Turtle, Ecuador

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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 June 2019
    Tracey French

    Borneo

    Borneo, beautiful scenery, abundance of wildlife, interesting food & a wonderful people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    First sighting of orangutans in their natural habitat. Surviving the bamboo longhouse. Conquering, albeit temporarily, my fear of heights on the non too safe looking canopy walkway in Mulu. Surviving the bamboo longhouse. Climbing up to, & then looking down from, the viewpoint over Danum Valley. Surviving the bamboo longhouse.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manuel had to leave after a couple of days due to family illness & was replaced by Talia. Both were knowledgeable, patient & extremely professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If it isn't there already put Borneo on your bucket list.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sandakan War Memorial is very moving. I hadn't previously heard about the death walk.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Brian Bullingham

    Primates and Dragons May 2019

    A well organised trip. The chief guide was excellent as were all the additional guides. The accommodation was first class with a variety from Eco Lodges to top hotels. The tour was arranged to see the maximum sights during the 3 week period - but at times there seemed too many options and a slower pace would have improved the trip. Of necessity there were lots of internal flights that had to be endured! As a group we all mixed in -we varied from 3 couples and 6 singles but all meals etc. went well. An enjoyable trip that ticked all the photo opportunities with a blend of local culture for interest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most hilarious moment was during our watch of the Orang-utangs when another visitor had left his back-pack open and this was spotted by a sharp-eyed male who shot down from his tree, snatched a crisp -packet from the bag and shot up another tree where he ripped open the packet and starting eating the crisps - never underestimate the intelligence of a primate!! My other memory is of the traffic and the number of mopeds all overtaking cars and lorries with abandon and with no overt action from the car,etc. being overtaken - a lesson in politeness for Westerners!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly our group leader was very efficient and got us in a group to the right place at the right time - no mean feat considering all the different ways of travel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a poncho as it can rain heavily.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Ronnie van der Ploeg

    It’s a jungle out there!

    A very enjoyable two weeks spent in the company of 15 other Exodus travellers who embraced the spirit of adventure and discovery in Malaysian Borneo. Together we journeyed the length of Sarawak and Sabah by minibus, coach, plane, boat and jeep visiting spectacular locations including breathtaking caves, stunning rainforests and acquainting ourselves with the local wildlife and bird life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife highlight was undoubtedly spotting our first orangutan in the wild, followed by the sight of the clouds of bats leaving their cave in Mulu National Park at dusk. Although not as imperious as the Mulu Caves, a visit to Gomanting Cave is also breathtaking, and not just because of the overwhelming smell of guano! Meet bats, swiftlets, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mouse deer, spiders... and you may also see some of the locals who have set up bases in the caves to sleep and guard the swiftlets nests. You will enjoy the thrill of the river cruises along the Kinabatangan River looking out for the wildlife before returning to the Borneo Nature Lodge to enjoy the friendly hospitality of the staff. The long journey to the Danube Valley will be worth it once you arrive at Borneo Rainforest Lodge - fantastic location, impressive accommodation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly and ensured that all the trips ran smoothly, and that everyone felt comfortable with the activities we undertook.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t touch the handrails in the Gomantong Cave! The longhouse facilities are basic and the food is ‘local’, so don’t be surprised when the fish stew arrives with a fish skull lurking below the surface - but the visit to the longhouse is actually an enjoyable experience and part of the adventure you all undertake together.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I personally would have liked some more commentary on the country, customs, language and history of Borneo as we travelled for ,one periods on the buses. Instead I read about it myself in a guide book.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Ross Bishop

    A myriad of wildlife in the heart of Africa

    This trip packs in a huge variety of wildlife experiences over a great distance in three scenic and friendly East African countries.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many highlights. For this trip, the Masai Mara provided the greatest inspiration. Our group was so fortunate to see multiple close up lion sightings, a leopard up a tree and a successful cheetah hunt amongst many other animals. The Mara is totally worthy of its global fame as a premier game reserve. On this occasion, our good fortune in Kenya just pipped the excellent gorilla and chimp tracking days in Uganda.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Kenyan team, consisting of the tour leader driver, chef and camp assistant worked so hard evrry day and did so in cheerful spirit that made them a pleasure to be around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long drives on bumpy roads, particularly in Uganda. The gorrila tracking involves difficult underfoot conditions and the length of the hike to see the gorillas can't really be predicted in advance. No one in our group opted for the Kazinga Channel boat trip, this didn't matter as the included boat trip at Murchison Falls was outstanding, particularly for birds. Temperatures are generally moderate in this part of the world due to altitude, but Murchison Falls is lower and was therefore hot.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've been lucky enough to go on a few African safaris over the years and this one was definately the best. Anyone put off by camping should be assured that the tents are fairly spacious, the camping mats are comfortable and that showers are reasonable at the majority of the campsites.
  • Reviewed December 2018

    A great trip but.....

    We took the trip over the Christmas period and it was a good one, the crew (Jacob, Stoney, Silvia and Dolly) were all excellent and could not be faulted. The organisation was good, the driving excellent, (how Stoney gets that truck along some of those roads is unbelievable) and the food was good and plentiful. There were 11 of us on the trip and we all got on very well which is a good thing if you are stuck on a truck for 2 weeks. Do not worry about charging batteries as the truck has a plug by each seat which can be used anytime whilst the truck is moving. The White Water Rafting Option in Jinja was excellent and the safety precautions couldn't be faulted, you are almost guaranteed to be thrown out at least once but we all felt perfectly safe when we were. The campsites were in some cases very basic with no water in the toilets and cold or no showers but they were adequate and in others there were options for upgrades to rooms if required. On day 8 the trip notes stated a visit to the top of the falls, what they did not say is that it involved a boat trip and then a trek along an uneven trek and a climb up several steps of uneven height, which was a bit testing for some people, although I see that this might have changed now but you might want to check. The big but is that on our trip both the Chimps and Gorillas were unco-operative and people thinking of doing the trip need to be aware that there is no guarantee of seeing either. On our trip some of us trekked 5 miles along tracks and off track just to see 1 Chimp and for the Gorillas we left camp at 4.45am and drove for 3.5 hours to the start point and then split into 2 groups, the moderately hard trek group took 7 hours of hard trekking up and down steep slippery and overgrown hills there and back to see the Gorillas who were up in the trees and not all that easy to see, the easier trek group took 10 hours and 4 of our group needed stretchering out with exhaustion which cost them between $200-$300 dollars each. We then all had another 3.5 hour drive back to camp getting back between 20.30 & 22.30 hours, much to the relief of Jacob our guide. Although this is what happened on our trip, we were told that that was not the norm but.....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the animals were amazing, especially the big cats in Kenya and it only took us 36 hours to see the 'big five', plus many others, ranging in size from Mongoose to Elephants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you do this trip, make sure you are really fit, for us the Leisurely/Moderate 2 rating in the trip notes was very misleading, a lot of the roads are really rough and can be very uncomfortable and the Chimp and Gorilla treks were probably 4 & 5 respectively. For the Gorillas, make sure you take good boots, a lot of water, money and do hire a porter as they can be indispensable. Make sure you take earplugs as you might have to share sites with other less considerate campers and with early starts most mornings (7am & earlier departures) you do need your sleep. As long as you are aware of the above and are willing to 'rough it' at times then you will enjoy this trip.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Anne Murgatroyd

    Disappointed

    A very expensive trip that didn’t live up to the perception of the trips notes. We had lots of changes to our accommodation which certainly was inferior and very basic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    That one very special hour with the gorillas, the sights of the Masai Mara, White Water Rafting down the Nile and Murchison Falls.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob our group leader was fantastic . He was very knowledgeable and great to be around. Stonecold our driver also needs a special mention.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If WW Rafting is on your list then check it out as a dam has been built and if open the rafting will be poor. If you really want to see Chimps be prepared for disappointment. Check how many on your trip. If not full then the bag situation doesn’t come into it. Be prepared for some very basic accommodation. After the Masai Mara the parks are pretty disappointing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highlights for me were as above but in hindsight could just have done those in luxury accommodation and better travelling conditions at a much reduced cost.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Anne for her feedback. Whilst we are pleased that she enjoyed seeing gorillas, the sights of the Masai Mara and white water rafting, and that she found her tour leader to be excellent, we are very sorry that she was disappointed with certain aspects of the trip. We regret that Anne's group was not able to see chimps in the Budongo Forest. This was the only departure in 2018 that did not see chimps in this location. Although there were an unusual number of accommodation changes to the trip notes on this departure, the words “or similar” are included in our literature because there is not one specific property that that is always used in each location. Whilst we consider these properties to meet the standard that we would expect,  we will continue to closely monitor feedback regarding the accommodation used on this trip. John Penge – Product Manager

  • Reviewed December 2018
    Rebecca Fawcett

    Amazing wildlife

    A fantastic holiday, you see and do a lot including the two main highlights of the trip (Orangutans & Komodo Dragons) in a beautiful country. The trip is very well organised so it's not too hectic or tiring but full of great experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Orangutans. There was a moment when a baby was one tree away from it's mother and the mother reached her hand out for the baby to take before helping her swing into the other tree. It was such a human-like moment between a mother and child, wonderful to spend time with such a beautiful species.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly was brilliant, every things she did was to ensure we enjoyed the trip and made fantastic memories. She kept an eye on us all when snorkelling, ensured we had the best photo opportunities and gave us ointments to put on sunburn when needed!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a t-shirt / rash vest for snorkelling, the sun is incredibly strong and it's very easy to get burnt.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Isabella Campbell Harry

    A wonderful guide and very well organised trip

    The trip was very well organised and the local guides were incredible. Although the trip is only 2 weeks long we were able to pack a huge amount and sample the diversity of Indonesia, with some level of flexibility. From the Orangutans in the North to the Komodo dragons and Manta rays in the south. This trip has it all and so much more. It was amazing to respectively see these creatures in the wild. Elly, our guide, is filled with so much joy and enthusiasm. It was lovely that although she has done this trip many times, she is filled with just as much awe as us tourists at Indonesia's natural world. We could have perhaps done with a little less time in Bali but other than that I have no complaints! I hope one day I will be back and be able to visit the local people I can now proudly call friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with the manta rays was extraordinary.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Rita Jones

    Amazing adventures

    This trip packs in so much. Close encounters with orangutans, Komodo dragons and an amazing amount of marine life on the best coral we have ever seen. All the hotels used were lovely with nice pools to relax by. Our guide Elly was lovely and local guides on trips couldn't have been nicer. Wonderful food including an amazing jungle picnic. Really felt well looked after on this trip. Wish I could go back right now!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to select one....there were so many! Being so close to a huge but very placid male orangutan and his family. Especially when he stood up and wanderered about on two legs so close to us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely. Very caring to the whole group

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Volunteer to sleep on the deck of the boat. Cabins are a bit stuffy in the heat. Take your own towels on board. Jungle treck needs a reasonable level of fitness but you can go as slow as you want. Plenty of guides around to help.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On Summatra we had a lovely village walk including time spent talking to the schoolchildren. It would have been nice if we could have helped the local environment as we walked round e.g a voluntary litter collection .
  • Reviewed November 2018
    simon cappin

    what an amazing trip

    This was an exceptional trip. Our guide Elly was very caring, had a great sense of humour,was incredibly well organised and ensured everything went smoothly.The itinerary was extremely varied but the pace of the trip was not too frenetic. The hotels were all very comfortable with lots of character.Seeing orang utans in the wild was a real highlight( saw 6 in total) in the jungles of Sumatra. What I particularly enjoyed was snorkelling in the seas off Rinca and Komodo.Whilst I primarily booked the trip to see the Komodo dragons the quality of the coral and abundance and variety of fish was magical.I have snorkelled and dived all over the world and this is the best I have ever seen.Swimming with 10 Manta rays was absolutely incredible.I would definitely recommend this trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming with manta rays

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have suitable sun protection for snorkelling .Buy an underwater camera

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend extending your trip to include Mt Bromo and Borobudur in Java and booking the rafting trips in Bali.
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