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 October 2018
    Elizabeth Eagles

    Simply Unforgettable

    Well where do we begin. This was simply an incredible holiday and our very first safari. The crew of four; Boniface aka Stony the driver; Ken head chef; Raymond aka Dolly head chef in training and Patrick our tour leader were all terrific, great fun and very hard working guys. They know their stuff and helped make our holiday. The trip covers a tremendous amount of miles around 1300 miles in total. Yes there are a few early starts the earliest being around 4.30am to hit the road around 5am but when getting up a little earlier than normal to go and visit the mountain gorillas the early morning start pails into insignifance. The whole itinary is brilliant. We were exceptionally lucky to have seen the big five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, buffalo) and so what more could you ask for especially as this was our very first safari trip. The various stop overs were very good with some terrific campsites with options to upgrade to rooms or hotels along the way. The time spent trekking to see the mountain gorillas can vary we trekked for around two hours which went very quickly but do be prepared for a hilly walk and make sure you have the right footwear and waterproofs as you can come across some small brooks and it could be muddy if the rain comes, we were very lucky as the rain came once we returned back to the start. For sure this experience is likely to remain with you for ever. It does mention in the trip notes that helping out whilst not complusary, we believe it can go a really long way to get to know the crew and other members of the group you’re travelling with which adds to the fun around the campfires. The food was fantastic and plentiful each day and the variety was excellent. We thought the trip was really well planned and when things didn’t go quite to plan such as the overland truck breaking down at no stage did we feel concerned and our safety was the crews main concern. Everything was done to resolve the issue in a timely manner. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone with a love for animals you get to see so much it’s hard to put into words. Truly incredible and prividged to see these amazing animals in their own habitat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Again this is hard to put into words but two things come to mind. Spending an hour with the mountain gorillas has to be up there, they are such incredible creatures. Seeing the silverback and various mums with their 5 month old and 8 month old babies was mesmerising. In addition to this, continuing our game drive with Stony and Patrick as we decided on one occasion not attend a boat trip in the hope of seeing maybe more cats only to come face to face with an amazing bull elephant. This experience was both scary and incredible and again we felt hugely privileged to be in such close proximity to these beautiful wild elephants.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic! Patrick was very knowledgeable had a great sense of humour and made us feel safe at all times. Each evening Patrick would say the words ‘something about tomorrow’ which is when we were given the plans for the following day. Everything was clear, Patrick was very approachable and kept us updated if plans changed throughout the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind, be prepared to get stuck in, make sure you have the right footwear and a lightweight raincoat just in case as the weather can change quickly. There may be some early starts but equally there are plenty of opportunities for down time. Don’t let the early starts put you off. This trip has been very well thought out and worth every penny.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Both early on in the booking and late on we were also able to make some slight changes to flights adding a few days at the beginning and the end of the trip. All changes were made without any issues and the teams were all very accommodating. We would have absolutely no hesitation booking with Exodus again and hope to do so again very soon.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Christopher Barton

    Truly wonderful trip

    This was our third camping trip with Exodus and this is almost becoming our preferred trip type - being cheaper doesn't hurt either. We were amazed at the shear number of animals we saw in Kenya and Uganda long before we got to the Gorilla area. We saw the big five, and mostly with babies!, great scenery, wonderful lakes and rivers. Game drives were varied not only in the nature of the country visited but also sometimes in the 'bus' sometimes in 4X4s and sometimes by boat. There were some longish drives but with lots to look at, stops for snacks and toilets, and time to charge cameras etc for the next stop. We felt very well looked after the whole time, and guided through formalities of border crossings etc. We were a smallish group of nine which meant we had lots of space, and we got on well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I guess it has to be the gorillas - being so close and watching while they just got on with their lives. The babies were adorable and the silverback huge, but they seemed very peaceful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was really great, as were the other members of the team - KFC, Stonecold & Dolly. They looked after us really well and bought great calm and humour to the whole trip. In many ways they made it possible for us to have the great time we had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I considered taking my walking gaiters but decided against it - almost the first thing Jacob said was "I hope you all brought you gaiters for the gorilla trek"! In fact we did well using two pairs of socks with the long pair on the outside and trousers tucked into them. It worked out fine. Do use a porter for the gorilla trek, it makes life a lot easier just having your bag carried, and the occasional hand up, but it also brings much needed employment to the local community.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would highly recommend this trip - Go prepared for some early mornings, some laughs, some drives but mostly some amazing sightings.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    simon cappin

    Gorillas and Masai Mara

    This trip is an absolute must for any animal lover.The diversity of fauna that we saw in 2 weeks was absolutely incredible.The gorillas were absolutely adorable and it was fascinating seeing them so relaxed in a really beautiful setting.The rafting on the White Nile was absolutely increible and I would recommend this to anyone who is not scared of the water and is a confident swimmer as the likelihood of coming out is very high.I came out twice !!The Masai Mara was absolutely stunning and within a few hours had seen leopard,lions and cheetahs.The setting itself is also very dramatic.Our guide was absolutely brilliant.He had a great sense of humour and constantly had us in hysterics during the trip with his banter.The food was excellent and I am sure I have put on weight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing gorillas so relaxed in the wild

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Overall absolutely brilliant.Enthusiastic,very informative,caring and had a brilliant sense of humour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have time in Narobi visit the giraffe sanctuary and elephant orphanage
  • An unforgettable experience!

    The highlight was the Gorillas, but the whole trip was an experience never to be forgotten. We saw the big 5 in the Masai Mara and other animals in their natural habitat that you only ever see on the television. I can also now identify exotic birds I never knew existed! And we had a hippo join us at the campsite for dinner! The trip was made more memorable through the wonderful Exodus team of Jacob - our guide, Boniface - our amazing driver, Godfrey - our wonderful chef & Esther -his assistant, who was learning the ropes & always smiling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking into the eyes of a Silver-back gorilla. I didn't think that we'd get so close to them, they brush passed you as they walk by. Just watching them interact with each other - grooming, playing and feeding, was amazing. The hour we had in their company flew by and was truly unforgettable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was our tour leader and he was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about where we were travelling, always full of good advice and very patient & professional. Seat rotation was suggested for the truck and all worked smoothly. My wristwatch broke in Doha on the way to Nairobi and he was very helpful in ensuring that I could buy a replacement at the earliest opportunity and so stay on time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel with an open mind, be prepared for anything & you'll have an amazing unforgettable experience. Take advantage of hiring a porter for the gorilla trek, as he will be invaluable in helping you. I was a little apprehensive about the camping since I've not done any before but it was fine. The group were all well travelled and we all gelled together, helping out with the washing and air-drying of plates!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're undecided, my advice is to GO! Go with the flow, join in and you'll have a fabulous unforgettable time.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Karen Lim

    Wonderful!

    A wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the gorillas up close - we were told to stay at least 7 metres from them but sometimes we were much closer. That one hour went by like a flash! I also loved the white water rafting - I hadn't intended to do it but wanted to seize the opportunity of trying out some of the best rafting in the world. I did not feel at all scared and would definitely do it again. The Masai Mara was amazing - seeing animals I had only previously seen in books, and birds I had never seen before.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was great! He was always cheerful, informative, knowledgeable, helpful, patient, cracking jokes and teasing members of our group and the rest of the team. The rest of the team were also sound - Boniface (Stonecold) the driver who handled our enormous truck with great skill, Godfrey the cook who turned out delicious meals with very basic cooking facilities and Esther the assistant who was always ready to help with a smile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and the other reviews. Go with a bit of patience and forbearance - do not expect Western standards in anything.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was a bit apprehensive about the camping aspect and the gorilla trek and I was fine. The camping worked out well and the gorilla trek was very manageable (with the help of porters). I can honestly say that I did not have any bad moments on this trip. Our group was varied in age but we all got along very well and there was much laughter and good times.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    David Simpson

    Great wildlife viewing with a top class crew

    Some of my best ever wildlife viewing, seeing all the big 5 (including my first ever clear views of leopards) plus much else including spectacular birds, chimpanzees and of course the amazing mountain gorillas. Very well looked after by leader Jacob, the best ever driver Stone Cold, Godfrey the cook and the hardworking trainee Ester, all of whom not just kept us safe, healthy and happy, but were great company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the fabulous mountain gorillas, who didn't seem to have read that they were meant to keep 8 m distance! Couldn't believe how close and active they were. The optional hot air balloon ride in the Maasai Mara was also well worth doing, as was chimpanzee tracking which hadn't been mentioned as an option in the trip notes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was knowledgable, worked hard to make sure we all had a good experience, and had a good sense of humour too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for plenty of early starts and long drives, but the experiences along the way make it all worth it. Being on time for the morning starts, and being ready to help load/unload the truck etc (though not required) makes it all run more smoothly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The region is really beautiful, and always has plenty to see even on the long journeys. The camping is fine, the people along the way friendly, and you'll find Rwandan streets far cleaner than those in the UK!
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Patricia Carr

    Best wildlife experience ever

    The whole trip was fantastic with all the wildlife sightings. The big 5 in the Masai Mara plus the birdlife was unforgettable. Every country visited had something special, but of course the highlight were the gorillas. All that being said the trip was made even better by Jacob our guide, nothing was too much trouble, Stone Cold (Boniface), fantastic driver, Godfrey, great cook, Ester the lovely assistant. The 4 of them were so friendly it felt like it was one big family. They are the A-Team.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the gorillas was the best thing ever and it still feels like I dreamt it because it is so unbelievable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was the best, always smiling, making sure everybody was ok.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind about the camping side of the trip, just go and enjoy the whole package. You just have to go with the flow, it's an experience of a lifetime.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Huw Thomas

    We had a fantastic expedition

    We took the trip starting in Nairobi. We had a fantastic time seeing cheetahs, leopards, lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros and many more, we saw it all. We finished with the gorillas. The experience was unbelievable. We got closer to them and for longer than we ever expected. Our trip was made even better by the fantastic Exodus team. Jacob was our team leader and he was very ably supported by Stony the driver, Godfrey the chef and Ester the assistant. This team set the atmosphere and we embraced and enjoyed it all. What a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being with the gorillas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was exceptional. He exuded confidence and always had a smile. Nothing was too much nor too difficult. The 16 strong expedition had an enhanced experience because of his leadership.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the enthusiasm and good humour of your team. They set the tone, all you have to do is enjoy all the fantastic experiences.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trek to the gorillas is challenging but very manageable. Hire a porter, the $10 plus tip will be the best money you will ever spend. They not only carry your bags but support you over the rough terrain. Don't be put off by reviewers who suggest that you need to be super fit to cope.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Celia Thomas

    An amazing trip

    This memorable trip was made special by the excellent leader Jacob and his team Stonecold, the wonderful driver, Godfrey the chef and assistant Esther. Whilst the journeys were often very long we had plenty of stops. The trip was filled with humour and fun. The group ages were from 42 to 69, we were at the upper end. For us the key was having a go. We were encouraged to try white water rafting and not only did we manage to do it , it was an excellent experience. Upgrades to cabins were available at most campsites. We saw so much on safari , big 5 , countless birds and much more. Our skille driver ensured we got the best photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course the gorilla encounter was a thrill, never to be forgotten. Though we were told to keep a distance between us and the gorillas but this was quite relaxed as they came towards us. The white water rafting was exhilarating. Very professionally organised with safety at its core.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was an excellent team leader. He had a great sense of humour which helped set the tone for the group. He was knowledgeable and patient answering even the most simple questions with a smile. He has a nothing is too much trouble attitude and was very professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As for the gorilla trekking, we asked to be in the easy group and ended up walking further than the moderate group. The gorillas are not always where they are supposed to be! Take plenty to read for the long journeys. There is not always amazing scenary. Go with an open mind , don't expect luxury and you will be very pleasantly surprised.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are undecided as to whether to go, I would say GO ! We were 16 in our well travelled group and we all agreed it was one of the best trips we've done.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Kathryn Summers

    A Brilliant Experience

    An excellant trip, my first into Africa. Now my compass is set for more. A mixed age range group, 24 thru 72 but we gelled well. Our leader Jacob was full of knowledge. A very happy and fun person to be around. He was backed by a brilliant team. Albert, our cook. Stonecold, (Boniface) our driver and Dolly (Raymond) our assistant. We were fed well, driven very safely, and Dolly, learning the ropes, accompanied us on some excursions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending time with the Mountain Gorillas. Wow, you can get closer if the Silverback is happy with it. I was just a few feet away from adolescents. Then, Seeing a Lioness, just languishing up in a tree. Magic. Then, The Balloon ride over the Mara. Spotting Giraffe, Lion and Elephant to name a few. Then, slip sliding across the mud to witness the migration of Wildebeest across the Mara River.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob is brilliant. Very knowledgable of his country, Kenya, and of the surrounding areas. He ensured we understood the protocol at the borders for a smooth move on. This does also mean some early morning departures, but, Jacob is correct in doing this. We all agreed with him, even offering an earlier start 1 day! Jacob is fun and has stories to tell.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do ensure your kit bag meets the size requirements for the lockers. They are actually quite wide tho. Take a small 'down pack' bag, or use one of your dri sacks for the tenting. Some of the accommodation involves steps. You don't really want to carry your whole kit down there!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just Enjoy
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