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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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52 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2019
    Susan Price

    Safarai in Kenya,and Tanzania followed by 3 days in Zanzibar

    This was one of the most fantastic holidays of my life. Crew on the truck were excellent and Clara the tour guide was a brilliant leader. The other guests were great and we all got on and they supported me as the oldest in the group. Unfortunately Zanzibar was not as good. After a hectic time on safari with early mornings and sometimes long drives it would have been better to go to the beach bungalows first to recover before going to Stone town which was so busy with it's narrow streets and always in danger of being run over by car or scooters. I would rather have had a day in Nairobi to recover from the overnight flight rather than getting off the plane at 4.30 am and being driven to Kembu Farm campsite. One day less in Zanzibar would have been good especially as it rained hard on the last day and we were just hanging around until 4.30 pm drive to the airport.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many awesome moments on the safari to single out one. There were incredible sightings of animals who were just relaxing and not running away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Clara was a great leader well informed, always looking after our interests and safety. She was fluent in Swahili and was able to smooth our journey.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early starts sometimes 5 am. Know that the campsites mostly are not fenced and at night animals wander around them sometimes roaring (hyenas) and you may unexpectedly meet an animal when moving about after dark, in my case an elephant was walking through a large campsite with many tents when I was walking to the toilet block at 9 pm. Take a really good head torch, rechargeable seem to be best, mine with it's 3 changeable aaa batteries was not good enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Hotel in Stone town had dangerous bathrooms with an approximately 8 inch step down immediately in front of the toilet. I fell down this and luckily only suffered a badly bruised arm. At least one other guest fell down this twice.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Kayleigh Provins

    A trip of a lifetime!!

    This trip was a once in a lifetime trip and the memories we made will last a lifetime!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hot air ballooning over the Masai Mara was incredible and the large numbers of young animals was simply great to see!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was so knowledgeable and only to happy to answer any and all questions on the locations and huge variety of animals we saw!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember to take something warm for the Ngorongoro crater it got a little cold that night. Although there are some long drives the views and potential animal sightings are well worth it. Our drive through the Masai Mara and onto Lake Victoria was lone but absolutely amazing with Lion, Giraffe, Elephants, Crocs, Hippo and much more!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    David Woodhams

    Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Experience

    My wife and I had been on this trip previously in September 2016 where we were lucky to see the migration. We thought that it would be good to see the other end of the season and hoped to catch the migration at the southern end, but alas they had travelled further south than we were going. Lake Nakuru NP was more productive this time as well as the Masia Mara with us seeing the 'Big 5' in the first 2 days, the first time that has occurred in more than 24 years of travel! Although the Mara Triangle and the Serengeti were very devoid of animals this was more than made up for by the Ngorongoro Crater, which was incredible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having seen 3 Cheetah in Kenya 24 years ago it was amazing to see 5 together which was made up of 4 brothers and a friend, spectacular. The balloon flight over the Masia Mara was amazing where, with the skill of the pilot we were able to track a pride of 9 Lions and the breakfast afterwards was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julius promised us from the start that we would see lots of animals and did not fail to deliver. The 'Big 5' in the first 2 days, remarkable. We saw 10% of the Black Rhino population in Lake Nakuru NP as well as Lion, Cape Buffalo, Waterbuck & Impala. The crew, Sam our driver who kept us safe throughout our trip AND provided a free African massage! Nick, our chef who provided some amazing meals out in the bush. Dolly, who was the general hand helping out with many tasks, cooking, tent erecting and helping where ever needed as well as setting up an excellent hygiene regime around the kitchen and food areas. He also kept us entertained with a very jolly attitude and excellent English.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light, be organised as you will be living out of your bag for the first 10 days and often you will be organising your life in the dark, with late arrivals at camp sites and early departures. Embrace the whole situation and enjoy! Make sure that you pack a towel, as this is not mentioned in the trip notes as an essential item.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As previously stated my wife and I did this trip in September 2016 which was an excellent trip with lots of animal sightings. This trip, being a different season offered a different experience, but again with lots of animal sightings, but in different places. On both trips we had wonderful experiences with the big cats, Lion, Leopard & Cheetah. If you are thinking about the balloon trip, although expensive we would recommend it as we did not do it on our first trip and regretted it, so made sure that we did it this time - awesome.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Sandra Barrett

    Fantastic Trip

    We have returned from a tailormade trip to Kicheche Mara Camp in Kenya and Fumba Beach Lodge in Zanzibar. I must congratulate Charlie Potter for his organisation and what a great trip it was. Kicheche Mara Camp, what a fabulous place. Tents were absolute luxury, better than some hotels. The staff were ALL excellent, smiley and friendly, they couldn't do enough for you. This camp is in the Mara North Conservancy and I strongly believe this is the way forward for Safaris and camps. The camp was small, just 8 tents all well spaced out with fabulous views right amongst nature itself. Wildlife frequently came into camp and you could hear their calls at night time. In the hours of darkness you were always escorted to your tents. Each night someone goes and puts a hot water bottle in your bed whilst you are dining. Every morning at 5.30 you are woken with a hot drink and freshly baked biscuits - each in the shape of an animal, different each day. Then when you go to the Safari vehicle there is a hot water bottle on your seat - yes this was needed some mornings. Each evening before the meal there was a camp fire where you shared details of your day with others as well as having a drink under the stars. Also Michael gave us a thought of the day, which was always appreciated. The food, what can I say it was 5 star, as good as any top hotel, all cooked on the premises. All the bread, biscuits and cakes were freshly done. Presentation was always excellent as was the service. Always smiles on the staff faces and the camp managers - Ray and Tony - always ate with you. It was great when there was a celebration as all the staff took part and a cake brought out or even champagne. Breakfasts were taken on the early morning game drive and again the food was excellent and it was a good chance to stretch your legs. Back at lunch time for another excellent meal, then afternoon tea before going out again. Then sundowners and snacks on the drive. What more could we ask. We certainly never went hungry. The game drives were superb, we had Saruni and he was always pointing things out, spotting animals and birds and finding the necessary game to view. He was a great friendly guy always smiling and chatting with us. In fact your game drive starts from the moment you land at the airstrip. We followed Cheetahs after an Impala, chased across the valley to watch Hyenas take a Topi down. Gazed at Lionesses with their cubs and prides playing or sleeping in the sun. Elephants tramping through the river Mara. You name it we saw it except for the Leopard, but we did try. We did see a Serval one evening, how Saruni spotted it I don't know as they blend in so well. Lions in large numbers, giraffe, zebra, plenty of Topi, Jackal to name a few plus the great variety of birdlife which is fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many to mention. But arriving by small plane was superb and then being on the game drive straight away. Being made welcome as soon as we got to camp and then a welcome card on our bed as we arrived at the tent. Always made welcome by everybody. The game drives were fantastic as there weren't lots of vehicles and people blocking the views, everyone had respect for each other and would wait their turn. Being able to go off road is also an advantage especially when you want to follow cheetahs on a kill or any other animal for that matter. This is the way forward for Safaris, fewer vehicles and more chances of spotting game. The sunrises and sunsets were out of this world especially the latter when you were having sundowners. We have been lucky enough to go on quite a few safaris but this is the best yet and I don't want to go into National Parks or Reserves again, I want more Conservancies.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We didn't have a group leader as such as were travelling on our own. But Anthony met us in Nairobi and took us to the hotel, then picked us up in the morning for our flight. He met us on the way back from Zanzibar, and a good job too as our luggage had been put on the wrong plane and it took some sorting out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For future travellers doing a dual trip I would advise NOT flying to Zanzibar from Wilson airport, go straight to Jomo Kenyatta, as it makes it easier when returning home. Also a 4hr wait which is what we had at Wilson is so boring as there is no lounge, only snacks and a boring place to be. Very disorganised especially on the International side. I wouldn't recommend flying Safari Air either. Into the Mara was fine but not going to and from Zanzibar. There was only 8 people returning to Wilson from Zanzibar and they managed to put all the luggage on the wrong plane. It was not fun waiting airside for over 2 hours for our luggage to arrive and then try and rush to check in for our flight home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I haven't gone into any detail about the Fumba Beach Lodge on Zanzibar, but this is a great place to relax after a Safari. The bungalows are in gardens or sea view which we had and it is so peaceful and quiet. Great staff, great food and great ambiance. Absolutely loved it there. BUT the highlight was the Kicheche Mara Camp and Safaris.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Warren Rook

    Unbelievable adventure

    Well where to begin in reviewing this trip? I guess at the start and it certainly is as advertised an adventure, and an adventure you will never forget. From the very beginning arriving into Nairobi airport everything was superbly organised and it wasn't long before we met up with our group of fellow travelers and we're introduced to our exodus team, consisting of our leader Patrick, our driver David, cook Wilson and helper Jessie, what a great team they were too so friendly and welcoming to us all. I don't believe that within the budget of this trip it would be possible to see so much of East Africa as we managed to see on our holiday. Through Kenya, onto Tanzania and then ending in Zanzibar, everyday spent marvelling at what each location has to offer, just as you think things can't get any better in the Massai mara you're into the Serengeti and even greater sights, and then to top it all off my personal favourite was a morning in the ngorrowgorrw crater. Along the way we were lucky enough to see the big five, a cheetah kill a hare, countless giraffes, elephants, wilderbeast, hippos, and so many other animals I can't write them all down. We slept in camps where you could literally hear the lions and hyenas and they sounded so close. We woke mornings to find zebras munching grass within touching distance of our tents, on this trip all this just seems natural, but when you get home you really think about it and realize how lucky you were to see it all. You will sleep in 2 man tents which are a little on the small side but you're so knackered at night you really don't care so long as you can put your head down and go to sleep. There is an awful lot of traveling, there has to be to cram so much into the trip, the truck is pretty comfortable and there is generally lots to see, but take a book or 2 as there are a couple of really long days of transiting destinations. I would thoroughly recommend this trip, indeed if you're reading this review you're obviously considering this holiday, I can offer one piece of advice stop considering right now and book it! I guarantee you won't regret anything unless you don't do this holiday it was for us the trip of a lifetime. Oh and last but not least I have to mention the food which we were a little concerned about before we got there, it was delicious, plenty of variety, and Wilson's soups were really tasty, don't know how he managed it but great cooking really enjoyed every meal.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Cheetah kill a hare within touching distance was good, as was waking in the morning to herds of zebras outside your tent, but most inspirational moment by a mile was in the ngorrowgorrw crater where we were lucky enough to see 3 brother lions strutting there stuff and being close enough to see the whites of their eyes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Patrick was absolutely brilliant, would have been an excellent trip anyway but for me he made it even more special, great guide with a great sense of humour too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Choose a bag which will fit perfectly well into your truck locker as you will be pulling it out every day bring a book and a decent head torch. Don't concern yourself with poor toilets or showers you e the rest of your lives to take a warm shower. Just remember as our guide Patrick used to say T.I.A......this is Africa. Embrace it for what it is and enjoy yourself.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Arnold Barrett

    Tailor made. Ref Charlie Potter

    See above

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spotting the kill

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable. All camp staff were excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Avoid transfers from Wilson Airport

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would recommend Kicheche camps
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Arnold Barrett

    Tailor made. Ref Charlie Potter

    See above

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spotting the kill

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable. All camp staff were excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Avoid transfers from Wilson Airport

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would recommend Kicheche camps
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Steven Burris

    Great trip!

    It was a great trip, wonderful to see the animals in their natural habitat. Some long days of driving but well worth it in the end. Erellah was great leader, pointed things out that we would've never seen without his help. Wilson, Sam and Esther were great assets to the trip and made it all the more enjoyable. It was my first trip with Exodus and plan on more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing all the animals!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was great and very well informed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect some long days of travel but worth it.
  • Reviewed September 2017

    Kenya & Tanzania Safari Adventure Aug 17

    Although we had previously visited Kenya six years ago (on the Gorillas and Masai Mara trip) we had never seen the wildebeest crossing so I had really hoped to be lucky this time. Also our former trip had been an excellent experience so I had no hesitation in booking this trip with the added Tanzania experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were really lucky and saw the great migration, watching the wildebeest crossing the River Mara. There was such a dramatic build up to it - first a small group went to cross and then rushed back when they reached the river and saw crocodiles. We thought we weren't going to see it. Then further along the riverbank, a larger group just suddenly started rushing. We sat and watched for about fifteen minutes as wildebeest were stampeding across the plains joined by groups of zebra and then waded across the river and up the other side.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erellah was an excellent group leader and a real credit to Exodus. He split his time equally amongst all trip members and would turn his hand to whatever was required be it organising, putting up tents, cooking etc. He was always bright cheerful and full of energy and worked extremely hard.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a lot of packing and unpacking in the first 10 days, organise your bag for ease of access and bring a padlock for your locker. Pack walking boots and comfortable sandals. Warm clothes for the Ngorongoro Crater are essential (I took a light thermal layers including vest, leggings, fleece top, hat, scarf and gloves) … I was not going to get cold! Having said that pack light but take a washing line and pegs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although expensive I would recommend the Kenyan balloon trip. The pilot was excellent, the experience beautiful, peaceful and altogether rather surreal. The breakfast good and with a view that is breathtaking. In the 4 x 4 game drive which lasted a few hours we saw lion, leopard and cheetah!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sarah Williams

    Kenya & Tanzania safari adventure Aug 17

    Saw all the infamous National parks & so much awesome wildlife, too numerous to mention. Great group, relaxing tour pace & even the camping was great! The way the trip is organised & run by the crew is flawless, I am so impressed & will definitely have consider this type of trip again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the wildebeast crossing the Mara river during the annual migration was the most awe inspiring thing I have ever seen, made up that we managed to see this...thanks to the crew !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erillah was a fantastic tour guide, relentlessly cheerful & knowledgable, supported by Wilson & Esther - awesome chefs who looked after us so well, & Sam, the driver, who kept us safe at all times & gave us the best 'African massage' !!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take binoculars & pack really light, you really won't need many clothes as you can easily wash en route. We all got affected by motion sickness due to the rough roads, so I would recommend taking travel sickness medication.