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.

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  • Reviewed September 2017
    Dave Renvoize

    Hectic but very rewarding trip

    This trip fits a lot in to the two weeks but delivers some very special experiences with both the orangutans and the komodo dragons so it is well worth the hardship of some early starts and long travel days. The accommodation is generally good although the boat is rather basic, but this is a small price to pay for the excellent snorkelling and komodo dragon sightings that the boat makes possible. The food on the boat is both tasty and plentiful and the crew very obliging. Overall this is an excellent trip and a rare opportunity to see both orangutans and komodo dragons as well as experiencing life in three areas of Indonesia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sighting of the orangutans was soon after we started our first jungle trek and was a special moment, especially as they seemed so comfortable with us being so close. This was just the beginning of our trek and was followed by many more sightings including some very playful infants and an impressive mature male. The komodo dragons were no less impressive and watching a female dragon who was guarding her nest full of eggs erupt in to action to chase off another dragon who was looking to eat the eggs is a moment that I will not forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly was an excellent leader. Good company, very professional and a capable problem solver as well as being around when ever she was needed, including some late nights when the group went on from the evening meal for some music and beers and Elly made sure we all got home safely!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its generally hot and humid and we had nightly heavy rain when in the Sumatra jungle so a light weight waterproof jacket/poncho is useful. Pack light and get laundry done half way through the trip in Sanur, the Swastika bungalows did a good job with our laundry (24 hour turn around) for very small cost. Take a t shirt or rash vest for the snorkelling to avoid sun burnt shoulders and a torch or head lamp for the boat at night (generator off at night by group decision to enjoy the silence) and in case of power cuts in the other hotels.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Susan Parsons

    Primates & Dargons of Indonesia

    An excellent trip seeing the highlights of Indonesia - both animals and scenery - plus the tourist areas of Bali.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Gunang Leuser National Park seeing the orang-utans and other primates. The rangers are very knowledgeable and know the history of the individual orang-utans in the area. The three days on the wooden boat in the islands of the Komodo National Park adjacent to Flores. Some wonderful sunrises and sunsets. Seeing the first Komodo dragon walking across the path in front of us on Rinca - giant lizards with a rather nasty bite! The snorkelling was superb - I've never seen so many different types of fish or so many of them on the coral reefs. Apart from when some of us snorkelled off the boat at Manta Point, the water was very clear.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two - Elly in North Sumatra; Wira in Bali & Flores. Elly is a very experienced tour leader and provided much useful practical knowledge i.e. you should wear decent walking boots/trainers in the NP with long trousers tucked into socks. It was steep in places and slippery (we had very heavy rain) and there were leeches! She was good company and we learnt a lot about Indonesia from her. Wira wasn't quite as practical, but was very enthusiastic and arranged 2 birthday cakes. He was also a dab hand with the first aid kit.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The boat isn't big and has very little storage space, so leave your big bag at the hotel in Labuan Bajo and take just what you need for 3 days. Do take a T shirt to swim in whilst snorkelling/taking the dinghy to the beach - it is hot! As a group we decided to dispense with the air conditioning as it meant running a noisy generator all night; most of us slept on deck - much cooler and very peaceful when there weren't other boats running their generators. Do take walking boots/trainers on the central Bali day - it's quite steep descending to the lava fields. The Swastika Bungalows offered a 24 hour laundry service, or you can get your laundry done by one of the local stalls, just outside the hotel. This was halfway through the trip, so worked well. Hardy, the supermarket very close to the hotel, sold just about everything, including the local Hatten wine (very drinkable).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The travelling days were long - the drive between Medan and Bukit Lawang was 4 1/2 hours; moreorless a full day flying from Medan to Bali; slightly less between Bali and Labuan Bajo. Sanur is very touristy - far more so than I'd thought it would be. Ubad less so; the stall and shop keepers were slightly less pushy.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Carol Taylor

    Orangutans, dragons, volcanoes and culture

    The best bits of Indonesia in a whistle stop tour of this friendly and vared country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Encountering semi-wild and wild orangutans in their natural environment. Closely followed by boating around the islands of komodo national park to see the awesome dragons.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Always available and willing to help and sort out any problem however big or small. When food was served cold in one hotel, she could be heard berating the staff in the kitchen from the other side of the restaurant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for hot humid weather and some tough jungle treking to see the orangutans. However there were always plenty of guides to ensure everyone, from the sure footed to the less fit people were able to navigate all terrain. Indonesian food can be spicy and with lots of activities, a number of short haul flights and 2 days on a boat you should take along some immodium just in case. No Delhi belly in our group though. If you can a night or 2 in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore on the way out and an extra few nights in bali at the end will help spkit the long journey. If you can't, be ready for fast transfers at Kuala Lumpur airport. The trip is well worth the long journey though and don't let this put you off this amzing trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic trip for anyone who is willing to put a bit of effort into their wildlife spotting, it will definately reward you with plenty of wildlife sightings making the effort well worth while.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Graham Dobbie

    Primates & Dragons of Indonesia (Oct 15)

    Fantastic wildlife experiences, but not for those who want a relaxing holiday. There is a lot to see and therefore a lot of long days, but definitely worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Up close and personal with the orang-utans and snorkelling in Flores.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Yadi was pleasant and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take account of the amount of travelling on this trip. The internal flights are at the mercy of the airlines and scheduling may not always be as efficient as travellers would like - you just have to go with the flow. That said, the individual wildlife and other experiences certainly make it worth it. The Trip Notes suggested taking a mosquito net, etc, but the hotel in the malarial area - Flores (that we stayed in - Eco Lodge) supplied them, along with a plug and tablets (so we didn't require them) and they weren't required on the boat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The optional trips on this tour are worth considering - we really enjoyed the downhill bike ride (from Sanur) and seeing the rice terraces (around Ubud).
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Ayesha Thompson

    Primates and Dragons of Indonesia

    Fantastic way to see both orang-utans and komodo dragons in the wild. It is difficult to find a trip that takes you to Komodo, so this one is great that you get to both Komodo and Rinca. Also got to see many other animals, including turtles and a shark whilst snorkelling, snakes and lizards and other primates. Trip notes list the trip as moderate activity but first few days are a lot more active than that.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting so close to the orang-utans was something special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddy was very helpful and knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of mosquito spray as the mosquitos are plentiful in Sumatra. Make sure you are fairly fit to cope with the jungle treks, the trip to the bat cave and the volcano trek.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Spending a night on a boat was very relaxing. Lots of travelling is involved between the different islands, and you see the inside of several airports during the trip. Was not very excited by Sanur in Bali, but thankfully you only spend half a day there. Hotels were great, as was the food.
  • Reviewed October 2014
    Anonymous

    Primates and Dragons of Indonesia

    A thoroughly superb trip which does exactly what it says on the tin. The encounters with Orangs are magical. These animals that you see are rehabilitated so are used to humans and therefore are unafraid to approach you. The truly wild orangs will keep their distance. We also encountered a funky gibbon that was partial to a bit of fruit. The jungle at Bukit Lawang is hot and steamy, so be prepared, and the optional extra walk is well worth doing as it takes you deeper into the jungle and offers plenty of opportunities to fall over!!! Two days on board the boat from Flores is a great time to reflect on the passing world before you jump back in the sea to snorkel, recover from lunch or prepare yourself to meet a Komodo Dragon

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I fully expected to be overawed by orangs and dragons. However, we were lucky and saw manta rays just below us whilst snorkelling. The first encounter blew my mind.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Evie. brilliant, hard working and SO helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes hint that Brestagi is cool enough for a warm jumper, but we found that a long sleeve shirt was sufficient. Be aware that Bukit Lawang is hot and steamy, Komodo and Rinca islands in the middle of the day can be like ovens. The two day boat trip is very dependant on currents, so you get to where you're going when you get there. Be prepared for changes to the internal flight schedules from Medan down to Flores but just go with it and enjoy the experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food in general is cheap, beer varies hugely, from £2 to £4 for a big bottle of Biltang. Spending costs in the trip notes seems to be about right.
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