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

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69 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    I can not imagine a safari where I would be given better opportunities for photography.  From dawn till dusk we were presented with all those things photographers want most: best light, ideal landscape shots, unhurried time to make the most of special opportunities with cheetah and leopards. And then the excellent camp with its brilliant accomadation and food. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The reward of finally capturing a kill from a perfectly positioned vehicle, after spending hours following the hungry cheetah, till finally the chase was on.  No other safari I have been on has included that sense of determination and focus. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No one could have worked harder to give us the best  chance of getting the best photos we were capable of.Again and again we were presented with the great lighting and vehicles well positioned for photographs.Personally, Pauls totally obvious passion for wanting us (and himself) to get the best possible shots is the reason I hope to go on many more such photographic  trips.  Against all these  positives -the need to wear a tin hat now and then,  is a tiny price that is well worth paying.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the best kit you can, and high factor sun block.  Going a bit out of season has some distinct advantages.Often there were no other vehicles .  Go and listen to one of Pauls presentations and that will give you a good idea of the safari.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a genuinly exciting holiday and I will certainly plan to repeat it.  
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    This was hands down one of the best trips I have ever taken - guided or not. Paul and our three Kicheche Camp guides (James, Patrick and Charles) definitely put us through our paces - 4:30am starts, 14 hour days in the land rover and some serious miles on that road, but we were delighted. We probably managed to see more of what the Mara has to offer in that one week than most people see in a lifetime (and all in amazing, gold, sunrise/sunset light). The whole team was super dedicated to making the absolute most of every hour, and were extremely knowledgeable about the area and its animals and completely understanding of the need for just the right angle on that back-lit cheetah. Meanwhile, Kennedy, Abe and the team back at camp made sure that when we returned bruised, battered, and exhilirated, there was always a hot shower and a cold Stoney to welcome us. I cannot imagine doing the Mara in any other other way or with any other tour - as can be attested by the fact that all our most memorable sights (10 day old cheetah cubs, leopard with 3 cubs, cheetah taking down an impala) were pretty much witnessed only by our three vehicles. Truly amazing!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    First glimple of the leopard and her cubs at 6:48am after a 4:30am wake up. We didn't think we had a particularly great shot at finding them (Paul put it at 25%) and yet somehow there they were - ready to be photographed just as a the sun came up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As everyone will tell you, Paul is quite the character and being picked to be one of the three in his car on a game drive was probably one of the more daunting aspects of the trip. But he's incredibly passionate about the Mara and photography (also cricket, cycling and the Shawshank Redemption) and very committed to giving you as much (or as little) help and tips with your photography as you want.  He also goes completely out of his way to make sure you have an amazing trip so you always feel amazingly well taken care of, even though he's not afraid to push the group through some pretty grueling days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you don't have excellent gear going on this trip, rent some. You will see some pretty incredible things, but you're not coming back with much if you don't have a very good telephoto lens - while the occassional lioness does walk 2 feet away from the land rover, most of the action is a sizable distance away.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My mother started the week not knowing what ISO was and ended the week with a new-found passion for photography and a complete love of the Mara - I'd say that's a pretty impressive result.
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Memories of 7 days/6 nights spent in Kenya will keep me going through the dark cold days of the British winter.Magical starry skies at night and the warmth of the sun by day...and of course the wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so may that it's difficult to pick on one. Seeing a very hungry cheetah  with 2 cubs make a successful kill . Watching a beautiful lioness move her two tiny 3 week old cubs  by picking them up in her mouth. Spending precious time with a leopard who had 3 cubs..and our 3 vehicles were the only ones there...on two out of two occasions!!! Serval cats , mother and kitten, giving us time in perfect morning sunshine. Giraffes aginst a dark stormy sky. Lions and buffalo "arguing" over who should remain in the area.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was nothing new. We have travelled with Paul many times before. As always, he worked very hard to ensure that we had the best experience..and we did!! There were times!!!...but then we all have those. Would we travel with him again...yes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take adequate sun protection. In December , early mornings are cold but the sun soon warms everything up. Drink plenty of water. Be aware that although the UK allows you to take a penknife out with blades less than 6cm, Kenya will take it off you on your return..the voice of experience!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't just think of doing this trip...book it!!..and at any time of year. The accommodation is first class, the drivers/guides are amazing and the whole experience will change your life for ever..like me you will be hooked!!
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Great sightings of wildlife in general and the big african cats in particular - based at the wonderful Kicheche Bush Camp.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We spent a long time observing a female cheetah (plus cubs) waiting for her to chase prey. Our patience was rewarded when she chased down a big female impala.Seeing and photographing three different families of cheetahs and a beautiful leopard female (with no less than three cubs) were experiences well above my expectation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Unique (in my experience) in getting you to the right places to maximise photographic opportunities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to see one of Paul Goldstein's slide lectures - advertised on the Exodus website.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Kicheche Bush Camp is the best safari camp I have stayed at - the staff, food and guiding are all top class.
  • Reviewed November 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Anthropomorphic anecdotes from Hammond and Bradbury? Thankfully not; this safari is strictly for the adults.  If you have a penchant for predatory pussies or a fervent feline fetish this is the trip for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a long shot and if Paul secretly thought he'd made a bad call he didn't show it. Nightjars winged across the bonnet of the Land Cruiser like falling Sycamores, whilst Scrub Hares stared bedazzled into the headlights. To say that we saw a rosetted male feline walking nonchalantly through the grassy plains before we'd had breakfast would just be smug. To say that we saw a leopardess with three small dappled cubs post muesli, well! that's just indescribable.Permit me one more inspirational indulgence. Preceded by the nights rain, the early morning mist; lions emerge, their breaths condensing in a saffron hue.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The lion may well be the King of the African plains but Paul is most certainly Kicheche's King of the "Profanisaurus Rex". 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Mara offers some of the best predator viewing in Africa but don't ignore the "not so sexy" species. Take every opportunity to look at as many different species as possible and not just through a lens.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lastly, a big thank you to the stars of the show who gave us drama, sex, intrigue and violence. They performed unaided, unscripted and more importantly they performed LIVE, (well, most of them did).If the puerile witterings of Planet Earth left you cold, don't despair. Take the opportunity to experience the Mara for yourself. If that's not possible may I suggest that you don't visit the BBC's "Miracles of Nature" but you join Exodus's very own miracle of nature, Mr Paul Goldstein for an evening of repartee and photographic prowess at Mara Watch 2012.
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    An outstanding trip, amazing bush camp, stunning scenery, masses of wildlife, great staff, out of this world guides...perfect!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a female leopard with her 3 cubs....so very rare, and I feel so privileged to have seen this.  Simply stunning!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein has bounds of energy, and works very hard to ensure that everyone gets some stunning photos.  He is direct, critical and takes no prisoners,  but you do end up with some stunning photos.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of memory cards...you will need them, along with a back up device.  Travel light, as the camp laundry is excellent.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You may need to go on an exercise kick on your return...the food is great and plenty of it ;-)
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    An utterly amazing week of wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt it was seeing a female leopard with 3 young cubs climb a tree; I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed this.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul seems to have endless energy and enthusiasm on these trips!  His simple mantra of getting up early and doing time on the plains of the Mara well and truly reaps rewards.  I personally wouldn't do a safari any other way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a laptop and external hard drive to download pictures.Pack light - there is an excellent laundry service at the camp. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The staff and guides at Bush Camp are amazing; the tents are extremely luxurious, the food as good as you will find in any top class restaurant and the camp managers extremely welcoming.  This, combined with the superb skill and expertise of the guides make for an incredible holiday.
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Wow wow wow. The Mara is a truly amazing, Kicheche is the icing on the cake of an amazing trip. 'I've been to Africa eight times and saw no Leopards. I came to Kicheche and saw Nine..'  Nothing more to say really, its Leopard Heaven. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

     So many moments on this trip, its hard to summarise but 3 that stand out.  Seeing my first Leopard, simply jaw dropping beauty. I couldn't believe this was on my first game drive and i had a full week ahead. I knew this was going to be a special trip.The time we spent with the female Leopard and her 3 eleven week old cubs. An amazing experience seen by so few. The early mornings spent with the lions and the morning rolling mist. Photography heaven..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Well what is there to say about Paul Goldstein.   EnergeticCharismaticStraight Talking  Just a mere 3 things that might give someone an idea about his character. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared: Early Starts / Long daysFantastic wildlifeAmazing campSuperb hospitalityStupendous guides This trip will result in a complete imagefest, bring many many cards. You have been warned.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you've looked at Africa and are thinking of going, then there is no better place to see wildlife then the Mara. There is no better place to stay then Kicheche and there are no better guides then Charles, James and Patrick or hosts Emma and Darren at Bush Camp.. 'Don't delay, book today' You wont be sorry.. 
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Wow!  What else is there to say except book this trip now.!  Bush camp is superb, the food amazing, Darren and Emma are camp hosts extraordinaire, the guides are simply the best and most of all Paul Goldstein an inspiration to all.  I've bored all my friends and family raving about this trip so I can't wait for the next.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    How can you single out one inspirational moment?  I would say that one whole day was extra special.  We went looking for a leopard with 3 cubs, saw two leopards on the way in the Landcruiser headlights then found the leopard with the 3 cubs who then casually climbed the perfect tree just in front of our vehicle! And all this before 7am! On the same day seeing one of the largest Widerbeest crossings of the season and on the way back to camp stopping to check on a cheetah and her 2 cubs.  But that was not all before we got back to camp we saw a lone leopard draped over a tree branch and with Paul's help took sone awesome photos silhouetted against the evening sky.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein exudes passion and inspires all around him.  His energy and enthusiasm are infectious.  His main desire is perfection and second best is simply not good enough, which gives rise to occasional outbursts when you forget his advice.  All this serves to ensure you get the best possible shots in the best position possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a fleece as it gets very cold in the mornings, especially when you are travelling at speed in an open-sided Landcruiser.  And if like me you are on your first trip with Paul be prepared to have the 'mickey' taken out of you mercilessly.  Join in and have fun and give as good as you get and you won't go far wrong.  If you are good at telling jokes (un-pc especially welcome) you will fit in well.  Oh and don't forget to take some sweets with you as Paul kept asking me and I hadn't any.I only have one complaint about Paul.  Why on earth would you support a football team like Spurs when the Arsenal are so much better and nearby?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bush Camp is amazing!  The hosts Emma and Darren make you feel like you are part of the family.  How do you cook such amazing meals in the middle of the bush? All the staff are exemplary.  A big thank you to all and I hope to be back again.
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

    Absolutely fantastic safari with abundance of wildlife, witnessing special and spectaculars sightings, staying at the intimate Kicheche Bush Camp where all the staff is ever so friendly, outstanding service and delicious food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    17 October - 6 leopards before 7.30am!  Most spectacular!  The group and the guides alike were just amazed and thrilled to share this special moment when the leopard and her 3 cubs climbed up the perfect tree for all of us to see.  For afters, we witnessed one of the biggest wildebeest migrations.  All thanks to Paul's experience and flair to take us there on that memorable day.Following Narasha, the cheetah and her 2 cubs, the excitement of the fawn chase on the first day, the drama of her missing cubs and the relief when we found them safe and sound, the worry when the 2 cheetah brothers walked past them, but simplest of all on the last morning - having breakfast in the jeep watching them just meters away.  Following the Marsh Pride, skilful team work of lionesses hunting and 6 adorable cubs fooling around providing endless fun

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very charismatic, Paul's passion for wildlife and photography is infectious.  It's clear to see that he loves what he does, hardworking and helped by exceptional guides, they make sure the group have the best opportunities and working as a team we always were at the right place at the right time.  He shares his time fairly within the group, giving some tough love to get the best out of your photos with excellent results.  Not forgetting lots of unPC jokes and silly games to keep the group entertained.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You don’t have to be an expert photograph to enjoy this safari, just do some homework and learn the basics before, and you will have a brilliant time.  I will recommend it for any wilderness fan, the abundance and variety of wildlife is fantastic, along with beautiful scenery, amazing sky and stars gazing on clear nights...  Saying that it’s a real bonus when you take stunning pictures, and you will!!  I will recommend it for people travelling on their own.  I felt safe at all time, part of the group with like-minded people enjoying wildlife and photography, and never lonely.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the most thrilling and enjoyable holidays I’ve ever had.  I can’t wait to go back! Thanks to Paul, Patrick, Charles and Nelson, for their knowledge and expert guiding.  Thanks to Emma and Darren and all the staff at the Kicheche Bush camp for their welcoming and making you feel at home.  It’s truly the perfect place!