Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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626 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020

    Stunning trip

    I was well impressed with Sri Lanka - charming people, friendly and calm perhaps due to the widespread effect of Buddhism. Our well planned route took us inland, through the mountains and round the south coast with expert guide Nalaka, so we got a great overview of the island. Lovely hotels, most with pools, and superb food - buffets with the chance to try everything mixed with home cooking on banana leaves. We had the opportunity to travel in different ways - rafts, bikes, jeeps and trains; we saw wildlife close up, especially elephants of course, crocodiles, monkeys and a wide range of birds; and we explored some incredible historic sites. A very memorable and fun trip with a lovely group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was particularly inspired by the view from the top of Sigiriya rock in the early morning mist, the folk museum and the life of Martin Wickramasinghe and the cheek of the monkeys!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nalaka was an excellent tour guide - charming, well organised, informative and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No real need for adaptors - most hotels have sockets which take UK plugs. Walking boots are pretty useful - the Horton Plains track in particular is rough. And 'temple clothes' are needed - even just a sarong which can cover the legs or shoulders and old socks to wear on the hot rocks.
  • 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 December 2019
    John Burrows

    Brilliant introduction to Sri Lankan wildlife

    I’m writing this from my Sri Lankan poolside as just about to embark on a more cultural highlights tour but having completed the Wild Sri Lanka trip I’m even more excited about what’s in store, this is a wonderful country. If you arrive with realistic expectations of hotels, food and especially wildlife sightings, you will not be disappointed. All accommodation has been clean, tidy and comfortable. Kithala resort was idyllic and a real treat, whilst at the other extreme Talalla retreat was eclectic and not my cup of tea but an experience none the less. It was fun watching the monkeys in the trees while I showered in the open roofed area but I did wonder if they may come and grab my shower gel! The game drives were varied and generous, each being at least 3 hours giving as much opportunity as possible to view the animals on offer. Being “Wild”, nothing can be guaranteed, but our trip did see a Leopard, Sloth bear, multiple close encounters of Elephant, several wild boar, hares, mouse deer, ever present displaying peacock a Civet cat and, for the bird lovers, in excess of 140 different species. Food has been plentiful, of an acceptable standard. Not surprisingly, curry has been a staple, but be prepared for them to be spicier than their Indian counterpart. There are some long days of travel (as identified in some earlier reviews) but this is clearly stated in the itinerary and.........Sri Lanka is a big country and this trip sees a lot of it. For a real taste of wildlife from the Tropical rainforest to a coastal game reserve this trip offers it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being in close proximity, as in 1 metre, to a male Tusker elephant who was completely at home in his natural environment and so much better than “Woburn”.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent leader, endlessly patient, organised and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive with realistic expectations, prepare to be hot (if used to UK conditions) and treat long journeys as an opportunity to relax and soak in the wonderful varied scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Rosie H

    Brilliant Safari

    Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari is a brilliant holiday. Exodus have put together a great itinerary. The game walks and drives in Okavango Delta, Chobe, Matopo & Hwange National Parks are well organised and we saw loads of animals including 4 of the big 5. The variety of lodges and the delta camping were all comfortable. We had an excellent holiday and would definitely recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The early morning game walks in Okavango.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan is efficient and Sifiso is a good driver. Both were great at spotting wildlife for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get some small notes if you can. We took US dollars & changed into BWP in Botswana. We spent approx. $700 (USD) pp total, of which approx. 1300 pula pp cash in Botswana. (includes delta flight & Zambezi cruise but not Vic Falls flight). We put the Maun flights & Zimbabwe supermarket shopping on plastic. Plug sockets were mostly South Africa round pin. It was very hot in October, but dry so mosquitoes were less of a problem.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Lance Berryman

    Wild Namibia

    Dear Exodus: I have had the most wonderful expedition. I’d like to say a few words about the people that made it happen. Firstly I want to thank the support crew. Simson, Umbarra, Fritz, Matthias and Asa. These gentlemen turned camping into an art form. I’ve stayed at the best hotels and resorts around the world; this crew is second to none. Their attention to detail and service oriented guest first attitude is superb. They brought such an infectious positivity to the camp that it was impossible not to enjoy yourself. Did I mention the food? Asa catered to our every want and surpassed expectations every single night. This man is a genius on a camp fire. Absolutely remarkable. Hands down the best crew an expedition could want. I could go on and on about these guys. I don’t know how much you pay them but they are worth their weight in gold. Thank you to the crew, their efforts ensured this trip was a raucous success. Next I’d like to thank Tracks and Trails. I wouldn’t dare go into the wildly remote areas we ventured into without a solid plan B. Tracks and Trails seemed to have not only a plan B but a plan C and D for every possible scenario. The vehicles were the best and when the inevitable setbacks that will happen in this rugged environment occurred, they had our back every time. I was very impressed with how quickly they reacted and problem solved. I felt confident knowing I had a team working in the background that could solve any issue at the snap of a finger regardless of the distance, environment and terrain. I felt like nothing could stop us. Very well done Tracks and Trails. PJ. What can I say? The man is as legendary as Tarzan. His positive attitude combined with his no nonsense polite but stern business approach had all of us paying attention to the details that kept us safe. He was the pack leader. I have a great deal of respect for this man. PJ’s tracking skills were a marvel to behold; When he was tracking the desert lions I felt as if I was in a movie. He found us every animal we dreamed of seeing, then got us a better angle. Pj’s knowledge base is ridiculously extensive, I’d gamble he knows more about Africa than the Encyclopedia Británica; history, botany, geology, astronomy, flora and fauna, tribal ancestry.. the only thing he didn’t talk about was religion and politics. The only question he couldn’t answer was, “PJ, is their anything you don’t know?”. PJ catered to the group and the individual, birds for the birders, terra formations and geological history for the rock hounds, biology for the plant lovers, history for the scholars and everything you could want to know about mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. He even ran around overturning rocks to find us a scorpion when an interest was expressed. PJ is a gem, his leadership and people skills are enviable. When I come back to Africa I will find out what tour he is guiding and do that. I cannot say enough about his skills. Lastly, I’d like to thank Exodus. You’ve done an amazing job of pairing us with the very best local guides, support staff and logistics professionals. I’ve never travelled with Exodus before, I’ll never tour with anyone but Exodus from now on. Very well done. Superb. Thank you once again to everyone involved, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Sincerely, Lance Berryman.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Black Rhinos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best... see my other comments

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dear Exodus: I have had the most wonderful expedition. I’d like to say a few words about the people that made it happen. Firstly I want to thank the support crew. Simson, Umbarra, Fritz, Matthias and Asa. These gentlemen turned camping into an art form. I’ve stayed at the best hotels and resorts around the world; this crew is second to none. Their attention to detail and service oriented guest first attitude is superb. They brought such an infectious positivity to the camp that it was impossible not to enjoy yourself. Did I mention the food? Asa catered to our every want and surpassed expectations every single night. This man is a genius on a camp fire. Absolutely remarkable. Hands down the best crew an expedition could want. I could go on and on about these guys. I don’t know how much you pay them but they are worth their weight in gold. Thank you to the crew, their efforts ensured this trip was a raucous success. Next I’d like to thank Tracks and Trails. I wouldn’t dare go into the wildly remote areas we ventured into without a solid plan B. Tracks and Trails seemed to have not only a plan B but a plan C and D for every possible scenario. The vehicles were the best and when the inevitable setbacks that will happen in this rugged environment occurred, they had our back every time. I was very impressed with how quickly they reacted and problem solved. I felt confident knowing I had a team working in the background that could solve any issue at the snap of a finger regardless of the distance, environment and terrain. I felt like nothing could stop us. Very well done Tracks and Trails. PJ. What can I say? The man is as legendary as Tarzan. His positive attitude combined with his no nonsense polite but stern business approach had all of us paying attention to the details that kept us safe. He was the pack leader. I have a great deal of respect for this man. PJ’s tracking skills were a marvel to behold; When he was tracking the desert lions I felt as if I was in a movie. He found us every animal we dreamed of seeing, then got us a better angle. Pj’s knowledge base is ridiculously extensive, I’d gamble he knows more about Africa than the Encyclopedia Británica; history, botany, geology, astronomy, flora and fauna, tribal ancestry.. the only thing he didn’t talk about was religion and politics. The only question he couldn’t answer was, “PJ, is their anything you don’t know?”. PJ catered to the group and the individual, birds for the birders, terra formations and geological history for the rock hounds, biology for the plant lovers, history for the scholars and everything you could want to know about mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. He even ran around overturning rocks to find us a scorpion when an interest was expressed. PJ is a gem, his leadership and people skills are enviable. When I come back to Africa I will find out what tour he is guiding and do that. I cannot say enough about his skills. Lastly, I’d like to thank Exodus. You’ve done an amazing job of pairing us with the very best local guides, support staff and logistics professionals. I’ve never travelled with Exodus before, I’ll never tour with anyone but Exodus from now on. Very well done. Superb. Thank you once again to everyone involved, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Sincerely, Lance Berryman.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Graham Wright

    The trip that just keeps on giving.

    Whereas nothing can be guaranteed this trip was one that just kept on giving. It surpassed all expectations and we were extremely fortunate to see and experience all that we did. Wildlife in abundance exhibiting some distinctive behaviour . The big 5 was seen in the first two days and with the animals being used to seeing traffic in the game reserves and National Parks they were almost within 'touching' distance from the truck. I have lost count of the many species of animals and birds seen throughout the journey. Equally spectacular was the scenery in the three very different countries visited. All the game lodges used enhanced the experience with buffalo even grazing outside (security procedures in place), Wild Waters set on an island in the middle of the Nile offered luxury not expected but was well received and was in the right place at the right time for our day of optional activities. The chance to meet and take part in local communities along with the extremely knowledgeable leader and driver all added to the 'adventure' of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many. A stand off with a rhino just yards from the truck. A similar approach from a bull elephant. A family of 4 cheetahs walking past the truck, lions asleep, hyenas at home in the mud by the track, a leopard resting within a tree posing for the photoshoot, visit to a Masai village and the work being done by Helen in trying to confront and re-educate a patriarchal society, a surreal experience of a hot air balloon safari followed by a cooked breakfast around tables on the Mara served with an abundance of Prosecco and herds of Zebras in the background. White water rafting down the Nile- an experience not to miss (even at my age). The spectacular Murchison falls, being charged by a hippo whilst cruising on the Nile. Don't forget the chimpanzees, the walk was easy and they made an appearance for us. I suppose the most inspirational moment was for our entire group to be in the middle of a family of 8 mountain gorillas with the babies playing at our feet, mother breast feeding just a few feet away and the giant alpha male less than 10 feet away demonstrating all the behaviour seen on documentaries. A truly special time and we were so privileged to be accepted into their environment. Last but not least, a sobering visit to the Genocide museum in Kigali, one should not avoid hearing about the history because one is on holiday, it helps to understand and see how far they have come.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was an extremely lively, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate person who was always keen to impart his knowledge about the countries, culture and wildlife visited. He was readily available to deal with any questions or issues that arose. He was keen to support and use local resources whenever and wherever available. At the same time he was able to protect himself from unnecessary demands of his time. It was noted that he was constantly trying to meet the needs of the group when changes were inevitable. His partnership with Stoney, our driver, was a perfect combination as they both sought to make the adventure as perfect as possible. Perhaps because he tried to keep everybody happy, he needs to realise that in all group situations, not everyone can be as reasonable or respectful or polite as they should be. That is the nature of people and groups- it is not a reflection of him and his abilities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of early starts, long drives along some 'bumpy' roads. Expect the Gorilla trek to be more challenging. Read the trip notes carefully and you will not be surprised. It is a group experience, be prepared to be respectful to the other members of the group. The more you share with the group, the more you will get out of the adventure. Acknowledge that some areas you will be going to are a very different cultural experience to what we are used to
  • Reviewed October 2019
    David Scott

    Rhinos and Deserts

    A trip into the deserts of NW Namibia to experience the desert landscapes and wildlife. The emphasis was on desert adapted animals, before moving to the rich wildlife of Etosha later in the holiday. There is a lot of mileage covered, and some long days, but Namibia is a big country. The ability to go off road in a 4WD onto the gravel tracks and dunes when wild camping provided an atmosphere of adventure which you don’t get when staying on tarmac roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found the whole trip inspirational, by its very nature what you see on any particular day isn’t guaranteed, but watching 3 desert lions having an argument over the springbok they have just killed, and watching a cheetah gorging itself on its kill was riveting. I had hoped to see a black rhino and we saw one on the first evening, got out of the vehicle and sat and watched it, after that we saw black rhino every day we were in rhino areas. Watching desert elephants meet up in a canyon and just sitting around the campfire of an evening reflecting on the day, with the stars above and the desert around were also highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    PJ was an excellent group leader. He worked extremely hard to try and ensure we got as much out of the trip as possible. He had a good knowledge of plants, insects, birds and geology as well as the larger animals and tied in our wild life watching to the environment in which they lived. He worked hard, with the camp staff, (who were also excellent), to put a good meal on the table in camp every day, and let us know what was happening, what to look out for and review what we had seen and learnt about.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Swakopmund extension, which we did was on the whole worthwhile, but we hadn’t worked out before hand that it is around a five hour drive there and back, so in fact it is only one day in the town itself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a trip with a real sense of adventure as going off road into the Palmwag concession gives a sense of isolation. The Namibian people are very friendly and I look forward to going back someday.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    valerie crompton

    Where the wild Things are.

    I have just returned from this trip which was very good indeed. We were a very diverse group and I don't think we were very easy for our leader Anthony but he coped very well with a difficult person and a demanding situation. H was helped by the crew Melo an excellent cook and Ronald and KT who worked so hard and were always kind and helpful. We were all struggling with the tremendous heat and I would not recommend october as the best month. it was exceptionally hot, drinking hpt water was something we had to get used to, to keep from dehydration, very diddifcult indeed, We had elephants in camp which was a treat and at night could hear the lions and hyeanas outside the tents. We saw numerous birds and wonderful lions also saw a cervil a real treat. Dont expect it all to be easy but it is worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mokoros, the elephants and the surroundings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anthony was very capable in sometimes difficult circunstances.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please take wet wipes because you cant always get the chance to wash, sunhats and scarves which can be soaked and wound round the neck in extreme heat. rehydration powders were very useful too. You dont need many clothes but as it is hot and sandy everything gets covered a few pairs of socks are good as they get very dirty. Just read the trip notes on clothing and that should be enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You must go with the right attitude you will be part of a team so looking out for others safety is important, I broke all my nails trying to do the tent zips up they are very difficult, just a warning!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Paul Daly

    An African Adventure

    Long travel days, early mornings, tough tracking terrain, beautiful scenery, very changable weather, history lessons, amazing animal sightings, upset tummies, Masai and Batwa villages, hot and cold showers, trucks in ditches, border crossings, picnic lunches, and sooooooo much more

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many memorable moments from the Rwandan Genocide Memorial which was heartbreaking, the silent power of the Gorilla family we tracked, seeing a leopard ( 3 actually ), black and white rhino, jumping and spear throwing with the Masai, speaking with Helen who rescues young girls from FGM.....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was an excellent all rounder with vast local, national and historical knowledge. All information was given clearly and our nightly meetings to tell of the plans for the following day often ended in stories about previous trips, historical figures and African culture. The other members of the team were super too. The driver, Stony, was unreal and Albert and James, the chefs, made sure nobody went hungry. If you are lucky enough to have this team looking after your group, you'll have a fantastic trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please, please, please, don't underestimate the level of difficulty involved in the Gorilla trek. The trip notes do not adequately reflect the gradient of the slopes, the neccessity of a porter, or the toughness of the terrain. Having said that, its an amazing day and a once in a lifetime experience. I'd absolutely recommend doing the reverse trip. Get the gorilla trek done in the first few days and then you can enjoy the wonders of Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara in comfort.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!! Don't overthink it and just go. It is a great trip with so many different things to see and do. One thing to avoid however is the optional trip to the source of the White Nile. A huge disappointment for the money that was paid. Be prepared for medical problems like reactions to malaria pills, upset tummies, sunburn, and frankly, a roll of toilet paper in your bag could very well be your best friend.