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

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  • Reviewed February 2019
    Frances Burman-Mueller

    What does this mean?

    Varied itinerary, unusual overnights. Food quality very mixed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The game drives

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. Pleasant, helpful, everything went to plan

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You definitely need a torch: no electricity in some places. Be prepared for very infrequent Wi-fi Some laundry opportunities are in fact self service launderettes.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Gwen Trott

    Johannesburg to Cape Town Reverse

    Accommodation was good. Scenery excellent. Wild life excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Close encounter with the Cheetah

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader started very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Would recommend this trip

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The 16 seater vehicle was adequate for our group of 8. Would be too cramped for group any larger. To be able to have the option to travel in open vehicles for safaris was a blessing. The schedule was to stay in Tsitsikamma National Park but our accommodation was 40k away which meant our time in the park was limited and we were not able to take full advantage of the activities. We were due to depart for an early morning safari meeting at 04.15 a.m. for drinks and snacks for departure at 04.30 a.m. The guide did not appear until about 05.00 a.m., we were unable to contact him because his phone was off and the driver did not know where he was. He loaded up the vehicle and we departed at 05.15 a.m. there was no drink or snacks and no apology/explanation. The guide did not talk to us all morning and we were not able to get a drink until after 08.00 a.m. It is none of my business what the guide does in his own time but affects others when he fails to deliver.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Gwen for her feedback, although we are sorry that she was disappointed with the start of the game drive in Kruger National Park on New Year’s Day.  While we would like to explain that this group’s game drive took place earlier than normal, due to the public holidays and a much higher volume of visitors to the park than usual, we appreciate it would have been disappointing that the excursion was delayed.  Following client feedback from this trip, we have spoken with the tour leader, and moving forward we do not anticipate future clients encountering similar issues.  We were pleased to read that Gwen overall enjoyed her time in South Africa and has awarded it a five-star rating, and we hope to welcome her on another Exodus holiday in the not too distant future.  John Penge - Product Manager.

  • Reviewed January 2018
    Karen Wallace

    Fabulous sightseeing adventure

    What an amazing experience! 3 weeks, a lot of time spent on the bus traveling, but never boring, always stunning landscapes, often wonderful wildlife, and with the help of our excellent guides, who spotted and identified animals and birds and pointed them out to us, followed up by showing us them in their wildlife books. The nights were spent in a large selection of hotels and cabins. Some were rustic, no electricity, but always comfy and clean. I was so impressed with the delicious food our guides cooked for us for dinners, accompodaring those who did not eat meat. With limited facilities they produced plentiful and tasty meals. I enjoyed the places we visited especially the organised hikes. The only slight glitch, the safari that is included was in the van which would have been unacceptable so we had to pay for an additional trip in an appropriate vehicle. I would have liked a few moe healthy options for lunch, but the r st of the trip was truly a great experience. I would recommend starting in Capetown and ending in JoBerg, otherwise you will have the best animal sightings in the first week, making the limited sightings in the end less dramatic. I would also suggest going to Capetown a few days before the tour, as there is so much to see and a limited time. I will have to return!!!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the animals in the wild so close was fabulous. I also hiked up Table mountain alone and that was so worth while.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    They were both truly wonderful. I felt like they truly cared and wanted us to enjoy everything. They were genuininly friendly and fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to Capetown a day or ao earlier and def start there, no JoBerg. You will be so excited to see a few animals in the first week as it is your first sighting. If you do it tbe other way round, it will be an anti climax. Def bring a rain jacket and torch. Temps range dramatically...so layers.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Anna Mcsherry

    Cape Town to Johannesburg

    Quite possibly the best holiday of my life (and I've had a few).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many. The majesty of the Drakensberg mountains, seeing a leopard drink from a river, the beautiful and so very different landscapes, and learning about the animals from the extremely knowledgeable guides.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour leader Petro was amazing, and she was supported by two others, David and Andrew. All three were friendly, approachable, open and fun, as well as knowledgeable, enthusiastic and clearly proud of their country. This was possibly the most important thing for me as a lone traveller, as I could rely on them for company, though I didn't need to as we had a close, cohesive group anyway. I was on a trip last year where I didn't have the same feeling about the guide, and while it hasn't tainted my experience the trip, it made me reluctant to ask questions or have fun. This was the complete opposite where in fact the guides were one of the best things about the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go. Doing the trip in this direction rather than the Jo'Burg to Cape Town direction is probably a bit more exciting. As the trip progresses, the ante is upped and the end of the trip is much busier than the start. If you want to relax, I'd consider doing it from Jo'Burg to Cape Town as it is more chilled at that end. I'm glad I did it the way I did though, as for me, the best was saved for last, i.e. game drives. Read the trip notes, and in addition with a couple of days without electricity, I was glad to have packed my portable batter charger for my phone/camera, etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're interested in seeing a massively diverse area, full of beautiful flora and fauna, and don't mind a sore bum from a few long bus days, go. I have so may fantastic memories to take away with me, of the people, the history, the guides and I have made firm friends who I hope to see again.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    joe neduvelil

    Cape Town to Johannesburg

    I really enjoyed this tour and would highly recommend it- the tour offered the opportunity to see a lot of Southern Africa - I started the reverse itinerary in Cape Town, a beautiful city with plenty to do. There are many highlights on this trip - the landscapes and wildlife were spectacular- we saw the big 5 several times including leopard on 3 consecutive days. Many of the other highlights are outlined in the trip notes and I won't repeat them here. Our guides Justin and Fiona were excellent. This was the first fully accommodated tour offered by Exodus for this journey and all our accommodation was clean and of a good standard. The transport was spacious with regular stops on the long driving days. On one of our walks in Lesotho, the rain and hail came down and a grandma from the village invited us to take shelter in her home - the people here are very accommodating. During our trip, there were some water restrictions due to the worst drought in Southern Africa since the eighties but there was always the opportunity to get a shower every day. Similarly, a couple of places either had no electricity or restrictions on when it was available. The general standard of the local guides was good with some such as Thulani, a Zulu guide, at Rourke's drift outstanding and others still gaining experience. With the depreciation of the rand, South Africa is very cheap compared to the UK.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several - the stunning beauty of the Drakensberg; the opportunity to see abundant wildlife including the Big 5, but much more; the friendliness of the people we encountered.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin was our tour leader and driver - he was fantastic at spotting and identifying wildlife, as well as having great knowledge of all aspects of the country. Fiona was our cook and provided a variety of tasty meals including local dishes such as potjies and Braai, often going beyond the call of duty to cater for guest's wishes. Their easygoing yet professional attitude enhanced the whole trip experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our stay in Lesotho provided us with the opportunity to engage with the local community, visiting people's homes, schools and villages - there is the opportunity to give the community old clothes and stationery for the schools - nothing gets wasted here. This is not included in the Exodus trip notes. Remember this is Africa, so chill and don't worry about first world problems. South African power sockets require their own unique 3 pin plugs not available in most multi-adaptor plugs

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great tour to see one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Carolyn Thompson

    Caz T

    The trip was a fantastic introduction to South Africa. The scenery and wildlife was excellent. The trip was very well organised and ticked all the boxes for me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The variety of wildlife and the opportunity to view it up close. The varied scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin, the tour leader was excellent. He was friendly and accomodating. He was knowledgeable and had a very good knowledge of wildlife. Fiona consistently magicked up lovely food, wherever we were.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for variable weather.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Anonymous

    Sylvia Herd

    This was a great trip, showing off the main sights of South Africa, with the added bonus of Lesotho & Swaziland. Although there were some long driving days, we were a small group of 6 who gelled really well & had a very competent staff of 3. Personally I felt the Garden Route was overrated, so I was pleased that I'd done the reverse itinerary as this saved the best until last. But I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed St Lucia (which I'd never even heard of before!). Also Lesotho, the Drakensburg Mountains &, of course, the various safaris.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both our group leader & our cook were really knowledgeable, friendly & helpful & great fun to travel with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long days on the bus. The camping was fun, fully supported so you're not allowed to do anything to help, & the S African camp facilities are very good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fun, if sometimes tiring, trip.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Shirley Parke

    Johannesburg to CapeTown Trip - Reverse

    Much better than would or could ever have thought. An all round brilliant experience that ticked every box and more. The highlights just kept getting better and better on a schedule that had us all on a high from one day to the next. The size and makeup in relation to characteristics and personalities worked so well and that included guides who went out of their way to ensure everyone was 'catered' for. .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to select though I think 'The Big Five' and to how close we were was sometimes driving the adrenalin to limits with the group. I never thought this would happen, BUT IT DID. Emotionally draining as unbelievable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leaders were brilliant. Not enough adjectives to describe. Became part of the group yet professional and supportive. Many thanks JP and Bevan and our great drivers, Sofiso and Chris.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get it booked before you loose out. Will not fail to impress and will leave you with a pounding heart and smile on your face forever.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    What a great way to experience life, meet people outside your normal circle and develop a sense of wellbeing in your heart for the experience.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Avril Roulton

    South African dream

    This was a fantastic trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg, showing off the scenery and wildlife of South Africa at its best. Blessed with fantastic weather throughout the 3 weeks, and as it was in the dry season the grasses were low, we had amazing views of the country and all it had to offer. We had 2 wine tasting sessions at Stellenbosch, saw the penguins at Boulder, had lunch in a garden restaurant while watching whales in the bay, saw beer making in Lesotho and visited Rourke's Drift. We spent time in Kruger Park, as well as visitin g Cape Vidal and Edeni Game reserves and had a river cruise at St Lucia to see the hippo and birds. It was everything I hoped for and so much more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many special moments it is difficult to select just one, but driving into Kruger and seeing a leopard sitting at the roadside, watching a mother rhino and her baby at Cape Vidal, seeing the Drakensberg mountains bathed in sunlight and viewing hippos in the river at St Lucia must be among my favourites.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 group guides and a driver. Jean-Paul was very knowledgeable about his country and willing to share that knowledge with us. Bevan was very knowledgeable about the wine industry and helped us to make our selections - our water cool box rapidly turned into a wine cellar! Sophiso was our first driver and we felt very safe with him at the wheel, but unfortunately due to sad family events, he had to leave us halfway through the trip. His replacement Chris was also good, coping with some difficult roads - he was also an excellent animal spotter. All of the guides were very sociable and willing to oblige with special requests, photo opportunities and additional 'comfort' stops. There was good provision for phone and camera charging on our truck when on the road as the constant snapping of scenery and wildlife soon drained the batteries. Our guides were excellent cooks and we ate very well when camping and out during the various day trips - roadside picnics were a regular occurrence and the evening meals were yummy - Bev's curried fruit treat was a delicious surprise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was quite a difficult trip to pack for because of the very different cliamtes across the country; Capetown was warm, while Lesotho was cold at night - but using summer tee-shirts as vests and having some long sleeved jumpers it can be managed. Take plenty of memory card storage on the phones and cameras. The plug adaptor required for South Africa is a 3 round pin - not easily available in Europe, but Bev took us straightaway to the shop to purchase one when he collected us at Cape Town airport - he knew we would need it to charge electricals etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My main hope on this trip was to see the wildlife and the guides were excellent at spotting them, taking us to where the animals were most likely to be found and knowing their habits and needs. It was amazing to just watch the animals in their own environment. For that reason, I was glad this trip was Cape Town to Johannesburg as the wildlife viewing was in the second half of the holiday so we finished on a real high. The country has vast expanses that really have to be seen - photos cannot do the scenery justice. The moutain ranges are magnificent, especially with the sunlight on them and African sunsets are truly beautiful - that red hot sun dropping behind the Drakensberg made some fantastic photographs
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    J'burg to Capetown

    We both joined this trip with some trepidation as up to now we have always organised our own world-wide trips making bookings independently. We need not have been concerned, it was brilliantly organised, the group we travelled with were great fun. Our object was the wild-life and this aspect much exceeded our expectations. In spite of being 78 years young and my partner a few years younger we found camping an absolute joy. Our driver never once gave any cause for concern, his driving was first class and a delightful character to boot.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One has to say the animals we were lucky enough to see in their own environment. The various game drives and walks we undertook were well organised, the Rangers very knowledgeable, twice we encountered feeding lions who had just killed, herding elephants, too many others to name. Also the magnificent scenery around the Drakensberg Region. Lesotho, Swaziland, the coast alongside Tsitsikamma National Park where we camped beside the ocean, Kruger, the Private Game Reserve; the whales off Hermanus. - There were many highlights, many were unexpected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Wynand Bezuidenhout was an inspiration, heavy praise, but well deserved. An unfailing source of knowledge and a genuine interest in African wildlife, customs and the local scene. Clear directions, a constant interest in our well-being, a great sense of humour and a pretty good cook too. In fact all 3 of the Exodus/Mask Expeditions staff who accompanied us were unfailing in their duty and great fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took too much stuff. There are regular chances to wash clothes but try and take quick-dry technical cloth clothing as drying time can be an issue with the constant moving on. Rip-off trousers double as shorts. Take a warm sweater or two for evenings as gets quite cold. Take a good quality head-torch as this will get plenty of use.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For anyone not sure, or is' getting-on a bit' and is interested in wild-life and/or wants an excellent tour across the vastness of South Africa, more or less coast to coast' - go for it!
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