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

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1099 Reviews

  • Reviewed April 2020

    Fantastic Trip covering large part of Nepal

    Can highly recommend this trip, it was absolutely amazing from start to finish. It provides a fantastic insight into Nepal and you will see a lot in a short space of time, it far exceed my expectations and is worth the money. It is fast paced but a good mix of city/history and cultural introduction of the country to start with in Kathmandu followed by the excellent walking, and finishing in Chitwan before going back to Kathmandu. I agree that Kathmandu was not the highlight and in my view could of easily been missed altogether, or only covered at the end of the trip for half a day, it was very polluted and dirty, the hotel was a good standard for Nepal but not amazing, but fine for a few nights and comfortable. Definitely would recommend flying straight into Pokhara when the airport is open to International carriers in the near future. I could easily have spent more time in Pokhara and Chitwan. The walking was amazing, you do need a good level of fitness there are one or two steep ascents, poles are a good item to bring with you in your kit bag, the porters carry your bags for you as you walk, my recommendation is to pack light for the walking! Lodges were very comfortable and the people very friendly food very god standard and plenty of it! Cold at night but good hot showers and nice bathrooms, I loved that you were delivered a hot water bottle every night. Food in the lodges was amazing and catered for everyone. The walking thought the unspoilt and at times completely isolated parts of the countryside will be something that will stay with me for a long time, that was truly unique and in complete contrast to Kathmandu. We saw hardly any tourists and saw farmers at work and people living in the countryside, it was peaceful and you truly could appreciate this amazing country. Pokhara was fantastic and is an amazing city, with a lot to do, I would definitely go back there. Chitwan Safari was truly unique and the hotel was absolutely outstanding and luxury. A few opportunities in Pokhara, Chitwan and Kathmandu to have massages to ease away the aches of the walking. Our guide Keshar was fantastic, extremely knowledgeable about Nepal, the flora, fauna and history, there was nothing he could of done to make our trip any better. Going in December meant we had very clear views of all the spectacular mountain ranges and I would definitely recommend this time of year, albeit it is cold in the evenings. Each trip I do with exodus just gets better and better!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking thought the unspoilt and at times completely isolated parts of the countryside will be something that will stay with me for a long time, that was truly unique and in complete contrast to Kathmandu.
  • Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana Trip

    "Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana trip is great." No matter where you go, Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana trip is the coolest, most happening thing around!"

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Safari
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Borneo Wildlife Discoverer

    This is a great overview of Malaysian Borneo with stays at many varied national parks. Its great to see the wildlife, birds, plants, insects and forests and also stays in the towns. The food was generally very good. It was interesting to hear some of the history and to learn about the tribes of Borneo. I am really pleased that I chose this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed all of the holiday and stays at all of the national parks, seeing all the wild life eg the orangutans, monkeys, birds and plants. I enjoyed the contrast between the different national parks where we stayed and also making the most of short stays in the towns.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manuiel was a great group leader he worked extremely hard to identify and to show us wildlife, insects, birds and plants. He worked very hard to ensure that the trip went smoothly and was very organised and we always knew in advance plans for the trip. He is sociable and has a good sense of humour which benefited us all . He was approachable so you could ask questions. He helped us on our free day in Koto Kinabalu to organise the boat to the island.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take a head torch and wet weather poncho for rain and leech socks for Danum
  • Reviewed March 2020

    An amazing boat trip in the Maldives

    An amazing tour during which we were lucky enough to snorkel with turtles, dozens of spinner dolphins, huge manta rays, a whale shark on two days, eagle and sting rays, moray eels, reef sharks and of course a wide variety of numerous reef fish large and small. We were all keen snorkelers and were able to snorkel at least twice a day. The boat was roomy and comfortable to spend time on during the day as were the cabins at night. The latter had both air conditioning and a fan to keep things cool. The crew were welcoming and helpful. The food was tasty and plentiful, the group were all keen snorkellers who got on well together.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling with five manta rays which were feeding in the water beneath us, flying/swimming gracefully in formation, spiralling and going round in small circles near the sea bed. We were able to easily keep up with them for about half an hour. An enormous manta ray joined the loose group for a while before disappearing into the plankton haze. Visibility was surprisingly good, given the plankton, and we able to duck dive a few metres to get clearer photos. Swimming above and briefly alongside a whale shark with only our group present in the water on our second encounter with it, was also magical. We were lucky to see several whale sharks at night pass very close by at the surface by the stern illuminated by a powerful light used to attract small fish eaten by the whale sharks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    UB (Ubai) was personable, had an easy and infectious laugh and who “got” the English sense of humour, looked after all members of the group very well, and quietly and efficiently ensured that everyone was happy and that everything ran smoothly and without drama.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Practise snorkelling and duck diving, go on a course if you can, it will pay dividends when it comes to getting closer to the wildlife underwater. Although snorkelling gear is available on the boat, take your own mask (and fins ) to ensure a comfortable fit. Take a camera suitable for underwater photography and practise with it before you go. A rash vest, preferably but not essentially a thermal one (see on Amazon), is really useful for up-to one hour plus snorkelling sessions. Take along some luck with you to help you find plenty of all the creatures you want to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our first encounter with the whale shark felt rather uncomfortable at times, having to swim along with more than fifty other snorkellers , although the whale shark itself seemed unperturbed and continued to swim along on its way. On our encounter the next day we were the only ones in the water. There was, as expected, a lot of dead coral around, though there were also plenty of signs of recovery. I should thoroughly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Amazing Costa Rica

    I thought this was a great trip and I was very fortunate to end up travelling with a fabulous, like minded group of people. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and the itinerary is well designed to fit in lots of places but without feeling rushed as you get to stay everywhere for two nights. It did not feel as intense and tiring as some trips I have done as there is ample chance to chill out on the verandas of the lodges or by the pool with a book or just watching the wildlife. It is very focused on the nature, scenery and wildlife side of the country, in particular birds, so be prepared for that. There is a chance to do a few other things such as the hot springs and zip lining which are well worth it. I thought all of the accommodation was excellent. Although they varied in terms of facilities everywhere was clean, comfortable and friendly, in excellent locations, with beautiful grounds and with good food (food especially good in Savegre) and most had pools which was an added bonus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few amazing moments and the whole country is just a joy to explore. I was desperate to see a sloth and we managed to see a few but seeing my first one by the pool in Tortuguero on day one was a definite highlight. I also loved the boat trips we did. We also saw an Armadillo and porcupine here as well which are apparently quite rare to spot so that was very exciting as was seeing a troupe of monkeys jumping from the trees across the river on the boat trip. In terms of the optional trips I really enjoyed the hot springs in La Fortuna as well as the zip lining and canopy walk in Monteverde and would definitely recommend doing these.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex Castro is a brilliant tour leader. He has an infectious enthusiasm and love for his country and a seemingly endless wealth of knowledge regarding all the animals, birds and plants. Quite how he could identify birds at such a great distance when all I can see at best is a blob without my binoculars will forever be a mystery! He was always charming and polite with a great sense of humour and had endless patience with us when we were asking for the twentieth time what a certain bird was or getting excited about an 'animal' that turned out to be just a lump of moss or leaves! Also, I have to mention the best bus driver in Costa Rica - Mario. A lovely, friendly guy who navigated the winding and sometimes bumpy Costa Rican roads brilliantly and safely, and who was always happy to try and help me with my awful Spanish!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is not necessary to take colones. You can get by easily with American dollars. Be warned that Costa Rica is at least as expensive as the UK if not slightly more so. Both Monteverde and Savegre can be on the cool side so make sure you have some layers. Take binoculars as you need them to spot all the birds and animals. I wondered before I went if I should have booked to stay in San Jose for longer however having done the trip I don't feel it is necessary. We had a few hours on the last day so got to do a quick tour of the city centre and then the gold museum which is very good and then as the flight was not until the afternoon the next day I was able to do the 9am tour of the National Theatre which I would highly recommend.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go. I am worried with the increasing number of people travelling to Costa Rica it may get too over commercialised soon so go before it is too late!
  • Reviewed February 2020
    Stewart Allan

    Great wildlife

    The scenery and wildlife were wonderful and the team who looked after us on safari did an excellent job. Stonetown was fascinating and the 3 days by the beach were a relaxing end to the trip. The camping was very basic - small tents in muddy fields with primitive toilets.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing lions and vast herds of zebra on the Serengeti.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Patrick was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a lantern, not just a torch, so that you can see what you are doing better in the tent and read it you want to.
  • Reviewed February 2020
    Audrey Morgan

    Gorillas and Masai Mara

    Saw the most incredible wildlife, expert and professional team in Gilbert, Albert, Stoney and James and a wonderful road trip across E. Africa.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention but the Gorillas next to us was special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was professional, fun, accommodating and a joy to travel with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. The best trip yet!
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Jean Smith

    A ‘must do’ for the ‘bucket list’!

    An excellent trip with Edward our leader, Felix our driver and Primo the very best boatman in Tortuguero. Our 2 days in Tortuguero were a highlight with the boat trips and we were very lucky with the weather. You definitely need plenty of thin cotton clothes - nothing dries in the humidity and layers for the cooler areas. We felt well prepared having read the trip notes and the recent reviews. Plenty of bug spray, umbrella, waterproof or poncho and a good hat. Excellent food especially the fruit and fish and accommodation better than we had expected. The spa at the last hotel was an unexpected bonus - well worth having a massage and jacuzzi after a busy holiday! We enjoyed the happy hours to sample local cocktails (some more than others!). Our group of 16 was an eclectic mix who got on extremely well, always ready for a laugh and a challenge and got on really well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    5.30 am boat trip down the water channels at Tortuguero looking for wildlife - superb!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edward was very professional, personable and smart both in appearance and knowledge. He was flexible, wanting to meet the whole group’s individual needs and good fun. He was always willing to organise extra things for us to give us the best experience of his beloved country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and recent reviews and make sure you have a good camera, binoculars, umbrella, waterproof or poncho and a good hat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No.
  • Reviewed January 2020

    Best Experience of all of my travels so far!

    Best experience of travel I have ever had. Gorillas just WOW. Chimps were amazing and we saw our first one in 5 minutes. Queen Elisabeth park gave us not 1 but 2 sets of tree climbing lions!! And we spotted a Leopard. Lots of other fabulous game that was not so expected from Uganda. Friendly people everywhere.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wow, seeing the gorilla family in the wild was the best experience I have ever had, just breath taking! It was very hard work getting to them (and we were lucky it took just over 1 hour) so hit the gym before you go, make sure you take those gardening gloves and hire a porter. Don't bother taking walking poles (take up room in your luggage) and they will give you a big stick on site that does just as well (and you don't have to worry about loosing since you have to leave your poles when getting near the gorillas).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide David was fabulous, kept us entertained throughout and nothing was too much trouble. Love him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Gorilla mist Camp is a bit cold and damp (you are in a rainforest at high elevation after all) so I wish I took another warmer jumper for the evenings (but they do put lovely hot water bottles in your bed). One point I would make - I didn't book the extra Gorilla permits due to money restrictions - the way it is worded on the site is to book them as you are not guaranteed to see the gorillas on one treck, however when you go for your treck they explain that if your group does not spot the gorillas then you can go back on the same permit the next day. (this did not happen to us so no idea if they do keep this promise given the restricted permit numbers).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to see Gorillas go and do it! This experience was better than I ever imagined it could be
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Julie O'Donnell

    Discover the whole country

    I booked the trip as I expected to be surrounded by wildlife, it wasn't the case.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The second day in the river boat. One of the trips out we saw possible 70% of all the wildlife we saw during the whole two weeks. I witnessed a few (about 10) sea turtle hatchlings make their way into the sea, this was the highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader (Ed) was brilliant, knowledgeable, funny and went out of his way to ensure we all had a great time. He did everything he could to find the wildlife we all were desperate to see.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be under the impression that you will be surrounded and see wildlife other than birds. Yes you will see mammals, reptiles, insects etc., but the majority of the time.... birds.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been so much better to have stayed in the river and rainforest areas longer. The last two days were a total waste of time in the grubby city and we were moved from place to place far to often, having to leave some beautiful places! This was no failing of the guide but the schedule.