our guides, Rowan Moon and the local guides hired were superb at all times helping us with these routes. Thank you.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Frances Burman-Mueller

    What does this mean?

    Varied itinerary, unusual overnights. Food quality very mixed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The game drives

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. Pleasant, helpful, everything went to plan

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You definitely need a torch: no electricity in some places. Be prepared for very infrequent Wi-fi Some laundry opportunities are in fact self service launderettes.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Julie Knuckey

    Trip from Johannesburg to Cape town

    This was a very memorable trip which took in so much of South Africa's wild life, past histories and south Africa as it is now. Our guides were excellent in their information about South Africa, the animals and the cultural and political shaping of South Africa. We traveled very long distances and experienced several game drives where we saw most of the larger animals including several close sightings of lions. Visits to Lesotho and Swaziland were a pleasant contrast to the seemingly more affluent and efficient South Africa. Rouke's Drift visit brought the film Zulu to life, The landscape changed from fertile farm estates to scrub land and desert, everywhere though needed rain, they hadn't had good rains for several years. We traveled by minibus and a larger more comfortable safari bus and the air-con didn't work, so it was hot & tiring , however all the accommodation was different but comfortable and adequately equipped. Food was mainly very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A horse ride in Lesotho through the villages. Seeing the penguins and a visit to Robben island to see and learn about Nelson Mandela's incarceration there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader & driver for the 1st week tried hard to give us an enjoyable experience, however having not lead a trip to where we were travelling before, she and her driver were replaced in the 2nd week by excellent group leaders with fantastic knowledge of all aspects of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very long drives, the roads are good but it is important to remember that this is Africa and things do not always go to plan! Take plenty of sun screen etc. enjoy all the experiences.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think if I did it again I would stay longer in some areas as there was so much more to see.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Elizabeth Moxham

    South Africa walking and Wildlife

    Really excellent trip with great variety of walking and wildlife, wonderful scenery, great accommodation and fantastic guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have to name two, one travelling through Kruger and the other being in the Drakensberg

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco was excellent, well organised, worked extremely hard to make sure all our needs were well catered for and was extremely knowledgeable about wildlife and different geology. He was ably supported by Jojo, the driver and Roman who was training. All three were absolutely great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a lot of travelling in the minibus. The trip notes make this clear but I’m mindful not everyone fully takes everything in. Also, some of the walking is quite strenuous on uneven ground and involves some scrambling over boulders, river crossings so make sure you have appropriate sturdy footwear.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved staying in the two private reserves, particularly Zululand Lodge which was a change in the itinerary from staying in St Lucia. The settings for most of the accommodation was absolutely fabulous.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Gwen Trott

    Johannesburg to Cape Town Reverse

    Accommodation was good. Scenery excellent. Wild life excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Close encounter with the Cheetah

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader started very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Would recommend this trip

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The 16 seater vehicle was adequate for our group of 8. Would be too cramped for group any larger. To be able to have the option to travel in open vehicles for safaris was a blessing. The schedule was to stay in Tsitsikamma National Park but our accommodation was 40k away which meant our time in the park was limited and we were not able to take full advantage of the activities. We were due to depart for an early morning safari meeting at 04.15 a.m. for drinks and snacks for departure at 04.30 a.m. The guide did not appear until about 05.00 a.m., we were unable to contact him because his phone was off and the driver did not know where he was. He loaded up the vehicle and we departed at 05.15 a.m. there was no drink or snacks and no apology/explanation. The guide did not talk to us all morning and we were not able to get a drink until after 08.00 a.m. It is none of my business what the guide does in his own time but affects others when he fails to deliver.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Gwen for her feedback, although we are sorry that she was disappointed with the start of the game drive in Kruger National Park on New Year’s Day.  While we would like to explain that this group’s game drive took place earlier than normal, due to the public holidays and a much higher volume of visitors to the park than usual, we appreciate it would have been disappointing that the excursion was delayed.  Following client feedback from this trip, we have spoken with the tour leader, and moving forward we do not anticipate future clients encountering similar issues.  We were pleased to read that Gwen overall enjoyed her time in South Africa and has awarded it a five-star rating, and we hope to welcome her on another Exodus holiday in the not too distant future.  John Penge - Product Manager.

  • Reviewed January 2019
    Nigel Brereton

    Johannesburg to Cape Town

    A great 3 week trip for those who like a mixture of wildlife, history, African culture, Wine areas and views, with time to take in the sights and atmosphere. Some walking enhanced the scenery views which most managed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wildlife parks and Enclosures, seeing a warden stroking a Hyena and the Hyena enjoying it. Seeing the kill of a Leopard hung up in a Tree and 20 minutes later seeing the Leopard. Cape Town, Table mountain. Seeing Whales off shore out of season, the viewing boats had stopped running.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A great guide with excellent knowledge of wildlife, with good knowledge of South Africa. Tireless in cooking and clearing away, always cheerful. Coped with electricity cuts well, using gas ring to cook and battery lights. Tried to please all and adapted tour to suit the majority.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Trip notes covered most points. A head troch and troch was most useful in the early mornings and evenings. Insect spray was required. Take money and exchange in Bank or Money Bureau. An ATM 'scam' cost one over £400! Take care walking on loose stones, a leg gash needed treatment and 3 stiches. An attempt at handbag robbery in Cape Town was annoying on the final last day. Warnings to be 'street wise' were given. Seek travel advice from locals, as local busses were inexpensive, fast, but crowded. My mini bus took me to the Hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were some Navigation issues, in Cape Town, the guide had to call a local to find where the Boat departure point was for Robbin Island, it was on the Map! A map I obtained enhanced my day in Cape Town, visiting the most of the top ten sights. Some took photographs of the Map, which should be handed out by the Guide. Better to know and pick which are your likely best choices. I was the only one who knew of the Castel, pleased I made the organised history tour. Some meals were basic with little flavour, Bolognese sauce does have a tomato and beef flavour. The second African trip where Spaghetti Bolognese was on the Menu, however the sauce was only minced beef with its bland natural flavour! This time I did not write out the ingredient's for the cook
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Jinny Pohl

    Johannesburg to Cape Town

    It was a great trip with varying landscapes, climates and packed with new experiences. The route specially captures the wide landscapes and the wild life of South Africa. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone. However, Exodus should look into the cleanliness and the conveniences each accommodation provides as some did not meet even the basic standards.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the big five in Kruger was very special. A visit to Kruger has been on my list for a long time and to be there was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Colly Mohlabine and driver JoJo Molekoa were the best people I have had so far on Exodus trips. They went out of their way to make our trip a memorable one. Even after a long drive, Colly and JoJo made wonderful food and looked after all of us. Colly especially was a great cook. He had extensive knowledge on the flora and fauna and the history of South Africa, which contributed to our experience of the country. JoJo was an excellent driver. We were always made to feel safe, comfortable and well looked after by these two people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Long hours are spent on the bus that can be tedious. But that way, we got to see various landscapes, towns and villages, which enriched the whole experience for me. There were also early morning starts but were necessary in order to follow the itinerary. Especially the 4 am start in Kruger enable us to see the big five. A treat!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to make a complain about the Malealea Lodge in Leotho. It was the dirtiest place I have ever seen and totally unsuitable for tourist groups although the place seem to have bus loads of groups coming to it all the time. The kitchen allocated to us was terrible and had not been cleaned for a long time. The fridge where the food for the group was kept had black mold, the oven stank and had cockroach carcasses, the cupboards contained rotting food left behind by other groups, and the shelves of cupboards were rusty and were dirty. Especially the cupboards where drinking glasses were kept were terribly rusty and we were supposed to take the glasses and drink from them!!!! There was no hot water or sometimes no water to do the washing up. My shower cubicle had dirt caked on and had not been cleaned for awhile. I complained to the owner Mike on behalf of the group and showed him the state of the kitchen. Exodus must make sure that groups are taken to places that are clean (no one expects them to be luxurious but they need to be clean) as these can be a health hazard. I am going to review this lodge on Trip adviser asking people not to go there.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Jinny for taking the time to complete a review of her trip.  While we are pleased to read that she enjoyed the trip and would recommend it, we are sorry that she was disappointed with the accommodation at Malealea Lodge in Lesotho.  We have used this property on various trips in Southern Africa for a number of years, and have received generally very positive feedback, this being the first time we have received comments regarding hygiene standards at the lodge.  We were, therefore, very concerned to read Jinny’s review, and have passed them on to our local team to discuss with the mangers of the property.  We remain confident that this accommodation is suitable for our trips, but will continue to monitor the feedback we receive to ensure that our clients do not encounter similar issues on future trips.  Frances Spowart – Product Manager

  • Reviewed November 2018
    Jenny Williams

    First time in Africa

    This was my second trip with Exodus, and I was confident that I was going to have a good time, get good value for money, and a wonderful experience. I was not disappointed. The booking was effortless, including the add on of four days in Cape Town that I requested. All the information that I needed was in the trip notes,and I felt well prepared. Our guide, Innocent is very knowledgable, and keen to impart this to us, and for us to have as good a time as possible. JoJo, the driver/chef, is also very well-informed, and a very careful safe driver. A lot is asked of him, as he would often prepare a meal for 13 after a long day's drive, sometimes on pretty basic equipment. This he did, always cheerfully. Both were very keen to explain how we can help the local craft industries, but we never felt pressurised or uncomfortable. The variety of experience, each day something new, was a fantastic introduction to South Africa. One week essentially wildlife spotting, the second hiking in some very dramatic scenery. I strongly recommend adding on a few days in Cape Town, if you haven't been before. It is less than a 2h flight, and a beautiful, easy, interesting city, and a great contrast to the game parks and mountains.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From the wildlife aspect: a troop for 8 giraffes crossing in front of our jeep. Or maybe the lion kill? Or the weaver birds in the reeds? A vast herd of buffalo? Not to mention two rhinoceros. From the hiking: climbing to 3165m in the Drakensburg, the last 40m by chain ladder.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I have said, Innocent is charming, reliable, knowledgable, and keen to help with any (reasonable) request.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add on Cape Town!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus is, in my experience, a reliable, well organised company, which gives good value for money. It is not 5*, and if that is what you want, you will have to pay a great deal more! But for a 3* deal, with some accommodation above that, you will not be disappointed. When I got home, I turned the page of my Cicerone calendar to November, to see the photo of The Sentinel, in the Drakensburg Amphitheatre, take from the lodge we stayed in!
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