Jenny Graham - London
This was an epic experience in every sense of the word. Being marooned on the island amongst nature provided me with an opportunity to push past my limits, change my perspective, reset, appreciate what’s really important, develop patience and live life at a slower pace. I disconnected from routine and technology, while reconnected with myself.
In under 12 days I achieved so many “firsts” during my time with Desert Island Survival – building a home (shelter), building a bed, climbing a coconut tree (or at least attempting to!), macheting-open coconuts, bottle fishing, gutting a fish, making fire and dressing up as a tribal warrior, alongside 10 other lunatics! I came away not only with a polka dot face from the sand flies and endless scratches, but with a ton of new skills and the most amazing memories.
I will forever look back on my time on the island with such incredible joy. It was an incredible experience with incredible people who overnight instantly became my island family. A HUGE thank you to Tom 1 & 2 for being such superstar teachers and making all of the above possible.
Sign me up for the next island adventure!”
Johdi Stock - High Wycombe
Nik Kozubik - Manchester
Survive on a desert island? This Girl Can!
I completed the panama survival course and what a trip of a lifetime! Tom, the course leader, has a wealth of knowledge on anything survival and is such a friendly down to earth guy. Tom makes you feel comfortable in an environment that really pushes you out of your comfort zone. I learnt many skills; from how to gut a fish, to making drinking water using materials we can find washed up on the beach.
The most memorable part for me is drinking out of a coconut watching the sunset after a hard day building the camp. Young or old, male or female, if you want to challenge yourself and just get away from the hustle and bustle of life, then this is for you. Couldn’t recommend enough.
What an experiance! This is an absolute must for anybody with an interest in travel, exploration and wildlife. Tom, the course leader, is experienced, knowledgeable and made this course enjoyable and challenging for all of us. Through his deep understanding and passion for survival, he could motivate and guide us through various lessons each day, including shelter building, various fire making techniques, island first aid and sourcing water and food. The group isolation phase is pure basic bliss. As Tom removes all tools and equipment, you’re forced to embrace your native instincts and use your newly acquired survival techniques to fend for yourself. For me, this was the best bit. Digging in, getting your hands dirty and putting all your new skills to use. The location is a pristine paradise set in a warm tropical ocean in the middle of nowhere, like going back in time before humans. This unique once in a lifetime experience is unmissable and well worth every penny! I wish I was on my way back there now…
Glenn Berry- San Francisco
I cannot think of enough superlatives to describe the experience I had with Desert Island Survival. From the first moment I met the rest of the group in Contodora we bonded over our passion for the adventure ahead of us. Tom was incredibly supportive throughout the training process and left me feeling confident and excited about the isolation phase. I found the experience to be the most challenging I have ever had, the heat, humidity and reduced calories made every step my own personal marathon, but I feel immense achievement having completed the course. I feel more capable, empowered and driven in my 'regular' life. I very much miss my island brothers! I urge you to take the first step on what will be the most unique and exhilarating experience of your life. Thank you - GB
MatT Maynard -Santiago
I participated in the 8 day desert island survival course on the secret Panamanian island in April 2017. I was interested in learning skills but also seeing how I little I needed to survive and be happy. During my time on the island I felt inspired not only by the wealth of knowledge that the course director Tom Williams imparted, but by the gentle way in which he he imparted this. His easy going teaching style made me always want to reach out for more information – which he was always glad to give – but also made me feel I had something to offer as the group collectively unwrapped the puzzle of how to live well together on the island. If you want time to get away, look back at what is important in your life and experience nature and beauty in the rough – this is the trip of a lifetime.
Adam Turner - Manchester
I participated in the 8 day desert island Panamanian survival experience and it was everything i could have wished for and more. When embarking on a trip like this it is hard to know what's in store for you - will the group get on? Will i get eaten alive by sand flies / stung by a scorpion / washed out to sea?? So many things go through your head. Nothing prepared me for the excitement i would feel when we set foot on the island from the boat. It was wild / uninhabited and with lots of opportunity to make it our home... So that's exactly what we did. Collectively we set about building and organising a working camp, collecting wood for the fire and shelter, fishing for food, setting transpiration bags for water and much more. the guidance of Tom throughout the experience was subtle and non-prescribed which gave the whole thing a really intrepid vibe. His approach is very informal and you have fun when he's teaching you. The sense of being somewhere where very few people have been before you and making this and it's surroundings your home for 8 days is a challenge like no other - if you like the outdoors / new challenges and you're not afraid of a few insect bites then you have to experience this - it further compounded my appreciation for everything i have in my life. Get it booked and experience a trip like no other.
Mark Winstanley -Liverpool
Where do I start? I had high expectations of this trip from when I started considering it. Based on a sort of mix of romanticised Robinson Crusoe type ideas combined with a yearning to be completely disconnected from internet and telephones for a period. Add to that complete isolation for three days and it was definitly going to be a unique experience. I would say that from start to finish, the whole trip was very well organised and everything that we needed for each part of the experience was there. The training sessions to learn techniques for starting fire, collecting water, making shelter and getting food etc. were amazing. Everybody was allowed the freedom to advance at their own pace and to concentrate on the things that they had more ability or interest in. Some of the things we learned may never be used again unless we are marooned, but several could be useful for any outdoor activity. Having a resident expert meant that although we were always encouraged to be creative and to rely on available materials and skills, we always had access to the experience and knowledge of our leader. Before the trip, I totally expected the isolation phase to be by far the highlight and really the main reason for going. I had thought that I would enjoy the group phase, but would potentially lengthen the isolation phase. When it came to it, although I am really glad to have "survived" the isolation alone and it certainly brought very positive elements to the overall experience, by far the most enjoyable part of the trip was the time spent as a group. DIS is an experience that I will never forget. I imagine there will be moments in the future when the skills both physical and mental that I learned will be of great use. Never before had I felt so connected to nature, the planet and the universe. Constantly aware of the movement of the tides, the sun, the stars. All living things in the sea, on land and in the air. Changing weather, wind, temperatures. Our interaction with our environment and our behaviour becomes affected by all of these things. It is quite remarkable how fast we adapt to these changes. There are also enduring effects regarding my own perceptions and appreciation of environmental issues. The evidence of human waste and our disregard for the oceans is shown on every high tide. The amount of plastic that washes up onto the beach is incredible. To really take into consideration the value of fresh water and of not wasting food and resources are daily concerns in this type of experience, this too brings a different outlook to normal life. Above all of these things that I mention is an evolving group dynamic. Different people with very unique lives and lifestyles are put together to experience all of these things together. I think that perhaps I had expected more differences than similarities, the truth was quite the opposite. I think the combination of an almost infinte array of small things made for an experience that was enormous. I do hope to do this again (something I did not think I would ever say on day 7).
Dom Kozubik - Manchester
I can't recommend highly enough. A truly unique experience put together by an amazing company. challenging, rewarding and unforgettable.
Mike Bickley - North Wales
Incredible time on the island! Tom is a fantastic leader and teacher and i will 100% be returning to experience another island adventure in the future :)
Ian Carrington - London
Amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn the skills to survive and thrive on a desert island. The two instructors have a huge wealth of knowledge that they always have time share with you. I also loved the fact I totally detached from my mobile phone, tablet and other technologies and get back in touch with nature. I never used to care about high tide or low tide, but over there I do as you need to know that to survive!!