Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Nicola Ball

    Great holiday

    Really good mix of culture, wildlife and walking. Clean and comfortable hotel and all the meals were excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight for me was definitely watching the bears in the wild, it is worth every penny, we were fortunate enough to see 8 adult bears and 2 cubs, I could have watched them all night.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Could not fault our group leader Sebi he was excellent - attentive, knowledgeable and extremely professional. He saw to it that everything ran very smoothly and he looked after everyone in the group equally very well (we had a full group of 16 people) he was quietly passionate about Romania and it’s wildlife and had a lovely sense of humour. On several days he was assisted by Radetch a guide in training who was equally delightful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip to the bear Hyde is a must, take some binoculars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were very happy to have travelled with a group of really lovely people. Everyone got along very well, we had lots of laughs, many happy memories made.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Gordon Towner

    AMAZING

    Wow what a way to see botswana on Brians fun bus,from start to finish our every need was met by Brian and his crew,having never camped before we were worried about bush toilets and open fire cooking and wild animals wondering about in the camp,but all of these things are part of what makes this adventure special the bush toilet was fine and discreet the open fire cooking was unbelievable best lasagne fish and chips and beef fillet potatoes and green beens i have ever tasted thanks to Abis the cook ,there are long dusty journeys but is a good time to get to know the other travellers in your group and nature seems to provide all the way to your next destination,the camp beds were comfortable and the kettle always boiling,sitting around the camp fire at night listening to all the sounds and looking up at the night sky really is awe inspiring,the game drives were amazing and Brians knowledge of every animal bird tree plant insect and animal poo was incredible there was nothing we asked that he didnt give a full explanation about, And we saw every animal except cheetahs and Rhinos ,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To many,wild camping mokoro rides herds of Elephants on walking safari,bull Elephant not wanting to let us pass in mokoro,wild dogs with pups ,leopard, hyenna family playing with pups ,lions vic falls white water rafting inthe Zambizi,night sky at salt pan Abis cooking and Brians infectious laugh always happy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brian makes this adventure special,always happy helpfull and cant believe his knowledge and love of his country,Top class guide

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it,you wont regret it ,amazing experience
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Christopher Witt

    Amazing Brazil

    Long journey to get to the Pantanal but worth it! Three jaguar sightings on the first trip made everyone very happy for the forthcoming adventure. Hotel Baiazinha is the perfect location for trips into the wetlands. Accommodation and food excellent and staff very friendly. Plus around the hotel so many birds. Seven boat trips was tiring in the heat, thankfully the boat has a cover. Finally saw nine jaguar sightings, some repeats, plus two giant otter encounter.......and so many birds. Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge is a nice wind down with good accommodation. Trips out to spot wildlife are good but toucans and hyacinth macaws can be spotted in the grounds early morning!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing my first hyacinth macaws on the drive in to Hotel Baiazinha and then in the afternoon seeing jaguars!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was knowledgeable on the wildlife and environment but poor on keeping us updated on plans for the trip.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Helen Sparling

    Wonderful holiday in Costa Rica

    I loved this trip. I had read many of the reviews before we went and so went with high expectations- we were certainly not disappointed. We saw so much more wildlife than I expected and saw such a variety of habitats/climates from rainforest to cloud forest, Caribbean coast to Pacific coast, plus a volcano to boot! It felt like we had been on holiday for way more than two weeks, we covered so much! I can’t pass a rustling bush now without trying to spot whatever is in there!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed all of it, it I guess highlights were seeing the Green Back turtle laying her eggs and returning to the sea; spotting not one, but four of the elusive Resplendent Quetzals in Savegre; seeing huge crocs; hearing howler monkeys at night ... the list goes on! Particularly loved the rainforest lodge in Esquina Blancas ... you will see what I mean when you go there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armando was a fantastic guide. He was so knowledgeable about all the wildlife in Costa Rica and took great care to seek out as much wildlife as he could (trying to fulfil everyone’s wish list) and make sure we got good photos through his telescope. He gave us a lot of information about Costa Rica in general too whilst en route on the bus; about agriculture and the economy, history and the education system. He is well organised and has a great sense of humour and was very patient with us! All in all you couldn’t wish for a better guide! Also a big shout out for Maurizio, our lovely driver, who was an integral part of the team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went in August ... rainy season. We had one day of torrential downpours so a good poncho was vital. A pair of flip flops that could be wiped dry would have been useful. Other than that day, we were so lucky not to experience much rain! Take walking boots, a couple of fleeces and long trousers for the cloud forest. You need more variety of clothing than you expect to account for hot and humid climates, where nothing dries, to warm clothing for the cooler, more temperate Monteverde. Pack into strong plastic bags to protect your luggage from rain/damp! Optional trips worth doing: the turtle laying trip. Two night walks ... both offering different things to see... in Monteverde and Esquina Blancas. The hot springs in La Fortuna!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my favourite Exodus trip so far. I would recommend everyone to go!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Sandra Davies
    Trip:

    Do it!

    This was my first solo trip ..... ever! I needn’t have worried, despite a very tight connection flight, 1 passenger and some luggage (including mine) didn’t make it, everything else was spot on. I understand that this was due to the usual airport being temporarily closed, not a lot Exodus could do about that. Finland is beautiful, the activities on offer were varied, Basecamp comfortable, the food was good and everyone we met was very friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears, we were so lucky with the amount of activity. Mums with cubs, cubs up trees, big bears, little bears .... so many bears. It’s a close run thing between that and the day on the river Kitka.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was an absolute delight, she wasted no time reuniting myself and a fellow passenger with our luggage. She also located our missing passenger. I was in a small group of 5, Elina joined in with our silly conversations, got our British ‘humour’, took us out on some amazing walks and felt more like one of the group, than the ‘formal guide’.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t be afraid to do the optional whitewater experience. I had never done any rafting before and absolutely loved it. We were well looked after and the hike up to the viewpoint half way along the river was well worth the puff. I took far too much with me, all you need is some decent walking shoes, the usual walking trousers and tops etc. Dinner is very informal, don’t waste luggage space on smarter stuff for the evening, instead of packing the ‘just in case skirt’ put some Deet in instead, you will need it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go along and throw yourself into everything, bears, dogs and rafting, what could possibly go wrong!!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Rachel Cox

    Trip of a lifetime

    I always wanted to go on safari, but had never been camping before, so I was a little apprehensive about that. But camping was all part of the adventure and it was lovely gathering around the campfire in the evenings. It also makes you feel very immersed in the wildlife, e.g. hearing lions roar as you're going to sleep and wondering how far away they are! So if you're worried about camping, just do it, you won't regret it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were countless amazing moments on the trip! Being right next to a leopard that used our vehicle to hide behind to stalk an impala. Finding two cheetahs. Seeing two female lions sneak up on a giraffe while it was drinking water! Hippos crashing out of the bushes and through a herd of elephants, to get to the water to mate. A hippo blocking the path of our mokoro in the delta (scary, but exciting!). Numerous sightings of lions, including lion cubs playing and suckling from their mother. Being so close to a male lion he was sniffing the air around our vehicle! And absolutely countless sightings of elephants, hippos and 148 different species of bird.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brian was amazing. He is very experienced and so knowledgeable about how to find the animals and about the animals themselves. All of the other guides know him too, which obviously helps to exchange information about recent animal sightings. He went above and beyond to give us great experiences and we got so close to a lot of animals!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ladies, bring a buff/headscarf to control your hair while in the vehicle. A fleece is a must, as it gets very windy in the vehicle. I had a shewee and an empty plastic bottle for emergencies and I did use them one night when there were too many eyes staring back at me to use the bush toilet! Babywipes are useful to wipe away the sand before bed. Toilet paper is provided, but make sure to bring plenty of kleenex for the stops by the side of the road (I also used lots of tissue blowing the sand out of my nose!). I brought a diary, which was a nice way to document the trip and keep myself busy during downtime. Bring flipflops and a travel towel for the shower. It's possible to get laundry done in Victoria Falls (In-Da-Belly, down the road from the lodge, only charges 5dollars/bag), but it's not feasible in Maun due to time constraints, so just plan ahead for that. Make sure you have US dollars for Zimbabwe (visa and spending money). Oh and maybe don't opt for the scenic flight if you're in any way prone to motion sickness... I vomited and most of the others felt unwell too (although maybe it was a particularly windy/turbulent day when we did it).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If anyone is curious about the facilities (because I was), the "bush toilet" is a hole dug in the ground, with a metal frame and toilet seat over it. This is surrounded by a large metal frame with canvas material attached for privacy. There is also a shovel and a pile of sand to cover your business after each use. The "bush shower" is a canvas bag of hot water suspended from a tree and a mechanism so you can control the flow of water. This is surrounded by a metal frame with canvas material attached (similar to the toilet). They get the job done anyway and it's all worth it for the wildlife experiences!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Kathryn Hunt

    A memorable trip!

    The wildlife and scenery were stunning. We were not disappointed. Learning more about the country, its habitats and people was very interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights were seeing the green backed turtles laying eggs in Tortuguero, and quetzals in the Savegre valley cloud forest. Also toucans, hummingbirds and sloths. An additional (optional) boat trip along the Rio Tarcoles was very worthwhile - we saw many different birds close to, as well as massive crocodiles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide was fantastic in every respect. He was very knowledgeable indeed and went out of his way to try and make sure we saw as much wildlife as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were a little worried beforehand as our trip was to take place in the wet season. However we only had one day when the rain was so torrential it delayed one of our activities (and we got soaked to the skin) so it is not a given that August is a "bad" time of the year to go. It was very very humid though (apart from when were up in the mountains) so I wished we had taken another couple of pairs of walking trousers & T shirts, as changes of clothes were required more often than I had anticipated. And a poncho proved more effective than a conventional waterproof when it did rain.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Sanjukta Dey

    Why Gorilla and Masai Mara Reverse Camping is Better.

    This is a trip that's worth every single buck. I'll list the pros and cons though. Pros: Gorilla tracking is physically demanding. So is waking up very early every morning, travelling long distances and camping. Wildlife in Masai Mara is fantastic, no other national parks measure up to it in terms of sightings during this trip. When at the beginning of the trip energy level is high, better to do the gorilla tracking etc. Then in the end of the trip be rewarded by extraordinary wildlife viewing in Masai Mara. The crew was really great (except one) but Albert (chef) requires special mention because he was funny, kind and fed us amazing food. Stoney (driver) was very helpful and was always helpful with information. Cons: In some camping sites there is no Wi-Fi or internet, if we were informed before could tell our family not to worry if they didn't hear from us on certain dates. The truck was too old and dusty, some of the windows were difficult to open and close. We even had a breakdown close to Lake Bunyoni and that was only the beginning of the trip! Although Gilbert arranged alternative for reaching the campsite soon. On the days of long drive, why we stopped for lunch (sandwiches) which required preps and thus wasted time is beyond my understanding. There were days when we were given packed lunches (when went on game drives). Why couldn't the same be done which would have saved time and effort of the crew? Especially as bread in Uganda was horrible. The water pump was the most inconvenient thing ever! After a certain level it required one hand to hold the bottle, one to hold the neck of the pump and another to actually pump water! I've only two and one of crew member who was basically Man Friday, got annoyed because I was asking for help. He also tried to sell me wildlife photos (I'm a photojournalist and was travelling with pro cameras) but I didn't encourage him.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course the highlight was watching the gorillas up close. However that wasn't all for me. Watching all wildlife in their habitat is a joyful experience. Visiting new countries, learning about their culture, cruising near Murchison Falls and Lake Victoria, hot air balloon in Masai Mara. All unforgettable experiences!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert our group leader was very knowledgeable and proud of his culture, which was wonderful. He tried to solve any issue intelligently and swiftly. If it was possible, he tried his level best to get it done.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Those who an to buy additional gorilla permit must know that both happens in two different areas of the Virunga Massif. One in Bwindi and another in Mhinga (sorry about the spelling). The second one has more slope and physically exhausting. Bwindi has heavier growth and thus clear sighting maybe a problem. Unless very sure about being able to handle the climbs and physical exhaustion on two consecutive days, pause before buying the second permit. If someone plans to buy tea, try some in Uganda (my parents are loving it) but Kenyan coffee is better. Locals sell souvenirs in some places (but not outside Masai Mara), they are much cheaper than the souvenir shop they stop in. They sell some of the same stuff at double the price. DO NOT forget insect repellent, they will feast on you no matter what! I forgot my anti malaria pills, so Gilbert took me to a pharmacy in Uganda, where bought weekly tablet pack.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If I had to do this trip again, would still choose the reverse camping. Although now that Exodus Travels don't do gorilla tracking in Rwanda, it didn't make much sense to me. Perhaps they will replan the itinerary in future?
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Anna Anderson

    Don’t leave it to chance

    Amazing experience seeing gorillas and chimps but make sure any extra gorilla permits are booked when you book as you will be disappointed otherwise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tracking through the impenetrable forest and spending an hour in the company of a gorilla family. We won’t forget it.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Suzanne Rosser

    Whales & Bears

    This trip combines the highlights of the Canada’s landscape in particular Vancouver Island with wild life both on land and in the sea. All in all I had a lovely experience with a really nice group of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife was the highlight for me. Two encounters specifically: Firstly a large male Grizzly wandered along the shoreline, weaving between the trees and the river’s edge. Slowly, it approached us as we stood as a group shoulder to shoulder (forming one large object). It continued aware of us, until it was 20m away, and then passed by and headed further up the road. Also, on returning from the bear trip we meet a pod of Orcas - maybe five or six. The large male had a dorsal fin approximately six foot tall! We watched them for maybe 25 minutes keeping the required distance of at least 200m. Then they disappeared. Suddenly, they appeared just off the bow of the boat like dolphins do surfing in the bow wave (maybe 10ft away). Quickly, we turned the engine off and watched in awe as they disappeared again off into the distance

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric our group leader was in my opinion not as knowledge, friendly and enthusiastic as previous leaders. He did however manage to organise additional trips for our groups as and when requested and taxied the group about making sure we were at the correct destination at the correct time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This, as far as I know, is this first time this trip has run as early as it did. We left on the 19th August. Although the salmon ran early last year that was not the case this year. If possible I would recommend to travel a little later maybe mid September - in order to maximise the chances of seeing the grizzlies fishing in the river. We did nevertheless still manage to see all the wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although this trip is called ‘Whales and Bears’ there were only two full days in the itinerary viewing theses amazing creatures. A half day with the Grey Whales; a half day seeing the black bears and a full day on the grizzly bear trip which included the boat trip with likely sightings of Humpback Whales and possibly Orcas. Having travelled all that way I booked additional trips, in Tofina $125 Canadian for an extra whale and $125 Canadian for black bears. Also Campbell River $400 Canadian with ‘Go Wild’ for and extra grizzly trip. Finally on the final day in Vancouver I visited Grouse Mountain which I felt filled the day well- without being too tiring. This cost $60 and included: lumber jack show, cable car, ski lift, wild bear flights, owl talk, eco walk, two hand raised grizzly bears and much more.