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 August 2016
    Robert Milner

    Sand, Stars, Sunsets and Safari!

    This was a wonderful trip for so many reasons - the adventure, the scenery, the food, the company, the organisation and the animals to name a few. Three families and two guides who had never met before the trip soon melded into a happy group. The trip starts in the desert and the early rise to climb Dune 45 was blooming' cold! However, it was worth it and Jonas' porridge soon warmed us up. Swapokmund was a short re-entry into civilisation and gave the opportunity for a variety of trips. We did the seal colony boat trip and the flight over the desert. Both great (although the latter made some passengers feel extremely queasy). The bush men drawings were really interesting and then the trip to Etosha was just wonderful - particularly sitting by the waterhole in the evening watching rhinos wander in and out. The campsites were great. The Etosha ones very busy and the others very quiet. Food cooked by Jonas was great. As another reviewer has said it's amazing to see what he could knock up on a camp fire. Stews, steaks, cakes and bread. The lodges came at welcome intervals. One was a little like a deserted military camp but the beds were comfy. That and the lunchtime food at the NWR resorts (the Etosha campsites) are the only negatives I think. The whole trip passed quickly but it felt like we'd been away from home for a month. It was wonderful mental relaxation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many to mention. The sunrise at Dune 45, seeing the Milky Way and shooting stars at night, for me the flight over the desert. But the waterhole in Etosho was undoubtedly the most special thing for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronney was our leader and he was a star. Unflustered, level headed, knowledgable, great with the kids. He took all the hassle out of the trip and enabled us all to just follow and have a holiday. Jonas was the cook and I've already mentioned his culinary skills. He was also a really lovely guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There was a cold snap just as we arrived. Temperatures were really cold. Make sure you have enough cold weather gear. We did - just about. Be prepared to relax and be led. Not everything is going to be perfect but it was invariably good enough. The less polished bits are part of the adventure. Bring a light for inside your tent. Prepared to be dusty and dirty and don't overpack. Bring lots of moisturiser - it's really dry in August.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip enjoyed by the four in my family and I think by everyone on the trip. We're looking at what adventure we can go on next....
  • Reviewed September 2015
    John Flatley

    Namibian Adventurer FAN

    Six of us went on this trip - parents and offspring aged 14, 18, 21 and 23, and we all agree that it is one of the best experiences we have ever had. The Itinerary is well thought out and there is a good distribution of camping and non-camping days. All the campsites were interesting and all toilet and washing facilities were at least acceptable but usually excellent and spotless. Most of the campsites had swimming pools which were, um, refreshing! The Lodges were clean and comfortable and there were good facilities for charging electrical equipment at Lodges, campsites and even in the Van. These factors were not, of course, the highlights of the holiday but they helped to make it run smoothly as we are by no means hardened campers - we like our bit of adventure, but we like our warm showers as well!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is so hard to say - things like great sunrises, quad biking and seeing wild animals very close up in their natural habitat are the obvious ones, but it was also amazing just to learn about Namibia and its ancient and more recent history. The last morning was very special as well, eating a Happy breakfast at a small and very pretty campsite, overlooking a great African vista.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group was led by Shane, ably assisted by Happy and Beli. They were a great team and I cannot speak too highly of them. They were hard working, competent, knowledgeable and always on the lookout for ways in which they could help. Their wildlife spotting abilities were amazing and they were endlessly patient. Even the best of us leave our brains behind when we go on holiday sometimes and they were calm and practical in all sorts of potential crises [mentioning no names, but if I say lost phone which turned up (eventually) in back pocket, you know who you are!]. Happy deserves a special mention for his cooking - what he can do in iron pots over an open fire is incredible - and for our party he did veggie and gluten free options as well. In general all the food we had was good but we all agreed that there was no restaurant meal we had that lived up to our campfire meals. He gives Happy Meals a whole new meaning! Shane was an endless fount of knowledge about all aspects of the country; history, politics, wildlife, you mention it and Beli's dancing was brilliant - very funny. All three of them were exeptional; they made our holiday really.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a head-torch. Take African (three round pin) adaptors. Make sure you've got a couple of fleeces and warm PJ bottoms for night toilet visits and generally chilly evenings. We went in the dry season so didn't actually get bothered a lot with mosquitos, but you should still do all the preventative stuff. Be prepared for early starts "Families! Good News! We only have to get up at 5.30am tomorrow!!" Have a sense of humour and be prepared to be flexible. Read the trip notes properly - they are accurate and informative.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are some long and bumpy journeys - some of the kids read, or plugged themselves into music. Personally I was happy to look out of the window and the time flew by. Spend as much time as possible at the waterhole at Etosha - be patient; it may seem as though nothing is happening and then a whole family of elephants will happen by. Be prepared to join in and have fun - but don't expect any late night partying! Enjoy - "In Africa, everything is possible".
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Anonymous

    Our best ever holiday

    Namibia is beautiful and we loved all the activities. The desert was stunning. It was my favourite part and the sandboarding was so fun. We saw so much wildlife, including 21 lions in just three days!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the sunrise over the sand dunes and then rolling down afterwards. Watching a stand-off between an adult rhino and a herd of elephants at the Etosha watering hole. Also the township tour in Swakopmund was really interesting. Our guide was really friendly and it was good to see how people live and meet some of the residents. My son tried a fried caterpillar!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    They were brilliant - they took excellent care of us. Great leadership by Ronney and we loved our daily PFT (plan for tomorrow) by the campsite fires. He has an incredible wealth of knowledge of his country (history, wildlife and plants). He also has a great eye for spotting wildlife. Jonas was an amazing cook and he was so friendly. Lollo was fantastic too. The three of them were a part of our holiday and not just the guides. We were sorry to have to say good-bye.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of warm clothes if going in the UK summer months - it is cold at night. We bought extra blankets when we were there. It is very dry and dusty. Take head torches. The drives are long, but the countryside is so stunning, it is easy to pass the time just watching the scenery change and spotting wildlife. Also take binoculars for Etosha.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was hard to leave such a wonderful country!
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    NAMIBIAN ADVENTURER

    This trip exceeded our expectations. There was never a dull moment and always something different to see or do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the "Big Mama" sand dune in the heat of the desert sun and then running and jumping all the way down. Watching animals in their natural environment coming to drink at the waterholes. The elephants seemed to be having such fun rolling in the mud and completely submerging themselves, apart from snorkel like trunks, under the water. Seeing the Milky Way so vividly in the black night sky.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane was excellent. He had amazing local knowledge and went out of his way to be helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you travel in August you won't need a raincoat but make sure you have enough layers of warm clothes for cold nights and early mornings. It was 1C when we landed in Windhoek.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a fabulous way to experience a taste of Africa. All of the wildlife you can imagine, incredible landscapes that are so different from England and arid conditions that have to be experienced to be believed. The security of having local guides meant we were able to relax completely without the worry of working out where to go and what to see. Tents were put up and taken down, meals were prepared and washed up and happy campers enjoyed a worry free holiday.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    NAMIBIAN ADVENTURER

    A family holiday providing varied experiences and great fun for all ages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing the fantastic Dunes and the desert environment with a guide/tour leader who had an amazing knowledge of creatures and plants and who was able to engage children and adults in his explanations. The second, equally brilliant experience was seeing so many animals and birds in their own environment - looking out for these made the long journeys pass quickly. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our 2 Leaders were equally amazingly good.  The first for his knowledge of his country and his ability to pass on this knowledge and interest to all family members and the second for his equally good knowledge but also for his fantastic meals - incredibly good - being family recipes in some instances and each day received with amazement that he could produce such good, varied food at all times.  The good natured way in which they managed the children enabled them to enjoy the holiday - giving them some freedom to spend their energy, and their patience in answering all questions in depth and so the young people will have learned a great deal about a culture different from their own.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for lengthy journeys between centres which are largely on rough roads.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is the second Exodus holiday I have had this year.  The first was very different the Simeon Mountain Trek, Ethiopia and both, though being different, have been excellent in similar respects ie organisation, food (very important on a holiday expecially when in a different culture), leaders (knowledge, attitude and enthusiasm).
  • Reviewed August 2012
    Anonymous

    NAMIBIAN ADVENTURER

    A family trip of a lifetime.  Everything worked - the Exodus description of the trip was accurate giving us a good sense of what we could expect and the reality exceeded our expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the sun rise over the sand dunes at Sossusvlei on my daughter's 18th birthday was something very special.  But quadbiking on the dunes at Swakupmond was thrilling in a completely different way.  Seeing the landscape change from dunes to scrub desert to lush-ish green covered mountains as we travelled north through the country was pretty amazing.  And then all those incredible birds and animals.  How one can become nonchalant about seeing springbok, zebra, giraffes, warthogs, baboons, the seal colony, elephants and even rhino seems unthinkable but then add a lion with its kill; two lionesses with their cubs, cheetahs, hyenas and even a rare sighting of a leopard with photography opportunities to die for and words begin to fail me...Plus the fact that we are the least likely family ever to sleep under canvas and yet we loved it... all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Franz was terrific.  He struck the balance between sharing his knowledge of the country and its inhabitants (of all kinds) and giving us the space to spend family time together.  We drove along looking left and right and straight ahead learning about Namibia's history, its economic, political and cultural context, and came home much more knowledgeable about the birds and animals, the geography and geology and so on.  He was really well organised and prepared us fully for each day and all activities.  And he had a great sense of humour too. And accompanied by Jonas, who cooked for us brilliantly, they were a great pair for whom nothing was too much trouble.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in the summer months; do take lots of warm clothing.  We didn't really have enough and there were nights and early mornings when warm gloves, woolly hats, ski jackets and thermals would have been useful. Don't expect to have much time to read and relax.  We took books that didn't even come out of our bags. And there is quite a lot of bus travel; so do take this into account.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would heartily recommend this trip and the luxury of having a teenage departure meant that the itinerary was adapted to meet the needs of the group.  We also loved the balance of camping and nights in lodges.
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    NAMIBIAN ADVENTURER FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Brilliant family holiday with lots of variety and something for everyone. We travelled as our last big family holiday before our eldest son- 18 went to uni, we also have a 15 year old son and we all agreed it was probably our best holiday yet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to choose just one moment but sunrise over the sanddunes and the amazing variety and numbers of animals at the waterhole in Etosha were real highlights. Also camping- the stars and animal noises at night, we especially enjoyed the last campsite with no elecricity and no-one else there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane and Jonas were brilliant, very knowledgable about the country and animals [the food was also really good and tasted all the better for being cooked and eaten in the open air].

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be cool at night and on the skeleton coast but also very warm further north so take plenty of layers. Malaria tablets weren't necessary when we went. Lots of early starts and busy days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lots of travelling which wasn't a problem for us but could possibly be for smaller children, our truck kept breaking down which took up time to fix. Would highly recommend the kayaking at Swakopmund and the sandboarding- you'll not do it anywhere else and the setting was lovely with a beautiful sunset over the dunes!!
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