Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • 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!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Yvonne Storr

    A superb trip which will stay with us for a long time...

    A fantastic trip with almost daily opportunities to see a huge range of game, wildlife and birds. The chimpanzee trekking was great with two very different encounters, the safari park game drives were superb and the gorilla trekking in Bwindi was absolutely amazing, again with two very different encounters. The chance to see these incredible creatures close up really is a once in a lifetime experience which we thoroughly enjoyed. Uganda is a really very beautiful country and our fellow travellers, leader and guide all worked together to make this a incredibly memorable holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Almost every day held magical moments of some sort, chimp trekking was a great start, gorilla trekking was just amazing - being able to get far, far closer to this beautiful animals than we had ever dreamed, and having the time to be able to watch them interact with their family was just incredible. Watching lions in the early morning, having zebras outside our window, watching monkeys swing around the swimming pool, watching the sun go down over the savannah, being caught in the middle of an incredible storm, eating by torchlight, the boat safari seeing elephants and hippos, and the amazing variety and range of bird life - superb. Taking time to chat the very friendly locals, especially our visit to one of the orphanage schools in Bwindi. The penny dropping that the reason the bell boy is introducing us to the toilet, basin and shower in our ensuite bathroom is because he doesn't have one at home and can't imagine that you do either.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader and guide, David and Benjamin were fantastic, doing everything they could to make sure we had a great trip. David's daily briefings were superb and made sure we knew exactly what we would be doing when, what we needed to wear, how long the day in front of us would be and how much extra money, if any, we might need. Benjamin has a truly in-depth knowledge of wildlife, birds and animals and an incredible number of 'contacts' to ensure we got the very best out of our holiday at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the lodges provide mosquito spray for the rooms, some don't - you will probably benefit from taking your own so you can spray your room at night as in most locations (not Bwindi) mosquitoes and other insects are rather persistent. A good personal anti-muzzy for your own skin is also essential. Working out how much money to take and how much to exchange from the trip notes is a challenge - you do need cash, there are next to no ATMS or banks anywhere on route. We took $500USD and changed $200USD into Ugandan schillings - we could probably have done with another $100USD on us to buy a few more souvenirs, or if you want to drink a lot more Nile Special in an evening. David and Benjamin organised a group kitty for us for tipping purposes which worked brilliantly, you'll need $50 per person to contribute to this for the entire holiday. The gorilla trek porters costs $15 plus $5 tip (the only tip you pay yourselves if you do a kitty) - but you can pay them in almost any currency, including Ugandan of course. When the trip notes say 'basic' they mean basic - you will be living out of your bag for most of this holiday with nowhere to unpack even if you had time! In two of the lodges there is electric light in your room, but no power sockets, charging is done in reception, however be prepared for relatively frequent power cuts - bring fully charged spare batteries and don't expect there to be working WiFi all the time. Gaiters are a useful addition to your walking boots; they prevent your laces getting caught on undergrowth in Bwindi and prevent ants from getting in your pants elsewhere. I was really surprised that gluten free can be done (in the main, not pudding!) by most places - make sure Exodus and the group leader know what you can and cannot eat. There are no snacks anywhere, so take your own if you can't live without. Be prepared for some very long days in the 4X4 jeeps - if you have a bony bum, you may want to bring something to sit on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The local children tend to point and shout 'Muzungu' at you - this means 'white traveller' and they are just being friendly; white people are relatively few and far between and we spent a lot of time waving and saying hello as we drove along - their huge smiles in return were fantastic. Depending on which gorilla family you trek, it can be a long slog over tricky terrain - we went through a muddy swamp and subsequently almost vertically up through dense trailing vines and thick undergrowth over uneven terrain, fording streams and climbing around and under trees and bushes at relatively high altitude (1,190 to 2,607 metres (3,904 to 8,553 ft). Walking in the Lakes or the Peaks doesn't come anywhere near in terms of what you are likely to encounter. I can't begin to describe how stunningly beautiful it is or how magical it is to spend time with the gorilla families, and it's categorically worth every drop of sweat. The group does go at the pace of the slowest person, porters are worth their weight in gold whether you think you can manage without one or not, but do make sure you are physically fit enough to take this on - you need to be able to keep up with the trackers and the gorillas if they swing off through the undergrowth rather than conveniently sit down in front of you and pose for photos - your 60 minutes goes very fast.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Adrian Hockney

    Chimps and Gorillas Uganda

    A wonderful trip which will remain with me forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be the gorilla trek. Despite having read all the favourable reviews before my holiday the trek exceeded my wildest dreams.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent nothing was too much trouble for them and they always had a smile on their faces. They were also very knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add three days to the trip and visit Murchison Falls.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should seriously consider offering an optional extra of a trip to Murchison Falls.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Adrian Hockney

    Chimps and Gorillas Uganda

    A wonderful holiday with unforgettable experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be the gorillas at Bwindi National Park. Despite having read very favourable reviews before the holiday the gorillas were way above any expectations I had.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Were always accessible and cheerful. Nothing was too much for them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do an extra thre days to Murchison Falls. The Red Chilli company do an excelent package.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Maybe Exodus could look at offering an extra three days to Murchison Falls.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Jennifer Ollerhead

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    Had a fabulous time on this trip. Chimps and gorillas were the highlight for me, but the boat trip on the lake was amazing as well as we saw many hippos, elephants, water buffalo etc along with a variety of bird life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trekking chimps and gorillas. It was a real life experience getting so close to them in their natural environment. Magical moments that I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was knowledgeable. However, communication wasn't his strong point, and we were often just driven and dropped at places with no idea what was happening next or what the plan was. I think there should be a driver and group leader on this trip as it is a lot to expect someone to drive so many miles each day on badly made of unmade roads and lead and guide a group at the same time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a long car drive on arrival at Entebbe. We expected a 5 hour drive, but it turned out to be nearer 9. Also there is a lot of driving throughout the holiday, although scenery is amazing and some of the miles covered where as a safari drive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all a fabulous holiday. We had a lovely group who all got on really well. The Nile Special beer was very popular!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Paul Legg

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    This trip was truly an adventure including our encounters with chimps & gorillas. Both the chimps & gorillas were on the ground & plentiful. We purchased permits for a second day for both & would highly recommend doing so. You will get to see different families, each with their own character. The safaris were incredible, as were cultural events where we met children at an orphanage/school, a pigmy family, and many more. Uganda has a diverse landscape including rainforest, savannah, & steep mountains. It was all so beautiful - friendly people with a very different culture than ours, wonderful places, breathtaking scenery, & of course a diverse & delightful variety of wildlife - especially the primates.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course, the chimps & gorillas were the stars of the holiday - so humanlike & gentle. I got the impression they were looking at us considering our likeness' & differences just as we were with them. However, the people of Uganda left an impression we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. They are incredibly hard working people living a much different lives than our own. It takes so little to be happy!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Five out of five stars. Our group leader was fluent in many of the 31 languages/dialects of different areas of Uganda. This trip would have been very difficult without their expert guidance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We would suggest bringing a few items to give to the children at the orphanage/school and communities you will get to visit. The children and adults treasure them - pencils & pens, crayons, coloring books, paper, toys such as balloons, beach balls which are compact & light to carry, clothes - just about anything. Remember, however, you want to please them with these gifts without unintended insult, so ask your group leader to help you know when, where, & to whom they should be given. He/she will know the customs of the people. Also, during your travels, please be courteous & ask people before you take their pictures. As a side note, if at all possible, we would recommend avoiding Kenya & Delta Airlines on the trip there & back. Emerates or Ethopian Airlines were recommended by people who have traveled extensively in Africa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our primary focus for this holiday was on the primates which in themselves were extraordinary, but we were pleased with the diversity of activities. On the safaris we saw elephants (some with babies), wart hogs (quite the characters), giraffes, a variety of antelope-like game, a rare tree dwelling leopard, a many zebras, monkeys, baboons, to name just a few. On boat and canoe trips we saw hippos, water buffalo, crocodiles, many rare & beautiful species of birds and so much more. The cultural education was especially wonderful. We got to visit a pigmy family who shared with us different aspects of their lifestyle (a real family, not just costumed people attempting to educate the public), a school/orphanage, community members - their music & so much more. The communities you visit welcome you freely. As you travel from place to place, you will witness some of the most beautiful, diverse landscapes you will ever see in the world.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Richard Vernon

    Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda

    The main objective of the holiday was to see chimps and gorillas. The local organisation was well set up to see both of these and we had excellent sightings, and while nothing is certain, one would be very unlucky not to see them both. In addition we saw a lot of other animals including lions, giraffes, elephant, buffalo and various antelope. While this was not a dedicated bird watching trip we nevertheless saw and identified almost 170 species including such specialities as Crowned Crane, Finfoot and the weird, but much sought after, Shoebill Stork.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was no just one special moment! Being so close to gorillas, seeing a pair of Shoebill storks rise out of the marsh yards from us, getting to within a couple of yards of a Malachite Kingfisher....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jude, our leader was outstanding - as good as they come. His knowledge of animals and birds was exceptional and his ability to pick up distant birds enviable. He new where we were likely to see key species, and regularly checked with locals, resulting our seeing giraffe and lion, species not so common in the area we were visiting, and missed by other groups around. I doubt we would have seen the Shoebills without his knowledge and determination In addition to all this he was very caring and incredibly hard working all helping to make this and exceptional holiday

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The gorillas live in demanding terrain - steep sided valleys - climbing down and getting back up is strenuous! No problem for anyone who goes hill walking regularly, but if one doesnt do much walking of any description, it will be hard work (but worth it!). There are porters available to carry ones pack (local lads who appreciate the cash) importantly they will also give you a pull up on the steeper bits if you need one - much appreciated by some members of the party -so hire one and couples, hire one each if you both think you might need a pull!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have been on a lot of wildlife holidays, including several to Africa - this was as good as any. A combination of place, wildlife and an excellent leader.We saw all the key animals and birds - great!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Hilary Humphreys

    Chimps and Gorilas of Uganda Holiday

    A busy trip to see unique animals and some interesting birds. Particularly good for primates. Quite a few early starts. Most accommodation in basic lodges. Food good. Local people friendly and willing to show us round. The holiday gave me an insight into how people live with basic amenities. Wonderful scenery, particularly towards the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The gorilla trek is tough and the advice to hire a porter to help you with the terrain is good to accept. I would definitely go on this holiday again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The gorilla and chimp treks are amazing and the highlight of the trip for me. Although I found it tough personally.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The local leaders wow fantastic and extremely knowledgable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink plenty of water throughout the trip and take some dextrose sweets to help give you some energy for the gorilla and chimp treks. Also take your own walking poles although the lodge does provide some wooden ones.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like wildlife this is a unique experience to see amazing primates.
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