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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Phill Dixon

    If I could do it again I wouldn't hesitate

    If you could gurantee the same team, group and even half the wildlife encounters I'd book it up tomorrow. We were very lucky with both the wildlife and to have such an enthusiastic and fun group of guides and guests - which made the trip all the better. The locations are stunning - in two days in the Masai Mara we saw the big 5 and had an epic balloon ride at sunrise. Then we were off to Lake Nakuru and the rhinos and flamingos took centre stage, with the smiles getting wider as the wildlife encounters got better. Sleeping within 300m of a waterfall in Nakuru was a highlight and despite being the most basic, was my favourite campsite - hearing lions and hyeenas calling in the night while sat around a campfire checking out all the stars. At Jinja even novice rafters got to experience the thrill of white water and again the provided photos and videos had us all laughing and reliving the day. The Adrift campsite was also brand new and had great facilities. So the experiences built, Murchison has impressive waterfalls and the boat trip was a good way to get out of the heat of the day. Gorilla tracking in Budongo again had us being lucky, being in the middle of chimps hunting, a once in a lifetime opportunity and not something to be expected, but if you get to experience time with the enigmatic chimps you cannot be disappointed. Queen Elizabeth has less diversity of wildlife but still provided lots of Elephants and on the river you see birds and elephants everywhere. Lastly the gorillas - I did two treks and they were both different but magical experiences. The first involved a long trek but we were surrounded by a group and followed them, experiencing interactions with several different family members. This would be a tough trek if you are not physically fit and used to walking up hills. The second trek involved spending an unforgettable hour with Xmas, the largest silverback in Bwindi and his 1 and 2 year old babies. We could not see other members of the family and the trek was shorter and easier, but a very close and magical encounter - when a baby gorilla looks at you from less than 7m you get a sense of how special and priveledged your time with them is. You are also given certificates to help remember your time with these beautiful animals The trip to the genocide museum was a very poignant reminder of what Rwanda has been through as well. Some facts - the trip involves a lot of early starts and quite a bit of travelling. Your reward is the trip of a lifetime. The truck is large and spacious but keep things in the lockers or that room fills up quickly. You will need to be able to walk up steep hills for the gorillas, but the team takes things slowly and chooses the best path for the group. Campsites often had showers, toilets and a bar so have some dollars for these. A lot of Ugandan service stations and almost all of Rwanda wanted local currency. Some things to note - the Rwandan border was the most difficult to cross, with a problem getting our taxi across taking 2hrs but providing a great side adventure - a sense of humour about delays and acknowledging that you may be asked seeminglystupid questions is par for the course. Get some snacks and drinks before crossing as there is nothing on the Rwandan security zone. The Exodus team were fantastic throughout, working hard to fix any problems ( airline lost bags), keep our trip moving smoothly and provide fun and share jokes over Albert's fantastic cooking ( his cooking may expand your waistline). Gilbert was the charismatic tour leader with lots of local stories and knowledge, Stoney the unflappable driver who always made time to help, Albert the fantastic chef with all the catchphrases and a personality larger than life, and Charles the youngest and ever smiling and helpful team member eager to greet and hear of our days adventures. A good team feels like family not a crew, these guys felt like family and helped knit the group together. I feel exceptionally lucky to have been on this trip, I've travelled a lot and this will remain a trip to remember. If I could do the same or similar trip with the group and crew I would book it tomorrow, if you promised me half the wildlife too I'd still jump at the chance. Thanks Exodus for another epic adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending time with the gorillas and seeing the look on everyone's faces as they encounter these incredible animals up close.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was really good at bringing people together and engaging the group. He was also active in securing us better times for chimp trekking and minimising time on the truck / getting good plots on campsites. A lot of what he was doing behind the scenes in planning / logistics was while people slept on the truck so he could chat and sing songs when we were all awake. He also had excellent wildlife and historical knowledge and was happy to share The only problem we encountered was on the day the team weren't there at the Rwandan border - and over the phone he was working on a solution to get us moving

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a folder for certificates they give for gorilla trekking Have a sheet or blanket to sit on in the truck as the vinyl seats can get hot in the sun ( thanks Vio) Have some small Ugandan and Rwandan currency so you can buy things at service stations if they don't accept cards or dollars ( Rwanda the bars all wanted local currency). Pack some extra clothes in your daysack when flying - airlines lose bags so have at least a change of clothes to last you a day or two. Go to Carnivores in Nairobi it is a great meal and intro for the group. Don't expect glamping but this is comfortable camping and you get to hear lions calling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If the team running this trip do any other Africa trips I'd gladly go on them
  • Reviewed July 2019
    violeta maftei

    Mind-blowing experience

    WYU190630 Just returned from my first African wild adventure and i m still day dreaming of it! Couldn't have asked for a better crew team members and better group. Absolutely awed day in day out. This being my first experience camping and group travelling i must say it has been a blast! Do not let the camping put you off! It is a great experience and i loved every minute of it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From day one, every day was memorable! And just when i thought that nothing could top seeing the big five, here comes chimpanzee trekking, mountain gorilla trekking, the scenery all around were absolute breathtaking. Totally totally would recommend this trip to anyone who's ready for adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide Gilbert together with chef Albert, driver Stony and all around helper Charlie made our experience a memorable one. I could not have asked for a better crew! They were awesome and their hard work must be acknowledged. Absolutely stunned with Gilbert's knowledge in terms of culture, nature, wildlife; and throughout the trip he always kept us informed, always smiling laughing and ready to listen to everything we had to say. Driver Stony, hat down! His many years of experience definitely had a say and he kept us safe throughout the journey. 100% confidence is his skills. Chef Albert looked after our stomach affairs! The whole group were astonished how he always managed to come up with the most delicious dishes even when camping. Healthy and freshly cooked food, always a bonus. Charlie the man does it all!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a sense of adventure and a big smile and you'll have the holiday of a lifetime! I was nervous when i booked this trip as was travelling alone, and never done this sort of trip before, but words cannot express how amazing the trip was and how well the group and crew members integrated from day one! Be prepared for long drives on bumpy roads sometimes. Its part of the adventure package!:)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When we had to say goodbyes we cried....No one wanted the trip to end... I've created what am hopping to be lifelong friendships and its amazing!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Phil Page

    Toubkal climb.

    Unreal trip. Didn't know i'd get such holiday blues from a trip like this one. I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up but it surpassed all my expectations. Unbelievably organised, we were well looked after, well fed and well informed of everything that was going on and what to expect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although getting to the top is a moment i'll never forget, the optional climbs were amazing, even the walks just to get to our next destination were awesome and it was great to take in the surroundings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lachen and Rashid were our guides and they went above and beyond their duties. Keeping everyone safe, making sure those who were struggling made it to the top and generally making sure everyone was happy and as comfortable as we could be.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a challenge, but doable with a good amount of fitness. I would make sure you have a bit of experience with hiking before taking this one up.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Maddie Hallwood

    A bladder stretching, inspiring, bumpy, simply amazing adventure!

    This is not a trip for anyone seeking a rest. The days are long and you aren’t going to get a nap on the bus unless you nab a front seat or can sleep literally anywhere. However, you will get to see some absolutely amazing creatures in the wild that you will not see anywhere else, see the magnificent baobabs, fake baobabs and fake fake baobabs and find yourself in more different landscapes and climates than you can reasonably expect in one country. So many people have told me Madagascar is on their wish list but, until you have been there, you can not imagine it. They need all the tourism they can get in order to help more locals understand how conservation can actually benefit them and, with the rarity of species that Madagascar has, the sooner you go, the better.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I admit to getting tearful at my first sighting of an Indri in the wild - these animals do not survive in captivity. And actually finally getting close enough to a mouse lemur for me to see it with my own eyes - I could have watched them all night ( as they didn’t pay any heed to us). And, of course, actually getting up ( and down) the Tsingy. And the photos of the Alley of the Baobabs at sunset still take my breath away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rija is simply fantastic. She exudes passion and knowledge for her country and its peoples and nature, always seeking ways for us to understand more or have the answers to our questions. I particularly appreciated how she sought ways for us to interact with the locals so that we could all gain from the experience. She is very thoughtful, seeking to consider everyone’s particular preferences or circumstances and maintaining a sense of humour through out that is positively delightful. However, the test of a good guide is when things don’t go to plan and we had a little bit of an unscheduled extension to our trip. Rija was calm, clear and reassuring and, even when we had no idea when and how we would get home, we were happy to trust her judgment. I trust Exodus to treasure their relationship with Rija, she is an ambassador both for Exodus abs Madagascar.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good torch and spare batteries. I hadnt realised just how many hotels do not have 24 hour electricity and I used my torch for pottering around inside my bungalows at night much more than for the night walks! The roads in Madagascar rival any I have seen anywhere else in the world for poor condition. But Dama, our main (modest) driver is capable of taking that bus anywhere. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised at the standard of hotel and food throughout the trip. There is an opportunity to do laundry after a week. All hotels we were in had WiFi at reception when they had electricity on and some had sufficient connection to support WhatsApp calls... how times have changed.. I suffer from vertigo and I managed the Tsingy ( with the help of my fellow travelers) - and I am glad I did. This trip ends with an internal flight back to the capital. When the trip notes say that internal flights can be unreliable, take that very seriously and don’t plan anything you really can’t miss for the days immediately after you get home just in case. Exodus did a brilliant job in getting us back as soon as they could, just like we knew they would.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have a sense of humour, a sense of wonder and like an adventure, do this!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Catherine Robert

    Amazing experience

    I really enjoyed seeing the chimps and gorillas and was very pleased I had booked the additional treks. There is a lot of driving, but I enjoyed seeing the countryside and the trip leaders were good at fitting in stops and short walks to stretch our legs. The trip is quite primate-focussed, so don’t come expecting to see lots of big cats (although we did see six lions). The birds are wonderful. I also loved the boat trips, as you get to see the wildlife from a different angle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely seeing the chimps and gorillas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders, Benjamin and David. They were both very good. Benjamin is a keen birder.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t bother bribing walking poles as they will be supplied. Wear your walking boots on the flight - two people in my group lost their luggage and all their walking gear and toiletries were stolen. Hiring a porter boosts the local economy, so I would get one even if you don’t think you need one.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Charlotte Meller

    Memorable Madagascar

    This trip gives you a glimpse of an incredibly varied country rich with unique wildlife and landscapes. Yes the roads maybe a bit bumpy :) but you soon forget that when every day you see so many endemic lemurs, sifakas, chameleons and, if you are lucky, a fossa. The tour leader Rija is the best that I have ever met on an Exodus trip. Her vast knowledge and infectious passion made the trip even more special and memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each type of forest -rain, spin and dry offered something different but they don’t prepare you for the spectacular limestone forest at Tsingy. Simply stunning. .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for delays on the internal flights !
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Peter Nelson

    Great trip, poor company service

    The trip itself was excellent. Run by a local company (Malabiu) the guide (Shaun) worked extremely hard and his side kick cook (Jona) were both very profesional and knowledgeable. Geology information was a bit sparse, but customs and culture info was very good. The small group gelled together well. Be warned they is a lot of travelling with many miles on Namibia style roads - basically very dusty and stoney dirt tracks. Food and drink is cheap in Namibia and the lodges are comfortable if basic. The main down side was the company (Exodus) which did not respond effectively to queries asked. Also did not pass on important information to the group guide which meant that arrangement were compromised. For 10 of us in the party there were five different group flights - not their finest hour. Overall, I would certainly recommend this trip to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing lots of different animals in their natural environment

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge and very professional

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above summary

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    See above summary
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Stephen Secretan

    This trek is no push-over

    A mixed trip - lovely valley walks, challenging mountains and a lively city to end.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was the feeling of achievement both at the top of a high mountain and then going into camp / hostel at the end of a hard day. The feelings were definitely enhanced by being with a good group to share the experience

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was great. Lhousine knows the area and the local people and explains everything well. It was clear that he had an eye open for anyone struggling / straggling. Very approachable and happy to talk with us and share his considerable experience of the great outdoors and listen to ours. Lhousine was also very much in control of the logistics - getting us, muleteers, mules bagage, food... to the right place at the right time. Our hard-working support team were truly brilliant in looking after us and our chef, Hamida, worked marvels in producing tasty and attractive meals even when we were miles from any resources

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found the sleeping mats too thin and would strongly recommend taking an inflatable or similar. Many of the paths we walked on were rock covered with small stones and easy to loose footing. Have boots that are right for that terrain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was sceptical about what the walking tour of Marrakesh would be. But I am so glad I did it because it was a highlight of the trip and, for me, the best part of our time in the city. Our guide there, Ibrahim, could not have been more informative
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Katherine White

    Mountains, Mules and Moroccan Memories

    A perfect holiday of exploration for anyone who is fit, adventurous, has a sense of camaraderie and can revert to the true nature of what it's like to really live , be at one and experience the wilderness of the surroundings and not be concerned with unnecessary luxuries we take for granted at home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cloud inversion and breathtaking views from Mt Toukbal and the optional summitting of Ouanakrim on our summer solstice with its isolation and equally jaw dropping panorama while watching the incredible dawn track us on our ascent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lahcen our leader was incredible. He was there for absolutely everyone on the trip, the novice to the experienced mountaineer. To watch him enable the least confident to flourish and for all to reach way beyond their own personal goals was humbling. His pacing was spot on, slowing the potential 'bolters' from burning out and thereby encouraging us all to acclimatise slowly so that no one felt excluded from the chance of getting to the top. People made their own decisions on summitting Ouanakrim, two 4000m peaks in 24 hours with 03:30 am starts or similar is not for all but Lahcen ensured the decision was our own. His local knowledge was incredible and we felt safe at all times with his skills and acute perception of any struggling. A true leader and mountaineer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some basic camping and toilet facilities. The heat and destination meant some of us needed the odd emergency stop by a boulder (shrubs are very scarce at altitude) so forget the shyness. Take some hand sanitiser. The fitter you are the easier it will be. You will be 'carrying' yourself upwards in heat and at altitude and despite any pacing 'extra baggage' is 'extra baggage' ! Embrace the wilderness ,the cameraderie of working as a group and remember everyone of the group wants to have the chance to get to the top . We found our filter water bottles extremely useful, we were guided on which streams to use, plastic disposal is a big problem for any country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The camp meals were pretty amazing ! Always plenty of it and lots of vegetables. Vegetarian and Coeliac requirements were catered for. Bring your own snacks if you like . Phone signal is very limited, a great way to escape . The mules are part of the team and great entertainment! Marakesh is a full on sensory experience after the wilderness. Not showering was not a problem. For me.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Jan Biden

    Excellent Trip

    Good company, good leaders, good food, good experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the family of sixteen lions playing at the waterhole.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronney was excellent. Understated but friendly, worked extremely hard, informative and a very good driver.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothing because sleeping in the tents was cold at night in June.
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