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

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  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gordon Goldsmith

    Taj Tigers & Temples

    Amazing trip , well organised & staff where very reliable & friendly Day to day changes in the Itinerary or timetable did not effect our enjoyment too much But changes were partly due to a larger group than expected , (25) Having met our initial group, about 10 joined up later on the first day which we where not expecting & the dynamic's of the group where somewhat affected for most of the trip ! An example to highlight this happened when the second group ( who also previously knew each other )wanted to go Elephant riding . The 'original ' group had to seat it out as we all did not approve & had not asked for this

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gurudwara Sikh Temple in Old Delhi ALL the early morning starts … great

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay Gupta was a very good guide Knowledgeable , witty ,very accommodating with some overbearing aspects of certain group members He also managed to be diplomatic at all times & showed lots of patience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No not really If you have never traviled before , its all in the notes supplied Do not feel concerned about things like water , safety etc... India is changing very fast !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Possible inclusions for the trip A few more walk-a -bout's at times in interesting areas & suburbs Reduce group size so there can be a few more ,'smaller & interesting hotels , some in the city centres Rather than on this trip where they were predominately 'out of town' , so no opportunity to eat out

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Gordon for his review, and we were very pleased to read that overall this was an enjoyable holiday.  We were, however, concerned to learn that an elephant ride was arranged by the tour leader for some members of the group, as our policy on elephant riding is very clear; we do not condone this practise because it can be extremely negative both physically and mentally for the elephants.  Our tour leaders are informed of our Responsible Travel policies and are expected to adhere to them.  In this case, the leader acted independently and in breach of our policies, which we have followed up on.  We would also like to apologise for the inconvenience that Gordon and other members of the group experienced as a result of this matter.   

     

    Kashka Lantis - Product Manager for India

  • Reviewed May 2019
    Sally Clayton

    Brilliant family trip to India

    I was slightly apprehensive about taking the other half and my daughter to India, but it was fantastic. We were very well looked after, didn't get sick and had an action packed adventure - taking in the sights and scenes of a beautiful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Taj and Tigers!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Ajay was very informative, great with the kids and full of information and gave good context to historical, religious and modern day living in India. He also was calm and helpful sorting out the return travel when the originally booked Jet flights all got grounded!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about getting really sick, its very unlikely that it will happen. Take a waterbottle to fill up on the bus to avoid unnecessary one time use plastic waste. The trip is fast paced especially at the beginning - but go with it, there will be some great hotels and swimming pools along the way for you to rest up!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Maggie Harman

    Amazing India

    Our trip was a whistle-stop tour of both North and South India which gave the most amazing taste of the different cultures, food and people in both areas. Brilliantly put together and fabulously organized by in the UK and by the local team. We were looked after so well - they got us to everywhere we needed to go on time, safely and in one piece!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many things it is hard to pick one so limiting it to the top 3: 1. Seeing the Taj Mahal for the first time gleaming in the sunshine. 2. The most amazing food 3. The friendly, helpful and kind people everywhere we went.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had different tour guides in each location and without exception they were very helpful, knowledgeable, interesting and informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind. Be respectful of the different cultures and religions so as not to offend. Be prepared to do lots of walking and climbing of steps!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just the most amazing trip I've ever been on - I wish I'd done it years ago, so if anyone is even thinking of going to India don't put it off until you're retired. Do it while you are mobile enough to explore and enjoy all the sights.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Anne Paterson

    Red sand dunes, game drives, new friends

    African adventure with something for all family members: climbing the sand dunes in the early hours to sit and watch the sun come up, desert colour palatte, sand-boarding at speed, the contrasts of colonial Swakopmund, township tour and an education in Herero history, game drives in Etosha - hearing jackals howling whilst in your tent at night, sitting through dark hours watching the animals at the water hole, searching for those elusive leopards, closing windows at Waterberg lodge to stop the baboons climbing in and sharing a terrace with the warthogs, watching an orphaned baby oryx being fed from a bottle. And of course Jonas' famous BBQ dinners - with stories around the fire from Jack afterwards! Hundreds of photos and a travel diary to try and store the memories in a more organised fashion. Thank you again for a fantastic holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to choose, but probably sitting atop the sand dunes or star gazing in the desert

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Steffan was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the trip - especially the wildlife. But, you had to ask him questions to learn things, rather than him teaching us about Namibia. So, I just asked lots of questions!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For those with younger children, I'd caution that some of the drives are long, and that it gets very cold in the early mornings both for breakfast and the first few hours on the bus

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just another thank you!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Chantal Sargent

    Inca Trail Challenge and Amazing Amazonia

    An experience of a lifetime, but definitely not for the faint hearted! The Inca Trail is stunningly beautiful, with incredible wild flowers and birdsong, offset by incredible challenging, unrelenting steep and uneven steps up, followed by deep, slippery and very steep steps down... whatever anyone says otherwise, however fit or athletic, coupled with altitude and decreased oxygen levels, this trip is a challenge! The porters are incredible- so encouraging and happy as they run up (and down!) the steps, singing! The wonderfully refreshing and beautiful Amazon sights and sounds was a reward beyond compare! Take a good set of binoculars to the Amazon and ‘video’ the sounds....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing alone on the last morning of the Inca Trail, looking out over the incredible panorama below- listening to the birdsong, admiring an overhanging wild orchid, with a lama munching in the bush behind me. In the Amazon, seeing a female jaguar on the riverbank, being teased by a male, whilst we rowed into the sunset, on the Tambopata river, on our last evening- what an absolute privilege!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bobbie was simply outstanding! His knowledge of Inca history was superb, but more importantly, his understanding of people, his positive psychology and his humour, helped us get to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass alive! His gentle encouragement, with no pressure to rush, but also his ability to make us feel safe, in some desperate moments where we felt we couldn’t go on, need commending- thank you Bobbie!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a tough trip- certainly not for the faint hearted and I would suggest, a significant challenge for younger teenagers. One needs to be athletic and be able to walk up steep hills ( as a training exercise), without getting breathless. No amount of fitness training in a gym can prepare one for the altitude, coupled with unrelenting, steep uneven steps up, and very deep, slippery and steep steps down. If one feels uneasy being at a height looking down, this is not the trip for you! The best advise is to have good Leki walking poles with rubber tips, and descend the steps sideways, like a crab, to save ones’ knees! Keep poles very long when going down, and short for going up! When packing the duffel bag, pack your stuff in a big see through bin liner first. Take lots of layers and thermals for the night- it is sub zero, wet and lonely at the top, without a proper, thick 4 season sleeping bag! I would recommend hiring a sleeping bag. Day pack: do not use a bladder- they leak! Keep a water bottle round your neck- (buy a bottle holder at the shop where you have breakfast, before the trail starts), and a bottle of lucozade or similar in the side pouch- do not let your sugar levels go low! Take sucking sweets that are easy to unwrap and suck whilst walking- chewing and walking and breathing, up those steep steps is impossible! Take some bars of chocolates- you will crave chocolate! Keep a bag of small change (1soles) for the toliet stops on parts of the Inca trail (no toilets higher up). Take acetazolamide ( ask your GP) to prescibe 250mg tablets (not modified release). The recommeded dosage is to start taking it in Cusco the day before the trail starts ( if one feels dizzy, nausea/ vomiting, breathless and as if head is going to burst) An adult should take half a tablet (125mg) twice a day until the last moring if the trail, and a young teenager a quarter of a tablet twice a day. This was recommended to me by a Professor of Pulmonology, I chanced upon in our Cusco hotel. He was a Godsend! One can buy ‘Oxyshot’- small cannisters of Oxygen at the pharmacies- go to a pharmacy if one feels one may need advise- they were excellent! A good tip to acclimatise, is to go a few days early, before the trail starts, and stay in Pisac. (which is slightly lower in altitude to Cusco). We stayed at La Casa del Conde, just outside Pisac, overlooking The Sacred Valley- superb accomodation and views, and one has to take a ‘tuk tuk’ to get to it from the town, as it’s up a track! Pisac has a fantastic market and quaint restaurants- well worth spending 2 days there at least. Do an open top bus tour from the Place d’Arma in Cusco which takes you to various ruins- Saksaywaman- brilliant experience! Take a good headtorch on the trail and for the Amazon. Use a ‘bumbag’ to keep your camera/ iphone, lipice, tissues in- for easy access whilst walking. Take a daypack that fits: waterproof trousers and light waterproof jacket, rain poncho, beanie and waterproof gloves for the top of Dead Woman’s Pass. Wear good polarised sunglasses for the glare. Take a small memory foam pillow in your duffel bag- will make your camping experience much better!! Wear waterproof trousers to sleep in if you get cold and put your duffel bag under your mattress, at the foot of your tent, to prevent slipping down your tent! Take a power bank to recharge camera/ phone to take photos. Wear hiking liners- to prevent blisters. One needs to adhere to the tipping guidelines for the porters especially- they are brilliant- you need at least 230 soles per person for the Porter’s kitty, then additional tipping money in the Amazon for the Amazon guide, the Posadas lodge staff, the boatman and then your main guide for the trip. ( recommended $5 per person per day) The tipping is a hidden extra which definitely needs to be acknowledged prior to taking this trip. There is no cash facility in the Amazon but we could pay for our extras/ drinks using Visa. Have a pisco sour and lomo saltado in Cusco at ‘Baco’s’- both to die for! Take lots of videos both on the Inca trail and especially in the Amazon- the sounds are quite spectacular- especially the jungle call! Most importantly, enjoy every moment, take in every sight and sound as if it were your last, and ENJOY the beauty and the freedom! Don’t rush to get to the campsite- you’ll miss out!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did this trip as a 50th birthday family adventure and fundraising challenge, for a Conservation charity in South Africa, for leopard rescue. Seeing the jaguar on our last evening was a ‘spiritual’ moment for me! And as our guide said at the outset of the Inca trail, heading to Machu Picchu is ‘a pilgrimage’! It is a challenge which needs careful planning, both for the fitness, the equipment and gear, but more importantly the mental challenge as a whole- the travel there and back is a challenge in itself! Make it a lifetime event- share your experience... write a blog.... it’ll make you feel whole.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Fiona Crawford

    Peru

    Trip to Inca trail/Machu Picchu was amazing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inca ruins on inca trail & Amazon Lodge

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader from Peak DMC was 10/10. Frank dealt with lost luggage, last minute bookings, questions on environment, fauna, flora, everything with a smile and a giggle; nothing was too much. He and his colleagues from Peak made this trip, every aspect of it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Jane Trevorrow

    Trip of a lifetime

    A trip of a lifetime and a dream come true to visit Peru, Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were blessed with the most amazing sunshine during our trek to Macchi Picchu and left with beautiful photos of the Andes and wonderful memories.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Frank, was everything you could wish for - as an advocate for Peru and as a guide. There could not have been a more perfect person for the job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t take the category 4 rating lightly in terms of the challenge. Whilst some people trotted up and down like mountain goats, my lungs and heart really, really struggled. I did a lot of cardio and strength training in advance, but it was still very, very hard work.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    (E) Pat Arlette

    Borneo Wildlife

    This was an absolutely fabulous holiday. It had been very well thought out to give us as much exposure as possible to as many aspects as possible of the wildlife of Borneo. The accommodation was good and we saw an amazing variety of animals, birds, plants and insects. The local guides were excellent at spotting things of interest and Sheila, our leader, was one of the best I have ever had, all done with a lovely sense of humour. I'd thoroughly recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably seeing the giant flying squirrels as I wasn't expecting them. The orang-utans in the sanctuary and in the wild were just lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! A grand sense of humour, always patient, interested in us all personally, very knowledgable and very good at spotting the wildlife

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are interested in wildlife, go for it
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Ken Norman

    WUC171115 Costa Rica

    A superb comprehensive magical not so mystery tour of fabulous Costa Rica with Johnny Villalobos as our tremendous could not do enough for us guide and super driver Wilmer too.Small party of 13 of which at least over half were infectious bird lovers that could not fail to inspire all of us. Well planned and very well managed throughout. Sensible to have two nights at each location... we could settle and become at ease and accustomed to each location and take the early morning start schedule in our stride.Great overnight stay locations with spacious accommodation and all services. Only a few 'dodgy' but usually ease of use loos. Great beds. Very good meals.Would have liked a bit more of an adventurous volcano trip to satisfy my 'exploration adventure' gene but ideal for my wife !!! whose gene is more dormant.Well planned superbly executed and managed and sorry it had to end.If we had known of Costa Rica's adoration of all things Christmas we would not have stocked up at Aldi before we went.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most 'wow' moment the eventual Quetzal bird sighting... two males competing for one female in one tree some 60ft from us.Priceless

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny Villalobos was unquestionably dedicated far beyond any reasonablecall of duty. Leader of the year material and faultless in every single way.Outstanding and inspiringly informed and informative. Clearly a great lover of birds but demonstrated an infectious love of his country that we easily and justifiably 'caught' too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good walking shoes/boots but no need to go over the top. Good anorak style waterproof.Good bird watching binoculars.Hand sized effective torch.For good bird photos bring a 'good' camera.Alarm waker-up in kit as you'll have some early starts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just really fabulous in every way... thank you. Finally if possible avoid British Airways... it might be flying the flag but they are a tired line and do the flag no justice at all.. just not up to the long haul task other than bare minimum and pretty basic food.... cramped seating that was reminiscent of Monarch trips from Luton BUT did best Kenya Airways to Nairobi that I have experienced !!!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Gillian Dunlop

    Tropical highland wanderer

    A good family holiday to Sri Lanka. We certainly saw many aspects of the island, though due to the group size at times it felt more of a bus tour than a cultural experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fear going to sigyris rock

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He coped reasonably with a large and varied group. Birthdays for part members were well felt with. He did not manage to engage the whole group at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd advise going on a smaller group. Ours was too large

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As above. Time on buses wasted time. It took away from opportunity to see more of the country. In towns when alone we safely wandered and saw the towns as they are. More of this and less of the tourist trail would be appreciated. We were warned by another tour operator about the safari. Never believed we would witness the 50 jeeps to a herd of elephants that we saw. It all felt manufactured and there for the paying customers. All very safe and sanitised
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