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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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297 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2016
    David Woodhams

    Kenya - Tanzania & Zanzibar

    A truly memorable experience with some long journeys along some very bumpy and dusty roads but the rewards of close encounters with so much of East Africa's wildlife made it all worth while. Our group was 17 strong with 4 crew who worked tirelessly to ensure that we were able to enjoy our trip to the full and the truck had plenty of room for all of us to be able to enjoy the wildlife and catch some magic moments on camera. Camping is a great way to enjoy and experience the wildlife and although some of the camp sites are very basic the location more than makes up for it together with the fact that often we were the only campers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Camping in the serengetti and on leaving our camp for the early morning game drive coming across a pride of 8 lions just 300 metres from camp. The early morning sunlight shining on the old male lion with a beautiful golden hew was just magic. Seeing more than 24 lions in one day with cubs of varying ages and managing to see 'the big five' although the leopard sighting was difficult as it was high in a tree shrouded by foliage, but at least we saw it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lelei was a fantastic guide/group leader who together with our driver 'Bonnie' really made our trip. At one stage in the Mara our truck developed a leaky radiator, but Bonnie kept topping it up so that we could continue our journey and together with Lelei managed to get a replacement shipped out which Bonnie fitted in camp. Lelei imparted much local knowledge and was a good game spotter and together with Bonnie was able to put us in the right place at the right time to see so much wildlife without putting pressure on any of the animals and respecting the rules of the parks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are only thinking about this trip, stop thinking and go and do it, you will enjoy it. Take heed of the advice regarding the temperature at Ngorongoro crater as it DOES get cold at night! Make sure you take a good torch as many of the camps are unlit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes are accurate and there are some long journeys which are along unmade roads and the camping is basic but the rewards are worth every bit of it.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Helen Langford

    The amazing Rongai Route

    What a great route to choose to get to your destination. You get to see both sides of the moutain the arid dry north compares the lush rainy south. The beautiful extra day at Mawenzi tarn to help with acclimitisation is so worth it. but most importantly living above the clouds for 4 days is just the best.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people, to turn up at a strange airport in an unfamilar country and meet up with like minded people and share a life changing experience what just such a joy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mussa our leader had the right balance and was obviously very experience in leading such a big group of people. The guides are obviously checking your health and well being throughout the treck even though you might not be aware that they are!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take cheap clothes and equipment that you dont mind giving away at the end of your trip. The porters who have carried all your equipment and camp for 6 days will appreciate anything you can give them.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Ivan Pinto

    Kenya & Tanzania Adventure

    A great introduction to the wildlife of East Africa, there is nothing quite like the excitement of animal/bird spotting that is an integral part of this tour. Camping allowed one to feel close to nature and was even better as few had other campers close by. Kip and his team were superb hosts keeping us informed of local life, both human and animal, while ensuring we were well fed. On the cultural side we visited a Masai village in the Serengeti and had guided tour of a typical local market in Musoma.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were very lucky to witness the wildebeest and zebra migration crossing of the Mara River. The sheer number of wildebeest in the area was almost biblical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was a real rapport between Kip and his team and they could not have done more to ensure everyone had a good time. They set up camp as soon as we arrived and the meals were varied, wholesome and most importantly tasty (thanks Albert)! Everything seemed to work like clockwork, a sign of the hard work that goes on in the background.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some early starts and the odd long drive, but it's all worth it. On occasion the poor road surface could result in an 'African massage'! In terms of camping the mattress provided was very comfy (~2in thick foam). The occasional campsite does not have hot water, however, a cold shower after a hot dusty day was refreshing! Ngorongoro was cold (we travelled in July) so warm clothing is a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When buying craftworks be prepared to haggle, it is expected and part of the fun.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Jim Armstrong

    Pole Pole

    A gruelling but worthwhile trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obviously the summit for those who reach it, otherwise the imposing Barranco Wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abraham from the Africa Walking Company is a gifted and strong leader, managing as he does 57 guides and porters not to mention 14 walkers. The sheer logistics of getting all of us up the mountain at the same time with no hitches would make me dizzy! The guides were watching us all the time and checking our condition, giving advice and generally keeping us going. We were also extremely well fed and lacked nothing to eat or drink, the chef and porters were all fantastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take Exodus` notes seriously and be well prepared. The whole point of this trip is to get you up Kilimanjaro in pretty extreme conditions. It is not for beginners and is a hard climb even for experienced walkers. The camping, though well organised, is fairly basic. Once wet, stuff can`t really be dried, you will be cold and uncomfortable a lot of the time. You will need to be determined and resourceful. The walking itself is ok until summit day but gets harder as the oxygen levels drop. This trip gives you an extra day to acclimatise and no one in our group had serious altitude sickness beyond breathing difficulties. You just have to do everything very slowly indeed, even standing up!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The walk takes you through rainforest then alpine terrain followed by bare scree. There was plenty of wildlife to spot in the rainforest: monkeys, birds, rodents and we saw jackal spoor but not the jackals themselves. For the three middle days we were in thick mist and saw very little but once we got above the clouds the view was spectacular and worth all the effort. Only then did we get an impression of the sheer mass of the mountain. If you`re interested in doing this, it is well worthwhile but you do need to be fairly fit and active, and some walking experience will help.
  • Reviewed July 2016

    Do you like pina coladas and walks in the rain?

    Very challenging but ultimately rewarding trip. Camping is a pain in the neck after a while. Prepare to be dirty, cold and generally uncomfortable for the whole trip, I think this got to me more than the walking. I believe Kili is quite scenic but it was misty for us most of the time and I could have been at home in Scotland out a damp hillwalk.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to Uhuru peak after a 7.5 hour slog up the scree with hilariously low oxygen saturations. Going a bit mental on the top and having fabulous 'runner's high' type thing going on on the way back to Stella. Wish I could have bottled that. Hypoxia can be fun! Relaxing on Zanzibar afterwards wasn't too shabby.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abraham was a great guy and ably assisted by his team of guides. Mama Lucy helped me the most but Stratton, Hans, Angela, Innocent and Tosha were all brilliant too as were the cook and porters. I left some old equipment with them. I was lucky to be part of a great group who really made the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take it very slowly indeed, the speed seems ridiculous at first but quickly becomes a necessity. Leave your type A personality and desire to win at the door, on this trip the tortoises will get there in the best shape. There is no rush, what are you going to do with extra time in camp? We had lots of card games, hypoxia induced silliness and new sport called toss the rock. Camping just annoyed me after a while. I had my own tent and it was well worth it just to have my own space. They are big enough but I'm not convinced that sharing with a random and 2 people's equipment is a good idea when the experience is stressful enough as it is. Snoring gets worse at altitude. Bring ear plugs. Bring LOTS of snacks. Minstrels travels especially well. Ladies, check out a She-wee and Pee-bols for night time. Try to look after each other. Everyone will have a bad day at some point (Lava Tower for me, it can happily be erased from my memory for ever!). If you are lucky enough to be feeling well, try to divert some of your energy into helping those who are not with some daft games or a supporting arm or hug. It is much more satisfying to help others to succeed as well as yourself and to get there as a team. A couple of folk had music on their phones, this was a great boost during hard bits although it was hard to sing along to Africa by Toto on summit night! Try to learn some Swahili from the guides, you've got nothing better to do!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a fabulously relaxing 6 night stay at Fumba lodge tagged on at the end. It took a few days to recover from Kili and I can't imagine what state I'd have been in if I'd have returned to work immediately. The staff are total gems, good food and cocktails and really chilled surroundings. Moivaro coffee plantation was also lovely and I enjoyed a lovely scrub and massage when we got back. I did come out in a rash the next day so maybe avoid if you have sensitive skin! I think my skin just wasn't used to being clean anymore.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Karen White

    Classic Tanzania Safari

    Best holiday I have ever had! Wildlife in abundance and closer than I could have hoped for and landscape was breath-taking. Great organisation; brilliant guide and fantastic travelling companions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Apart from ALL of it (!), getting close to two cheetah brothers under a tree; being surrounded by elephants on more than one occasions and being surrounded by a herd of zebra was surreal - to be honest, there are too many inspirational moments to list!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Godsun was amazing. Friendly, great sense of humour, nothing was too much trouble for him. He went out of his way to give us a great holiday and his knowledge of the wildlife and culture of Tanzania was brilliant. I couldn't have wished for a better guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have large memory chips in your camera - I took over 3000 photos - so much to see! Be prepared to be overwhelmed and take each day as it comes because I found every day threw something at me that was even more amazing than the day before.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I never thought a holiday would top the last 3 I have been on with Exodus but this did (and the previous 3 have been excellent)! The abundance of wildlife at close quarters, the varied and breathtaking scenery all blew me away. I have never said "WOW" so many times in a day! Would I go back again? Definitely! Thank you Exodus!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Tony Williams

    Kilimanjaro Climb - Rongai Route

    A brilliant trip/experience. I fully endorse Ivor Davenport-Smiths previous review. At 69 years I can say that age should not be a barrier as long as you are very fit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Uhuru peak, the early morning sun shining on the glaciers, the comradeship and youthfullness of the team in a different way the Saturday morning tour of the Marangu village sites

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Makake was very good, a detailed briefing followed by concern for all participants and good team leadership (supported by a good team)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    travel in the drier times of the year, March was good to us
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Ivor Smith-Davenport

    Rongai Route Kilimanjaro Ivor & Brenda

    Exodus say that they do everything they can to make it possible for you to achieve your aim of getting to the summit, and they lived up to their word. The local guides and porters work tirelessly to make everyday a success, their good humour is infectious and the feeling of standing at the summit is wonderful beyond words.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summit day is a long slow slog in the dark, the final approach as the sun broke through and the realisation that nothing could now prevent standing at the peak was an uplifting moment. We had a great group and all bar one made it. The guides worked hard to get amongst those flagging and was something we noted and praised once we finished the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Makaike was well organised and briefed well. He was surrounded by a strong team and at no point did we feel unsupported or unsure as the days passed. He was good humoured and considerate to the individual needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The exodus travel notes are superb - the detail is all there. The only thing I would recommend is that, unless they have very good sleeping mats, hire Exodus ones as the ground is quite rough and a good nights sleep is more likely on a comfy mat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were surprised at the standard of the food/ dining, very good indeed. Chef did a great job. Overall the trip exceeded our expectations, both my wife and I reached the summit and have no doubt that the method and organisation of Exodus made that possible.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Tony Rivers

    Kenya and Tanzania adventure

    Fantastic holiday ,saw big 5 at least twice , weather was great no rain .brilliant fellow travellers we got on so well even there was 16 off us .well lead by kips and his team .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    saw 4 lions take a buffalo right in front of us .. There are two many of inspirational to write memorable holiday .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kips was absolutely brilliant , we didn't have a single complaint .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for Zanzibar .,it is extremely hot ,90d and not much cooler at night .
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Catherine Morrow

    Kenya Tanzania adventure

    This is an amazing journey around Kenya and Tanzania with some long journeys on the truck but it ended up feeling like our second home!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing every animal we set out to see (some in our camp) and meeting so many people who had very little but always had time to wave smile and greet us especially in Kenya where they were as interested in us as we were in them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter Kiptoo (Kip) was such an inspirational guy - the logistics of this trip were huge but everything ran to plan (most of the time but this is Africa!!) and this was down to Kip and the team who worked tirelessly to pitch the tents, cook our meals and whilst we were all tired and tucked up in bed they were still working and were up hours before us cooking breakfast and setting up for the day ahead! Their work ethic was superb and they did their country proud!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pack too much as you are on the move almost everyday. Buy a pillow on day 1 in the supermarket - really helps to get a good nights sleep and give away at the end! Take gear you don't mind giving away - in Zanzibar particularly the poverty was heartbreaking and many people had no shoes and were so grateful for shoes t shirts etc. Bought pens for the children and wish I had taken many more as they loved them. Don't expect air con in the hotels - it gets very very hot! Take 1 dollar bills for tipping - they average wage is a dollar a day so tipping what to us is such a small amount is really significant to the people of Kenya and Tanzania! You need some Kenyan shilings which u can buy in uk but in Tanzania you can use dollars everywhere although you tend to get better deals if you buy Tanzania shillings when you get into Tanzania

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Days are long and can be quite tiring but so worth it - just come prepared for this and you won't go wrong!