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.

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’!

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  • Reviewed November 2017
    kim simkins

    Safari at it's absolute best

    Travelling with a group of friends who met in Botswana on a camping trip 7 years ago, and had so much fun and friendship that we decided to reunite the Botties for a rerun with a bit of Zimbabwe added on! Were slightly concerned that the lodges would lack the intimacy of the wild camping, however this trip was absolutely perfect for us and Exodus helped us fine tune the experience by switching a day in Vic Falls for an extra day in Hwange for our party of 6. And actually that was probably the highlight of the trip in the end, one of the greatest 24hrs safari experience of my life (and I've had a few)! I was in serious need of a break, but I came home from Africa a different and better person after one of the most amazing trips ever! I am an Exodus veteran but this had to be the best yet! Thank-you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many...hard to choose! 1. The Okavango Delta, the absolute isolation and peacefulness of wild camping, swimming amongst the water lilies and the fireflies spectacular light show at night whilst listening to the lions roaring and the elephants splashing in the water just yards from my tent. 2. Walking to track Rhino in Matobo and removing a poachers snare and the superb Hermits lodge with a great sundown dog walk with the zebra chasing the dog off! 3. The wonderful Hwange National Park. Superb game drives and even thought the landrover broke down, it meant our replacement vehicle had got wind of a leopard and we were lucky enough to see one descending from a tree. 4. Wonderful Hwange Safari Lodge hotel overlooking the waterhole, and a superb tracker guide who found us a cheetah with 3 cubs, a huge herd of elephant with a close encounter never to forget with a herd of 150 elephants doing what all elephants do best all around us. Just when we thought we had seen it all, he found us a pride of 16 lions right by the side of the road for an amazing encounter with some very relaxed and well fed cats! 5. Superb dinner cruise on the last night with great food, wonderful live music and the most amazing sunset. So emotional, it brought tears to my eyes, a perfect end to a perfect trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sheridan was very young and inexperienced and had her work cut out with some 'older' seasoned travellers. She was pleasant and helpful but didn't really add much to the experience as she didn't give us much information about the country or the wildlife. She spent a lot of time on the game drives asleep. Sometimes communication was not as good as it might have been. But I am sure she will improve with experience and has the enthusiasm to learn.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some very long drives on dodgy roads with strict speed limits and very few stops. The estimated timings were a long way out, 4/5 hrs was often nearer 6/7 so there was little down time. A significant amount of walking too on safaris so need to be reasonably fit, especially with the heat as some days were 40degrees. Zimbabwe is still quite corrupt, we had a few issues with police stops, it also has little cash so take small notes and don't expect change. If you are prepared to take old clothes, these can be bartered for goods. Things are expensive in both countries so take plenty of cash/credit cards. Don't expect luxury and its Africa and thatched accommodation so be prepared for bugs and meeting the outdoors.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to say thanks for such an amazing time. Will certainly be going back to Zimbabwe once the furore dies down. It certainly rivals Botswana for wildlife.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Debra Dance

    Magical From Start To Finish

    Every day on this trip was like a dream come true. Over the two weeks we saw over 100 different wildlife species.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of my highlights was watching a herd of female elephants and their calves run towards a watering hole to join the males who were already there. The 30 or so elephants drank, bathed and sprayed themselves with water with obvious joy. Seeing this close up felt like a real privilege. But every single day brought new delights, from seeing a white rhino and her two daughters during a walking safari and enjoying the polers' harmonious singing around the campfire to seeing a wide range of gloriously coloured birds, San rock art and rich sunsets.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leaders, Mira and Marco, were outstanding, enthusiastically sharing their knowledge with us about both countries and their wildlife. They were unfailingly hard-working and well-organised, as well as being great cooks, conjuring up a variety of delicious meals on basic equipment. Their love of their jobs constantly shone through. The guides in the national parks were equally passionate about their subjects and always committed to giving us the best experience. I suggest that you take more money with you for tipping than is suggested in the trip notes, as you will almost certainly want to reward the outstanding service that you receive throughout your trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Of the optional activities on offer, I recommend the flight over the Delta (120 US $) to get a sense of the Delta's vastness. And in Victoria Falls I wholeheartedly recommend the lion cub interaction (75 US $). This chance to stroke and walk with lion cubs is part of a conservation project and an incredibly special experience. I felt totally safe throughout the experience and given that the 'cubs' were 22 months old, that's really saying something! The Zambezi dinner cruise (78 US $) is also definitely worth doing: a delicious five course meal, watching an elephant on the bank and hippos in the river, bathed in the warm, golden light of the setting sun. It really did feel as if life could not get any better.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Debra for her review, and we are delighted to hear that she had a wonderful trip. We really appreciate direct recommendations from our clients for specific optional activities, however, we would discourage people from taking part in the lion cub activity in Victoria Falls. Animal welfare is an important part of the Exodus Responsible Travel policy; and there are a lot of unanswered questions about this activity (and other similar activities in Zimbabwe) and about the extent of how ethical they are. We would therefore advise against people taking part in this particular activity or if they choose to, consider the potential issues surrounding these activities.

     

    Tom Harari – Product Manager for Botswana and Zimbabwe

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Barry Tylee

    realise your wildlife dreams

    This tour is where you realise your every wildlife dream. This is where dreaming stops and reality takes over. From the beginning to the end, it is a non stop thrilling adventure. Poling past grumpy Hippos, listening to Lions roar while wild camping, seeing giant elephants wade across the water in front of you, Seeing the same cross a deep river with just their trunks showing. That's just for starters. No need to imagine standing just five meters away from a grazing white Rhino with her baby, it happened, with a few more sitting behind. Horn bills, Kingfishers and a variety of other water birds. As you drive along the road between stops view the Giraffes, Zebra, Elephants, the list goes on. Most nights "we" gather around a roaring fire to eat lovely cooked food, compliments of our tour guides (Marco & Mira) so knowledgeable, really in safe hands. You don't really want to sleep, because closing your eyes means that you will miss something. Just when you think its all over and the last day arrives, there are still some amazing opportunities to experience. Victoria Falls, just amazing. Try the optional safari, with luck you can view close up Black Rhino, again mother with baby. Mother walked right up to the jeep to check us out. Great photo opportunities. Last but not least, don't miss the optional sunset cruise, it is just simply an amazing sight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, but the four Elephants crossing the Chobe river, one after the other, snorkelling, then climbing on the back of the one in front as they arrive at the more shallow part of the river. Being so close to the Black and White Rhino, (sadly they have been de-horned) for their protection against poachers. But still guarded 24 hours a day. Sitting in the jeep looking at a 10 strong pride of Lions, relaxing in the shade The photos that I have from the sunsets are for me a great reminder of this wonderful, exciting adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader(s) were Marco & Mira, a husband and wife combination from South Africa. Really nice people. Always in control, whether driving or cooking or simply managing your day. Both extremely knowledgeable in respect of all the creatures that you might see and only to happy to tell you about them. I would be delighted to see them on any future tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not be put off by the 2 nights wild camping, bushy-bushy loos are not so much a problem. July in Botswana and Zimbabwe during the night and early morning is cold and I mean cold. Make sure that you have packed some warm layers, you will need them. When I did the optional early morning safari in Victoria falls (which i would not have missed for anything) I could not believe how cold it was until the sun came up. be prepared, its worth it. Hot tea/coffee and biscuits helped, followed by a cooked breakfast, while observing feeding Horn bills. Yes there are a couple of long drives, don't fall asleep !! Be patient when you arrive at immigration in Zimbabwe, it can be very slow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To be honest, I could have written a book about this trip. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of what was a great group of people who all enjoyed the tour. Each will take home their own special moments. I'm pleased to have shared the time with them.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Isabel Draper

    Botswana and Zimbabwe Lodge Safari

    The fantastic experiences just kept coming! Each day felt as if it couldn't be bettered -- and then it was!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being punted through the Okavango Delta like a memsahib. Gazing into the eyes of a White Rhino from 15ft, who decided we were too boring to bother with and went back to chewing the grass. And the Victoria Falls -- words can't do them justice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco and Mira showed the professionalism I have come to expect from Exodus tour leaders, and were quietly keeping on top of the whole show without the clients knowing anything was happening. Very impressed they got us to the Delta despite extensive flooding when other tour groups didn't manage to reach it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're not experienced at camping, get the advice of someone who is to ensure you take the right things to the Delta -- I forgot a torch. The spray at Victoria Falls is considerable and it is impossible to keep everything dry. As the return to the UK is not long after, think in advance about what to wear and carry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another fantastic trip from Exodus!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Karen White

    Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari WZA170312

    Great holiday - lots of different experiences and magical moments

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a moon rise over the Delta / getting up close with wild rhino/ tracking lions with the Pola / the Mokoru canoes - all of it really!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant! Good fun, enthusiastic, very friendly and also very caring to ensure all his guests are well catered for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a couple of days of very long journeys by road. It can't be helped as it has to be done to get to the next destination. Take a good book to read.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would recommend this trip if you want a different experience to just seeing animals. Some brilliant experiences.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Julian Tucker

    Botswana and Zimbabwe

    An amazing adventure through two beautiful countries, experiencing the amazing scenery and local wildlife. This was all made even better by the tour guides amazing organisation and knowledge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The three days camping in the Okavanga Delta was an amazing memorable experience. Being amongst the wildlife and under a blanket of stars made this trip one to remember. From tracking Lions to watching Hippos from a canoe was just a small part of this adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Andrew made everything run smoothly and enhanced our holiday experience 100% with his passion and drive. A great group also made this a trip to remember.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I cannot recommend this enough. Although a lot of travelling is involved, this is necessary to cover so much in two weeks, finishing at the amazing Victoria falls.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Chris Ramon

    Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari

    Looked good, but if you want to see the amazing Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, don't pick this one. We've been before, it should be miles of eerie silence, but not on this trip. This "visit" was a very real disappointment, leaving us feeling cheated. To see it reasonably you need 4WD and this trip didn't use it here. The accommodation, we didn't expect to be luxurious, but one place for 2 nights was grimy cramped airless and sleepless.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Flight over the Okavango.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Chris for his feedback. Whilst we do try to explain the nature of the visit to the Makgadikgadi Pan in the trip notes, we sincerely regret that he was disappointed with this. We are sorry that Chris did not enjoy some of the accommodation he stayed at; we have passed his comments on to our local manager and we will continue to closely monitor all client feedback we receive about the accommodation to ensure that it is continuing to meet our expectations.

    Tom Harari- Exodus Product Manager for Botswana

  • Reviewed October 2016
    Michael Hogben

    Botswana and Zimbabwe lodge safari

    This trip for us was truly amazing. Good food, good views, lovely people. We look forward to going on another trip with Exodus. Which ever trip you choose enjoy every moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment has to be the elephants in Hwange N.P. But, this is a difficult question. The whole of our trip for us was inspirational without a doubt. Every day had its own little gem, we could have stayed another fortnight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Andrew Lindsay, was amazing. His cooking was faultless, knowledge exceptional. Great sense of humour, all in all you couldn't fault anything. A lovely guy with a great personality. Can we book him again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, if they are going the same time of year, plenty of light weight clothes. And a battery operated fan. And a good tent light when in the delta.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a good camara and a big lens because the pictures will be amazing. P.s don't forget your binoculars.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Margaret Rudd

    A trip of a lifetime

    this was such a good trip - different experiences the whole time and everything seem to fit together like clockwork

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think camping out in the Delta was the best for me - real camping under the stars with the animal sounds - hippos and lions!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Justin was the perfect leader - nothing was any trouble, and he had such a good attitude

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a lot of mileage, but it is well worth it
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Pat Smith

    Wonderful trip

    When the tour leader dropped us off at Livingstone airport I really could have stayed on the bus and done the whole thing again

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really hard to pick out highlights. The trip was nearly perfectly paced and so varied. I loved the camping in the delta. The stars were amazing. All the support team worked so hard and on the last evening they gave us a wonderful acapela concert.We so so much wildlife including a pack of wild dog by the side of the road!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrew is one of the best tour leaders I've come across. He worked so hard. He was our driver, chief cook, guide and much more besides. He made everything look effortless & told us exactly what to expect, so the numerous police checks in Zimbabwe were no surprise and not even annoying. Can't thank him enough for the part he played in making this trip so wonderful. He also had a wonderful sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect the super luxury accommodation you often see in magazines. You would need to be paying an awful lot more for that! It is clean, comfortable and the staff are, without exception, friendly and helpful. The camping is exceptionally well organised and also very comfortable.Be prepared for very hot days but also chilly evenings and early mornings (particularly when travelling in open-sided safari vehicles on game drives)-and you will see early mornings if you want to see wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only criticism is the very tiring first day. Zambia -> Zimbabwe-> Botswana and our first lodge. We did not get anything to eat until about 3.00pm. Not sure why it is necessary for the group flight to land in Livingstone, Zambia requiring another border crossing and visa. The visa situation was very very confused from Exodus Head Office, but worked out fine on the ground with our tour leaders guidance, though I think we were lucky not to meet any excessive queues at any border crossings.
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