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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Phill Dixon

    If I could do it again I wouldn't hesitate

    If you could gurantee the same team, group and even half the wildlife encounters I'd book it up tomorrow. We were very lucky with both the wildlife and to have such an enthusiastic and fun group of guides and guests - which made the trip all the better. The locations are stunning - in two days in the Masai Mara we saw the big 5 and had an epic balloon ride at sunrise. Then we were off to Lake Nakuru and the rhinos and flamingos took centre stage, with the smiles getting wider as the wildlife encounters got better. Sleeping within 300m of a waterfall in Nakuru was a highlight and despite being the most basic, was my favourite campsite - hearing lions and hyeenas calling in the night while sat around a campfire checking out all the stars. At Jinja even novice rafters got to experience the thrill of white water and again the provided photos and videos had us all laughing and reliving the day. The Adrift campsite was also brand new and had great facilities. So the experiences built, Murchison has impressive waterfalls and the boat trip was a good way to get out of the heat of the day. Gorilla tracking in Budongo again had us being lucky, being in the middle of chimps hunting, a once in a lifetime opportunity and not something to be expected, but if you get to experience time with the enigmatic chimps you cannot be disappointed. Queen Elizabeth has less diversity of wildlife but still provided lots of Elephants and on the river you see birds and elephants everywhere. Lastly the gorillas - I did two treks and they were both different but magical experiences. The first involved a long trek but we were surrounded by a group and followed them, experiencing interactions with several different family members. This would be a tough trek if you are not physically fit and used to walking up hills. The second trek involved spending an unforgettable hour with Xmas, the largest silverback in Bwindi and his 1 and 2 year old babies. We could not see other members of the family and the trek was shorter and easier, but a very close and magical encounter - when a baby gorilla looks at you from less than 7m you get a sense of how special and priveledged your time with them is. You are also given certificates to help remember your time with these beautiful animals The trip to the genocide museum was a very poignant reminder of what Rwanda has been through as well. Some facts - the trip involves a lot of early starts and quite a bit of travelling. Your reward is the trip of a lifetime. The truck is large and spacious but keep things in the lockers or that room fills up quickly. You will need to be able to walk up steep hills for the gorillas, but the team takes things slowly and chooses the best path for the group. Campsites often had showers, toilets and a bar so have some dollars for these. A lot of Ugandan service stations and almost all of Rwanda wanted local currency. Some things to note - the Rwandan border was the most difficult to cross, with a problem getting our taxi across taking 2hrs but providing a great side adventure - a sense of humour about delays and acknowledging that you may be asked seeminglystupid questions is par for the course. Get some snacks and drinks before crossing as there is nothing on the Rwandan security zone. The Exodus team were fantastic throughout, working hard to fix any problems ( airline lost bags), keep our trip moving smoothly and provide fun and share jokes over Albert's fantastic cooking ( his cooking may expand your waistline). Gilbert was the charismatic tour leader with lots of local stories and knowledge, Stoney the unflappable driver who always made time to help, Albert the fantastic chef with all the catchphrases and a personality larger than life, and Charles the youngest and ever smiling and helpful team member eager to greet and hear of our days adventures. A good team feels like family not a crew, these guys felt like family and helped knit the group together. I feel exceptionally lucky to have been on this trip, I've travelled a lot and this will remain a trip to remember. If I could do the same or similar trip with the group and crew I would book it tomorrow, if you promised me half the wildlife too I'd still jump at the chance. Thanks Exodus for another epic adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending time with the gorillas and seeing the look on everyone's faces as they encounter these incredible animals up close.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was really good at bringing people together and engaging the group. He was also active in securing us better times for chimp trekking and minimising time on the truck / getting good plots on campsites. A lot of what he was doing behind the scenes in planning / logistics was while people slept on the truck so he could chat and sing songs when we were all awake. He also had excellent wildlife and historical knowledge and was happy to share The only problem we encountered was on the day the team weren't there at the Rwandan border - and over the phone he was working on a solution to get us moving

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a folder for certificates they give for gorilla trekking Have a sheet or blanket to sit on in the truck as the vinyl seats can get hot in the sun ( thanks Vio) Have some small Ugandan and Rwandan currency so you can buy things at service stations if they don't accept cards or dollars ( Rwanda the bars all wanted local currency). Pack some extra clothes in your daysack when flying - airlines lose bags so have at least a change of clothes to last you a day or two. Go to Carnivores in Nairobi it is a great meal and intro for the group. Don't expect glamping but this is comfortable camping and you get to hear lions calling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If the team running this trip do any other Africa trips I'd gladly go on them
  • Reviewed July 2019
    violeta maftei

    Mind-blowing experience

    WYU190630 Just returned from my first African wild adventure and i m still day dreaming of it! Couldn't have asked for a better crew team members and better group. Absolutely awed day in day out. This being my first experience camping and group travelling i must say it has been a blast! Do not let the camping put you off! It is a great experience and i loved every minute of it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From day one, every day was memorable! And just when i thought that nothing could top seeing the big five, here comes chimpanzee trekking, mountain gorilla trekking, the scenery all around were absolute breathtaking. Totally totally would recommend this trip to anyone who's ready for adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide Gilbert together with chef Albert, driver Stony and all around helper Charlie made our experience a memorable one. I could not have asked for a better crew! They were awesome and their hard work must be acknowledged. Absolutely stunned with Gilbert's knowledge in terms of culture, nature, wildlife; and throughout the trip he always kept us informed, always smiling laughing and ready to listen to everything we had to say. Driver Stony, hat down! His many years of experience definitely had a say and he kept us safe throughout the journey. 100% confidence is his skills. Chef Albert looked after our stomach affairs! The whole group were astonished how he always managed to come up with the most delicious dishes even when camping. Healthy and freshly cooked food, always a bonus. Charlie the man does it all!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a sense of adventure and a big smile and you'll have the holiday of a lifetime! I was nervous when i booked this trip as was travelling alone, and never done this sort of trip before, but words cannot express how amazing the trip was and how well the group and crew members integrated from day one! Be prepared for long drives on bumpy roads sometimes. Its part of the adventure package!:)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When we had to say goodbyes we cried....No one wanted the trip to end... I've created what am hopping to be lifelong friendships and its amazing!
  • Reviewed December 2018

    A great trip but.....

    We took the trip over the Christmas period and it was a good one, the crew (Jacob, Stoney, Silvia and Dolly) were all excellent and could not be faulted. The organisation was good, the driving excellent, (how Stoney gets that truck along some of those roads is unbelievable) and the food was good and plentiful. There were 11 of us on the trip and we all got on very well which is a good thing if you are stuck on a truck for 2 weeks. Do not worry about charging batteries as the truck has a plug by each seat which can be used anytime whilst the truck is moving. The White Water Rafting Option in Jinja was excellent and the safety precautions couldn't be faulted, you are almost guaranteed to be thrown out at least once but we all felt perfectly safe when we were. The campsites were in some cases very basic with no water in the toilets and cold or no showers but they were adequate and in others there were options for upgrades to rooms if required. On day 8 the trip notes stated a visit to the top of the falls, what they did not say is that it involved a boat trip and then a trek along an uneven trek and a climb up several steps of uneven height, which was a bit testing for some people, although I see that this might have changed now but you might want to check. The big but is that on our trip both the Chimps and Gorillas were unco-operative and people thinking of doing the trip need to be aware that there is no guarantee of seeing either. On our trip some of us trekked 5 miles along tracks and off track just to see 1 Chimp and for the Gorillas we left camp at 4.45am and drove for 3.5 hours to the start point and then split into 2 groups, the moderately hard trek group took 7 hours of hard trekking up and down steep slippery and overgrown hills there and back to see the Gorillas who were up in the trees and not all that easy to see, the easier trek group took 10 hours and 4 of our group needed stretchering out with exhaustion which cost them between $200-$300 dollars each. We then all had another 3.5 hour drive back to camp getting back between 20.30 & 22.30 hours, much to the relief of Jacob our guide. Although this is what happened on our trip, we were told that that was not the norm but.....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the animals were amazing, especially the big cats in Kenya and it only took us 36 hours to see the 'big five', plus many others, ranging in size from Mongoose to Elephants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you do this trip, make sure you are really fit, for us the Leisurely/Moderate 2 rating in the trip notes was very misleading, a lot of the roads are really rough and can be very uncomfortable and the Chimp and Gorilla treks were probably 4 & 5 respectively. For the Gorillas, make sure you take good boots, a lot of water, money and do hire a porter as they can be indispensable. Make sure you take earplugs as you might have to share sites with other less considerate campers and with early starts most mornings (7am & earlier departures) you do need your sleep. As long as you are aware of the above and are willing to 'rough it' at times then you will enjoy this trip.
  • 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.
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