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Turtle, Ecuador

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

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61 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2019
    valerie crompton

    Where the wild Things are.

    I have just returned from this trip which was very good indeed. We were a very diverse group and I don't think we were very easy for our leader Anthony but he coped very well with a difficult person and a demanding situation. H was helped by the crew Melo an excellent cook and Ronald and KT who worked so hard and were always kind and helpful. We were all struggling with the tremendous heat and I would not recommend october as the best month. it was exceptionally hot, drinking hpt water was something we had to get used to, to keep from dehydration, very diddifcult indeed, We had elephants in camp which was a treat and at night could hear the lions and hyeanas outside the tents. We saw numerous birds and wonderful lions also saw a cervil a real treat. Dont expect it all to be easy but it is worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mokoros, the elephants and the surroundings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anthony was very capable in sometimes difficult circunstances.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please take wet wipes because you cant always get the chance to wash, sunhats and scarves which can be soaked and wound round the neck in extreme heat. rehydration powders were very useful too. You dont need many clothes but as it is hot and sandy everything gets covered a few pairs of socks are good as they get very dirty. Just read the trip notes on clothing and that should be enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You must go with the right attitude you will be part of a team so looking out for others safety is important, I broke all my nails trying to do the tent zips up they are very difficult, just a warning!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Gordon Towner

    AMAZING

    Wow what a way to see botswana on Brians fun bus,from start to finish our every need was met by Brian and his crew,having never camped before we were worried about bush toilets and open fire cooking and wild animals wondering about in the camp,but all of these things are part of what makes this adventure special the bush toilet was fine and discreet the open fire cooking was unbelievable best lasagne fish and chips and beef fillet potatoes and green beens i have ever tasted thanks to Abis the cook ,there are long dusty journeys but is a good time to get to know the other travellers in your group and nature seems to provide all the way to your next destination,the camp beds were comfortable and the kettle always boiling,sitting around the camp fire at night listening to all the sounds and looking up at the night sky really is awe inspiring,the game drives were amazing and Brians knowledge of every animal bird tree plant insect and animal poo was incredible there was nothing we asked that he didnt give a full explanation about, And we saw every animal except cheetahs and Rhinos ,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To many,wild camping mokoro rides herds of Elephants on walking safari,bull Elephant not wanting to let us pass in mokoro,wild dogs with pups ,leopard, hyenna family playing with pups ,lions vic falls white water rafting inthe Zambizi,night sky at salt pan Abis cooking and Brians infectious laugh always happy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brian makes this adventure special,always happy helpfull and cant believe his knowledge and love of his country,Top class guide

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it,you wont regret it ,amazing experience
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Rachel Cox

    Trip of a lifetime

    I always wanted to go on safari, but had never been camping before, so I was a little apprehensive about that. But camping was all part of the adventure and it was lovely gathering around the campfire in the evenings. It also makes you feel very immersed in the wildlife, e.g. hearing lions roar as you're going to sleep and wondering how far away they are! So if you're worried about camping, just do it, you won't regret it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were countless amazing moments on the trip! Being right next to a leopard that used our vehicle to hide behind to stalk an impala. Finding two cheetahs. Seeing two female lions sneak up on a giraffe while it was drinking water! Hippos crashing out of the bushes and through a herd of elephants, to get to the water to mate. A hippo blocking the path of our mokoro in the delta (scary, but exciting!). Numerous sightings of lions, including lion cubs playing and suckling from their mother. Being so close to a male lion he was sniffing the air around our vehicle! And absolutely countless sightings of elephants, hippos and 148 different species of bird.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brian was amazing. He is very experienced and so knowledgeable about how to find the animals and about the animals themselves. All of the other guides know him too, which obviously helps to exchange information about recent animal sightings. He went above and beyond to give us great experiences and we got so close to a lot of animals!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ladies, bring a buff/headscarf to control your hair while in the vehicle. A fleece is a must, as it gets very windy in the vehicle. I had a shewee and an empty plastic bottle for emergencies and I did use them one night when there were too many eyes staring back at me to use the bush toilet! Babywipes are useful to wipe away the sand before bed. Toilet paper is provided, but make sure to bring plenty of kleenex for the stops by the side of the road (I also used lots of tissue blowing the sand out of my nose!). I brought a diary, which was a nice way to document the trip and keep myself busy during downtime. Bring flipflops and a travel towel for the shower. It's possible to get laundry done in Victoria Falls (In-Da-Belly, down the road from the lodge, only charges 5dollars/bag), but it's not feasible in Maun due to time constraints, so just plan ahead for that. Make sure you have US dollars for Zimbabwe (visa and spending money). Oh and maybe don't opt for the scenic flight if you're in any way prone to motion sickness... I vomited and most of the others felt unwell too (although maybe it was a particularly windy/turbulent day when we did it).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If anyone is curious about the facilities (because I was), the "bush toilet" is a hole dug in the ground, with a metal frame and toilet seat over it. This is surrounded by a large metal frame with canvas material attached for privacy. There is also a shovel and a pile of sand to cover your business after each use. The "bush shower" is a canvas bag of hot water suspended from a tree and a mechanism so you can control the flow of water. This is surrounded by a metal frame with canvas material attached (similar to the toilet). They get the job done anyway and it's all worth it for the wildlife experiences!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Helen Brown

    Safari of a lifetime

    An amazing trip that got better and better each day. The wildlife exceeded all of our wildest dreams made possible by our guide, Brian and 'Top Gun' our specialist local guide in the okavango delta. The food cooked by our chef on a log fire was incredible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Almost missing a leopard as it was so close to the track. Having an angry hippo charging through the water towards us whilst in a makoros canoe. Getting up in the night for the bush toilet and looking for red and/or green eyes!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brian was an excellent. extremely knowledgeable guide. His team of a chef and two others were great too. Brian always went that extra mile to find the wildlife. Lions eating a kill, lion cubs suckling, hippos mating in the water, cheetahs hunting impala, a herd of cape buffalo being hunted by lions and so much more. My husband ticked off 148 different birds! Brian could identify the birds from a brief description or a wing pattern.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very early starts. Packing up camp in the cold and dark with no washing facilities on some days when wild camping was hard but made up by the incredible wildlife. When we were in the vehicle it was as if we were wearing invisibility cloaks! Definitely pack warm windproof clothes for the early mornings and take a head scarf/buff for when travelling in the open sided truck. be prepared to get very dusty/sandy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was my most grueling Exodus trip to date but also one of the most incredible. i couldn't believe how close we were to the animals when in the vehicle, in the boats and on foot.
  • Beyond wonderful

    I had visited eleven game parks on two continents, and spent twenty-six years trying to see a leopard. We saw four different individuals, close enough to get some excellent photographs. We also saw countless lions, two cheetahs and a serval, as well as lots of other game. The food that was cooked on an open fire was terrific, and it was a lovely group of like-minded people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many it's hard to choose one. Seeing two cheetahs giving each other a very affectionate wash and brush up. The stand-off at the OK Waterhole - when five lions approached the two elephants occupying it, the elephants weren't having it. The lions called for reinforcements, and another five turned up. So the elephants also called for reinforcements, and a third elephant arrived. We then watched them squirting the lions with water, and chasing them off now and again. The lions had to make do with a puddle at the far end of the waterhole. Seeing an adult male lion sniff out a tiny three week old cub. We watched with our hearts in our mouths, but he was a new dad and had been left to babysit. The cub wanted to cross the road, and dad tried to stop it without much success. He was very gentle, and it was a delight to watch. Seeing a serval, which our guide said was most unusual. And last but by no means least - a mother leopard taking a surprising lunch back to her half-grown cub - an African wildcat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anton was very knowledgable, and extremely clever at driving round the back of the other vehicles to get a better view from the other side. He also knew when to wait - if nothing exciting seemed to be happening and he was in no hurry to move on, there was always a reason.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small camping light for the tent, and lots of wet wipes. Also take a power bank if you have one, and as many spare batteries as you can afford. I have a camera trap, and I set that up on several nights so that I could see what was sniffing round the tents - turned out to be a honey badger and a hyena. If you need to go to loo several times in the night remember that it's not a good idea to leave the tent. I took a litre-sized plastic jar with a lid, and was very glad I did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was the fourth safari I have done in Africa, and the best by far. Magic.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Stephen Newey

    An amazing adventure in Botswana

    Our adventure in Botswana was the most incredible experience we have ever encountered. The guides were amazing. Their knowledge of all things growing or living in this beautiful country was boundless. They were all extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble, always going the extra mile to ensure that we got the most out of our trip. Our cook produced the most delicious recipes and all on an open fire with a few pots and pans. Wild camping definitely gave us a flavour of actually being amongst the wildlife. We saw all the species of animals and birdlife that anyone could wish for. A trip across the border to Zimbabwe took us to the breath-taking Victoria Falls. So majestic yet so powerful. It would be remiss of me not to mention our two main guides, Ngande and Mello. They were incredibly caring and thoughtful towards our needs, always ensuring that our safari experience was the best that it could possibly be. Finally, we are so grateful to Exodus for arranging what proved to be the adventure of a lifetime and one which we will never forget.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The entire experience was inspirational but the most emotional moment for me happened on a morning game drive, when we came across a beautiful male leopard sitting majestically on top of a grassy mound. Needless to say that my camera was red hot that day. The previous morning drive was a lovely misty morning when we encountered a small pride of lions. One of the shots I took was perfect. I called it "Lions in the Mist"

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was an amazing man called Ngande Mosepele. His knowledge of wildlife and birdlife was boundless. He was so caring and kind to everyone, always making sure that each of our group, regardless of our individual interests, got the most out of our trip. He also had a great sense of humour. We all agreed that we couldn't have had a better leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If anyone is undecided over whether or not this type trip is for you. Don't think twice. Just do it. I promise you won't be disappointed. If like us, you have never been on safari before, choose "Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana" It will be an adventure you will never forget!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I don't think there is anything I can add that I haven't already said. This fulfilled our every wish and much much more. I have purposely not used the word holiday in any part of this review. This was not a holiday, it was an incredible adventure, and one which my wife and I will never forget.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Alison Brown

    Incredible adventure

    Absolutely fantastic trip, amazing chances to see wildlife close up and lie awake at night trying to identify the animal noises and how close by they could be!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all incredible. The Mokoro rides were so serene and otherworldly. Watching hippo from them was something I will never forget. The safari walks were expertly guided by a man with just a stick and it was an absolute privilege to be able to walk and see zebra, buffalo, giraffes, elephants and so much more in their natural environment. In the 4x4s we were able to get up close to animals and spent 2 hours watching 2 cheetah brothers chilling out under a tree. We were also blessed to see a young leopard and spend time watching her eat and sleep. Parking close to lions eating a wildebeest was incredible, though those of us on the nearer side of the truck had years scared off our lives when another closer male lion went a bit vocal with his lioness which none of us were expecting! Seeing baby elephants, elephants playing in the water and spraying dust everywhere was just incredible. Giraffes fighting, hippos "smiling" and laughing, ostriches running, jackals stretching, zebras dazzling and eagles soaring were just some highlights. But, really, every day was a highlight bringing new fabulous sights and experiences and the whole trip was truly inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenny - chilled and laid back. A good sense of humour and fantastic knowledge of birds and animals. He has a real passion for his job and the wildlife he sees

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring sandals for mokoro (in case you have to get out) and 4x4 (cooler) wear neutral coloured long sleeves and trousers for walks to protect from thorns Up before the sun and in bed by sunset. Only the very bravest will want to visit the bushy bushy at night (women bring she-wee and bottle if you need to) Once you are in your tent at night you are advised not to use your head torch so be tidy and prepare things when it's light to avoid scrambling in the dark Bring cards and gamble freely with seed pods and sticks! Dobble also good fun Bring imperial mints, werthers originals and foxes mints to share in truck. Jelly babies will not survive the heat, neither will minstrels sadly!! Write down what you see every day as the days are so packed that it's hard to remember everything by the end of the trip Buy a good camera with a good zoom (it's so worth it!!). Then make friends with person on trip who can show you how to use it! There are no doors on the truck, you will have to be able to climb up the sides and swing your legs over to get in and out - be prepared to scramble This is a camping trip - it is basic and you have to make the best of what there is on site. Do not expect to be able to walk outside the camp when wild camping. Opportunities to stretch your legs are limited to getting on and off the truck. Listen to your guides. This is a wildlife trip and there will be wild animals poking about the camp site at night (honey badgers, hyena, elephants) and possibly during the day (elephants!!). Be sensible and try to appreciate the experience once the abject terror of having been woken by a noise settles down!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keep an open mind. Be prepared for anything and enjoy!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Georgina Mackintosh

    Fantastic experience

    This trip exceeded my expectations. It was exceptional in pretty much every aspect. The variety and quantity of animals we saw were exceptional - thanks to our brilliant guide, the locations we camped in and the high quality of local guides and trackers. The back up team made wild camping an amazingly comfortable experience - putting up and dismantling our tents, transporting all our luggage and producing the most delicious and satisfying meals from an open fire and the ' magic' kitchen in the back up vehicle. The long distance travel in the open sided safari truck was a bit of a trial at times but all part of the the Botswana experience and outweighed by the arrival at a beautiful location to camp.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, but the Okavango Delta and Moremi stand out in terms of places and animals but the simplicity of the whole wild camping experience, with no wi-fi, no 'modern' amenities and rising at sunrise and going to bed after sunset was the most wonderful antidote to the mania of our lives. Truly magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngande's experience, knowledge and organisation were exceptional - and he is a really nice guy too! He was good humoured, sensitive to individuals needs and made us feel very safe - especially when up close to the animals!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want an adventure that removes you totally from the stresses of modern life this is an ideal trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only criticism I have is that I really didn't like the hard sales talk we had on activities available on arrival at Victoria Falls. After a very long day's travelling it was the last thing we wanted! !
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Ann Stobbs

    Wildlife & wilderness of Botswana

    It was such a memorable adventure - seeing cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs, not forgetting elephants who seemed to like wandering around our camp at night ! The wild camping made it possible to be part of their world which was a real privilege. The camp staff were excellent and I just loved Botswana. All together one of the best holidays I have been on .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing cheetahs ,leopards, wild dogs, and all the other animals- Having elephants wandering around our camp... The okovango- Beating a hasty retreat from a rather cross elephant - Discovering I like birds - Space light & warmth of Botswana

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a scarf - the long drives got a bit windy - def take binoculars- It says there are ATM s at Victoria Falls which is correct but not one had any money in them so take small dollar notes (Not a big deal but don't rely on them) Otherwise the trip notes are comprehensive ..

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a minor thing about being met on the group flight. We were not clear whether we were being met at JBURG as well as Maun- just needs making it a bit clearer that you won't be met at the transit but at Maun.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    wendy pomfrett

    what an adventure

    I am absolutely not a camping person so this holiday was a challenge for me but the lack of luxury was well worth the up close and personal experience with the wild life. Our leader, Anton, and his amazingly efficient and friendly crew worked miracles under difficult conditions to make our lives as comfortable as possible. The food was varied and plentiful - quite remarkable given that most of it was cooked on an open fire. If you want to really see Africa, forego the comfort of the lodges and do it this way!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The moment when a pride of lions appeared from the bush and marched single file past our vehicle. The whole delta experience in the first few days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional and knowledgeable. He had excellent leadership skills which meant that the whole team worked efficiently and were at all times upbeat and happy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is wild Africa - do not expect comfort so every little thing - a bush shower, a cold drink - will be a bonus. There is necessarily quite a lot of free time in the baking middle of the day so take a pack of cards or a travel game......and LOTS of wet wipes The vehicle is perfect for watching wild life but, if you are in any way incapacitated, it is not easy to get into it. Also be prepared for a long and very windy drive one day for which the vehicle is not best suited so take a scarf or buff to cover your mouth.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday is a real adventure. It is not easy to sleep at night as the bush is noisy and very hot but all this is worth it for the amazing wild life on your doorstep -and sometimes in your camp!