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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 April 2019
    Steve and Tracey Chivers

    Good trip which could be great

    We thought we should start by explaining why we would score this trip a 4 rather than a 5; 1. On the game drives seating is allocated so you have no say on who you share a drive with (other than your partner) or what zone you visit. As a result, the groups often go to different zones and there didn’t seem to be any rationale as to who was doing what and when. 2. There is some seat rotation however we found this to be extremely limited, therefore out of our 10 fellow travellers we didn’t spend any game drive time with 6 of them. 3. Because of point 1 and 2 we had the understandable issue of some people experiencing better spotting (especially tigers) than others. Our group seemed to have the least sightings and were happy for the others but a tad jealous. That said we had a great group, who were very respectful and with our encouragement were happy to share their experiences and photos, which we loved. 4. Vijay joins a jeep on each game drive and due to the need for a local guide, regardless of whether Vijay is with you or not, when he joins your drive the 3 in the back tend to have an uncomfortable time (this seemed to be the overall view of the group). Although Vijay rotates which Jeep he joins, for us, we had a group of 3 jeeps meaning that for a 1/3rd of the time we had 5 in the jeep not the advertised 4. 5. As with all of these trips there are a few travel days, which was absolutely fine, however the opportunity to mix up the groups up wasn’t taken. 6. As a consequence of the above points we had limited quality time with 6 of our 10 fellow travellers, which was a shame. Putting the above points aside, we wouldn’t want to give the impression that we didn’t have a great time because we did. In the end we saw 16 tigers which was far more than we thought we would. The majority of these came in the last few drives and we were really pleased we took the option of the additional drive, during which we saw 3 tigers, 2 of which were mating. We also saw a huge array of other wildlife although we didn’t see a leopard. The hotels were perfectly fine, although we would agree the food option as a tad repetitive. Loved the train journey and what really adds to this trip is the visit the Taj Mahal which is a true wonder of the modern world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be the 90 minutes we spent with a young male tiger, on game drive 15, it was incredible!! We were lucky enough to be first on the scene and because of this and due to it being in one of the smaller zones we didn’t have to go through the “jeep scum” that takes place in the bigger zones.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It seemed to us this is a pretty tricky trip to lead, given the pressure to ensure everyone has the “once in a life time” tiger experience they are hoping for and the added stress of the train journey. During our trip it was Tracey’s birthday and without asking Vijay organised a birthday cake and even bought her a present, which was very much appreciated. We thought he managed the subject of tips well and gave the group the option of allowing him to manage this which everyone agreed was the best option. Vijay provided the group a summary towards the end of the trip detailing how the tip money had been spent which was a little unnecessary but a nice touch. We both loved how excited he got when a tiger was spotted and he waited at the lodge entrance for all the jeeps to return and was always keen to hear how successful the drives had been. Overall, we would say Vijay was an excellent group leader and we both enjoyed his company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read Jackie’s review “its not all about the tigers” with interest as in reality its really difficult to avoid the trip from not being so. We can only suggest you remain patient and enjoy the wildlife that you do see. Out of 16 tigers we saw, our first sighting was on drive 8, with 4 being on drive 15 and 3 on the additional drive. The trip notes are pretty decent and offer any additional info you may need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are sure some of the fellow travellers would give the trip a 5, and with some fairly basic changes we would agree that the trip should rate a 5. This was the second time we have visited India with the aim of seeing tigers in the wild and this trip offers an excellent opportunity to do so at a very reasonable price. Compared with our previous experience, we came away with the opinion that everything was being done, that can be, to help tigers survive and we got the impression that numbers are on the rise which is fab news!! This was certainly reflected in the fact we our many more tigers this time than the last time we visited (should add this wasn’t with Exodus). In summary, we would certainly recommend the trip to others.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    John Pickard

    Everest & Gokyo lakes Circuit

    Do not read these trip notes and think, "oh thats a nice trip we have walked that in the lakes" This trip is a test of your physical and mental state. The views are spectacular, but so is the weather, when is snows it snows. sleep can be difficult at altitude, as can eating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    seeing Everest from Namche, as the day before had been a huge slog, we needed some sunshine and a view

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader of the group kumar, Harry and Saga were all very good and helpful. There were times that i am sure we pushed their patients

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not rely on cash machines, take new english notes and exchange them. Get fit before you go!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Andrew Stoter

    Excellent view of a fascinating country

    Great overview of a fascinating country. While physically not demanding there is a lot to squeeze in so expect a lot of travel and early starts. Petra is one of the few places that lives up to expectations and the desert camp was excellent, even the last two days, which have a slower pace and allow you to set your own pace were a pleasant surprise (especially the quality of the last hotel).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra and the hike to the 'high place of sacrifice'. Well worth the effort, even on a windy day. Although surprise of seeing the stars in the desert came a close second.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Guides knowledge and reading of the weather helped ensure we got the best of Petra despite a storm and hail on day two. Friendly and used local knowledge and experience of the tour to keep as well fed on a budget.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have layers available, days can be sunny, but in March we had some cold windy days and even hail (plus night in the desert can be chilly). Not everyone had enough long sleeved clothing. Its a Muslim country, so don't expect to be able to buy alcohol with most meals and if you find a bar it's often London prices or higher.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Gabriella Sardi

    Fantastic trip!

    An amazing trip with a very full on itinerary! You’ ll see all the highlights of Northern India, you will do all the must activities like boat ride in Varanasi. Yes, there will be early mornings, but in return you’ll got to see fantastic places during sunrise! Yes, there will be long bus journeys, but you’ll travel through small villages and see how people live and take some amazing photos. Yes, most hotels were basic, but nice and clean with friendly staff. Yes, the overnight train is fun! Read your trip notes to know what to expect, arrive with open mind, ask questions and enjoy this amazing country!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi! I wasn’t very keen on that town, read lots of disturbing facts. But the morning boat ride on the Ganges was very inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had the best tour leader ever. Friendly, very knowledgeable, had amazing customer service and went all above and beyond for all of us! Thank you Naveen Bazaz! You are a true treasure for your company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read your travel notes, they have all the info you need to know! Travel with open mind, ask questions and enjoy!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus! This was an amazing trip! Had an amazing time which i won’t forget for sure!!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Alys Shale

    A great trip

    This was our first trip with Exodus and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We chose this particular tour as it included fewer big cities and more of the Atlas mountains, which we were keen to experience and the smaller group size of 16 was certainly an important factor. There were quite a few long minibus journeys but we were prepared for that. However, the scenery was wonderful and the riads/hotels sometimes a bit flakey but fine! Our guide was good with a great sense of humour, and we met a friendly and fun group of people. All in all, a good tour and we shall be considering Exodus for our future adventures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling across the mountains and seeing the valleys below, lush and green, quite a shock from the desert we might have expected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good fun and well organised. Took good care of us all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that there are some long road journeys. The minibus seats 16 - the back row is raised and the front row is very close to the driver's bench seat, so leg-room is limited and uncomfortable for taller people. This also means that the shorter amongst us have to be in the back row more often, and it can be difficult to see out.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Sarah Kerhoat

    Fabulous, well paced trip to see the best of ancient and modern Japan

    This was a bucket list trip for me and I was really pleased with the pace and the amount we covered in two weeks. The travel dates that I chose were specifically to see the blossoms and although they were late this year, we were lucky to see them and experience their serenity in Tokyo. The trip has lots of other amazing things in it too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were loads of great moments on this trip! Seeing the blossoms in Tokyo illuminated at night as well as in the day, seeing the Snow Monkeys eat and play, experiencing a traditional ryokan and an onsen (having plucked up the courage), getting up at 4am to Fushimi Inari Shrine and its thousands of vermillion tori gates (I can't recommend enough getting up early to see it, you avoid the crowds and experience an amazing peaceful atmosphere (if you do go, watch out for the kind elderly couple who feed the cats)), having some delicious wagyu beef yakatori in Takayama.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shin was really good at getting us where we needed to be when we needed to be there which is essential when using public transport in Japan as everything is so orderly! He was also extremely helpful when we were trying to find things or place to see and spending extra time with us when he could.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a deep breath and try the onsen. Once you get your head around it, it is a lovely experience, albeit very hot. In the hotels we stayed in, there were laundry facilities so it is relatively easy to wash and dry clothes. Try an okonomiyaki japanese egg pancake. You cook them yourself at hot plates at the table in a restaurant or sometimes you can get them at a food market. If you want to try some of the food at the markets, confirm with your guide what time of day you will be there and eat less the mealtime before so you have room to try the food.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm so pleased I have visited this amazing country and would love to go back and see more of it, especially the northern region and the south island. This trip is fantastic at giving you an really good experience of Japan. If you are hesitating, just do it!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Healey

    Brilliant holiday... let by a brilliant tour leader/guide

    This was my first holiday ever to the East, beyond Europe. Vietnam is a truly amazing country and having been back two weeks now, I still can't believe I was there. From start to finish of the tour, it was an amazing holiday and experience and one I will never forget, as one as hopefully one day I would like to repeat. The tour is full-on... early starts, long days and always lots to see and do (north to south in 10 days with sights). There was not a lot of free time to yourself and only when we were in Hoi An or on the last day in Ho Chi Minh City before the night flight home, did we manage to get any real chance to do any shopping, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. A perfect holiday left by a perfect guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    You see those lovely pictures in books, magazines and brochures of the exotic and the simple rural areas of Vietnam with the locals going about their daily lives in fields, or on a sampan on a narrow waterway with their conical straw hats, and actually being in the middle of it all was an amazing experience, one I still can't believe I was amongst it all. Being on a boat in the middle of Halong Bay amongst the limestone rocks was magical, especially staying overnight. Hoi An was brilliant and picturesque. The cycle ride to Cam Kim island was an experience not to be missed - very rural with villagers showing us their crafts and giving us an insight into their lives... though I found cycling on the main streets in Hoi An to get there a bit hairy (all part of the experience!). Also learning about the country's turbulent past and visiting places of great significance was so interesting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phat was amazing, I took care of us and made sure we were all OK every step of the way. He went out of his way to make sure we could do the things we wanted to, such as lay on a short mini tour of the mausoleum area of Hanoi before departing the city, which was not on the itinerary, so we could see the sights there and nearby that we otherwise would have missed due to time restraints (all at a very low supplement). Optional extras you could take part in, or not, as you wish, and nothing was too much trouble for Phat. His personality and sense of humour, as well as knowledge of everything we needed to know or acting as a guide at historical sights, was second to none. Before I went I felt like I was a bit out of my comfort zone, travelling somewhere so far away and so different to what I was used to, but the moment we met our tour guide (Phat), he really made me (and others) feel more at ease in Vietnam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was a bit hesitant to book it at first, not knowing what to expect, but so glad I did. Book it now... live the dream like I did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels we stayed at were very good and comfortable, no complaints at all, and some at a pool. The farmstay was lovely, a sheer delight, and again had a pool. The cabin on the boat on Halong Bay was comfortable and pretty. The only downside to any of the accommodation we had was trying to sleep on the overnight train from Hanoi to Dong Hoi... I don't think any of us got any sleep, but again, an experience not to be missed (just as well I never got any sleep!).
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Ruth Chew

    Great Trip

    Rajasthan is an amazing place. The people, the colours, the chaos! This was my first visit to India and it has left me wanting more. The itinerary covered all the highlights, but our guide, Ajay, added walks in the villages and towns to add to the experience. We even visited the home of an Indian family which was lovely. The only minor negative was that there was less free time than the itinerary promised and little, if any, time to look round the markets and generally absorb the atmosphere.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal was breathtaking! I will never the moment I first got sight of it. A memory that live with me forever.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay, our group leader, was very good. He was knowledgable, helpful, humurous and a lovely person. He could not do enough to make sure that we all had a great time. We had some wonderful food and the location for our final meal was excellent. It seemed to be his sole aim to make sure that his group had the best experience in his beautiful country.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jacinta Ashworth

    Peace and beauty

    Just returned from a wonderful holiday in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This tour has been part of the Exodus programme for many years, I understand, and deservedly so. The walking itinerary and accommodation are both excellent. We experienced Spring unfolding as our week progressed - the temperatures rising, the leaves and flowers emerging, the warmth of the sun! The walks were varied - 3 ascending from the village, in cool fresh air, following irrigation channels and gorges and one to the snowline, whilst 2 descended to explore the local villages and cultivated slopes with blossoming almond groves, olive trees and vineyards. We saw wild ibex in the remote Berchules valley. We walked through herby scrub with the intoxicating scent of sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender wafting up as you brushed through it. We viewed the snowcapped peaks and Mulhacen. The staff at the hotel were exceptional - Wendy, Alejandro, Csila, Omar - so friendly and good service. Rooms cleaned immaculately daily, and the meals were lovely - hearty and tasty. Amazing breakfast buffet - no stale rolls here! Chat with Wendy and you will catch her enthusiasm for this area - she is the lychpin - so classy to meet us to chat at breakfast and at the end of our walks, with genuine interest to hear of our adventures each day. And well, as for Granada....what can you say - except book your Alhambra tickets well in advance. The Alhambra is a special place indeed - beauty in architecture and the gardens, with peace (if you pause away from the crowds) and spirituality of a bygone age. Dan our guide helpfully took us to a lovely meal in the city, a fantastic flamenco show and gave those who wanted it a guided walking tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the Sierra Nevada doesn't offer up its secrets easily. It doesn't shout at you with spiky peaks and chocolate box chalets. But it draws you in subtly if you stop and breathe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I can highly recommend this trip. Go, and let the mountains gently reveal their secrets to you....
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Andy Longden

    Sensational sightseeing, but the trip should be longer and better structured.

    Egypt is a stand-out destination, but Exodus needs to review how this trip operates. Group flights were at anti social times, losing a full night of the trip and necessitating extremely early starts. If group flights are used and the excursion to Abu Simbel is taken, 4 of the 8 nights are materially disrupted. Four nights are spent in luxury hotels, but there is virtually no time to enjoy the facilities. This trip should be longer, or at the very least Exodus should have options to extend the holiday both at the start and end of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For those interested in ancient Egypt, the sightseeing on this trip is sensational throughout, but you need to stay awake to appreciate it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tifa was charismatic, experienced and very personable, with good English and historical knowledge. He guided well, given the time constraints we invariably faced. Admin was mildly chaotic, especially over collecting money for optional trips, but we forgive him for that!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Exodus didn't make it easy to pay for optional trips, so we'd advise you carry US dollars to avoid having excessive amounts of Egyptian pounds (you should allow up to $250 per person for these options). Souvenir shopping in Egypt is uncomfortable for tourists due to the amount of hassle - this can feel very intimidating, especially to women. On the other hand, we felt safe everywhere we went, and Egyptians are very friendly, although they will require payment for rendering any kind of service, however minor!! The boat trip is enjoyable, with at least some time to relax and unwind. Unlike other Muslim countries, alcohol (particularly beer) is freely available and inexpensive (also on the boat).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In summary, if you can manage the sleep deprivation, this is a well guided and interesting trip to Luxor and Aswan, but one day (which only started at 11 am because of the overnight group flight) is way too short to even begin exploring the Pyramids and the rest of Cairo. We also thought that there were too many optional excursions - some of these should have been priced into the holiday. With hindsight, we would have booked a comparable but longer trip with another operator, but we did still enjoy many aspects of the trip, and the excellent company of our group.
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