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 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 October 2018
    Ann Sambrook

    An amazing journey

    This is an amazing journey through different climates as you head due north into the sun. A stunning landscape which is continuously changing plus amazing encounters with animals and birds in the parks. Even in our tents at night we were entertained by the sounds of elephants, hippos and night jars and in Victoria Falls the distant thundering of the falls. Towards the end of the trip you can also engage with locals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moments. Standing on top of the Big Daddy Dune, rhinos illuminated by a waterhole at night, elephants playing in water, the best apple crumble in the middle of the desert. A loo with an amazing view over the Fish River Canyon, Hippos in the night, Vic Falls in the first light of the morning, Quad biking in the dunes at Swakopmund, birds, birds and more birds, Helicopter over the Falls,.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guides, led by Justin, worked incredibly hard to ensure we could enjoy the journey.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were never hungry (Justin was a great cook), we slept well (stretcher beds with mattresses) and there were frequent comfort breaks even if there were no facilities only a “bushi bushi “ and the desert does not always have those! We were with a great bunch of people who were all prepared for the conditions and developed a good camaraderie. We took South African Rand with us which was also accepted throughout Namibia, one for one. In Zimbabwe any currency is accepted as they don’t have their own. US dollars is easiest . You need USD cash for the border visa and for anything the guide takes you to as a group, although credit cards are widely accepted. But we could not obtain cash anywhere, even directly from the banks. Optional extras at Victoria Falls not to be missed – afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, really good value with stunning views of the distant “smoke” from the falls and the sinking sun changing colours, the Outlook café for snacks and meals with stunning views and the screams of zip liners! At Vic Falls in late August the Devil’s pool and boiling pot hike were not available as the water was still too high at 35% of full capacity. There is so much to do and see here, and you won’t want this trip to end – we stayed on a couple days at the Vic Falls rest camp.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our only disappointment was that one of the highlights, as per the trip notes, had not been booked – the 3 nights inside the national park to see animals at the waterhole at night time. However, our guide told us about this en route and a contact direct to Exodus did ensure we had one night at a waterhole. Something worth confirming in advance as this highlight is not to be missed. Not only does it mean you can see animals at night but also you are already well inside the park in the morning to catch early sightings.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Greg Monahan

    A wonderful/difficult, stunning/arduous, inspirational/uncomfortable Adventure!

    This was my seventh Exodus tour. It was a trip with stunning sights--the Cape of Good Hope and Table Mountain, the dunes of the Namib desert, the incredible animals of Etosha and Chobe Parks, hippos and crocs along the Chubango River, the magnificent Victoria Falls. But this trip is not for those looking for an easy tour. The drives are long and sometimes exhausting. Tent camping is not for everyone, and there is a lot of it, and the bus for this particular trip was not appropriate--too small for a group of 16 plus 3 guides and associated equipment with no heat and no ac. Our guides (Andrew, Skoo, and Innocent) were wonderful--hard working, knowledgeable, and deeply devoted to our well-being. We also had an amenable group, and that's important, because we were in fairly close quarters to each other on this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing four lions come out of the bush toward a waterhole in Etosha Park teeming with other animals, only to see those animals part like the Red Sea to make room for their feared predators. Blasting through a stage five rapid on the lower Zambezi River. Catching magnificent African sunsets.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew was always working very, very hard. He was friendly, tolerant, incredibly knowledgeable, and devoted to making sure we had the best trip possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A good headlamp is essential as are wet wipes (packed in a ziplock bag to make sure they don't dry out). In early September, South Africa isn't just cool, it's COLD, so if you travel at that time, bring a good coat, stocking hat, and gloves (which are also important for handling the small tent hooks). Beyond Swakopmund, it gets very hot, so you have to pack for both extremes. Bring a swim suit--you'll want to use it. Also, be sure to pay extra to take the open-air 4-wheel-drive game drive in Etosha. It was worth every penny. Make sure whatever you use for a camera has a LOT of memory--you will take more photos on this trip than any other. Your sleeping bag must be comfortable, as you'll spend a lot of time in it. I also brought along an inflatable pad which helped a great deal, and don't forget a pillow! The dust/dirt roads in Namibia are often very rough, and you will get bumped around a lot, but if you want to see some of that country's great sites, and you will, then you have to put up with its roads!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If the bus has a license plate reading DF-00-CY-GP, and you have more than ten people in your group, insist on another one, or get ready for a rough trip.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Stuart Robinson

    Victoria Falls to Cape Town Camping Trip

    I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday from day one. The guides were very good and were always on hand to give some assistance if required. Some of the days were fairly exhausting with the travelling and heat but plenty of water was handed out and the bus was comfortable for the long journeys. I am 65 years old and fairly fit but took part in all the activities so this trip shouldn't deter anyone of advanced years. The only slight moans I had were that the canoe trip on the Orange River should have been cancelled owing to the weather conditions - one canoe capsized - and the toilet/washing facilities were pretty dire at the Aba Huab campsite. This was a beautiful location in the desert but the toilets and showers were disgusting. The bus had some problems with a puncture and eventually died in Namibia but the guides whistled up a replacement without affecting our holiday - Well done Nyasha! Overall, I would have no hesitation in recommending this trip to anyone who was prepared to "muck in" with the rest of the group to make this holiday a memorable one.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was at the Aba Huab campsite where about five of us sat round a campfire with a few beers and watched "moon rise" - magical. There were many more memories such as the wildlife at the water holes at the Etosha National Park, the red sand dunes of Namibia at sun rise and the stunning Fish River Canyon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Nyasha and Sylvia were very good and great company. Nyasha did most - perhaps too much - of the driving and organising and Sylvia was an excellent cook and knew so much about Namibian history, culture and wildlife.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to contribute to the holiday by helping to set up the campsites and packing up - one chap in our group did much of the washing up after the meals! You are not required to help the guides but it helps to break the ice with your fellow travellers and guides - and it feels a little uncomfortable just standing and watching someone else do something that you are quite capable of doing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not really - I would just like to thank guides, Sylvia, Nyasha, Clifford and Lukas, plus my fellow travellers for a really wonderful holiday.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Steve Scott

    Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Camping

    This was a brilliant Holiday, although as we often said during the three weeks we were away, it was not so much a holiday, more an adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick one moment, so I would pick two 1) Seeing elephants, giraffe, and crocodile etc etc etc so close you could almost reach out and touch them; 2) Victoria Falls - never seen anything like it before!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Endy, our group leader was brilliant - endlessly cheerful, always laughing, a fabulous cook, a skilled driver, a knowledgeable guide. His main concern was that we should enjoy our holiday/adventure and did everything he could to make this so.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you do this trip in August, bear in mind it will be cold at night and hot during the day, so pack accordingly. Also, take Dollars with you - they will be useful in Namibia, Botswana and definitely Zimbabwe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was the best holiday I have ever had - you should do it!!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Ray Baker

    Cape Town to Victoria Falls-Camping

    Full on trip, every day was an adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The many sights along the way-animals, salt pans, sand hills and more sand. Vic Falls and Cape Hope at each end of the trip-and lots in between.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Endi and Colin were both excellent, good fun and very hard working, fine cook as well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some long days on the bus. Bit chilly early morning and late evening-take a good sleeping bag. The tents are easy to assemble but the camp beds need a bigger bag ! Take some spare items to give away-hats, shirts, pants...anything is welcome.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Group leaders made everything so easy and the rest of the group gelled so well.
  • Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Camping

    A tremendous introduction to Southern Africa! If you aren't a particularly confident traveler or you've traveled the world several times over, this is the trip for you. With a dedicated crew who establish a relaxed feeling throughout the entire journey, this trip has something for everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has already been addressed in previous reviews, but the sheer variety and diversity on this trip was my highlight. Just read the trip notes - there is something for everyone. Those who love a thrill can take on the Namibian dunes quad-biking in Swakopmund. Fancy a boat trip? This holiday is jam-packed full of aquatic adventure! Alternatively, those who seek a more relaxed scene can enjoy a quiet evening by the bar, reading a book and observing the African wildlife. Whilst there are some structured activities, holiday-goers can cherry pick and manage their very own African adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader (Justin), along with his team (Sam and Nyaha) are a 5-star crew. I couldn't ask for a better set of guys to help me travel across the African terrain. These guys not only do what is stated in the trip notes, but also what is above and beyond the call of duty. African holidays can sometimes get a reputation for being particularly 'hairy' at times, however these guys made it a smooth and relaxed journey throughout. Whilst they do indeed put up your tents for you, cook for you and hold your hands through the border crossings - it is their knowledge of the local area and respect for ethical tourism which makes them stand out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Simply put, if you are considering an African holiday - go on this one! This trip can be enjoyed by both new nervous travelers and experienced adventurers. Whilst you shouldn't expect 5* accommodation, the tents and tent-beds provided have been some of the best I have used. Lastly, it can get quite chilly in the mornings, please bring some gloves and a hat!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember to give yourself enough time to get properly vaccinated and make sure there is enough space in your passport for all the border stamps ;)
  • A wonderful and varied trip

    What a wonderful three weeks. To travel all the way from cape Town to Victoria Falls and stop at so many great places en route was fantastic and we loved it all. OK, there are some long drives but these didn't feel long as we had plenty of 'comfort breaks' and so much to look at as we travelled. The seats in the bus were very comfortable and the leg-room was amazing, far better than on flights or coaches. The camp sites were good with hot showers (most of the time!) and a bar to relax in, while the team set up camp and got dinner ready. There are some early mornings but that is the best time to see animals and a good breakfast and hot drink soon gets you going.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is very difficult. This trip offers a huge variety and really it is this very variety that is the highlight. We did and saw a lot everyday and almost every day was different. For example we went for a walk around the Cape of Good Hope and it was very exciting, the wind was strong and cold. When we were in the Sand Dunes it was dry and very warm. The river trips were cool and gentle and Victoria Falls were thunderous and simply stunning. We walked around the Falls one day and the next day we flew over them in a helicopter. We saw many animals and birds. Elephants walked across the road in front of us as did Zebras and Antelope. We loved every moment of our trip and would say to anyone considering it, to just book a trip and go.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a team of three looking after us - Justin, Sam & Nyasha - and they were wonderful. They worked incredibly hard setting up the camp when we arrived at each site and taking it down each day we moved on. They (well Sam mainly) cooked wonderful meals and they guided us through the various boarders. We had some long drives which they handled well (while we often slept in the bus) so they got up first, did all the work and driving, went to bed last and still remained cheerful, approachable and calm. Their efficiency and hard work, and their openness and humour, made us feel very relaxed and well cared for. We felt that whatever came up they could deal with it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cape Town and the west coast of South Africa & Namibia is cold during their winter months, at night and first thing in the morning, as are the early morning game drives - colder than we realised. I suggest you take a warm woolly hat and gloves.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whatever the issues were previously with the bus (see earlier reviews) these have clearly been dealt with. On our custom-made vehicle the seats were very comfortable and provided a lot of leg room. There were small high sliding windows for ventilation and large picture windows that could be lowered for a better view & photographs. They all worked properly, as did the charging points at the front. Bearing in mind the distance travelled and the terrain being covered it was a great vehicle and well cared for.
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