Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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 May 2019
    Louise Weller

    Namibia is fabulous

    This is an amazing way of discovering Namibia whilst getting some good cycling in under blue skies. The scenery changed constantly, wildlife was abundant and the geological features were astounding. This was not a serious cycling trip and the emphasis Was more on the wildlife and landscape. I would have given this trip 5/5 but was disappointed that one of the cycling days was completey cancelled and no longer takes place as the road is too busy and the FatBiking was about 5 miles for 2 hours not 22 miles for 3.5 hours as advertised. Since my main reason for going was the cycling this did marr the holiday a little however it was still fabulous and I would urge you to go, just don’t expect as much cycling as advertised. I am vegetarian and was well catered for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved it all but the highlights were the ever changing scenery and racing down the hill on hairpin bends on my mountain bike. Everyday brought something different and I wasn’t to go back!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hans was extremely knowledgable about EVERYTHING! Wilidfle, geology, Namibian history and so on. He had a genuine interest in sharing this knowledge with us. He also got us to where we were meant to be and sorted out meals and accommodation effectively. Benson our driver, cook and tent erector was brilliant too. He was friendly, helpful, made amazing meals and drove well on some terrible roads.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware you will be getting up by six everyday for early starts, this was great as you got to see the sunrise but won’t suit everyone! Take wet wipes, after some rides you then Travel in the truck for a few hours in your cycling gear so good to have a refresh Binoculars are a must, so much to see, the lions we saw were amazing but those without binoculars couldn’t really see them. Camping temperatures varied so take a sleeping bag liner so you can just use that on warm nights and the sleeping bag for cooler nights. Take something you can use as a pillow, I didn’t but my lightweight down jacket did me proud.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was great but Exodus pleas amend the trip notes.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Kathleen Ramsey

    An exciting three-week trip

    This was a wonderful introduction to Southern Africa. Although there were some long days travelling, the constantly changing scenery in Namibia was a delight, and we gained an appreciation of the vastness and emptiness of the country. The bus was noisy but not uncomfortable, and with eleven members of the party, there was plenty of room for us to move around. We had a brief introduction to the Cape Town area, then travelled north firstly through farmland in South Africa, and then through the wonderful Namibian desert scenery before spending a few days observing the wild animals in Etosha (Namibia) and then in Chobe (Botswana). Victoria Falls made a spectacular end to our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My main reason for choosing this trip was to see the desert landscape in Namibia and visit Victoria Falls, both of which exceeded my expectations. The scenery in Sossusvlei and Deadvlei was spectacular. However, I was bowled over by the variety of wildlife we saw on game drives in Etosha, and very much enjoyed observing the interactions between animals at the waterholes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonathan (our leader) and Molifi (our driver) made a good team. They were well-organised and despite being on duty virtually all the time, they were both unfailingly cheerful and helpful. They prepared some excellent lunches and suppers for us, and did their best to make sure that we got the most out of our African experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unemployment is very high in Zimbabwe and most people are very poor; we left all our partly-used toiletries, dressings, basic medicines and even some clothing to be distributed by a local charity. Had we realised how short most people are of basic necessities, we would have made sure we had more with us to leave there. Zimbabwe is expensive and cash is not available from ATMs. The border crossing into Zimbabwe was frustrating, and we had to queue for well over two hours in the hot sun. Make sure you are adequately prepared for the wait (sunscreen, hats, drinks).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The optional visit to a village settlement in northern Namibia was sobering but worth experiencing. On our free day in Swakopmund, we booked on the morning Living Desert tour, which was worth doing, despite the early start. We chose to go over into Zambia on our free day in Victoria Falls, to see the cascades from the other side. It was well worth the effort, as you can get closer to the falls and can climb down to the river side at Boiling Pot, as well as visit the top of the falls. Taking or hiring a waterproof can limit the extent of the inevitable soaking.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Sheila Morrison

    WONDERFUL NAMIBIA

    What a fantastic trip. Our wonderful guide Ronney and his assistant Jonas who both knew all the best spots to spot wildlife (leopard inside a roadside sign) (Pride of 10 lions at a kill) but could also produce 5 star lunches at the roadside under the shade of a tree, effortlessly change rooms to suit my disabled husband, drive with the utmost skill on bumpy roads and have none of us complain and generally do their job at 110% Highly recommend a trip to this most interesting country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a pride of 10 lions feeding on a kill (including 2 cubs) who then pottered slowly back to the shade of a tree right in front of our van. Amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronney was just FANTASTIC. Great at wild life spotting, orgainizing, lunches, bird identification, friendly, always around to assist if needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is hot in February. Internet weather said 28-30c and 14 days of rain expected. One 10 minute shower and temps in mid 30's all the time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go and visit this wonderful country for yourself. it is cheap to eat and drigk when you are there. Quality of lodges js fantastic with fridges, air con, pools etc.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Janeen Olsen

    Perfect relaxing holiday. Sit back and take in the views!

    I had initially signed up for the trip because it fit my travel schedule and I wanted to see the African scenery and animals, but I got so much more from the experience. I was amazed at how striking the landscapes were as we traveled through different geological features, deserts, rock formations, bush, jungles, and waterfalls. It seemed every 100 miles the views were changing. Even though the drives between camping sites were sometimes long, I was never bored. The animal drives did not disappoint, and to see a pride of lions in the natural environment is a moment that will stay with me forever. But beyond what I was looking at, I also felt I was able to relax, have fun, let my guard down, and just be in the moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Viewing the animals up close, a hippo gracefully gliding into the water, a male lion gently playing with his 3 cubs, several giraffes awkwardly bending to reach the water, black rhinos at night at the waterhole. And zebras, and baboons, and so many birds I can't remember them all. Just a few of the memories I will cherish forever. So many sunrises and sunsets that took my breath away. The most surprising for me was Namibia because I really didn't have a good impression of the country before the trip and I didn't know what to expect. I was amazed at the variety of the desert landscapes. The enormous gorge of the Fish Canyon, the blinding white sands of the Etosho pan, the magical red sand dunes we slid down, it was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our 3 leaders were Jonathan, Andy and Sylvia. Each one was terrific in their own way. As one of the older, single travelers in the group, they really made an extra effort to look out for me and make sure I was comfortable. I had mentioned that I loved to start the morning with coffee just as soon as I woke up. Every morning afterwards Andy was up early and had the hot water going so I could have my morning coffee as soon as I emerged from my tent. I mentioned that I was having trouble with the zipper on my tent, the next thing I know Jonathan gave me his tent to use instead. When we put up and took down our tents, one of the guides always miraculously appeared to help me. Sylvia has a wealth of knowledge on the plants and animals and as she rode back with us, could answer our questions as we travelled. Perhaps the only advice I have for the guides is that sometimes they would give us a lot of instructions for the next day, times to be ready, things to bring, etc. that it was easy to forget some of the details and to be sure to remind travelers often.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring the best camera you can afford and know how to use. The opportunities for photographs are unbelievable. I left wishing I could have captured the animals better than I was able with my iPhone but fortunately some of my fellow travelers shared their photos after the trip. Bring a pillow and light blanket or sleep sack. Many nights my sleeping bag felt a little too warm and I was glad I had a light sleep sack with me. I used the laundry at the campsite but not all my clothes made it back to me. It is better to bring slightly older, worn clothes and shoes and gift them at the end of the trip instead of bringing expensive clothes. Bring US dollars for Zimbabwe. Coming from the US I had plenty with me but some of the other travelers were scrambling to get them in Namibia because the ATMs in Zimbabwe had run out of dollars. I had purchased an electrical plug for South Africa, but a UK type was needed for Zimbabwe and I could not charge while camping there. The vehicle as USB outlets so it wasn't a huge problem while we were on the road, but for charging devices I also found my external batteries invaluable. Wifi was available but slow, and even though I had a data plan, cell coverage was spotty and slow. I wish I had downloaded more audio books as reading on the vehicle made me carsick. Budget for activities in Victoria Falls as there is not much to do if you don't book tour activities. I did the white water rafting and helicopter ride, as well as evening dinner cruise and others in our group did everything from village tours, lion adventure and bunging jumping. All were fantastic. Finally, as for dietary restrictions, be very specific about what you do and don't eat. As an (almost) vegan I found they were able to cook for me without any difficulty and I ate very well on the trip, but the guides can't be expected to know what everyone will or will not eat unless you tell them in advance. So if you don't like fish, bones in food, mushy food, spicy food, processed foods, or mayonnaise, etc. just let them know in advance.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am really glad I did this trip and would recommend it as a leisurely way of seeing a lot of southern Africa. I was spoiled with a relatively small group of friendly travelers and our vehicle (named George), was roomy and we each had a window seat. Larger groups may not find the vehicle quite as comfortable. Expect long, relaxing drives looking out the window and admiring the views, and don't expect a lot of physical activity on the trip. If you want to see African animals is the wild, this trip is for you.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Tracey Lawrence

    It's not a holiday , it's an adventure!

    5421in across 5 countries (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia). Cites, deserts, seaside destinations, vineyards and grasslands, national parks, rivers, waterfalls, boats, animals, birds, tents up, tents down, canyons, massive insects, being dirty, early rises for stunning sunrises and view points for reflecting the day as sunsets, incredible storms, an amazing group......it was one hell on an adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I just embraced the whole experience. Seeing lions again close up was just as exciting as the first time 6 years ago. The size and powerful spectacular Victoria Falls was breath taking and I recommend the helicopter flight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 3 leaders to 7 of us doing cooking and driving. All the leaders were friendly but Andy stood out doing the majority of cooking and driving. He was also great at animal spotting . My only comment would be that the guides did not talk much about the countries history and the people. Sylvia did open up when asked a question and was very knowledgeable, Jonathan came alive at Victoria Falls which was his home...just wish he had been that talkative and passionate throughout the trip. All meals in camp were varied and very tasty. They catered for all appetites and I couldn't fault the food prepared in camp and lunch on the road..... Just don't mention the mayonnaise 😂.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Comfy clothes for long drives. Our truck had plenty of USB charge points for devices. High strength deet. Expect to be dirty 😊 although facilities at all camp sites were sufficient. Whilst you are expected to put your tent up and down, we had a great group and all helped each other, as well as Jonathan and Andy our guides lending a hand. Take US dollars for Zimbabwe before you leave. No safety deposit on truck to use so we had to carry passport and valuable s at all times despite previous trips having had a safe box for use.our Expect early starts. the trip lacked engagement with people and culture.....but plenty of dramatic landscapes and wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Embrace and enjoy this adventure.....it was awesome!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Maggie Murfitt

    Fully Supported Camping

    The trip itself is absolutely wonderful I will definitely go back to South Africa. However, our crew didn’t give us a Fully Supported Camping service. We were expected to ‘help’ which meant that couples were expected to do their own. I was on my own after paying for a single supplement which meant they left me until other holiday makers helped (or did) my tent for me. That really upset me and made me feel guilty. I am not lazy, I am 60 years old and I had NO intention or expectation of having to do my own tent, that’s why I booked the Fully Serviced trip. Other than that the food was good and pleantyful. The tents and ‘off the ground’ beds were really comfortable and it was a truly remarkable, fantastic trip. The optional activities pricing on the trip notes needs updating so bring some extra dosh.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the animals in their natural habitat. Etosha was fantastic and Chobe was brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Extra dosh for the optional. Zimbabwe has a bit of a cash problem so get your dollars before you get there. When we crossed the bridge to Zambia to see the falls from tha5 side the people were asking us for pens, pencils and paper for the children so if you have any room in your bag please bring some for them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Drink gallons of water! None of us had any tummy problems from the food but heat exhaustion will make you really sick if you don’t drink enough and take in extre salt. Other than what I have said, I’m sure you will have a brilliant experience in Africa.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Maggie for her feedback, although we are sorry she was expected to pitch and break down her own tent, as her trip was booked on as a fully serviced camping tour.  We would like to offer our sincere apologies for any upset or embarrassment this caused.  We have discussed this with our local team.  We would also like to assure anyone considering joining this trip in the future that from 2019 all departures will be run on a ‘participatory’ basis.  It is our hope that this will ensure that other customers do not encounter similar uncertainty or disappointment, and this will also have the benefit of allowing the trip to be run more efficiently and with less time spent at camp in the mornings and evenings.

     

    We will be reviewing the information provided regarding the prices for optional activities and expect these to be reflective of the local costs by the time the 2019 season starts.  Regrettably, while we endeavour to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information, these can change with little notice.  We are, however, genuinely sorry that Maggie’s experience was not so positive.  John Penge- Product Manager

  • Reviewed November 2018
    Tony Ruberry

    Beautiful Namibia

    This was a wonderful holiday in a beautiful country. Having been to South Africa and Kenya before, we had some idea what to expect from a holiday in Southern Africa, but if anything Namibia exceeded our expectations. The country is, of course, very dry and the land is beautiful in a stark, rather than a pretty, way. The holiday in general was well planned, with the first part concentrating on the deserts in the south, a break in Swakopmund on the coast, and a final few days on safari in Etosha. This gave a variety of environments and activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was much to admire over the whole trip. The sand dunes of the Namibia-Naukluft, the strange rock scenery of the Kuiseb region and the salt pan in Etosha were all memorable. The majority of the lodges were excellent, especially the Ugab Terrace Lodge - one of the most spectacular places I've ever stayed. But the highlight of the trip must have been the sighting of two cheetahs in Etosha. There were lots of other vehicles there when we arrived, but, with the gates about to the park about to close, they all had to leave - apart from our vehicle and one other. We were able to watch as the cheetahs made their way to a waterhole and calmly had a drink for ten or fifteen minutes before wandering away in the opposite direction. A very special experience!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane was excellent - a lovely man, very knowledgeable, an excellent driver, and full of enthusiasm for his country. Reuben provided us with fine food while on the road as well as sharing much of the work with Shane. However good an itinerary is, the success of this sort of holiday largely depends on the group of travellers and, especially, the leader. Fortunately this was a very friendly group, and Shane was an excellent leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes - there is a lot of time spent travelling on this holiday, and much of it is along rough roads - real African roads as Shane described them. There is some walking involved in the trip, although the walks are all optional; be aware that although none of these are long or arduous, the heat makes it harder work then you might expect!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday is thoroughly recommended!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Steph Dyer

    Cycle Namibia

    A fantastic varied exciting adventure exploring Namibia, it's breathtaking natural beauty and it's wildlife, both large and small. A cyclists/naturalist/geologists/ photographers paradise

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the dunes, Experiencing Etosha wildlife then tiny desert animals, seeing sidewinders ... experiencing a thunderstorm Namibia style Cycling the huge vast areas was mesmerising and challenging, admiring the beauty whilst concentrating on the sandy tracks- Cycling with the game in the ranch reserve near the end of the holiday, being a few hundred yards from White rhino- without a fence! Hiddenvlek at the dunes Sundowner after cheetah experience at Solitaire lodge

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good very knowledgeable on wildlife, Namibia in general. The group felt very well lead by the three team members Happy and McLoud were brilliant and the three worked well together, complementing each others skills. Stefan team leader was great, always cheerful and obliging, answered any questions we had, looked after us all. Occasionally a little light on specific details of the trip (eg how long upcoming cycle was) but we felt this was sensible as it allowed him to be flexible and he always made good decisions as to when we had had enough! I would encourage him to talk to the whole group more about history/ geography of Namibia as he had much more to tell when we asked him on a 1:1!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    make sure you take lip salve a cycling scarf that you can soak in water to keep the dust out ear plugs for camping- some of the others will snore! camera! I don't think I ever stood up in my pedals to cycle, it's all steady, flattish and you develop skills on sand!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A beautiful country that felt safe at all times The trip felt like a Namibia adventure with cycling rather than a cycling holiday per se; this was just right as it's too hot to cycle more than 3-4hrs in any one day- and there is so much to see; this compromise is perfect. we extended our trip by b24hrs to stay in Windhoek; this gave us a chance to wind down and relax and was good value. The Independence memorial worth a trip with amazing views from its restaurant up the tower. There are a few sights to see in Windhoek and good place to buy souvenirs but I don't think recommended walking around at night , we ate in our hotel.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    beverley wynne

    Cape Town to Vic Falls

    We thoroughly enjoyed this adventure! Our driver guides Jonathan and Ante worked long hours driving us and cooking our food, they were humorous and informative keeping 16 of us in line. Our group was a great bunch which made the driving times (which are VERY LONG) quite fun. There is a lot of "Bushy Bushy" stops along the way. All the accommodations were great. The only complaint I would have is that the ":Stevie" bus was not Air Conditioned, it was a very HOT drive in the Namibian Desert with no AC. Also no one was told there would be an extra cost for the safari drives in Etosha Park which was $100.00 US each. I also feel the amounts of money in the Trip Notes is way off base, you will need a lot more than what is recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chobe and Etosha Park

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Jonathan and Ante were Fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above notes
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Yvonne M

    Unlike anywhere else

    A truly stunning country - vast open spaces, wide skies, sunsets, stars, sand dunes, and a national park crammed with animals and birds. We stayed in some wonderful lodges with huge views, saw the desert from above and came back with many memories, and even more photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The flight over the desert - and the night drive in Etosha - and seeing a hyena in daylight - and the sand dunes (such fine orange sand) - and the colours of the landscape (like a painting) - and the herds of elephants playing in the watering holes ... I could go on....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane was great - knew his stuff, worked hard, good sense of humour. Maybe a little misleading when it came to the walks (Waterberg is not a stroll)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip does have some long days driving but the stunning scenery and some lovely accommodation (Sesriem and Ugab in particular) make it all worth while. Be prepared for heat and dust and some bumpy roads. Don't worry too much about the malaria tablets, half our group did not have them and Etosha turned out not to be a malaria-risk area. Some of the accomm. is more basic, but it is the location that counts. Take a good telephoto lens - and if you can afford the desert flight then go for it. Although the notes say water is provided on the truck, it wasn't; we bought water from supermarkets.
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