AZJ Jo'burg to Capetown

Having just returned from our first guided trip of this kind, we usually do our own thing, so approached with some trepidation. What a great experience - well organised, very friendly and amusing companions (very lucky here). The Exodus/Mask crew who escorted us throughout were brilliant, particularly the leader Wynand Bezuidenhout whose enthusiasm, knowledge of the local scene, cooking and deeply personal understanding of all the wildlife we were privileged to see was extraordinary. Our driver gave us the rare opportunity to visit his Zulu home which we greatly appreciated - not once in the thousands of kilometres we drove did he give any cause for concern. The camping locations were very well chosen each with it's own outstanding characteristics, being close to the Indian Ocean, within game reserves or on stunning mountain positions. Best memories - many : lions roaring in the night while under canvas, the Lesotho skyline, eating under African skies, camping beside the Indian Ocean, watching a pride of lions feasting on a recently killed zebra, the Drakensburg Mountains - we could go on! For those who have not decided to go - do it - you won't regret it.
Downsides were minor and few: the transport was a new 16 seat Mercedes Sprinter with trailer, this we found comfortable enough, but would have appreciated airline style pockets on the back of the seats to store your bits and pieces. We found the game drive vehicles and guides excellent but had nothing to compare them with - others preferred higher trucks rather than the lower Landrover/Landcruiser conversions.
There was also a disappointment in that our trip to Robben Island, although booked and confirmed, by email months ahead did not materialise. On arrival in Capetown no booking had been made. Make sure your trip is confirmed as this is a very popular excursion and thus fully committed weeks ahead.
In closing I would add that a final 'downside' is you will probably like us now want to repeat the experience! Anthony/Janet

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