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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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26 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2020

    Best Experience of all of my travels so far!

    Best experience of travel I have ever had. Gorillas just WOW. Chimps were amazing and we saw our first one in 5 minutes. Queen Elisabeth park gave us not 1 but 2 sets of tree climbing lions!! And we spotted a Leopard. Lots of other fabulous game that was not so expected from Uganda. Friendly people everywhere.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wow, seeing the gorilla family in the wild was the best experience I have ever had, just breath taking! It was very hard work getting to them (and we were lucky it took just over 1 hour) so hit the gym before you go, make sure you take those gardening gloves and hire a porter. Don't bother taking walking poles (take up room in your luggage) and they will give you a big stick on site that does just as well (and you don't have to worry about loosing since you have to leave your poles when getting near the gorillas).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide David was fabulous, kept us entertained throughout and nothing was too much trouble. Love him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Gorilla mist Camp is a bit cold and damp (you are in a rainforest at high elevation after all) so I wish I took another warmer jumper for the evenings (but they do put lovely hot water bottles in your bed). One point I would make - I didn't book the extra Gorilla permits due to money restrictions - the way it is worded on the site is to book them as you are not guaranteed to see the gorillas on one treck, however when you go for your treck they explain that if your group does not spot the gorillas then you can go back on the same permit the next day. (this did not happen to us so no idea if they do keep this promise given the restricted permit numbers).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to see Gorillas go and do it! This experience was better than I ever imagined it could be
  • 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 August 2019
    Hannah Fairbanks

    Mixed bag - parts excellent, the concept of a second gorilla permit seemingly misleading

    One of the biggest selling points of this holiday is the optional possibility of a second day trekking to see the gorillas. Fair enough the permits aren't guaranteed - completely understandable, but if you follow Exodus's guidance you are made to feel like a nuisance and from my experience you won't get one. The webpage tells you to request additional permits when booking, they also bill you for additional permits at this point, but when you ask about the permits the emails you receive can seem quite rude and basically tell you to go away and ask the guide when you arrive. When arriving on the trip and all 7 people said they wanted additional permits and it wasn't really a surprise that the guide couldn't conjure these up with less than a week's notice. This did result in the group participants being fairly cross, people had requested additional permits 8 months in advance, paid for them, been told they were the only ones interested in a second day - which was a lie, etc. it was just incredibly unprofessional for such an established holiday provider. It's the first time I've done a trip with Exodus and I'm still a little taken aback by the lack of organisation related to these permits, the billing of these permits months before any action is taken, and the blunt/verging on rude emails. The gorillas is a highlight of the trip and it's is sold as a real possibility whereas in fact due to their lack of organisation it was impossible for anyone on our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The gorillas were just incredible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really nice chap, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Unfortunately he hadn't organised a boat trip so we waited around at a hotel needlessly for 2+ hours and went on a later boat trip after about 90% of the animals had left. These things happen and he did go out of his way for us on the rest of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't base booking this holiday on the chance of obtaining a second gorilla permit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As I said in my summary disappointed with Exodus, the experience was fantastic but I just feel like a bit of a mug that I believed second permits were possible and that Exodus actively tried to help with this whereas you just dumped it all on the guide.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Hannah for her feedback, although we are very sorry that she was disappointed not to have been able to secure a second day’s permit. We only request extra permits once the trip has been guaranteed as, otherwise, the permits will have to be paid for in full even if the trip doesn't run. Whilst this information is now stated in our trip notes, we are sorry if it was not clearly communicated at the time. Second permits had, unfortunately, already sold out by the time Hannah booked on the trip and, having exhausted all other possibilities, we suggested that there may have been be a slim possibility of the tour leader being able to get some last-minute returns for the group. We regret, however, that this was not the case and we appreciate Hannah’s disappointment. We are very sorry that Hannah feels that her pre-trip enquires were not dealt with in an appropriate manner, as this is not the type of feedback we are used to receiving about the standard of service from our customer operations’ team. We were pleased, however, that Hannah had a fantastic experience overall and that she found her tour leader to be knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Tom Harari – Product Manager

  • Reviewed August 2019
    M Iyer

    Another trip I will never forget!

    I have had this trip on my bucket list for a while now and it lived up to all of my expectations! David was a fabulous leader and took care of everything!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having a baby gorilla ignore the 7m rule and nearly touch me. Watching David meet our every demand with a professionalism and a sense of humour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Loves loved loved David! A man who clearly loves Uganda and knows his stuff!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A seat pad for the bumpy rides and dont drink tap water!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tjis eas a really important trip for me and it did not dissapoint!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Catherine Robert

    Amazing experience

    I really enjoyed seeing the chimps and gorillas and was very pleased I had booked the additional treks. There is a lot of driving, but I enjoyed seeing the countryside and the trip leaders were good at fitting in stops and short walks to stretch our legs. The trip is quite primate-focussed, so don’t come expecting to see lots of big cats (although we did see six lions). The birds are wonderful. I also loved the boat trips, as you get to see the wildlife from a different angle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely seeing the chimps and gorillas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders, Benjamin and David. They were both very good. Benjamin is a keen birder.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t bother bribing walking poles as they will be supplied. Wear your walking boots on the flight - two people in my group lost their luggage and all their walking gear and toiletries were stolen. Hiring a porter boosts the local economy, so I would get one even if you don’t think you need one.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Maria Dillon

    Savour the moments

    Excellent trip for both content and standard of Guide (David).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the Gorilla's interacting within their family group. But also the chimp treks were very inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring gloves and gaiters (to ward of the ants) The recommended wear on the gorilla and chimp treks is long sleeves and trousers with trousers tucked into socks (if you don't have gaiters) and proper 'jungle boots'. Water proof jacket (as you may need it) The gorilla treks were very strenuous. The short trek involved steep descents and ascents. The medium trek was along gentler tracks until the gorillas were sighted and then steep ascents and descents were required to get to them. Walking 'poles' (long sticks) are provided.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Sarah Morrow

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    This is a really great and varied trip. In addition to the chimps and gorillas, the safari drives in Queen Elizabeth NP and Lake Mburo also gave some super game viewings, including lions, zebra, giraffe, hippo and various types of antelope, although not the proliferation of game as the like of the Masai Mara. The boat trips are both interesting and restful, and we had the luck to see the famous shoebill stork at Mabamba Swamp. Overall this is a fantastic trip for anyone who enjoys wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlights of this trip had to be the close encounters with the gorillas, but the chimps came a very close second - I was so glad I opted to do the optional second treks, as in both cases, the second encounters were even better than the first, and certainly quite different experiences. It is amazing to observe these primates as such close quarters and the Park staff have done such a good job of habituation, that both chimps and gorillas carried on life, seemingly indifferent to our presence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was always there to make sure we were well cared for at the lodges and exceptionally knowledgeable of the various wildlife and birds, as well as a brilliant spotter. We would have missed so much without him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip does entail quite a bit of travel and you have to be prepared for some long drives, but there is just so much to see on route, with great scenery and good wildlife viewing, as well as the opportunity to witness local life. The people are so friendly, and try their hardest to please, but do remember this is very much a developing country, without many of the facilities we take for granted.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Rob Pitt

    Gorilla and Chimp Trek

    First time I have used Exodus and will certainly be using them again. Well organised and action packed. Good condition of transportation vehicles and the guides were simply superb and couldn't do enough for you. The Gorilla and Chimp Trek not only exceeded my expectations, but also the other 13 travellers we met on the same tour. Couldn't fault it. Well done Exodus!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Gorilla's was one of several highlights but the they were the reason for this particular trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was fantastic. Always happy, laughing, good language skills and couldn't do enough for you. Benjamin was also an excellent guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Accommodation is of very high standard but you are out in the jungle so expect insects
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Jill Moore

    Chimps & Gorillas of Uganda

    An amazing holiday, made special by our excellent guides, David & Lawrence. The lodges we stayed in were very comfortable & unique, with helpful & friendly staff. I cannot begin to list the variety of wildlife seen on this trip & also the variety of ways to view the wildlife -walking safaris, boat safaris, sunset & sunrise safaris. The highlight was obviously seeing the chimps & gorillas in their natural surroundings & at close quarters. A wonderful holiday all round!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the second Gorilla trek, observing them as they came down from the trees for breakfast. Being so close as the silverback went by, with his young followers close behind him. Also on our return to Entebbe, seeing the almost prehistoric Shoebill in the wetlands. As someone who is not particularly "into" birds, I found this one fascinating & to be able to observe it at close quarters was truly astounding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was an excellent group leader. A very open & friendly man with an amazing knowledge of the animals we saw & where he could find them! Nothing was too much trouble & he was always in good humour. Both he & Lawrence worked extremely hard, & always with good humour, to find as many species as they could for us to see. They obviously knew the area extremely well & had good links with other park workers regarding where animals (such tree lions & leopards) may be. Therefore ensuring that we were able to see as much variety as possible. They were both absolute stars & went the extra mile to make our experience special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is important to have appropriate clothing & footwear for the Chimp & Gorilla treks. we were lucky as all of our visits were dry, but rain had fallen at night, so good waterproofs are needed. I strongly recommend booking the additional visits offered. We all did 2 Chimp & 2 Gorilla Treks. All 4 visits were very different & our second visits gave us better encounters (which could have been coincidence of course!). On our 1st Gorilla Trek the group took a long time to find & the terrain was very steep, so be prepared for tough terrain. The porters were a fantastic help. As well as carrying your rucksack, they help & support you all the way. Well worth employing them & helping the local economy too!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I knew it would be a good trip, but it exceeded all expectations in every way. Great accommodation, great service, wonderful guides in David & Lawrence & of course, unforgettable animal encounters. Well done Uganda & Exodus!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    William Grimshaw

    Uganda: Chimps and Gorillas

    This trip was extraordinary in every sense of the word. The diversity of the landscape seen in Uganda is breathtaking, and coupled with the various forms of wildlife we were so close to in the wild made this trip unforgettable. From our arrival at the airport we were made to feel welcome by our brilliant guides and although there are some long car journeys on some very bumpy roads, they are all worthwhile once you arrive at the fabulous accomodation. The food is phenomenal and the staff at each lodge are attentive and greet you with a smile when returning from a long day of travelling or searching for exotic animals. We managed to spot a leopard, lions, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, gorillas, chimpanzees and so many species of primates and birds that I lost count! Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely reaching the mountain gorillas for the first time when trekking. It is truly awe-inspiring to be so close to such a magnificent and rare creature, and their calmness towards the human visitors means photo opportunities are plentiful. Additionally, another source of inspiration for myself was seeing children while we were driving carrying heavy bags, but once hearing or seeing the car a smile lighting up their face to wave. The warm nature of the Ugandan people is another aspect of this country I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    David was a superb leader and with his partner Laurence I am sure we were graced with the most knowledgable pair in Uganda! Both men were wonderfully funny and kept spirits high while also being informative of the areas we were visiting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip now!