Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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 November 2017
    Alan Long

    A voyage of discovery.

    Having been on many trips of discovery with Exodus, I had never been on one that offered so much. The itinerary was exactly right. The starting point is Rwanda were we met our leader for the tour Jacob, as usual a friendly face after a long flight out from the UK. After a nights rest, the next day we visited the Museum to the genocide which took place in the mid nineties, the museum has graphic pictures of this terrible time in Rwanda`s history. A reminder of how the west turned it`s back on the suffering of a whole group of people. Onto our first highlight, the mountain Gorillas. After a long trek up into the foothills of the Parc National des Volcans we met our first Gorillas after about an hour of walking through mud and clothes clawing undergrowth and overhead vine. This first encounter was unbelievable, such gentle creatures given the size of the alpha males. We spent an hour with them and they just carried on eating/ playing and sleeping as if we were not there. On into Uganda, no problems with crossing the border and onto Lake Bunyonyi. With the lake there are opportunities to take boat rides on the lake or hire canoes for a leisurely paddle. On through Uganda with it`s abundance of wildlife, mammals and bird life.We had our first encounters with the real wildlife in all their natural environment. Adrenalin seekers will love Jinja as the site we stay Adrift, were you can do white water rafting on the Nile or perhaps bungee jumping.Or you can just take a stroll around the local are to veiw the many and varied bird life. On into Kenya, this is when they asked to see our Yellow fever certificate, other than that it again was straight forward. Due to adverse weather we had miss the village camp, however not to worry, onto the Masai Mara. Arriving at lunch time we enjoyed yet another great lunch prepared as always by Wilson and Ester. We then had a half day taster into the game park. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to encounter. All you ever see on TV was there in front of you in all it`s splendour, to many to list. The next and last full day of the tour(excluding travel days) you again go into the park for a full day`s game drive. Amazing experience, so well organised and lead by the team, from the leader through the driver and cooks who took so much care of us. Thank you .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is not an easy choice, but it has to be the Gorillas, so human like.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob, I have been on may trips with Exodus and all the leaders are excellent. Jacob`s leadership and ability to adapt to required changes puts him at the very top of the top leaders.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to visit Africa and this appeals to you then do the same trip(reverse) it seemed to us who travelled together the best itinerary. Gorillas first then working your way though to the Masai Mara to end your trip.
  • Reviewed August 2014
    Jo Carr

    Gorillas and Masai Mara (reverse)departing July 27th

    This turned out to be the trip of a lifetime so far. Every day brought fresh highlights and the holiday just got better as we progressed. Each of the 3 countries visited are so beautiful and the people so warm and friendly that you won't want to leave. Of course, the wildlife is a real highlight - especially spending time with the serene mountain gorillas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of them! Hearing the gorillas before we could actually see them and then having the privilege of spending time with them; Listening to a family of elephants communicating with each other and protecting their young; Silently floating over the Masai Mara in the ballon and watching the sunrise; The exhilaration of white water rafting on the Nile

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Often is a wonderful leader and well supported by the fantastic team of Odoyo, Wilson and Alex. We were like a happy family - lots of shared laughter. Often was always happy to share his knowledge and got the balance just right when it came to giving us necessary information.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't bother taking lots of low denomination dollar notes - you are actually better off with a supply of $50 bills as you get a better exchange rate in the banks the higher the note - just take a few $10 and $20s for porters, tipping etc. It's very easy to change money in to local currency as you go - we took the leader's advice on how much to change and he got it about right. It's easier to have the local currency in bars etc or you'll pay a bit more in dollars. The balloon flight, though expensive, really was a wonderful experience so go for it if you can. Having to transit through Addis is a real bore - we got held airside on the way out which meant no access to food of drink for nearly 6 hours - if this happens to you insist on being allowed through, we weren't vocal enough. Having said that our return was much better and we were directed to the departure lounge so were able to browse the shops and drink etc. Maybe the outward journey was a one off but I would advise you to make sure you have a book and something available to drink just in case. Ethiopian Airlines were very good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The reverse itinerary was great so don't be put off if you think it's not the norm. Each national park we visited seemed to get better and better and seeing the gorillas at the beginning was such an awesome way to begin the trip. If you are thinking of booking - do it!!
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous .

    GORILLAS & MASAI MARA

    DEFINITELY DO THIS TRIP !! Absolutely brilliant, if you love wildlife and east african culture I would recommend this trip, if this is your first east african trip it is a must. Wonderful people and wildlife in 3 beautiful countries and you get to go to the fabulous masai mara on your first few days, also to Lake Nakuru with the Rhino's and flamingoes. Across into Uganda where it is more lush and green then Kenya where we stayed at Lake Bunyonyi and visited a childrens Orphanage run by Crystal - Loving Hearts Helping Hands - this was amazing and the walk up to this is lovely, gets you out of breath but the guy who took us stops frequently for everyone. The nature walk at Lake Mburo was really good and we needed a good walk by this time after sitting in the overland vehicle, the Ranger who took us was really informative. Then onward into Rwanda and Ruhengeri where we trekked the fabulous gorillas. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The absolute ultimate part of this trip for me was the visit to the Gorillas, I was in the group who visited the Bwenge group of gorillas - there was the Silverback and 5 females and 5 young. The 3 month old baby with her mother was amazing and there were 2 youngsters age 2 and 3 who were very close less than 1 metre at times just looking us in the eyes with not a care in the world!! I also loved the masai mara where we saw many lions, 1 lioness with a fresh kill of wildebeest we could hear her ripping off the rump she was so enjoying! Also we came across a cheetah under a small bush which was fabulous, the leopard was being elusive so didn't see that but we were so lucky to see elephants, hyena, 3 males lions together, zebra, wildebeest aplenty, buffalo, giraffe. Also waving at the children along the road and through the towns and villages was fab, in Rwanda it was the thumbs up to the children! Also the orphanage was amazing for me - playing football with the children, we sat in class and watched them doing their numbers and then they did some dancing for us and made us have a go too - they are brilliant dancers even the little ones, put us to shame!! I also took lots of pens and paper and I bought a football from a supermarket in Uganda for the children - they loved it and the teachers really appreciated the paper and pens for them.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Emias was very funny and a great and lovely guy, he is from Zimbabwe. He kept us informed of the plans for the day ahead, whilst we were having dinner each evening he gave us a talk about the next morning and day plans. Nothing was too much trouble and he brought a great vibe to the whole group. We also had Leo our Chef who cooked some lovely food, pork chops, an array of vegetables, freshly made lasagne was gorgeous, chicken, pasta, rice potatoes etc. There was cooked breakfast most mornings along with cereal and toast. I don't think anyone was allowed time to get hungry as they fed us so well - definitely no losing weight on this trip! We also had Francis who was co-driver and helped set up tents etc - he was quieter at first but came out of his shell and is a fab funny guy too. They really made the trip even better with their banter and jokes.The one thing I would say is that when we were travelling through towns and villages is that they didn't really tell us about the area or where we were or the fact that for example it was a big tea growing area made famous by Brooke Bond etc (one of my fellow travellers told us that), it is a bit difficult as its a sizeable truck and only one of the guys sits in the main part of the truck with us at the front, we asked some questions whilst travelling along here and there but not everyone could hear - so it's swings and roundabouts.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ah yes, I would take some travel toilet roll, some of the campsites tend to run out, they provide a stack of it on the vehicle at the start but it soon runs out. Some toilets are holes in the ground but they are inside a small toilet block usually. Also we stop for the proper toilets pretty frequently and along the road now and then and use the 'Bush Toilets' which is quite fun sometimes trying to find a suitable bush to hide behind!! Take a shower whenever they are available as a couple of camp sites (Lake Mburo) were yuk so go with the wet wipes there, but we weren't away from a place where you wouldn't have a shower for more than 1 nite. Some of them were literally a dribble and either cold or lukewarm but better than nothing. Take plenty of memory card of course and batteries you can charge up on the vehicle maximum 6 plug holes (3 pin) but there was usually plenty room for everyone to do theirs at some point in the day. Plenty mosquito spray goes without saying really, I only got 2 bites but I did cover up in the evenings and my room mate Bridget and I sprayed our tent lots - so much that we were like children 1 night as we got the giggles with inhaling it by accident - but it was very funny!!! When you do the trek up to the gorillas definitely wear gardening gloves, I did on the way up but on the way down I took them off as my hands were too hot but I caught my hand on a prickly plant and I now have a rash on both hands which is so itchy and is taking a while to get rid of. Remember to take enough money to cover the tips for the guys who look after you, £75 dollars is enough for this. I spent approx £400 - depends if you like buying from the craft shops like I did! Oh yes and some antibacterial gel is a must. Although it says pack light I could have taken a few more bits of clothing, gives you room to take home presents anyway!! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Erm, well I went on an overland trip with 17 other travellers who were all really nice people, we had some good chats about everything and what we had seen and done that day, some of the guys went in some great coffee shops too. You can buy a tshirt which says which gorilla group you tracked which is a fab momento. I shared my tent room with Bridget who I'd never met before and we got on really well, if you're a single traveller don't worry as everyone just mingles along and chats, you're all there to enjoy the trip so like minded people. You can wander around Kigali without bother, Kampala in Uganda was different though - I wandered down the street in the town on my own whilst the others went to the coffee shop and I felt a little intimidated/uneasy so turned around and ventured back to the vehicle, you'll probably be fine but as a red head and being very fair I sort of stand out in Africa! I would this trip again tomorrow it is so fabulous - words don't do it justice but you will really enjoy this trip if you do it - NOW GO AND BOOK IT OR YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!
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