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Reviews

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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

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Once you return from your Exodus adventure holiday, you will be emailed a link to add your review. Any feedback collected is posted onto our website, totally unedited.

Alternatively you can navigate to the relevant trip page and add your review via the Reviews tab.

Reviews

South African adventures

Prior to my trip I fully reviewed the itinerary and the many favourable comments on the trip and your company. This is not an assassination as there we many positive aspects. My travelling partner and myself arrived in South Africa three days prior and were meant to meet the remainder of the group on the Saturday .Sadly , and totally outside Exodus control’, the flight was cancelled and we meet our two guides at the Airport .Max and Paul took us on impromptu tour of Soweto which proved an excellent experience and was much appreciated. Should we have been advised by Exodus beforehand . We met the rest of the group on Day 2and I was surprised at the make up of the group and the physical ability of one member in particular was questionable from the outset. When completing challenges with other companies , I have always had to complete medical questionnaires including a doctor’s assessment now I am sixty five years of age. It’s beyond me that this gentleman should have been considered for this, at time, challenging adventure. I’m afraid to say his presence impacted the moral of the group and resulted in walks being shortened or omitted all together Accommodation throughout the trip were on the whole satisfactory. There was a few instances where hot water was not available. Food was excellent.Max and Paul catered for us well when their cooking skills were called upon. The only niggle was that too much time spent over the preparation of lunchtime meals when perhaps a self prepared sandwich would have sufficed. I went on the trip primarily as a walking holiday and in our case we missed out on some of these . Such as the fugitive trail, cape Vidal to Mission Rock and the Eswatini walk cut short. A bit disappointing. The group were a very well travelled group having completed many adventures with Exodus . I know that they were also disappointed with the trip Would I do the trip again ?. Yes. For all the shortcomings it was a fascinating insight into a wonderfully beautiful and complex country . I will definitely return to South Africa if the opportunity arises.

Most Inspirational Moment

1 The impromptu visit to Soweto. 2. The guided talk of the battlefields 3 A hippo walking down the middle of the main road in St Lucia 4 the beauty of the Drakensberg mountains ,

Thoughts on Group Leader

Max was extremely knowledgable on wild life and also cultural matters which provided a great insight into a complex country. He also has a strong political opinion. I felt he encountered various problems on the trip which had to be sorted . Most of these were sorted satisfactorily but as the trip progressed I felt he was starting to lose patience with some members of the group and I got the feeling he was pleased when we arrived back in Johannesburg. Much of his work was excellent but he perhaps needs to work on his inter personal skills. In all of this I cannot give Paul , his co leader enough praise. At all times he was caring and considerate and was fully supportive of the group. In some cases I am aware that he defused some issues with his professional attitude. Paul did 90%of the driving in a professional manner and I felt safe in his hands.

Advice for Potential Travellers

. A lot of travelling by mini bus between destinations. I felt it longer than I expected. We went in September and saw temperatures vary between 16 c. and 34c daytime . Be prepared for a lot of early starts, this trip is full on. It is a truly beautiful country and whilst there is no doubt a lot security problems, I never encountered any and you should not be put off . At no time did I feel uncomfortable or at risk.

Suggestions

I feel that my experiences were overall satisfactory. I do feel that the holiday was on the expensive side given that we had to pay for quite a few meals albeit with the weakness of the Rand these were not overly expensive.

Review Centre
Reply from Exodus

We appreciate Richard taking the time to review his experience, and though we are heartened to hear that he found a good deal of positives about his trip and found it satisfactory overall, we’re sorry that some aspects left him disappointed.

We were unfortunately informed about a group flight cancellation at late notice by the airline at the start of this trip, which meant that Richard and his travelling companion arrived before the rest of the delayed group, and our local team made arrangements to keep them occupied – we’re really glad to hear that Richard enjoyed the tour of Soweto.

Regarding the suitability of another client on Richard’s trip, we do require that all pre-existing medical conditions are disclosed to us on booking, and we screen clients who are over 80 years of age for their suitability for an itinerary; however, aside from this we trust that our clients are able to self-certify using the detailed tour literature provided, including the grading of a trip and the information about terrain and distances walked. We find in general that this approach works extremely well and it is rare that issues arise such as Richard describes, though we are regretful that the client he mentions may have overestimated his abilities or the challenge of the walks on this occasion.

Regrettably, we are aware that on this departure a couple of walks could not be completed as expected, though the majority went ahead as planned and, in general, the feedback we received from Richard’s group was positive. Where possible, we always try to provide replacement activities should any parts of the itinerary not be achievable.

Overall, we are happy to hear that Richard got a lot out of his time in South Africa and experienced some truly memorable moments. We have taken his comments on board going forward, as while we’re confident this is a great trip we’re always looking to make improvements where possible for the future.

– John Penge, Exodus Product Manager

First exodus trip

First group trip on some years. Superb experience and packed so much in. Saw big 5, gear locations, food and like minded company

Most Inspirational Moment

The elephant encounter on game drive. A on heat bull in a rampant mood was so impressive. The guides got us in the best places.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Both the guides Clifford and Evans had a few challenges with a client going down with heat stroke and then heavy rain. On a different day I might add. It’s when you see the professionalism of people at times like this, they were and handled it very well

Advice for Potential Travellers

Clients need to be fit, not really fit, just hill walking fit. Also some headphones and podcasts for the driving times. Also prepared for a lack of WiFi!

Suggestions

Again the guides knowledge friendliness and ability. I never felt unsafe despite all you hear about in South Africa

Fantastic trip

This is a great trip for those who love both wildlife and hiking. In terms of wildlife, I thought St Lucia and Letaba were special and found Kruger a bit too commercial (like Etosha). The scenery for the hiking is fantastic, particularly in Swaziland and the Drakensberg (one of the most beautiful places I have ever been). If anything, I would like it to have been a bit more challenging as the walks were a little short for myself and other members of the group on some days. This didn’t take away from a wonderful trip which I would recommend to anyone.

Most Inspirational Moment

The Letaba reserve was wonderful - less animals than Kruger but we had it to ourselves which was so special.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our group leader was Marco Olivier, and he was absolutely brilliant. He was supported by Clifford, who was also excellent. The logistics were seamless and the food was great (pretty much always better than restaurant equivalents). They shared so much knowledge about their country - history, people, animals and flora. They always had our well-being at the top of the list and couldn't do enough to make the trip special. Our small group of 8 had so much fun and this was definitely influenced by the relaxed and happy environment the guys created. I've been on about 8 Exodus trips and Marco and Clifford were amongst the very best team that I've experienced.

Fantastic Trip

The itinerary looked good but the trip exceeded expectations. Superb mix of activities, locations and accommodation.
Good group who got on well and mucked in when needed.
Amazing scenery and saw all the Big5 and much more besides.
Blyde River Canyon, Eswatini and, of course, the Drakensburg were all stunning.
Weather good although walking in 30c+ was a challenge and needed regular rehydration.
Challenging walks with most of the group agreeing a moderate rating is misleading.Seeing leopards, after 2 previously unsuccessful trips, as we were almost out of the Kruger and completing the BIg5 on our last game drive at St Lucia.
Otherwise the hike to Witsieshoek via the challenging Witsieshoek Crack with boulder scambling and ladders.

Most Inspirational Moment

Seeing leopards, after 2 previously unsuccessful trips, as we were almost out of the Kruger and completing the BIg5 on our last game drive at St Lucia. Otherwise the hike to Witsieshoek via the challenging Witsieshoek Crack with boulder scambling and ladders.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Andrew Lindsay was outstanding in every aspect. Probably the best Leader we have travelled with.

Advice for Potential Travellers

The Trip Notes need updating and I have advised Exodus where there are issues such as printed Covid certificates required for Eswatini and the tree canopy optional having not run for 3 years. The walk rating also needs to be looked at both in terms of rating and distances as the number of GPS gadgets used by the group always showed distances higher than stated.

Suggestions

Great value trip.

Walking, Thunder and Wildlife

Another outstanding trip from Exodus. It is very cleverly consrtucted, gradually building to the climax in the Drakensberg mountains.
There were huge contrasts in scenery, passing through industrial and agricultural areas, the expanses of fairly dry national parks to the much greener hills and mountains of Eswatini, the lakes and Indian Ocean at St Lucia and the stunning mountains of the Drakensberg.
The wildlife watching was good, not as easy as places such as the Massai Mara in Kenya, but we did see the big 5 and a lot more besides; on all of the walks there was also the opportunity to see wildlife. If birding is your thing, this is a great trip especially at this time of year as the migrations are just starting. I particularly enjoyed the visit to Isandwala and Rorkes Drift, the scene of major battles during the Zulu Wars together with walking the Fugitive’s trail between the two.
Weather is never predictable and we went from close to 40C one day in the game reservers to weather and scenery that could have been Scotland the next – but it did give us a chance to make use of the open fires in our accommodation in the hills of Eswatini! (Later in the trip we also experienced the most spectacular thunderstorms I have ever seen – very impressive)
The Last four nights were spent in the Drakensberg, two at Thendele and 2 at Witsieshoek. The scenery was stunning and the walk up from Thendele to Witsieshoek showed a different aspect of it – more reminiscent of the Yorkshire Dales. The views from the top are wonderful but unfortunately, as is the way with mountains the weather, it closed in for the last day and the inside of a cloud looks pretty much the same wherever you are!
We were a group of 12, thrown together at the start of the trip, who rubbed along pretty well and had some great times together, so a big thankyou to all concerned.

Most Inspirational Moment

On a trip as varied as this there are numerous experience that are memorable. The time spent at Letaba Ranch, especially the early morning walk through the bush and the chance for some 'down time' watching the river is one. Although not part of the programme, experiencing the ferocity of a series of dramatic thunderstorms was quite something! However the stunning scenry of the Drakensberg mountains (they are so much more than the Amphitheatre) was the highlight for me.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Santjie was an excellent leader. Constantly cheerful, organised, knowledgable, thoughtful, a good sense of humour and with that special ability to get on with everybody. She worked incredibly hard to make sure that we had the best time possible. On the days when she cooked for the group she produced meals that were remarkably good on some very basic fsacilities. Perhaps the bast way of summarising how good she was is to say that if I would certainly be delighted to do another trip with her as leader.

Advice for Potential Travellers

This is a brilliant trip but you need to be prepared for a lot of early starts (often up by 5a.m.) and some long days - especially on the major driving days. Bring your sense of humour with you - especially if you are going to be there on the day England losese to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup!!

Suggestions

This is a brilliant introduction to South Africa, and one that makes you realise just what a big place it is. Everybody we met was very welcoming and friendly. The one downside was the vehicle we travelled in. Great for viewing wildlife from but very slow up hills - which extended our driving times significantly. The air conditioning was broken pretty much from the start and it leaked from several points in rain, much to the embarrasemnet and frustration of both our leader and excellent driver. But despite this I would still recommend this trip to anyone with the interest and stamina to do it.

TZS walking and wildlife

Great trip saw lots of wildlife and great walking

Most Inspirational Moment

When we saw a family of lions feasting on a wilderbeast and we got so close to see them. Walking out of my tent one morning and seeing a family of elephants crossing the river so close amazing. The views in the mountains.

Thoughts on Group Leader

The leaders were fabulous

Advice for Potential Travellers

Be prepared for long bus journeys. It's cold when the sun goes down Bring binoculars Bring waterproofs it does rain sometimes in Africa It's Africa be prepared for anything to happen.

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.

Most Inspirational Moment

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.

Thoughts on 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.

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.

Suggestions

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.

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.

Most Inspirational Moment

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

Thoughts on 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.

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.

Suggestions

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.

South Africa walking and Wildlife

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

Most Inspirational Moment

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

Thoughts on 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.

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.

Suggestions

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.

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.

Most Inspirational Moment

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.

Thoughts on Group Leader

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

Advice for Potential Travellers

Add on Cape Town!

Suggestions

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!