Last minute departures
- Wildlife & Polar
- Types of Holiday
Popular Walking holiday
Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings.
This is a small group adult holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list
It's called Whales and Leopards and it did exactly what it said on the tin! We saw Blue Whales on all our boat trips and 8 Leopard sightings across 6 game drives. However, there are issues with the organisation on this trip which need improving (this is the reason for the lower star rating).
Without doubt it was the moment we turned a corner in Yala and a Leopard was walking down the track towards our jeep. We were all in a panic trying to get our cameras and take pictures, the Leopard calmly walked up to our vehicle, around the side and slowly disappeared into the bush. Just one of several amazing Leopard encounters.
He was a nice guy, but unfortunately a really inexperienced guide and not up to the usual Exodus standard. We were on a special departure with the Editor of Australian Geographic, who was there as a participant. Unfortunately the group leader decided not to do group briefings and allowed the editor of AG to organise the group, including changes to the itinerary which the group had not agreed to. Of course this caused conflict in the group and our leader was unable to resolve this. He left everything to the naturalist (who was excellent). I couldn't even tell you the group leaders name, as he hardly ever spoke. No group briefings; when questions were asked different people got different answers; problems were not dealt with; complete lack of information.
When we went out in the jeeps on safari the group leader and naturalist would take it in turns to go in one of the two jeeps our group had. When we were with the group leader he gave no information on the wildlife at all and spent more time on his phone than ensuring we were having a good drive.
I'd like to say check who the guide is, but it would be helpful if I could tell you who did our trip; however as he never introduced himself or spoke, I don't even know his name!
Be warned, the jeeps in Yala are ONLY interested in getting Leopard sightings. This seems good when you first get there, but after spending several hours sitting in traffic jams with 60 other jeeps (this is no exaggeration) trying to spot a Leopard in a distant tree, you might change your mind.
Having had so many good Leopard sightings we struggled to get our driver/guide to understand we didn't want to race around just looking for Leopards and wanted to spend time photographing other wildlife. I understand why Yala let in so many jeeps, but this is unsustainable and I'm amazed they don't have more accidents (our jeep was involved in a minor bump in a scrum to see a Leopard).
First hotel is basic, but accommodation in Yala is superb. Food was very good, locals really friendly, wildlife spotting excellent.
Only downsides were the skills of the guide and the amount of jeeps in Yala. If you are after a general safari and not bothered about Leopards, would not recommend Yala. If you want to see this particular big cat, then you can't go wrong. And they are definitely worth seeing.
Blue whales trips were also good, but be warned, it is a long trip out on a very bumpy boat ... you will need sea sickness tablets and a huge dose of patience!
**More 2015 dates to be released soon**